Thursday, October 8, 2009

So what? My kids like me.

I did not go to orchestra rehearsal last night. I was tired and, more specifically, I had some hints that the mastitis was trying to come back, and I didn't want to miss a feeding with Meatball. Furthermore, Musical Daddy was exhausted.

I realize that not leaving the house for nursing-mom reasons would probably not be viewed as necessary. It's one of the reasons that mom don't bother to nurse their babies--why be "tied down" to your baby? Why go through all of the pain and suffering? Granted, most nursing moms don't experience the amount of pain and suffering that I did--severe cracking starting after a week, a baby who was constantly agitated, losing the latch and making the cracking and pain worse, a thrush diagnosis accompanied by the strictest anti-thrush diet for nearly two weeks, finally getting some relief with better positioning while we waited to fix his tongue tie, then an oversupply as he nursed more effectively which led to mastitis. To me, there is no other option for feeding my baby. Unless there is something wrong with me, and even then, bring the baby or the pump to me and stick one or both on me, conscious or not. Period. The end.

I have to work to keep the system running well. Allegedly, it is a well-oiled machine after the initial month. Since we had to make major adjustments to the machine, it is only now that I am experiencing the convenience and ease that I so looked forward to. With The Boy, since I was working, it was more a matter of discipline. I had to make the time during the day to pump, which I did. This time around, it is the more traditional nursing mom relationship, and expressed-milk bottles for Meatball are few and far between.

So I missed rehearsal for the extra rest, and in order to maintain a functioning system in my body. And while I don't particularly like to miss rehearsal, as I love to play and I love the company, it's okay.

The bigger issue at hand is being "tied to" my children. Yea, even if I didn't produce all of the nourishment for my baby, I would still be "tied to" him. From an anthropological standpoint, The Boy, being the older one and not the baby, is a member of the "pack" and can be cared for by others (although usually it's still me). He has strong attachments to Daddy and Grandma, and his paternal Grandpa as well. Meatball, being a nursing baby who is with me almost all the time, is still all about me. Why in the world would I want anything different?

If you have kids and don't want them to be attached to you, then perhaps you needn't have bothered. Children who are attached securely to their parents become more independent as they grow.

Anyhow...interesting day today. I have to figure out how to get The Boy through physical therapy, a hearing test, and a video shoot (oh, and a finger stick too, which is no big deal) while juggling and altering naps and meals. He'll LOVE that.


Sarah R said...

I completely agree with you. I would have quit my job before I would have given formula. Simple as that. It meant that much to me. When he was refusing the bottles, had my workplace not accommodated me to go home for feedings, I would have quit my job. And yes, I am the sole breadwinner in the household, so that meant that DH would have had to get a job making less money....but losing that nursing relationsihp would have been worse.

The Reluctant Crunchy Mama said...

I agree 100% with you. Ensuring that one's child is securely attached is, to me, vital, and, yet, so many people do not know of the concept of attachment. Granted, many do it instinctively, but, that is not always the case. I much rather respond to my daughter's needs, even if it means that my house isn't clean enough, things are not necessarily where they belong, etc. And, breastfeeding, well, again, right there with you. It was so, so hard at first, primarily due to her being tongue-tied and us not knowing for weeks. Some might call it stubborn and crunchy, but I never considered giving up on breastfeeding. As I am sure I have said before, you are kicking butt!

mommybird said...

I'm with you 100% too. I'm "tied" to my baby too because she refuses a bottle so if she's hungry, it's me, end of story. I LOVE it. In time she will be weaned and she won't be so attached and I don't want to give up the little time I get to be the most important person in her life. Even with my other kids never accomplishing breastfeeding, I pumped, and I was the one to give the expressed bottles about 90% of the time because I felt like I deserved to be the one to feed them, to get that time to bond with them. Why wouldn't you want to be attached to your kids? I just don't understand.

Sarah said...

It is so hard to hear those outside comments, such as: "why are you tying yourself down" "formula is fine" "others are willing to help with the feedings". Especially hearing those comments from people who mean well (in my case parents and close family who have never nursed nor see the value) but just dont understand how important this is to you.

It really does take a strong, determined person not to give in to the "convience" of the alternative. The nursing stage is such a short period in both your lives. A little scarifice of "convience" for this short amount of time is completely worth it.