Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Fine Balance

First, look at that little frog! One thing you sort of know but don't really know in advance about having kids is that you begin to destroy the earth in earnest. Baths, laundry, baby accoutrements that involve electricity, and air conditioning to keep the nursery cool all add up BIG. And that doesn't even begin to address the millions of diapers we're adding to landfills. We are bad people.

Anyway, the title of the post refers to a Rohinton Mistry book (please note: I read it well before Oprah picked it) and also to my feelings about breastfeeding. This may be a spoiler, but the fine balance the book refers to is between hope and despair. And that's what the past two days have been for me re: breastfeeding. Two nights ago, I pumped 3.5 ounces in one session - while that would be a shitty session for some, it was a banner session for me. And then yesterday morning I soothed the young lad twice before his naps, and this pressure to my chest resulted in no fewer than FOUR plugged ducts (three left, one right). This, in turn, led to dramatically decreased output, which means right now we're looking at giving So.ren mostly formula later on today unless things pick up. I've tried everything and even managed to clear two of the three ducts on the left side by nursing on all fours (highly undignified), but I still have one on each side, and my pumping output is suboptimal. Now, I just want to make it to six weeks, which would be next Monday, before I start to wean (which may result in more pluggage).

The thing is, I like nursing the little guy. I would like to do what another low-supply gal I know has done - she nurses in the morning and the evening and pumps once during the day. Her son gets mostly formula, but she's still giving him some antibodies and enjoying a good nursing relationship (as they say in breastfeeding circles). It just seems as if it's more important for me to be able to hold and carry the boy rather than breastfeed him. It sucks not to be able to do both. Stupid reproductively challenged body!

1 comment:

Gallaudet said...

Oh my dear, you have hit the nail on the proverbial head: it's all balance, or rather, as one of my yoga tapes says, "Falling out of center, coming back to center, falling out of center, coming back to center: it's a responsiveness, not a hardness." And that's true for all of parenting. You want to be perfect--I want to be perfect--but we are not,and we adjust, we compromise, we finagle, we adapt, to suit our particular children, and they do the same to deal with us. And this is FINE. This is the only way to do it. There is no perfect. There's loss in every direction--if you breastfeed exclusively, for instance, you lose some badly needed time and space. And it just continues and gets more complicated as they get older, and THEY TURN OUT FINE AND SO DO YOU.

I hope that you and The Boy reach a good place for both of you with the breastfeeding, and that you get to keep some of that lovely closeness of being a breastfeeding dyad, as well as all that lovely formula weight gain (and all that lovely ability to go out for four hours sans child!). I hope this doesn't sound all preachy--God knows I am a total basket case as a mother most of the time, horribly irritable and lazy--it's just meant to be encouraging and full of fellow-feeling. So yeah, that!

By the way, the frog? Is the cutest thing I've ever seen. GOD he's adorable!