Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Blog and 'Mommy-Brain'

I started this blog with the intention of posting long, well-researched articles on various aspects of parenting and feminism... doesn't seem to have worked out that way. At best, this is a personal blog where I briefly touch on pertinent political and social subjects, usually only when they personally apply to my life experience. Honestly, I'm disappointed in myself.

In reality, I shouldn't be so hard on myself. I have mommy-brain, and a baby that, while she's not particularly fussy, she's demands a lot of attention. I can't even seem to read books of the same caliber that I did before I was pregnant.

Does anyone else have experience with this sort of mommy-brain?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

3 months already

River is 3 months old TODAY!

She's a leg-kicking, smiling, flappy-armed ball of baby. Well, not so much a ball as much as a long sticky baby. We even finally feel like we're getting a glimpse of her personality. She's awake more often, and is really great at following things with her eyes and head. She's got excellent head control and is finally letting me put her down for a little bit at a time.

In the past month River has been introduced to her parents' second home: the Bristol Renaissance Faire! It's been eventful, getting to meet so many different people. We got more roommates so there are always people around. Our cat, Mochi has even taken a liking to River, though they're still a little standoffish. Sometimes I even catch them snuggling together.

I wish I had some pictures to post, but things are still pretty busy here and we can't seem to find our cords to get pics off of the camera.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sometimes, It Does Happen

In stark contrast to the facebook conversation that I blogged about before, over the weekend I was actually thanked/congratulated for breastfeeding in public.

I'm a big Bristol Renaissance Faire patron. I've worked there in the past, but took time off since my due date was so close to performance rehearsals and faire opening. (honestly, I probably could have worked in a shop with River, but I had no idea how easy of a baby she would be!) I know a bunch of people there, and there are not many other places that I feel so at home.

Anyways, I've only made it to faire a handful of times this year because of issues with rides, laziness, money, or whatever else. The times that I have gone, I've been met mostly with positivity from people I know when they see me breastfeeding. The people I don't know are not always so positive.

This past weekend, on sunday, J and I made the trip up there with some kids from his work. It was mostly work, he was showing them the costuming and performing that people at faire do and looking to network with some shops to buy product from them. It was in one shop, after feeling particularly icked by an old man with eye-contact issues, that the shop artist complimented me for breastfeeding in public.

She is an awesome mother and artist who creates all the product for Grichels (Check out their Etsy page!). I've always been a big fan of the art she creates out of leather (I know, I'm a hypocritical vegetarian). I had also never had a complete stranger react so positively to my breastfeeding in public (I've had either ambiguous reactions or negative ones to varying degrees). It was great for someone to tell me that they breastfed their children, how hard it is to breastfeed in public, and how necessary it is to see it so that people know it's normal.

In other news; it looks like I'll be taking a quick trip to West Virginia soon.. It seems that they do not have any laws protecting breastfeeding on their books.. Does anyone know if West Virginia in general is hostile to breastfeeding or just ambivalent? I'd really rather not be arrested for public indecency, have to deal with any legal drama, or anything else while I'm there..

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Breastfeeding Manifesto

I refuse to feed my baby food that is not the best I can give her.

I refuse to sacrifice a good latch and my baby's comfort by putting a blanket over her head (it's hard enough without one!).

I refuse to succumb to society's artificial oversexualization of breasts.

I refuse to become a hermit to make other people comfortable.

I refuse to make my child wait to eat, therefor upsetting her more and making it harder to feed her when I am able.

I refuse to spend hours in public restrooms being ashamed of how I feed my child (would you want to eat in there?).

I refuse to supplement because I know that I can make enough to feed my baby no matter what some ridiculous growth chart says (the doctor was using the old growth charts that include formula-fed babies instead of the WHO breastfeeding charts).

I refuse to listen to uneducated beliefs about breastfeeding, breastmilk, formula, and other baby-raising decisions.

I refuse to be scared away from doing the things I love and seeing the people I love because someone might get uncomfortable.

I refuse to think that people who love me are going to change their opinion because of my parenting decisions.

Here are some great breastfeeding related links:
Authentic Parenting: Breastfeeding Curtesy
Authentic Parenting: Lamest Reasons Not To Breastfeed
Authentic Parenting: Ignorance is Bliss - Silence is Golden!
How To Hide A Tank: Breast is Best, Revisited

Facebook Frustration

I'm frustrated. I'm so frustrated, I'm finding it hard to think. I tried giving this a couple days before talking about it, but it doesn't seem to be helping.

I'm a pretty opinionated person. That said, I take pride in researching and formulating coherent, rational arguments. Unfortunately, I also expect other people to do the same, and get quite frustrated when they fail to do so.

Recently an acquaintance has begun telling me about how she thinks public breastfeeding is 'disgusting'. I believe quite the opposite and will readily breastfeed in public whenever my baby is hungry without a second thought. She told me that she bottle feeds when in public and that people who insist on breastfeeding should put a blanket over them.

Now, I know how I can get when people say things that are both against medical studies (using formula depletes breast milk supply) and are formulated on personal opinions but are not presented that way (like saying that something is disgusting instead of saying that they think it's disgusting). In an effort to curb my quickly growing fury, I put a stop to the conversation. Still, I find that I'm incredibly upset by this.

I deal well with random people's disdain for public breastfeeding. I even deal well with the discomfort some family members have with it. But for some reason, this acquaintance really threw me off. Usually I'm outspoken in support and quick to write off someone who persists in disagreement.

My breastfeeding manifesto-of-sorts is coming up soon.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More on my hunt for a doctor..

Since the post I made about being unhappy with our family practitioner for River, I've been on the hunt. After some research online and some unreturned phone calls, I made an appointment to meet with a family practitioner in the area we just moved to.

She was a pretty cool 30-something year old osteopathic family practitioner. Unfortunately, although she seemed more open than most doctors, I still am not entirely happy. My unhappiness probably has more to do with my distrust of the medical profession in general and my beliefs against overmedicalization.

I had been so happy with the midwifery model of care that I think it's going to be hard to ever go back to the medical model when dealing with a healthy baby.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!!! Wahoo!

I was thinking about having a breastfeeding party, but not only am I the only person I know who lives near me and is breastfeeding, but I'm also already having a little dinner party thing on Friday for my return to vegitarianism ^.^

That's right! After two years of being a vegetarian, I started eating meat during my pregnancy because of some dizziness and iron issues. To be more precise, my Neurocardiogenic Syncope was acting up. Since giving birth I have been weaning myself off of meat, which wasn't really working. I'd made excuses and have more meat products that I wanted and was comfortable with. Finally, it became apparent that I needed to go cold turkey (sorry about that one).

It's going to be especially hard to be a vegetarian now though... Where it used to be just J and me, meaning that there was never much meat in the house because I did the shopping, now I'm living with roommates, two of which are very heavy meat eaters. One of them has offered to scale back their meat eating and buying habits on my behalf, but as much as I'd like to see less meat eating, I am very much in favor of people making their own choices in life. They don't have to be vegetarian, but I'm not exactly going to be cooking meat for them.

J has also offered to go vegetarian with me, and if you listened to what he says, it sounds like he will be.. but I'm not sure about that either. Just like the other roommate who offered to buy and eat less meat, I'm not sure that he's doing it for his own reasons. We'll see how that goes.

In other news, I also just sent my mom an article that I found online that describes some of my parenting decisions really well. I would post a link here, but I've only found it posted as a note on facebook. It describes some of the evolutionary reasons that babies prefer certain things. It also argues that things like vaginal birth, breastfeeding, and attachment parenting shouldn't be considered 'best', but what's 'normal'. In my mind, saying that something is 'best', even if it is, argues that there are other options that are also good. Saying that something is normal or natural takes away the idea that there are other options that can be chosen when there isn't need for them.

(If you're family, please don't pass this on. I've talked to my mom about this, and I understand why she does the things that she does. This is not meant as an attack or a critique, just airing out my thoughts on the issue) My mother has not exactly been unsupportive, but she doesn't understand my decisions and will make comments about how River always seems to be eating and that I should let other people hold her or put her down more often. She also tends to hold River through her 'asking' for food, until she's forced to cry to get it. I know that my mother means well, I just wish that she would understand the reasons that I made the decisions I made.

Anyone else have experience with well-meaning relatives?