Monday, March 7, 2011

Consistently Inconsistent

I don't know what I'm doing with this whole "parenting" thing. I'm just doing what feels right, as I go, with no rhyme or reason. For what it's worth, Baby LaLa is the happiest, cutest, most delightful child anyone who's met her has ever known, so I guess I must be doing something right?

I was discussing this with the husband last night, how I'm neurotic about some things but apathetic about others.

-I will only feed the baby organic oatmeal cereal. Only very recently I started buying Gerber; until then it was only Earth's Best.
-But then I'll give her a plate of animal crackers.
-I won't give her Kraft singles. There's something about feeding her "processed cheese product" that doesn't sit right with me, so I only give her real cheese, sliced from the deli counter.
-But I'll happily microwave her up some chicken fingers for dinner. Or a hot dog. I do, however, always make sure the hot dogs are 100% turkey (no lips and assholes for MY little girl, thankyouverymuch) and that the chicken fingers are 100% white meat.
-When Baby LaLa first made the transition from baby food to solids (also note I never made my own baby food... but I was pretty strict about the jarred food I did buy: no weird ingredients) I was feeding her canned vegetables because, as I said, I have no idea what the hell I'm doing. My BFF instilled a fear of OMGSODIUMOMG into me, and now I only feed her frozen veggies.
-And then give her some ice cream for dessert.

A friend of mine is a big believer in Tylenol, and she'll dose up her kid with it if she thinks she might be teething or something. I avoid Tylenol, and will only give it to Baby LaLa if she's obviously in pain or has a fever of 101 or higher. That same friend is neurotic about not putting her kid in the car seat with bulky clothing on, while I strap Baby LaLa into her carseat in full snowgear.


Friday, March 4, 2011

A Weekday in the Life

6:15 am: Pee. Husband retrieves stirring baby.
6:17 am: Nurse baby in bed. Husband showers. Cuddle with baby. Watch TV with baby.
6:50 am: Change baby. Dress baby. Husband takes baby downstairs.
7:00 am: Curse at scale. Pluck obvious grey hairs. Brush teeth. Find clean(ish) clothes. Throw hair into ponytail. Apply deodorant.
7:20 am: Go downstairs. Pack breakfast and lunch. Prepare coffee. Put on shoes. Inject diabetic cat with insulin. Put on baby's shoes. Put on baby's coat. Entertain baby while husband packs car.
7:30 am: Kiss baby. Kiss husband. Drive car to work.
8:00 am: Work.
4:30 pm: Stop working.
5:00 pm: Retrieve baby from sitter.
5:30 pm: Arrive home.
5:31 pm: Clean diabetic cat's shit off bathroom floor.
5:32 pm: Yell at diabetic cat and chase her up the stairs.
5:35 pm: Tickle baby. Eat baby. Love baby.
5:45 pm: Prepare baby's dinner.
5:50 pm: Feed baby.
5:51 pm: Explain to baby that we do not throw food onto the floor.
5:52 pm: Start doing last night's dinner dishes while baby eats.
5:55 pm: Pick baby's food up off the floor.
5:59 pm: Explain to baby that we do not squish our food between our fingers.
6:00 pm: Finish last night's dinner dishes.
6:03 pm: Clean food from between baby's fingers.
6:15 pm: Clean baby's dinner off baby.
6:20 pm: Greet husband. Discuss dinner.
6:30 pm: Leave baby with daddy.
6:35 pm: Shower.
6:50 pm: Cook dinner.
7:10 pm: Feed cats.
7:20 pm: Inject diabetic cat with insulin.
7:30 pm: Snuggle baby. Cuddle baby. Eat baby. Throw baby. Chase baby. Be chased by baby. Read to baby. Sing with baby. Play with baby. Dance with baby. Kiss baby. Love baby.
8:00 pm: Vitamins and toothie brush.
8:10 pm: Change baby. Put baby into pajamas.
8:20 pm: Nurse baby. Put baby to bed.
8:40 pm: Put away baby's toys.
8:45 pm: Eat dinner.
9:30 pm: Relax. Watch bad tv. Play Picross 3D or Angry Birds. Check e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.
10:30 pm: Bed.

And that's an easy day.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

OMG they're a CULT!

I probably should have started this blog, oh, 14 months ago. But you know how it is, with a newborn and keeping a clean house while entertaining an endless stream of visitors who just "want to help" while you hobble around the house tending your fresh C-section incision and dealing with the weepiness of postpartum blues and completely losing it because one of your well-meaning visitors ate your last Ferrero Roche and cluster feedings and remembering to give your diabetic cat her insulin and pediatrician appointments and OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT IN HER DIAPER and finding childcare and dropping the baby weight and finding time to go to the supermarket and cook a healthy dinner and saying "Screw it, let's order Chinese" for the 8th night in a row and remembering to call back everyone who left you a voicemail and write back everyone who sent you a Facebook message and scouring for a new job because you can't bear the thought of returning to your crappy job...

Wait, where was I?

Oh yeah. La Leche League.

I say that I should have started this blog earlier because it would have been easier to tell my whole breastfeeding saga as it happened. I'm sure I'll get to it eventually, but I wanted to explain why (for now) La Leche League is the only link over there in my little "Parenting Links Box."

It's because I credit them fully with saving my breastfeeding relationship with my daughter.

I was warned about LLL. I was told the horrors of LLL Leaders barging into hospital rooms and forcing the boobs of formula feeding mothers into their babies' faces. That if you provided them with any sort of contact information, they'd swarm upon you like locusts and steal the Enfamil from your pantry in the dark of the night.

Long story short, Baby LaLa had some allergy issues early on. Nothing crazy, but she had specks of blood in her diaper that started off minor and got pretty alarming after a couple weeks. After eliminating dairy from my diet, my pediatrician mandated me to stop breastfeeding immediately and put her on Neocate formula, despite my desperate, tearful pleas. I was willing to do whatever it took to save my breastfeeding relationship because I knew, in my heart of hearts, that it was the right path for Baby LaLa and I to take together. Nope, he said, you HAVE TO stop breastfeeding immediately and switch to Neocate.

So, after spending two hours driving through two snowy New Jersey counties stopping at every pharmacy searching for friggin' Neocate, I gave up and decided to breastfeed for the night, do some research, and decide what to do the next morning.

The next morning, I reluctantly called a La Leche League leader because I didn't know what else to do. I knew I needed to find another doctor that was more supportive of my decision to breastfeed and that would help me exhaust all the options before giving up, but I had no idea how to find that person. I was scared to death that they'd suck me in and call me every day to keep tabs, but I had no other choice.

The woman I spoke to was friendly and understanding. She sympathized with me and thanked me for reaching out to her. She recommended, "off the record," a doctor who also was a lactation consultant. She shared her experiences with me, and wished me luck.

I visited the doctor and she gave me a list of foods to cut out of my diet, one by one. It was very difficult, at one point I was off dairy, soy, fish and eggs... but we eventually discovered that eggs were the culprit. The blood in Baby LaLa's diaper vanished and never came back, and we are still nursing at 14 months.

I only spoke to the La Leche League leader one more time - when she called a couple weeks later to see how I made out with the doctor. She suggested I attend meetings if I could, but didn't pressure me. I never heard from La Leche League again.

I know that other peoples' experiences with LLL are different, but I wanted to share my story to get it out there that they're NOT ALWAYS the cult that people make them out to be.

The end.