Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cutest One in the Patch

(I really do want to write more, but it's "finals" so to speak. I'd like to write about the chronic cough that gets worse at night and keeps me wide awake while I listen to Cricket cough all night long. But I'll write more about that later. For now, Cricket shall be featured.)

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Detroit Strike

If you've been following the news lately, you've heard about the UAW strikes at GM and Chrysler. Ford talks are looming on the horizon. If you happen to live in the Detroit environs, you get "Breaking News" flashes at all sorts of times to tell you that the talks have recessed because someone needed to sleep, eat, or shit.

We've had our own striking action chez Cricket. And the management (I think that's me) has not gotten very far with the babe. In fact, I think the strike may have ended and we're at permanent shut down status.

Nursing. I fear it may be over.

Today a friend from my La Leche group sent out the best picture ever of herself nursing her toddler, and I cried. How I wanted to be that mommy. I just knew that I was going to nurse Cricket until he was at least a year, and then I smugly added, "I'll just let him determine when we'll stop nursing." In my head, I was thinking that I might have to seriously address the issue sometime in the spring, when I imagine heading back to the RE for baby two attempts.

We were going strong with the nursing too. Cricket is an exuberant feeder, opening his little baby bird mouth really wide and almost making a chomp noise as he came in for the milk. And even though I'm fairly crazed with school (can you tell, no posts from me?) we were still nursing right on schedule. I'm very lucky that his daycare program is located in the same building as my classes. In fact, his room is directly underneath one of my classrooms. So at lunch I'd go downstairs and nurse the baby. Nothing was changed other than location, and that was only once a day.

We got through the initial biting stuff too. When cutting his first teeth (Shit! Teeth! Growing up!), we nipped it in the bud and it seemed like it wouldn't be a problem. Then the fifth tooth started niggling toward the gum border, and man, he chomped down on me. I promptly removed him, told him no bite, and then he refused to nurse on that side again. I changed him to the other side, he nursed, fell asleep, and that was that.

Until I picked him up from school, whereupon he pushed my breasts away-- there was no uncertainty-- he just didn't want them near him at all. He screamed. And this happened no matter what. Over the past few weeks we've tried the bath, playing with the shirt off so he could come back to the breast on his own terms, we've tried early morning sleepy, late evening sleepy, middle of the night sleepy, and sleep itself. We've tried to not push the breast and push the breast. And you know what? He's just not buying it. No, I haven't changed soaps, detergents, deodorants, or anything else.

He reaches for the bottle. God.

(Not that the bottle is inherently bad, I just never saw it coming. It doesn't even bother me as much to see him reach for his teachers at school as it bothers me the bottle reaching. Who knew that this strike would feel so much like a rejection of me? I can't explain why it's made me feel so personally like a bad mother. Like I must have done something to make him stop. Sigh. Here I am again with the vast conspiracy of motherhood guilt.)

Consequently, as with all strikes, auto and otherwise, production is slowed. It's slowed so much that my previously unprecedented production was supplemented for the first time this morning. With the F-word. More distressing news from the picket lines? He didn't even blink when the bottles switched from breast milk to formula. Oh, child. How I am betrayed.

I'm still pumping, but getting only around 6 oz a day. I'm trying to tell myself it's worth it to keep pumping until he's a year, but it's getting rough. He doesn't seem to care whether he's getting breast milk or formula; he's a gordito, so I'm not worried about weight gain; he really enjoys non-breast milk food; we both seem to still be very bonded despite the strike.

So what do I do? Consider this an extended strike and keep trying to get him back on the breast? Figure this stint has run it's plan and shut the factory down? Or keep trying to produce even the limited production we have now?

Consider this the management looking for new negotiators and let me know what you think. Of course that's hoping that there is anyone still reading this poor neglected (but loved!) blog.

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