Archive | August, 2012

Almost nine weeks!

24 Aug

Apologies for the long delay in posting. After the initial euphoria of the first couple of weeks of parenthood, I lost the desire to write. This seems symptomatic of early parenthood to me — moving from an intellectual existence to an almost exclusively physical one. The priorities are to feed the baby, feed myself, get some sleep and try to get some exercise. I have also been connecting with lots of other queer and feminist moms in my community, so I am not searching for them online.

A good portion of my day is spent dealing with bodily fluids — mostly breast milk, urine and vomit. But it all seems worth it when I think of how short a time this is in my life and in my daughter’s. I feel privileged to be able to feed her with my body and to see that she is thriving into a smiley, bright-eyed and chubby-cheeked little wonder. But I do struggle with being her sole food source. I can’t be away from her for more than an hour, because her feeding patterns are still so unpredictable. My wife tried giving her a bottle of pumped milk this afternoon and Daphne was having none of it. On one hand, it’s awesome that she is now solidly devoted to the boob. This is what we worked so hard to achieve. But this devotion comes at the expense of my personal freedom. It would be nice to be able to go to a yoga class without worrying that she’ll get hungry and upset in my absence.

I’m also still struggling with nursing. Daphne is totally dependent on the darn nipple shield and gets absolutely hysterical if I try to remove it. The shield is not inhibiting my milk supply or her ability to eat (she is gaining weight at an excellent rate). But it is making it difficult to get her to latch in any other position that me sitting up, with her balanced on a pillow. She can’t latch with me lying down and she is resistant to being held in any other position. So I end up schlepping a pillow with me everywhere I go. She also gets fussy and frustrated before latching, meaning that many nursing sessions are preceded by a blue-faced screamfest. Which makes nursing in public exhausting and mildly mortifying.

I see mild improvements every day, though. Sometimes I am able to trick her and remove the pillow. This allows me to cradle her in my arms and actually stand up. She has been screaming at the boob for less and less nursing sessions, especially when I can read her cues before she gets agitated. I keep reminding myself that she is only two months old. But I do wish that our nursing relationship was a little more flexible and portable — or that she would agree to take the occasional bottle either from me or from Caitlyn.

That being said, this baby is delightful and I am grateful for her existence every day. I mean seriously, how could you resist this face?