There's a breastfeeding carnival?

Apparently there is a large group of bloggers writing about their experiences breastfeeding.
I'm guessing these people don't have children in high school, and they are telling their stories in the way we all tell our labor stories.
On the one hand, I'm a little envious - that's a nice time, when children are little and the stories from the trenches are still fresh, but I'm also pretty pleased to not be putting the boys in their car seats everyday.

We purposely spaced the boys pretty far apart. Each baby got their own baby time without a toddler looking over my shoulder.
As for the breastfeeding...
I went back to work when Oldest was 8 weeks old. I'm sure that ruined the rest of his life, but I was 26 years old and had a job waiting for me. So that's what I did. I wasn't good at pumping, though he was very good at nursing. I cut him off and ended up quitting my job somewhere around the time he was a year old. There was no internet back then. It was just him and me. He carried a bottle around for a while, I think I took it away when he was nearly 3. I was ambiguous about the beauty part of breastfeeding.

I was working during my pregnancy with Middle. I would freelance from time to time depending on how K's work was going. I hemorrhaged in the office one day and that was the end of that. We spent that weekend waiting to see if Middle would stay or go. I was nearly six months pregnant, and we all know he stayed. He was the kind of baby then that is a grown person now, silent, calm, happy. I breastfed him happily until he was about ten months old and there was a heatwave. I had had enough, he didn't mind and it was just too hot to have him on me several times a day. My girlfriends were all breastfeeding for about the same length of time so I had encouragement.

Of course, it's Youngest's story that is the most dramatic. I had a lovely birth with Youngest. Middle was four and Oldest was ten. Everything really was second nature. Youngest was a decent nurser, but not great. And, if he was moved at all after he was fed, and I mean at all, he would make a little noise and all of the milk would pour out of him. Not like throwing up - like pouring a pitcher of milk onto whomever or whatever he was near. After about four months of this, and it was tough work to NOT MOVE after feeding him, he turned his little face away from me and stopped breastfeeding altogether. As it had been a chore to begin with, I let it happen. We switched to fancy formula - the doctor thought he might have a milk allergy. But he didn't.
He had a hard time with baby food. I thought he was picky. He gagged a lot, on silly things. I thought I was rushing him. As he learned to talk we all saw that his little mouth had a jaunty pull to one side. We made Popeye jokes. And then, when he went to nursery school, the teacher pointed out to me that his funny lopsided grin was not an affectation. And she was very astute.
Because, after months of testing, we discovered that part of his face is paralyzed. And breastfeeding? all those years ago? was probably damn near impossible.

So.
That's pretty much how I feel about all of that.
I used cloth diapers for Middle too. And I'm sure that's what made him the kind of guy he is today.
I've got to remember to tell him that.
In front of his girlfriend.

Comments

barbra said…
I think the idea behind the "breastfeeding carnival" is so that those new mommies out there, with all of their different feelings about all of their different experiences, can read the stories and figure out that a lot of different strategies have worked. And hopefully feel better about themselves and their own decisions as well as their own needs!
I'm done with that phase (yay! and also: waah!), and don't think about it anymore, but I do get asked for advice from women just hoping to hear that they are not doing something wrong. I'm happy to oblige!
Cape Cod Kid gave me back every feeding. Turns out he had a floppy valve at the top of his stomach and a closed valve a the bottom. He never got to keep food in his stomach and I couldn't keep up with the constant feedings. He had surgery at 5 weeks.

Sorority Girl was born at over 9 pounds. She required breastfeeding about every 20 minutes. I couldn't keep up with that demand either.

With both of them getting enough formula, they slept for 6 hours at night by age 6 weeks.
They both sucked their thumbs and it was so sweet to watch them lay on the floor, facing each other and happily sucking their thumbs.
Wendy said…
Breastfeeding was one thing that went totally right for me with Glenn. So much so that it makes me sad I couldn't nurse the girls. Despite all the people out there who want adoptive moms to nurse, I thought it was a little much to change everything about the girls' worlds and then top it all off with taking away the one constant we could give them - bottles and formula they were used to. Plus, at a year old - they had teeth and they wouldn't have been afraid to use them.
halloweenlover said…
Love the memories. How far apart are your boys exactly? I'm sure you've told us, but I've forgotten.

I'm hoping for about a 2 and a half year difference, and I'm also hoping for 3 kids. Let's see what happens, huh?
Annagrace said…
Trust me--at 5 months pregnant with a 22 month old, I totally get the wide-spacing thing. If we actually have another (and there is a good chance we won't, or at least not biologically) it won't be for a while. I'm already living in more chaos than I like and I know that sounds whiny to everyone who loves juggling tons of kids and breastfeeding them all back to back. Me? I would HATE it. I love Pea and I will somehow survive with two. That's all I know.
jenontheedge said…
Why am I not at all surprised that three different boys/men were so very different as babies?
Poppy Buxom said…
Guess what?

I'm not going to take part in the breastfeeding carnival.

I'll wait until the First Solid Foods carnival. There will probably be lots more spit up stories. Which I live for.
catsteevens said…
This has to be one of my fav post eh-ver. Actually I have a lot of favorites this one was just added :)
Sarah O. said…
My daughter reads my blog so I won't tell all the gross nursing stories online. Offline, either, if I know what's good for me.
ann (fchen) said…
i've always wondered about your spacing .. i have two boys too and think that there is still time for a third .. if it all went according to plan, they'd be 9, 6 and NB. but we all know that the best laid plans ..... i'm worried about being too "greedy" .. does that make sense?
thanks for sharing this post, it was a nice read. :)
daysgoby said…
I love your story.
The BEST thing we did - and it just sort of happened for us - was having the kids three years apart.

Others seem to cope beautifully with having kids close in age but I would have ended up a sobbing mess in the corner. I was close enough to that as it was.

And as for breastfeeding. I just found it hard work - until Margot - then I got it!

Whatever gets you through the night -as our early childhood nurse said one day - breast, formula.

And I am proud to say I have three finger sucking kids!
Jen said…
When Olive was about 2, a friend asked me how long I was going to continue nursing her. My answer was, "...until it makes my life harder instead of easier." That pretty much sums up my overall parenting philosophy.
Jennifer said…
I enjoy listening to the many different stories we all have. I have not heard about this "breastfeeding carnival" though.

I did enjoying reading your story and the others in the comments. As for me. I nursed both kids. My oldest for about 9 months and the youngest around 10 months.

I also still have breastmilk and it still leaks out every so often. And my youngest will be four on Saturday. I've talked to my doctor about it and she didn't seem concerned at all and just said " it happens" I find it quite strange.
MsCellania said…
I had the same philosophy on the thumb sucking: "Always handy and never lost - no screaming in the middle of the night as the dummy's on the floor." He still sucks it occasionally. I keep quiet about it as I reckon at those times he needs his old friend.
I'm sorry about youngest's face. Does he have a rakish grin now? Could be a selling point to his fans...
I gave Oldest his bottles back when he kept stealing his brother's - he was still a baby of 18 months, after all...It's hard to quit being the baby.
Kim said…
I am the biggest advocate in.the.universe. for a three year age gap between children.

That's why we've got a 2yr 3mth gap and a 22 month gap.

Because I'm just so good at practicing what I preach.
Kim said…
And anyone who has ever breastfed knows that putting the words breastfeeding and carnival in a title together is just plain wrong. WRONG.
alice c said…
My son was tiny and I was huge and it was like trying to balance a pea on a balloon. We perservered but it wasn't the best part of my life.

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