This blog is small glimpses into my heart and soul - attempts to be transparent with friends, and sometimes, to myself. This is my safe place, where I can come and be purely Ness.

Family: If you found your way here, please do me a favor and don't poke through my closets, ok?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On Keeping My Mouth Shut

How do you know when to say something? I keep running into mothers and hearing or seeing things that make me want to speak up. I mentioned, on an earlier post, one mom I know who was sure her baby was not getting any breast milk, because he cried every time she tried to nurse him, and pumping was producing next to nothing. I'm far from an expert, but I've read enough articles to know that there was a good chance that lack of milk wasn't her problem, but - her boy is now four and she stated she won't be having any more kids, so what would be the point of letting her know she may have been wrong? I didn't know her that well, and as mothers, nursing our babies usually ends up being a very sensitive subject.
A few days ago I met a mom with a cute little five month old. Somehow the subject came around to breastfeeding, and she shared that she had quit nursing at two weeks, because he had "sucked her dry." She continued explaining that she ended up with one breast producing extremely little and one producing gushes. I wanted to tell her that likely she had just been nursing too much on the full side, and needed to work on switching it around so that the emptier side knew that it needed to start producing more. A fairly simple fix, although it would take some patience. But, I didn't know this mom at all. It was too late for her to go back, so do I say something and make her feel bad that she "didn't try hard enough?" Or do I risk it, so that she might have more info for next time, if there was to be a next time?
This morning I went to a program at our local library. As it was breaking up, I watched a mom buckle her tiny daughter into a car seat. I noticed afterwards that the straps seemed loose, but it was hard to tell without actually checking them. I wanted to say something to her, but what? How do you tell a mom that her baby isn't properly buckled in without insinuating that she is being a careless mother? I really wish that I had figured out what to say, but once again I didn't know this mom at all. The group is new and I'm really hoping to make some friends there, and I'm sure I'm already singled out as the freak who comes in barefoot and breast-feeds her two year old. Plus, I'm always waay too nervous about offending or upsetting people. So, I chickened out. I've thought about it a lot today, and I still can't figure out how to approach something like that.
Occasionally, I will approach topics like this with friends, but even then I feel like it's a guessing game on how they will respond. There are these things that I think are so important, and a lot of the time people just don't have good information. I want to share what I have, but I don't want to damage relationships at the same time. Any topic involving how we mother has the potential to become completely unintentionally, hurtful. Ugh, how do we know when to share, how to share, and when to just be quiet?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Uterus = None of Your Business

This will not be an unfamiliar rant to any woman, so why are women the most common offenders?

I don't get how, you, a little known acquaintance, feel the right to ask me questions about my uterus, or perhaps, my sex life. Oh, you say you did no such thing? Really. Well, let's go back a little. There we were sharing a little conversation, commenting on how cute my son is, typical small talk topics, and then, out of the blue, "No more kids yet?" Hmm, well since you don't see any more kids kicking around me, haven't noticed the presence of a tiny being attached to my hip, shoulder, or any other visible body part, I have to assume you are asking about my uterus. Any kids in there? Essentially, you are asking, "Are you pregnant?" But some sort of common sense tells you that that is not an appropriate question to ask someone you barely know, so how does it fail to tell you that your chosen phrasing is still not ok? Seriously.

And you, yes, you, the one who never says more than, "Hello. How are you?" The one time you stop to comment on Bug and ask his age, is not the one time it becomes ok for you to ask if we are going to have any more. Or, decoded, "Are you having, or planning to have, unprotected sex with your husband?"  Sure, that's not what you intend to ask, but really, it's not that much different. It's still personal and not something you should be asking an almost stranger.

And then, my all time favorite, you have known me for a little while, we talk occasionally about children, jobs, the weather, but nothing bellow the surface, except now you decide to ask, "When are you having more?" For some unknown reason you have no idea that this might not be as casual a question as, "How's your weekend?" Well, let's see... first of all I would have to give you the information that my husband and I have indeed decided that we want more, and then of course would be the information that we have chosen to "get it on," and knock me up. Too much info? Wait, I'm not done. Next comes the information that we have been "doing it" for the past year and the result so far has been two miscarriages. Finally, I would need to tell you that we continue to mate on a regular basis, but who knows if the next one will end in miscarriage as well. It could even turn out that I may not be able to have another baby. (God grant that this is not true.) More than you wanted to know? Deeper than you wanted to go? Think before you ask.

If you really feel the need to ask something, try, "Do you want to have more kids?" This question doesn't touch timing - "Are you pregnant now? Will you be soon?" It doesn't inquire into my sex life or personal choices, require me to explain anything, or figure out how to avoid unwanted intimacy with you. I can simply say, "Yes."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Little update on me

Offering a little update for those who might care -

I've just started a Twitter account for those little things I want to express but aren't big enough to blog about. Hopefully, it won't be a flash in the pan for me, but I make no guarantees on how often I will use it. You can find a link in my sidebar if you are at all interested in following.

For those who have been following my baby journey, Boy and I have decided we are ready to start trying again. I've started using a progesterone cream, because I think there is a really good probability that that has been a issue, although it's not entirely certain. We've never had trouble getting pregnant (one or two months trying has always done it), and I may be already. Eeee. So, all prayers, baby dust, best wishes, and good luck will be accepted. Thanks!

My Great Lack of Like Minds

One of these days I might just start my own commune or something, I don't know. I've just been longing to find like minded mama's in my area. Just one would be great. One other mom who wouldn't find it odd that I still breastfeed my little one, or that he still sleeps in our family bed. One mom who cloth diapers her babes, carries them around in a beautiful carrier, chooses for their health not to vaccinate them, and speaks gently to them when they "misbehave." Occasionally, I can find someone who fills one or two of these criteria (baby wearing is becoming a popular trend), but never all. I know you are out there somewhere - "hello, lady." I see you roaming the internet, commenting on some of my favorite sites, writing your own blogs, or even reading this one, but when it comes to real life, you are as elusive as the unicorn.
This morning, I was at a play group Bug and I regularly attend, and a few of the mamas with littles under a year started to chat about formula, which ones they bought, which ones their babies would eat, how much they cost, etc. There was one other who mentioned she hadn't used formula, but pumped when she wanted to give a bottle, but at the same time, you could tell that no one thought it was at all strange that these babies were given formula as just a normal part of their lives. It's just another perfectly acceptable option for feeding your baby.
From there the conversation turned to videos and how much their little ones love to watch certain baby geared shows. One mom expressed her excitement on how a video of animals entranced her ten month old daughter and gave her twenty minutes of peace.
As I listened to these conversations, I realized how little I understand these mothers. I don't get how you can choose processed foods over natural ones. I think formula is a valid and needed choice for a mama who has no other options, who has worn her butt out trying to provide breastmilk for her little one and come up empty handed (although I see far too many mamas who feel they have done this, but are unaware of simple information that would have helped them out, such as: your baby crying every time you nurse does not mean he's not getting anything - it may be reflux, pumping is not indicative of what your baby is able to get - babies are designed to work the breast in ways pumps never could, and, reflux is most commonly a reaction to dairy - consider taking it out of your diet.) Back on track - even if  formula was the only option I felt I had, I would prefer to find an organic or homemade formula rather than buy the chemical filled cans that fill most grocery store shelves. I don't mean to write that I am some how better than these other moms because I breastfed exclusively for at least six months, but simply that I don't understand them. I can't get inside their heads, and I can't relate to them at all. Sometimes it feels like they are speaking a foreign language.
I don't understand how it can be such a hardship to spend time with your baby either, to be so desperate for twenty minutes of peace from her that a baby video is exciting for you. I mean, I could understand it intellectually if she was a really fussy or needy little one, but the (admittedly brief) time I see her, she seems to be a very happy, content, independent girl. Even for a fussy baby, I'm not sure I could emotionally understand the need for a break. A break from the fussiness, yes; a break from my baby, maybe not. Maybe I'm remembering through rosy glasses, but I do know that I always felt a little bit hurt when someone or something other than me was able to calm Bug down. Anyway, it just never occurred to me to put him in front of the tv to get him out of the way for a bit, so I have no understanding of how this mama mind works.
In the end, I just felt lonely. I had no way to connect with these mothers. No one to chat with about how my changing hormones might be affecting Bug through my milk, or how little sleep I've gotten lately due to him having a few very nurse-y nights, tossing and turning in my bed, or what cloth diapers might pull down easily for night time toilet training, or ideas on how to teach him how to be sorry when he hits his cousin, instead of just forcing him to say "sorry," or how to show others that just because I'm not yelling at my son, doesn't mean I'm not teaching him how to treat others with love.

(Sigh) I just need one or two like minded mamas, who I can sit down with and have a chat about being a mama, someone who gets they way I think, who understands where I'm coming from, and who can connect with my mama spirit.