Friday, October 29, 2010


The other day I woke up with what felt like a golf ball stuffed in my mouth. I was sore and bruised. I looked over to one side and saw my daughter sleeping soundly in the crook of my arm. I was certain that Emily had wonked her head onto my jaw sometime the night before and I was just too tired to notice.

Then the day wore on and I started to drool. Opening my mouth wide enough to eat yogurt hurt. Everything was metallic. My throat hurt. My stomach started to hurt. I was tired and feeling awful. It was awful. That's when I realized my wisdom tooth was pushing up through my gums and trying to make itself known.

Two days later I noticed my daughter chewing on her hands more than normal. Not just sucking, not just signaling for lunch, but chewing. Her shirts were soaked with drool. My shirts were soaked with drool. She was generally more fussy, her tummy aches were worse, and she was just miserable without recourse.

She was teething.

I was teething.

Not that I needed any help, but nature found a way to remind me how miserable and painful it is to get new teeth. I can totally sympathize with my girl when she whimpers. I sorta envy her teething rings. When she's feeling really bad and just needs to snuggle up close and cry I am right there with her. I get it. Teething sucks. I remember what I felt like as a kid. I know what it feels like now. If I needed any help feeling empathy with my growing girl I don't now.

Nature is amazing - and kind of a big meanie head.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nap! Surprise!

Starting around 3am this morning Emily would not allow herself to be put down. She needed to be held at all times. If she fell asleep it was only for a few minutes before she started to fuss again - whether or not she was in my arms.

So we swept, vacuumed, and cooked together. I had one hand free, the other was being clenched tight by two little fists.

Ironically, when she nursed I was allowed two hands (normally unheard of) and I took the opportunity to try to finish knitting her a toy.

Finally, after 14 hours of almost non-stop cuddling (I did have to change her diaper a few times) I sat down at the computer and browsed as I bounced. She fussed. And fussed. And fussed. Then all of a sudden silence. She was slumped over my arm - fussed to sleep.


In the time it took me to type this one handed she has woken up and is getting ready for round two.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Other Kid

I've lived with a few men (not all of whom I had an obligation to like) and they have some pretty strange habits and a lot of them are pretty gross. Over the years I've learned to pick my battles about changing them...gym socks on the kitchen table (gentle nudge), re-wearing dirty jeans (ignore), drinking straight from the jug (click of the tongue).

Recently, we had a bunch of house guests so my husband stopped drinking straight from the jug (because sharing germs with the Mother-in-law is pretty gross even to him). But now it's just the three of us so it's back to the old trick. But not when I'm looking. No clicks if I don't catch him.

So how do I know it's happening? The other day I was pouring milk from jug to cup when I noticed chocolate stains on the rim. It was a little like a little kid with chocolate stains on his mouth saying he didn't get into the cookies.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Everyone is a Mother

Today I got my first unsolicited mothering advice from a stranger.

D has been talking that, since Emily showed up, people who would normally never talk to him have started conversations all about the new baby. It's strange to him. I however went through about six months where strangers would not only strike up conversations but would give me tons of advice on being pregnant. Or worse, they'd tell me their pregnancy or birth horror stories.

However, for six weeks I got through with people just telling me how sweet she is, or how fast time flies. Until today when I realized she was getting a little too fussy to let me stand in the pharmacy line. I took her, still whining and about to cry, to the front of the store to finish buying what was in the basket. I was bouncing the baby, singing silly songs, and trying to pay when a man came up behind me and said "You need to feed her! She's too hungry."

Yes, because a mother who is willing to make a fool of herself doing the chicken dance in the middle of Longs is also the kind of mother who would starve her child.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Breast Advice

All my life I've been certain that my breasts would be perfect for breast feeding. My husband even joked that his attraction to me was an evolutionary response to the fact that my breasts were big enough to feed a good sized family. Which is why I have been so frustrated and surprised by how many problems I've run into. I was prepared for the pain, for awhile. I knew it'd hurt some. I didn't know I'd bleed so much. Or that every minute of the nursing would be painful. I wasn't prepared for the wounds and blisters.

And I wasn't prepared for the experts. It started from Day One. Every nurse in the hospital wanted to check my nursing style. And every nurse had a different opinion on how I was doing it wrong. The last day I finally saw a lactation consultant and she declared "Perfect Latch! Stick it in a textbook!" Finally. I thought I was home free.

But then came the milk blister, and the crack, and the wound, some blood, an infection, more and more pain. I looked for help in the books, on the internet. I contacted the La Leche League - they copy and pasted the book. I contacted a LLL Leader - she told me my nipple was the wrong size for my daughters mouth. I contacted a Certified Consultant - she told me I had to have my breasts massaged Japanese style every week (for a hefty fee of course). I contacted another - she wanted to charge $200 to read the text book version of a latch over the phone. We started to call them the "Capital "E" Experts." But even so sisters, friends, other moms - they told me what the books said. They told me to pump. They told me to stop nursing. They told me it gets better in a few days, a few weeks, a few months. Some women told me it wasn't worth it.

In a moment of pain and exhaustion I declared that I hated breastfeeding - then latched Emily onto my cracked, open nipple for another hour long session. My husband sent me links to fix oversupply.

I spent every minute worrying if she was on right, if she should make the noise, if she was getting enough milk, if I was using the right side, or squeezing enough, too much. I wondered if I was too big or too little, or made too much milk. I wondered if I really was the wrong size and shape for my daughter.

Finally, I met with the last lactation consultant in stroke of luck. She looked at us and said "She's fine. Latch is fine. Don't listen to them anymore."

Breast - I mean Best - Advice Ever!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Emily has been making all sorts of new noises lately. She coos and whimpers and sometimes barks in her sleep. But one thing that's been the same from day one has been the hungry cry.

It's a bit of a two parter. First she starts with a typical wah-wah. A few wah's and it's clear what she wants.

However, if she's super hungry the wah's link together and her mouth won't close long enough to wah properly. Then she sounds like a bad evil laugh. In fact it sounds exactly like The Count from Sesame Street. Wah-ah-ah-ah-aaaaah. She even gets the warble right. I keep expecting a crash of random lightening after each cry.

Instead I get hungry baby. Ah-ah-ah-aaaaah.