This stuff makes me so angry. Especially the people who are trying to argue that it's unhealthy for a child to suck on boobs that have just been in a chlorinated pool. Showering in hot, chlorinated water for 15 minutes, your skin absorbs way more chlorine than drinking vast quantities of chlorinated water. Our breastmilk is full of crazy chemicals thanks to all the shit that just floats around. So really, I think it's just fine for a mother to choose to breastfeed in a pool (her boobs were out of the water, by the way).
Some commenters say they don't understand why the mother didn't just get out of the pool. After all, the viewing lounge is perfectly comfortable. But I know why. When you're mothering an infant, all adult conversation is precious. And if it's taking place in a pool, I sure as hell wouldn't want to leave it. After all, breastfeeding is the perfect time for good conversation, because the baby's not squawking.
But more than that stupid smoke and mirrors argument, I really, really, really hate the assholes who say things like, "Well you can't pee or poo or reproduce in the pool so why should it be ok to breastfeed?" Um, because peeing, pooing and reproducing do not FEED YOUR CHILD.
Or the assholes who say, "I'm quite certain that nobody would like it if I changed out of my bathing suit and into my street clothes on the pool deck." Yes, because changing into street clothes does not FEED YOUR CHILD.
And don't even get me started on Bill Maher's stupid masturbation comparison. It's not because breastfeeding is natural. It's because it's FEEDING YOUR CHILD. And breastfeeding is really, really fucking hard work, and any opportunity to be part of a community, each moment in a conversation with people doing the same fucking hard work, holds a mother that much closer to sanity. It was my experience that breastfeeding specifically, and motherhood more generally, pushed me to the edge of my sanity. And until our culture recognizes it for the very hard work it is, until we truly value motherhood not just pay it lip service, this stupid shit will keep happening over and over.
* * *
Last week I peed on a stick. In fact, I peed on two sticks, just to make sure. That's what happens when I have several days of intense fatigue, mild queasiness, sore boobs, and sudden queues of people asking me if I'm pregnant. (I'm not.) At first I was terrified at the prospect. But within hours I was pretty ok with it all, even a little excited at the possibility. The thing is, I think I do want a second child. But I don't want to have to decide when the right time is. So a surprise would be kind of perfect, because then you're just dealing with the reality, not creating it.
A few days after the pee-stick, it occurred to me that there will never be a perfect time for bringing another child into this world. Now that I know how hard mothering an infant really is, deciding to mother a second will probably always scare me. I'll never truly be ready for it. There will always be things I'd rather do than be nauseous for four months, have trouble breathing for four more, and then have raw nipples and sleep in milk puddles. Not to mention the fear and anxiety and general uncertainty of the whole affair.
So I made my case to Sugar D, my case of hey it's never gonna feel easy or right so let's just do away with the condoms, how about? But he's not having any of it, at least not right now. Which is sorta kinda ok with me. Maybe even a bit of a relief. For the moment, anyways.
Ernie goes to Italy: Part I
10 hours ago