Wednesday, November 12, 2008

not sure where this post is going but I'm tired of typing

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.

13 comments:

Bon said...

ah, the "i can't believe i'm more disappointed than relieved" response to a negative test...i'm with you on taking it as a sign that you're probably as ready as you'll be. i hope Sugar D feels the same soon. and i wish you both great luck. :)

and fwiw, despite my new one having cried her wee heart out for the better part of the last 48 hours...it still feels worth it.

on the pool story...people are such idiots. i don't cover up particularly well while nursing - there's a slice of my breast usually visible, and sometimes a flash of nipple whilst i try to get bebe latched. you can see more boobage in yogurt commercials, folks. deal.

flutter said...

I just want to hug you.

Bea said...

So a surprise would be kind of perfect, because then you're just dealing with the reality, not creating it.

Hehehe, you are such a P. I can understand the logic, but kind of in the same way that I can understand German if I try hard enough.

Cloud said...

Huh. I had my pee on a stick moment far earlier- Pumpkin was only 10 months old and really not sleeping well, and I had just accepted a new job (but not started it yet). So I really, really did not want to be pregnant. And I still had a twinge of disappointment when the test was negative. I'm not sure what is up with that.

And boo on the pool prudes. I never had anyone so much as raise an eyebrow about me breastfeeding in public. The only person stressing about it was always me! I guess that is one of the advantages of living in California. People really could see more boob at the beach....

wordmama said...

I had the exact same reaction to that story! I love how the "experts" were figuring out if there really was a law broken because the rules clearly state that no food or drink is allowed in the pool area. Since breatmilk is food, the baby shouldn't have been feeding there. Huh?! Should I then leave my lactating boobs in the comfortable lounge area? Bah! Idiots!

I can't tell you how excited I am that you feel ready to throw caution (and condoms) to the wind. Give Sugar D a few days. I'm sure he'll come around. Or maybe he'll do like Adam did and just playfully relent when you "forget" to bring the condoms within easy reach.

Hannah said...

I'm wondering when the bullshit "cover up your boobs" stories will end, honestly. So she nursed in the pool. So what. I used to nurse Isaac in the bathtub because the warm water soothed us both.

As to the pee stick - I know the endless ambivalence about making the plunge all too well. For us, deciding to have a second child was a piece of cake - but we're already struggling with the idea of having a third. I kind of wish it would just happen, because I know we'd be ok with it once it did. It's just making the mental leap that's tough.

ewe are here said...

Sounds like you're ready...

And perhaps you can remind your husband that the 'beauty' of pregnancy is that it gives you nine whole months to get yourself ready for it.

Mimi said...

Um, I feel bad saying it, but the woman should probably got out of the pool proper. It's not the metaphor of excretion or reproduction, but people are not allowed to *eat* in the pool, for reasons of hygiene (there's only so much that chlorination can do to keep the pool 'clean'). Kids are not allowed to have sippy cups or crackers or bottles in the pool, partly for this reason (and partly because of the hazard presented by the containers, a point which doesn't apply in this case).

I actually think in this case that the pool owner said some stupid things--but that doesn't mean that the nursing mother should be allowed to nurse in the pool itself. I myself have nursed Munchkin on a pool *deck*, where other people had food. But there's no eating allowed in the pool itself, no matter who you are. For good reason.

cinnamon gurl said...

Mimi, I hear what you're saying. But to truly enforce that you'd have to ban all lactating mothers from the pool since lactating breasts have been known to leak on occasion.

Also, apparently there was a case in Hamilton more than a decade ago, which set a clear precedent that breastfeeding mothers cannot be asked to leave a pool.

kgirl said...

I think the whole nursing in the pool thing could have been handled better. The owner says that she was simply worried about the baby's health, but certainly did not communicate that to the baby's mom. I can't believe these things still have to happen.

As for the negative test disappointment - sounds like you're just about ready! On with the baby lust!

No Mother Earth said...

You know, I don't think there truly is ever going to be a good time for a second child. You just have to do it. And omigod, the beauty of seeing your children play and laugh together is SO WORTH IT you will choose to ignore the no-sleep crying thing. Jump in.

kittenpie said...

I must admit, the typical combination of toddler and baby at the same time scared the crap out of me, which is part of why I waited for a 4-year gap, which I think is working pretty well. But yes, you're right, there will never be a time when you feel all set to go. I once read the advice that when you feel 75% ready, you should go for it, because that's about as good as it will get.

Kyla said...

Ooooh, second baby! I am selfishly hoping that Sugar D gets on board soon. ;)