Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

Items Within Items


You know how you can feel so blocked up with things to blog about that you find you can’t blog at all?  Yeah, like that.  So here’s an attempt to at least mention some of those constipating ideas, in the hopes that someday I actually get around to finishing that recovery post about my vagina, before tbean marches over here and smacks me.  Plus there’s this new blog carnival….

Item: The Bean has a cold.  This Sucks.

Item: The Bean is now solidly feeding only twice per night.  (Relative) Victory!

  • Except for last night, when he was inconsolable early on and I was lonely after a day of work and still kind of big in the boob even after pumping so what the heck?
  • Obvious Bean fever a few hours later and major congestion and coughing this morning explained that.
  • I feel so much more sane with a steady two feedings a night that I’m beginning to wonder whether things weren’t worse than I thought before.
  • I still don’t want to talk about it if your baby sleeps through the night, you sweet, delusional fool.

Item: Crawling.  It is ON.

  • Babyproofing still limited at best.
  • I’m sure ingesting cat hair is really very good for a developing immune system.
  • Speed Carpentry is also on.  We had intended to lower the mattress on the Bean’s bed last Saturday anyway, but I thought we’d wait until the afternoon.  At first nap time, Sugar called me over to peek in.  “Do you think what he’s doing is unsafe?”  What he was doing sitting up on his knees, holding the bed rail and looking over the edge.  Nap postponed for immediate allen-wrenching.

Item: The Bean nearly has bottom teeth.  For real this time.

  • I can see and feel the suckers.  Maybe he’ll let me get a picture today. (Nope.)
  • God bless ibuprofen and the chemists who came up with it.
  • I am stone cold terrified of nursing a creature with teeth.

Item: Despite the back to work stuff, nursing is still going okay, provided I stick with the oatmeal.

  • I still don’t like oatmeal very much, but I’ve settled on just acting like it’s grits: butter, salt, and a soft boiled egg.
  • I don’t seem to need to pump as often in the day anymore.  Yesterday I nursed in the morning and then didn’t do anything about 9pm, when I was getting pretty huge and sore.  Either my boobs are smarter than I think, or my supply is tanking.  I’m having trouble worrying too much: see “food” item below.
  • Except for what I pump when I get home from work (since I am pretty ready by then and we’re sticking to not feeding the Bean between bedtime and midnight), the Bean has formula while I’m gone.  I can’t remember why I was upset about that idea.  It’s fine, he’s fine, my boobs still make milk, and now I have something to be irritatingly blase about to any lactivists I encounter.
  • I’m sure I have at least one student who qualifies.  Bunny, bring that gin.
  • Less pumping means fewer vasospasms!

Item: I think I might be having vasospasms in my milk ducts now.  I’ve been having this for a while, but it’s become much more frequent in the past month, like every other time I nurse: when the Bean starts to nurse, I have pretty severe, discrete aches, high up in the breast (often very high, like armpit), more on the side that he isn’t nursing yet.  I think it is associated with individual ducts letting down.

  • The pain is sore, not stabby, and “warm”-feeling.  Like the way sore muscles feel.
  • I don’t mean to imply that my boobs are muscly.
  • The ducts aren’t hard or hot; I don’t think they are plugged or infected.
  • The pain is fairly strong but generally doesn’t last more than a minute or two.
  • I realize that sounds sort of bad, but it is NINE HUNDRED ZILLION times less horrible than the nipple spasms were.  It’s not making me crazy or keeping me awake or ruining my life, don’t worry.
  • In that sense, it doesn’t really matter what it is — it’s not bad enough for me to consider stopping nursing, and I’m already on nifedipine — but I am curious.
  • It’s annoying how many bodily experiences are mysteries.
  • God bless nifedipine and those chemists, too.

Item: Part of the reason I’m not so worried about the pain or the supply is that some switch in the Bean’s cute lil noggin has flipped, such that he’s gone from “okay, whatever” about food to ” GIVE ME THE BANANA AND NO ONE GETS HURT.”

  • I’d post a picture, but I just am really, really not into the food-covered baby genre.  Something icky and a little condescending there, in my always-humble opinion.
  • So you’ll just have to take my word for it that the kid loves my New Orleans style red beans with andouille and pork neck.  This is what my geneticist father might call a positive indication of maternity, which is to say that it’s looking like he really is my kid.
  • I had a little panic the other night about how now we are going to have to be responsible for making sure he eats a balanced diet!  Ack!  I hate lists and charting and all forms of meal planning!  …then Sugar was like, “dude, we already eat a balanced diet.”  Oh.  Right.

French Fries at the zoo. The good life.

Item: Sugar and I.  We’re fine.  Better than ever, really.  I bring this up because of the recent spate of lesbian parenting blog posts about how having a baby causes massive relationship strain.  I just don’t want you to worry.

  • Just to be sure I’m not just missing the misery, I’ve taken to asking Sugar a few times a day if she really thinks we need to go to therapy.  Apparently this is nerve-wracking.

Item: Quite aside from the fact that I’m not very interested in blogging about my marriage, I’m not going to presume to say why things are going well, on the grounds that I would kick in the teeth any smug nitwit who told me “why” she didn’t have back-labor or difficulty breastfeeding.  Not everything is the result of virtue.  However, there are a couple of pieces of luck and circumstance that I do think play into our present happiness.

  • We both have parents who are still married to each other.  Granted, there are some unbloggable things to say on this topic.  Nevertheless, there’s something to the notion that it’s helpful to have a model, even an imperfect one.
  • We got a lot of the baby-related stress out of our systems early on.  I spent, oh, just shy of 12 years being very patient with Sugar’s insistence that she never wanted children, as she was patient with my insane belief that she would change her mind.
  • That she did change her mind still strikes me as the most beautiful leap of faith I can imagine.
  • That she likes being a mother is quite a relief — I mean, I was sure she would, but what if I’d been wrong?  And I gather she is reasonably glad she let me talk her into it.  A healthy state of wonder is helpful for surviving very small babies, and in our case, large parts of the wonder are wrapped up in our thoughts of each other.
  • I was so certain I was going to be the patient one with the baby, and then I was sick and exhausted and in pain and…let’s say short-tempered.  And Sugar was divine with him.  Good stuff, humility.
  • Okay, here’s the part where I go all lesbian on you:  I was listening to the Indigo Girls the other day.  It’s true.  Anyway, there’s this part at the end of “Love’s Recovery” that goes “let this love survive and be the greatest gift that we could give.”  Thinking about what it can mean to a kid to have parents who are patient and kind to each other…well, I get all teary and swear to remember to say thank you even — especially —  for things she always does and try to apologize more.

Item: All this came up because a group of LGBT (okay, who are we kidding, lesbian) parenting and TTC bloggers decided to organize a blogging carnival, which is awesome because I always wanted to be in a carnival.  This week, everyone was supposed to write about relationship challenges related to parenting.

  • You should check out those posts; there’s some good stuff out there.
  • If you learn nothing else from those posts, learn that if you are working out of the house while your partner stays home with the baby, don’t go straight to the bathroom* (alone!  with two free hands!) upon arriving home.  Apparently the resentment surrounding that moment is near universal.
  • For this coming Monday, the topic is sperm donors.  Join in!  I intend to, though lord knows it’s taken all day just to crank out these here bullets.

*password is mocha

12 thoughts on “Items Within Items

  1. thanks for the bullets! Glad your muscly boobs are giving you less trouble–sore muscle feeling is sort of pleasant sometimes, whereas nipple terror never is (to me, anyway). And thanks also for the absence of baby-food pics. They always make me feel a little queasy for some unknown reason…

  2. Glad to hear the vasospasms are abating. Also, I need the recipe for New Orleans style red beans with andouille and pork neck. Thatsoundsamazing.


    I was going to make some joke about not realizing lesbian couples could have relationship problems, but hey, people might not realize it was a joke, and then your comments would have to fill up with hate. So, I’ll just say that while your tearful happy relationship all filled with patience and kindness makes me envious, my baby sleeps through the night. MMMMMMM, sleep is so lovely!

    Did I go too far? Can I not come over with my gin anymore?

    I was told the oatmeal could come in any form, including cookie form, which I happen to enjoy. And I commend you on allowing some formula to pollute your child’s lips. Given the way he’s macking down on the sausage, this is surely no crime at all. He is SUCH a beauty.

    • you poor fool. if you’d married a woman, you could have had all this AND a sleeping baby. the dream was within your reach!

      (but really, i didn’t mean to say that nothing bad ever happens, just that we are doing okay. but i guess there’s no way to do that without being a smug bastard.)

      alas, i’m even kind of tired of oatmeal cookies. and i’m real tired of not fitting into my clothes. so make sure you bring the diet gin, okay?

  4. I’m so glad to hear about the sleep. Yay for sleep! And a good relationship too? Your cup runneth over!

    I’m also glad that your mighty boobs are doing a bit better. I’ll be sure to send any lactivist that I encounter your way, just for my own amusement! Well, no I won’t, because I don’t want anyone to be mean to you, but I’m glad that you’re finding balance and feeling good about it.

  5. Geez…you make me sound like some kind of vagina-obsessed stalker lady. Sheesh!

    Glad you and Sugar are doing so well. I don’t think I realized how many years you waited for her to get on board with plan baby. And glad that the bean is crawling (babyproofing? what’s that?) and eating with gusto! If not so much on the consecutive night sleeping. We don’t got it either, so you can always look my way for shared sympathy.

  6. I got teary just reading the quote from Love’s Recovery. I’m so patheric. But I’m so glad you and Sugar are doing so well. And so glad I get to share some of your lives through this blog.

    Oh…I guess this is the first comment I’ve ever left, from the account of my own very new, very boring blog. Hi!

  7. Just catching up after being away for a week- but wanted to say I read somewhere that babies can’t bite you when they’ve only got bottom teeth…am hoping this is true! Keep us updated!

    Really glad things are going well overall. Would love to hear more about solids and how you introduced them- I can’t see myself wanting to start E. on rice cereal (blah) but am unsure how to approach it all otherwise.

  8. The single most helpful piece of advice our pediatrician ever gave us was this: don’t worry about balance in their diet meal by meal. If the kid is fairly balanced over the course of the day, or even week, then all is fine.

    Thanks for the updates, bullets and all.

    And now I’m pining for diet gin.

  9. He is just too cute! I’m glad everything is going well for you. And the idea of Speed Carpentry is giving me fits of giggles. Not the reason for it (scary!) but somehow I picture it as a new show on ESPN2, shown right after those cheesy World’s Strongest Man episodes.

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