Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Brain this Week

Okay there is just so much you need to know in order for this to all make sense.

Firstly: I still breastfeed Akiva. (Is "breastfeed" a word? My computer is underlining it in red. Breast feed?) I don't know. -But this is my point- I feel so shy about it, even writing this post I just feel a little nervous- like everyone - even the staff at Microsoft Word or Blogger or whatever this program is underlining the word in red - is in some way against breastfeeding. And my MO about it has been to try not to bring it up, keep it on the down low, do it behind closed doors. Because I get the sense other people think breasts are for other things, and their hijacking by babies for sustenance and a sense of comfort in this terrifying world should be just a brief paragraph in the story of their adventures.
I think this way because I've encountered comments from people I know about children being breastfed until age 2 and that it was "awful". Hm, I think I might have even given a subtle shudder when talking about my breastfeeding plans- ugh! breast feeding plans- wait, doesn't "breast feeding" seem creepier than "breastfeeding"?- I digress. Yes even I was known to frown and pull my lower lip to the side when I heard about children being able to "ask" for it, this when I was contemplating my own breastfeeding future during pregnancy. See, that was the popular marker- "they're too old when they can ask for it", right? So even I was judgemental and skeeved out by toddlers nursing. It was easier to be that way.
And I thought it was entirely up to me. I didn't realize then there was actually another opinion that would weigh in.
Well, as you know Akiva was saying "guitar" at 11 months, and was able to talk in 3 word sentances by 14 months, so, instead of the usual thing about boys talking so late- I had to deal with this "asking for it" thing before most. And many of you will probably find it highly disturbing, (I found it incredibly adorable) that Akiva, around 14 months, would finish slurping up one boob and then say very matter-of-factly "other side?" (sounded more like uzzer si-i-ide?) It was even more disturbing/adorable when a month or so later he could say "uzzer side, please?"
And, as my thought was that I would nurse to at least a year, as recommended by the AAP, and then we'd be done in the coming few months once the asking started, this had to be rethought. You see, with his ability to chat about it, I realized he was very passionate about it. How could I say no? Literally. He would have a whole debate with me.
Anyways, the fact is he is 21 months and in my head I kept pushing 1 year to 2 years and now 2 years is coming up pretty quickly and I just keep reading articles about how much healthier and smarter and well adjusted breast fed kids are, and it gets more so the longer the nurse- and how the age for human weaning, if you look at stomach enzymes, and ratio of baby size to adult size, and teeth to teeth and archeological bones and families in aboriginal cultures and if you take the name of the first pet you had with the street you grew up on, etc, the age for human weaning should be like 3.2 years or something, so I feel SO totally normal to breast feed until 2. It's only 2!. And he only breastfeeds morning, nap and night, well....except....

Secondly: Akiva has been waking me up in the middle of the night. To nurse. Because he was sick AND teething at the same time! How I could not help him out with his sore throat and throbbing mouth?
But this had to stop. So Matt has been enlisted to go into his room very gently to tell Akiva that when he wakes up at 4am, ( never crying, but we hear distinctly and demandingly over the crackling monitor: "Nurse. Nurse. Nurse...."), Matt reminds him "you can nurse IN THE MORNING"
and I hear Akiva try a new angle: "Need a cuddle Mama"
Oh, he's sneaky.
Matt will tell him he can cuddle daddy.
"Mama! Need a hug Mama"
He's so good he's almost a girl!
I hear this and my heart strings are pulled so tight I almost can't breath, but then I realize I'm the one still in bed and how lucky I am.
So, anyways, this is why I have been a little out of it all week. I'm a little sleep deprived. Matt is even more sleep deprived. And because of this I found myself back in my college mindset of listening to something on NPR in the car, alone, about the universe and how it's expanding, and I'll go home and say to Matt "This whole thing that's going on? It's really weird. That it's like this. Just like this. That there are even planets, and look at us, these things -arms." And we'll both stand there, looking at Akiva "He's weird too!" "I made him in my body" We blink and watch him drive a fire truck across the floor silently.
It's gotten to that.
Or, maybe it's that it rained this week in LA. That's everyone else's excuse.


  1. Hi Annie! I love reading the blog! It makes me smile and reminds me everytime, that I am not alone doing 'all this' that we mamas do ( with all due respect to dads).
    Since the Universe has been on your mind this week, this rainy week in LA, maybe the whole breastfeeding adventure will find its own place at its own time...I sure hope so. Sophie not only asks for 'it' but she seems to also have an opinion about the size! ;)
    Have a great week end. xo

  2. Haha - and for those that don't speak early and know sign they ask for it around 8-10mo. Does that mean you're supposed to stop then? I think not. Shanti NEVER took a bottle, Anjali on the other hand is slowly rejecting my breastfeeding efforts and has since she was about 9mo. Now I'm hanging on dearly to that morning and after 2nd nap feeding - and she's starting to shake the 2nd one now. :( They are all different beings with their own needs and opinions - we just go with it.

  3. Diana- that is too funny about the size! Akiva hasn't gotten THAT sophisticated yet. And the whole bf adventure WILL find it's own place and time... hopefully a little less time between midnight at 6am...
    Maria- good point! I now fin the whole "asking for it" argument/idea really absurd anyways- if they are "asking" for it they WANT IT! So why stop? And esp. if they can sign- way to early to consider stopping. So interesting about the two different babes and their bf'ing preferences. Just go with i8t seems to be the theme of the day.

  4. Laughing about the breastfeeding word censorship! They're not just for staring at--they're what's for dinner! Imagine that! :)

  5. Wow. I could have written this exact post (except not as well).

  6. I'm so late to this party but must chime in as a mom of two who tried and was unable to breastfeed both my boys. Even though I wasn't able to, I fight/support/encourage whenever I can that families who can DO support breastfeeding as long as it makes sense for YOU! People who judge are jealous and/or uniformed and/or uncomfortable in their own skin and lucky for them they do not live in your family's shoes.

    Also, totally get the "this is so weird moments. Have them all. the. time. It is. SO. WEIRD.

    [Also, I am happy that my computer is not redlining breastfeeding :).]