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April 12, 2001
a year ago
two years ago
three years ago

Review Day

I've seen more dawns since Jet's been born than I ever remember seeing. The slow flush of the night sky turning grey, then blooming into pinks and blues and then firing into all the colors of flame. Nursing him while I quietly watch the sun come up has been really good for just being. Just to observe and not think and not worry and not try to DO anything. Just exist with the feelings and sensations of the moment.

Man, it's nice to have heat.

I have a lot of ambivilance about giving up breastfeeding at the three month mark, where we'd originally planned on giving it up. Especially when Jet gives his all-body wiggle of pure joy when I get him settled for a good feed. This morning, he started just shrieking, after I'd changed him out of his wet diaper, and it was really obviously not a shriek of upset, it was very much yells of joy. It's definiely thinking time, a good time to read when I really want to, or watch a bit of TV. Time where I pretty much can't do too much else, and after getting latched on, Jet doesn't really take too much attention to feed.

The other thing is that after fighting so very hard to get to this point, to get this much milk production, it seems such a waste to just stop. Especially since it seems like my production is pretty much where it can satisfying him for most of the day and pump enough for most of the night. One envelope of formula every other day isn't such a bad thing.

I thought about the fact that if Jet eats a quart a day, that's a lot of formula. 32 ounces a day, which would be a whole can of powder every three or four days, or a box of the four ounce envelopes every two days. That's a lot of formula as well as a lot of money. Breastfeeding certainly is less expensive, even with a bit of supplimenting and the pump rental to even things out. I don't think I could breastfeed without a pump, though.

John says that it'd be fine with him, either way, and he's wise in saying that he thinks I should have the most say in it. I know that I have to keep breastfeeding Jet until after the San Diego trip, to give him whatever protection possible from the recirculated cabin air, after that... I may well keep going. The pump rental is so cheap compared to everything else.

Of course, I guess, the really important thing is that I'm finding that I actually am enjoying it most of the time. Just like Anne Lamont, though, there are moments when I feel, wildly, like I have absolutely no desire to be a milk cow anymore. One friend of ours, when she was in a mood where she had no desire to be feeding the baby would flop into a couch and announce, loudly, "The Snack Shack is Open!"

Carl was saying I should write a practical guide to baby caretaking and I was thinking even a really short book would be funny and useful for a practical guide to breastfeeding that wasn't as damned didactic as the ones that are out there. I would title it "The Snack Shack is Open!" and fill it with all the different ways breastfeeding can work and the real emotional ups and downs new moms can have about the times when it seems like it'll never work. Also some of the things women and their partners have done and used to help make it work for them.

The variety of stories amazed me after I got brave enough to ask, and some folks just volunteered stories in responce to my journal. And it really seems that the real criterion is 'just make it work' and it'll pretty much work the way anyone feels happy getting it to work. Some breastfeed when they're around the baby and have folks feed them formula when they're not. Few do 100% feeding directly from the breast. Some pump every ounce and only give the baby milk through a bottle. Some pump for the times when they're away. Nothing wrong with any of those ways.

It's just a gorgeous day, and not even a trace of the six inches of snow from yesterday still remains other than in how much greener the lawn is than it was yesterday. It's odd to think that just a few weeks ago everything was still totally brown.

Jet's having a good day. Eat, play, and sleep are his usual things, and he had a great session on the changing table with Granny. He wasn't wet or anything, but she was checking him and he was coo'ing and smiling and wriggling happily with the attention. He talked with her happily, burbling away and getting the inflections of language he's learned so far down really well.

He's had just a bit of gas, but not all that much and mostly when he's been crying, today, it's from tiredness and fighting sleep. At the moment, while Isabel and George are running off to the grocery store, he's actually asleep in his bassinet. Earlier, he slept in the sling being worn by Granny for a good couple of hours. The sling seems to keep him asleep longer, and I wanted him to wake up a bit sooner than that so I can feed him before the 3:30 meeting with Bill.

After the three hour nap he ate for a good hour as I finished Operating Instructions. There's a lot of growing up to look forward to, it looks like.

Isabel and George went to get groceries before my meeting with Bill and I spent a lot o the time feeding Jet. Isabel came back and put the corned beef in a pot with spices and an onion. It boiled and she skimmed it and then it was put on a back burner to simmer; and then they loaded Jet into the stroller and took him for a walk to get him out of the house while Bill and I did my review.

The review went well, and Bill sounds like he knows what's up with me for the next month and he even suggested a job for me that would be flexible and not in anyone's critical path. That was good. I got a good raise, and a nice stock grant and it'll be at the low price from the beginning of this month. Last year's grant is now way under water, so I can see why they did some good grants this year. It also sounded like any schedule would be okay by him.

Dinner was great. The corned beef turned out beautifully and the potatoes and carrots were savory in the spiced and seasons broth from the beef. It was also marvelously tender with the four hour cooking, and John got home just as it was finishing. Isabel did a great job and we even had a potato left over afterwards, though we'd done six, folks at a bit more than we'd originally thought. We'll have to cook some more potatoes sometime for corned beef hash some morning.

Jet was fussy and angry all during dinner, so I ended up eating quickly and feeding him. I wanted another half a potatoe and some more beef and suddenly realized that I might as well eat them while I was feeding Jet. So I did that.

I think he really anticipates his big bottle in the evening. He eats a whole night's worth of milk in one sitting, and I sometimes wonder if I'll ever really catch up with him so long as he's not nursing at night. Then I remember that I've been steadily increasing my production all along even with the schedule as given. I did, however, get up twice instead of just once tonight, to pump.

Dunno how much difference that will make in the long run, but it is definitely a good start to the next day's milk. It also, however, meant that I did get even less sleep.

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