Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More on milk

The other day, I read Julie's post about breastfeeding #2. I have been thinking a lot about breastfeeding lately (yes, this is yet another boob post), partly because I'm supposed to be stopping soon. The plan was to exclusively breastfeed for six months (check), start introducing solids (check), and then start weaning. This all sounded logical and good when I made the plan. I want to try for another baby. I suck at getting pregnant, so we must assume that it'll take a while, and that IVF might be involved. I'm 39 years old. Clearly time's a-wasting here. Given this scenario, lactational amenorrhea is rather inconvenient, so the sooner we can bring it to an end, the better.

The only problem? I like breastfeeding. It works for me. It is the one step of reproduction that my body seems to be able to handle on its own. I couldn't get pregnant naturally even on the most romantic of vacations, while relaxed, thinking of "just adopting", and doing acupuncture. I failed Clomid 101, 102, and 103. My infertility ate IUI's for lunch. Even my first round of IVF failed. Pregnancy was great, but I had scare after scare, and could never quite relax and enjoy watching my body do its thing. This breastfeeding thing has been different, though. My milk actually came in, on its own, without any heroic measures on anyone's part. Eggbert had an awesome latch. Yes, there was a cracked nipple here and a sleepless night there, but on the whole, it worked. It works! So remind me why I'm supposed to stop doing the one thing that I'm good at to go back to doing the thing that I suck at again?

Julie's post, though, made me wonder about something else. Is it really true that total strangers actually accost bottle-feeding moms to criticize them? I had never imagined that even the most militant breastfeeding advocates could be so insensitive, judgmental, and just plain rude. I guess I've been out of the US for so long, but I had no idea that the mommy wars had gotten that out of hand.

I was also mildly taken aback, at first, when I read a comment that said, in part "That story made me all weirdly booby-achy and wanting to nurse other people's babies. Which is by far the creepiest instinct I've ever felt." For a second, I thought "wow, that IS creepy". Then my mind flashed back to a few days ago, when I was walking home from work and stopped to look at a kitten. I was just thinking "damn that's cute", when I felt a gush of milk came out.

All of a sudden wanting to nurse other people's babies doesn't sound so embarrassing after all.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Speaking of sucking

People, you are not going to believe this. If infertility doesn't suck enough, how about having the clinic LOSE your last best embryo? I don't mean lose as in it dies. I mean lose as in they can't freakin' find it!

It's a true story folks. Please go give Kate a big hug.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Worst blogger ever

Wow. I suck.

Over a month without a post. It's not that I don't have things to say. I'm overflowing with things to say. They're coming out my ears. I recite them to myself as I walk down the street. I think about them so loudly that I swear people in Brazil must be able to hear me. But the more thoughts build up, the less able I am to write them down. I seem to be caught in a trap, having too little time to post something long, and feeling like the longer it is between posts, the more I should say. So, I wait for that mythical free hour in which I can pour out my soul, and it never comes around.

This working mommy gig is hard. Wonderful, but hard.

I'm very lucky. I like my job, and I LOVE being a mom. I am not coping with post-partum depression or lingering medical issues, and my daughter is healthy and delightful. Heck, I even hit my pre-IVF weight a few weeks ago while still maintaining a healthy chocolate intake. You can't ask for more than that.

Well, actually, yes you can. I would like about five extra hours in each day. Four for sleeping, and one for anything other than working and playing with the Egg (like cutting my toenails, combing my hair, emailing my sister, or blogging). As things are, I get up, take care of the Egg, go to work, come home, take care of the Egg, go to bed. Lather rinse repeat. Mystery is a rock star when I'm at work, and does pretty much all of the housework AND cooks dinner so I can focus on spending time with the baby when I'm home, but still, it boggles the mind how busy I feel.

Seriously, working moms that also blog, how do you do it?

I realize that there are other options, like putting Eggbert in a playpen (oh, I'm sorry, play yard) for an hour, even though she whines, or foisting her off on her daddy more often, but I worked so hard to have this baby that I want to spend every moment with her that I can. It's the highlight of my day.

So here I am. Happy. Busy. Haven't had a decent night's sleep in months (another story for another day, I think). Somehow managing to steal a minute to READ blogs from time to time, but not managing to write much.

I guess that's OK. It's going to have to be.

I do want to say this one thing, though. I have composed this lengthy post in my head that will probably never make it to light reflecting on the meaning of infertility after the fact. Here is the essence of it: infertility is not a psychiatric problem. It is so often treated as such--as if the infertile is creating her own misery by not accepting her fate or coping with it more gracefully. The fact is that infertility is upsetting, stress-inducing, depressing, and potentially life-altering. It often CAUSES emotional problems. However it is not an emotional problem itself. The best cure isn't an attitude adjustment, it's a treatment for the condition itself.

For me, it was simple. I was infertile. I was miserable. I did IVF. I got pregnant. I had a baby. I felt much, much better.