Friday, March 20, 2009

The feed

There is a brown bag on the floor near the front door. It contains the breast pump I bought two weeks ago and have not yet touched. The bag and I are engaged in a staring contest and so far I can't tell who's winning.

I am of two minds about how to do the food thing when Margot goes to daycare in May. On an intellectual level I know that breast milk is the best option and given that I am producing a startling supply and she is feeding like a little raptor (at our last pediatrician's visit we found out that she'd gained 2 pounds in a week and a half), it seems like a waste to cut off the supply of boob. On the other hand, however, breastfeeding is a full-time job in itself. Pumping at work would require a commitment that I am not sure I can fulfill. It's not just the theoretical 15-20 minutes of actual pump time, it's the setup (which requires stripping from the waist up and putting on a corset-type garment that holds the pump horns in place and simultaneously destroys any and all semblance of dignity/self esteem I might have left), pumping, cleaning the pump, and refrigerating the milk. Two to three times a day during work hours. I admit, I am intimidated by the very thought of this endeavor.

Formula seems like it would be much simpler for everyone involved and it would actually allow me to do things like eat lunch, not get fired, exercise, and have my boobs to myself. But there is so much guilt involved in choosing between the two--at a very granular level there is a deep feeling that I would be a terrible mother if I chose to stop breastfeeding for what seem like purely selfish reasons. Of course she would be fine on formula but the politics, the politics. I find feeding Margot very satisfying right now and have not even been able to bring myself to deal with the bottle issue yet. And so the pump remains in the bag and every day I continue to stare at the bag warily as if it contained a giant spider that was waiting to jump out and eat me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Scully went to kitty heaven this morning. We miss her horribly.

I rescued Scully from the MSPCA 10 years ago. During those 10 years, we moved around the country, lived with various roommates, boyfriends, and one amazing husband/cat daddy, and weathered a lot of ups and downs. She was a patient, loyal, wonderful friend who was happy as long as we were together. No matter where we landed, the sound of her purr and the feel of her fur were home to me.

Scully started to decline right after we brought Margot home and at first we thought it was a stress reaction to the baby, until we saw how much weight she'd lost. After running every test the vet could think of and doing two ultrasounds, all we knew was that she probably had cancer and it was untreatable. She stopped eating or drinking and then lost the use of her hind legs, which was unbearable to watch. She made it clear that she intended to keep soldiering on but her limbs were getting weaker. We decided to let her go before things got any worse for her. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. I feel strongly that she may have been sick before but she fought to stay with us until the baby was here. Though the house feels achingly empty without her presence, I have to believe that she is now somewhere warm, eating grass and lying in the sun and watching the birds fly around. There is a furry white hole in our hearts. I miss my sunny girl.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It has begun

The Force is strong with this one...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Working girl

Today I took Margot in to my office for a little show and tell. Happily, she snoozed and smiled and charmed her way into the hearts of my coworkers and it was a good visit. One thing I have realized over the past 3 weeks is that I am feeling good about my decision to go back to work after my leave is up. Who knows, that might change once I actually have to leave Margot at daycare. But right now I feel that it's the right decision for us as a family and for me as a mom, wife, and person. This was a topic I was very torn about before Margot was born and so I am glad to have some clarity, though I still worry that I'm walking too closely in my mother's footsteps. Strangely enough, I learned yesterday that my mom was home with me for almost a year, something I hadn't known before.

Anyway, going back to work, even just for a few hours was really good. Turns out I have missed my friends at the office and missed that aspect of my life. I am glad to be home with Margot and grateful to be able to have this time with her, but also glad that things are the way they are. At least for now :)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

It's all a blur

So all that talk of how new parents don't get any sleep? Turns out it's true. I don't think anyone really buys it until they have a baby and then suddenly you learn the true meaning of sleep deprivation. This is actually the part of parenthood that made me the most nervous. I have always needed my sleep--I never even pulled all-nighters in college--and so the idea of being kept awake by a small, needy person felt intimidating. But c'est la vie. I am now taking the advice of all the other parents we know and trying to nap when the baby naps, which she thankfully does for chunks of the day (on a good day).

The baby continues to grow and amuse us to no end. Actually, at both ends. Because her lungs didn't get constricted by the birth canal, she's still a bit congested and so she makes the most hysterically funny honks, snorts, wheezes, whirs, and beeps. I sometimes wonder how I gave birth to a Snork, but she is the most beautiful Snork I know. Also, if projectile pooping were an Olympic event, it turns out that we'd have a future medalist on our hands. Other babies might be better sleepers or faster eaters but can they poop across the room?

So far maternity leave has been something of a surreal blur, a time that I know I need to treasure but cannot seem to hold on to. I wake up and suddenly it's 5pm and then 3am and then 1pm. The days themselves are full but not with anything that I would have classified as accomplishments prior to the baby. Now it takes planning to get up and unload the dishwasher or run the laundry. I have to strategize to get out of the house. Going for a walk is the high point of our day--if it's warm enough to leave the house, that is. Everything seems to have slowed down and speeded up simultaneously.