Tag Archives: formula

Bad Mommy

5 Apr

I’m a terrible mother. I’ve heard time and time again what I should and should not do with and to my kid for the first year of her life, and I’ve ignored 90% of the advice. Some of it even came from reliable sources like my pediatrician or Daisy, and I still gave two shits. Here are some of the things I’ve done wrong, and my neurotic justifications for why I did them:

1. I gave the baby my iPhone.

Know why? Because she would obsessively watch me use it. I found a fantastic *free* app – AlphaBaby –  and let her rip. She loves touching the screen and watching letters and numbers appear. She loves manipulating their sizes and moving them around the screen. It’s a great distraction on long car rides, or while waiting at the auto repair shop. The other day, Pterodactyl figured out how to exit the app, and proceeded to open a text message to her father and send him some rather eloquent texts. My favorite was the picture message of her knee and her musings on “poooooooosstwb3nt.”

2. I turned on the TV.

Like Mommy Man wrote in his (hyperlinked for your convenience) blog post, baby TV is NOT the root of all evil. There are several practical uses, such as allowing Mommy to pee without having to protect the roll of toilet paper from a destructive 11 month old, or vacuuming up Cheerios without having to simultaneously entertain a baby. I even busted out the Netflix on my iPhone for long-distance drives when the kid was a little too squirmy for the car seat. Know what? She sat still and enjoyed the rest of the trip.My kid loves Elmo. Elmo sings the alphabet. Ergo, my kid sings the alphabet. That’s right. And even though I’m a certified English teacher, I take zero credit for that. Elmo is the magic man behind the ABCs.

3. I gave her sugar.

I know what you’re thinking: “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? YOUR KID WILL GROW UP TO BE OBESE AND NEED GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY WHEN SHE’S 11!” But my kid was eye-fucking my ice cream, and I wanted to share a little bite with her. I justified it by remembering that it was the brand with 5 ingredients: milk, sugar, eggs, etc. She loved it. A little too much. Like a drug addict getting a fix, too much. Oh well. I’ve cut her off until the cake at her first birthday party.

4. I let her nap on my body. Regularly.

Every little old lady I pass in the grocery store reminds me to enjoy this time with Pterodactyl, because it flies by too quickly. Well, you know what? I don’t think she’ll fit on my chest when she’s seven. So I’m cuddling the hell out of my kid while she still wants to, and while I can do so without snapping a vertebrae. Does that make her a slightly dependent sleeper? Probably. But I’m pretty sure Violet Fifteen Years From Now will thank me for this cuddle time.

5. I’ve done other, miscellaneous, controversial shit.

I formula-feed my kid. (Insert snarky lecture from judgmental breast-feeding parents here.) I recently integrated Cry It Out into our sleep routines. (Insert snarky lecture from judgmental anti-CIO parents here.) My kid is svelte and healthy, and she now can fall asleep without an hour of rocking and shhhhing. Actually, I can now put her in the crib and walk away, and she’s out within five minutes. Winning!

Time will tell if any of these “Bad Mommy” behaviors will fuck up my kid in the long-term. I’m prepared to pay her therapy bills if that’s the case. All I know for now is that we live in the moment, putting health and happiness above other concerns. Sometimes that means we watch Big Bird Journey to Ernie. Sometimes that means giving the kid a bite of my strawberry ice cream. Sometimes, that means bringing her into our bed and napping as a family. If this time passes too quickly, and I may mourn the loss of this phase one day, I’m going to make the best out of it while I’m here.

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Why I Quit Breast-Feeding…and that’s OK!

26 Feb

Being Daisy’s Mommy-Apprentice, I knew from the time the sixth pregnancy test showed positive that I was going to breastfeed. I registered for nursing covers and nipple creams. I bought a $300 Medela pump. When my friends who had babies during my pregnancy fell off the Boobie Train, I scoffed. Determination of will, Ladies! I thought. Stick to it! I had learned though the 23871 baby books I read and frequent conversations with my heterosexual life partner that Breast Milk is the Best Milk, and I was damned if my kid was going to be some formula-feeding half-wit. Oh no.

When my kid finally came barreling out of my baby-maker, my world turned upside-down. Latching was difficult, but with the help of various Lactation Consultants (who were grabbing my boobs like I was in a Cancun Wet T-Shirt Contest), we eventually got her on. Hurdle number one, conquered. When the kid wound up in the NICU, the hospital gave me the Spawn of Satan pump to extract some breast milk for my jaundiced munchkin. Fine – I’ll endure some woosh woosh for a couple days. But then, the proverbial shit hit the fan (and no, I’m not talking about projectile baby poop.)

Home with my baby, the struggle to breastfeed continued. In her first few weeks of life, I nearly lost my shit. Post-Partum Depression was rearing its ugly head, but I was going to fight it. No more trips to my shrink, who had pre-pregnancy Violet on a variety of happy pills. This baby was going to receive unadulterated boob milk!

Until my father almost died. The phone call came after yet another sleepless night, pleading with my newborn to feed and sleep. He was in the hospital and in a coma, and there was nothing I could do but sit and wait. With my coping skills stretched unreasonably thin, I battled two demons – that of lowered milk supply, and the depression which was threatening my stable mindset. Two days later, my husband was downsized (even though his bitch of a boss knew very well that he just had a baby!) With Daddy in the hospital and Hubby out of work, I knew I was battling an uphill climb.

I relinquished and went to my shrink. First thing out of her mouth was: “They’ve reclassified your anti-depressants. They are now a Class 4, and they will most certainly enter your breastmilk and effect your baby. If I put you back on them, do you promise to stop nursing?”

My world was crumbling. All I wanted to do was breastfeed my child. We were making gains in the latching/milk supply department. There was a future for my boobs. But my doctor was asking me to choose my mental health over my child’s nutritional health, and I couldn’t handle that shit.

Daisy, my wonderful, rational Siamese Twin, talked me off my metaphorical ledge. She reminded me that a happy mother is a happy baby, and that baby formula is quite nutritious and not detrimental to baby’s development. A depressed, crazy mother, however, was. For the next two days, I pumped and pumped and pumped so my kid could enjoy as much Mommy Juice as possible before I began my meds. The first time I put a pill in my mouth and swallowed, I cried. Ultimately, my kid received breast milk for the first month of her life, between my boobs and my pumped supply.

Switching to formula was the best decision I have made for my family thus far. With Buddy staying home with Pterodactyl, it is much easier on both of us for her to be a formula baby. My regiment of anti-depressants has stabilized my brain, and I’m a happy Mommy. I don’t think my kid would have benefitted from my breast milk if it were diluted with tears, do you?

When people give me shit for choosing to take my kid off the boob, I don’t even flinch. I know it was the best choice for all of us. My kid is brilliant, sweet, and (just to squelch those stereotypes about formula babies) svelte. Mommy is balanced out, and Buddy isn’t calling Daisy up at all hours of the night asking her to comfort and fix crazy Violet anymore. So to all the holier-than-thou breast-feeders (not all breast-feeders, just those with rude comments about my family) who condemn us formula moms for feeding our kid from a bottle, all I can say is: Go Fuck Yourselves.

Epilogue: My daddy is just fine, now. Two scary surgeries and a long recovery later, he’s back to his normal self. =]

© Daisy and Violet 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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