Friday, October 19, 2007

Too young to have her mouth washed out with soap

playtime with daddy
Originally uploaded by m.Lee
Here's a tip. When you mess up while pouring your baby a bottle of breastmilk and add the soap to the milk instead of the empty bottle needing to be cleaned and ruin her food do not get online. When I saw what I had done I quickly thought maybe the liquid soap only got in so far and I poured out half of it, but then I realized that I was kidding myself and dumped the entire bottle as the tears began. In a situation like this Google is not your friend. Dr Sears is not your friend. iVillage is not your friend when you have a screaming in hunger baby and you just ruined all her food. I already felt horrible and was in tears and cried while I mixed up that bottle of formula. What would they have me do? I know that this wouldn't have happened if she was getting it directly from the source and I hate how that didn't work out more than I can express but I am doing my best. After weeks of trying I got sick of the tears from both her and me and did what worked best and allowed her to still get breastmilk. But that isn't enough for many people because I am missing out on a moment to bond. Well, it is a lot easier to bond with a happy baby as she drinks from a bottle than a crying and screaming baby that is not drinking from that wonderfully close bond that only a mother and child can share. I'm not perfect.

The internet is filled with some extreme viewpoints that can be land mines to an often overly sensitive person like me. People proposing that they have the true best way at parenting and if you don't do this you are a bad parent and your child will probably grow up to be a psychopath. It just isn't fair. Every person is different and every parent/ child relationship is different. This is one of the big problems I have with baby books. And so much of the research is based on anecdotal evidence that makes me very skeptical. Years ago tons of terrible advice was given by books written by the experts at the time. While obviously having a more attached relationship with your baby is preferable to letting her scream all night I still take these books and experts with a grain of salt. Or at least I do at moments like this when I am feeling rational. Wednesday night I was not and just cried and beat myself up picking on all my failings as a parent according to things I picked up off the internet here and there. Almost as if I was fishing just for information that would further my self hatred cause. Uhm yeah, should probably stop doing that and focus on her smiles instead. And her fat little cheeks and chubby thighs.

Since printing on Tuesday I have done a whole lot of jack squat. I've been stressed and depressed. Jon is staying home today to watch the baby while I go see my midwife for my six week follow up visit. I'm not concerned about it at all because I can tell that physically I am just fine other than the ruin of stretchmarks on my belly. I'm torn because part of me wants to bring her with so Lara can see her again now that she is older, but what if she gets fussy during the visit? What then? And I need to run some errands in the area afterwards and if she wigs out that will be impossible. She wasn't horrible for my Wednesday appointment, but she wasn't great either and did start crying. And that was only a 10-15 minute visit. This will be longer.

I don't know what I will be doing with the rest of the day having Jon around working from home. It should free up some time for me to get back to some carving that I had started on Monday night. Carving that I wanted to finish before I print again. People have told me that I should be proud of myself for doing any art during the pregnancy and after having her, but I am not happy with myself at all. I waste a lot of time feeling bad. It is not like all the time I spend not doing art is spent as quality time with blee. Feeling depressed just kills the joy of every activity from creating to playing with your adorable and sweet baby girl.

Now playing: Brian Eno - Just Another Day
via FoxyTunes


Skully said...


naturallyupnorth said...

aahhh it'll get better and easier I always thought babies should come with a book. just remember to take time for yourself too

Caroline said...

:( PPD?

I wouldn't claim to know what you're going through with regards to your sweet baby blee, but I know what it's like to feel creatively stifled and drained because of depression. Please don't be afraid to ask for help.

One day at a time, right? I hope you feel better soon.

Stone Soup Jewelry said...

mlee, I'm sorry you're having a rough time. As a mom of two little ones, I'll tell you that I think having a newborn and holding it together makes you superwoman! Don't worry about the breastfeeding - part of taking good care of a baby is doing what works best for BOTH of you, and making sure that she's fed and happy, wherever it comes from. The bond arises when you hold and snuggle her - it doesn't come from what you put into her mouth.

Peace. It will get easier, I promise.

fernfiddlehead said...

mLee -- usually the midwife really likes seeing the baby!!!! They have someone help out and hold the baby if necessary. I recommend taking her. It's a nice way to round out the whole birth experience.

And as far as parenting advice, it never goes away. You're right to be skeptical. You'll find your confidence as a mother builds over time and it won't matter so much what other people think.

Cozy said...

I had 3 children and now 6 grandchildren. I have done or seen breastfeeding, pumping and feeding breastmilk and formula fed babies. Each time what worked best was what the mother felt most comfortable with, whatever method it was. You and your daughter will figure out, with the help of your husband, what is best for your family. Healthy mom and healthy baby are the most important and that seems to be what is happening for you. They aren't babies for long. (Trust me I know this part because my oldest is now 30 and I would certainly like to know how that happened so quickly!)

Maggie said...

Hugs to you mLee! bLee is obviously doing great, and don't let anyone make you feel otherwise. Now take care of you a little bit!

KiWi said...

Don't be so hard on yourself, Marissa. Despite what you hear, no one is a "perfect" parent.

Bek said...


yeah, I had a hard time dealing with rapidly declining self-esteem and long, long bouts of crying and shaking when it came to the extremist views on everything baby... Remember. Every mom and baby is different. There are no absolutes. There is a ton of gray area. You rock. bLee rocks. *hugs*

Cathy said...

Just do what feels right for you and bLee... I formula fed my two boys because breast feeding wasn't for me. Yes, there will be people that say I did the worst thing possible but in the end I have to do what keeps me and my boys sane and happy. I love them to death and if their kisses and cuddles and giggles are anything to go by, I'd say the bond between mother and child is definitely there!

Anonymous said...

You will make many many mistakes raising your child, we all do. I know I did and my children grew up to be healthy productive adults. My daughter now has 2 little ones, the second one only 6 months old. I told her the most important thing to give your child is love. If you love them and enjoy them they will bond with you and be happy children. That love will keep them safe and help them grow into fine adults.

RenMeleon said...

Been there. Done that. Stress and depression cloud your mind and make mistakes easy to make. You are not a bad mother.

Don't buy into all the hype hun. My baby girl is 6 now and the one thing I looked forward to when I had her was breastfeeding. It didn't happen. She spent her first three weeks of her life in Neonatal ICU level 2. I felt completely powerless to help her. I knew she needed me, then more than ever to get better and get stronger, and after trying EVERY method the most I could get between the two breasts was less than an once. She wouldn't latch on because she was a month early and even at 8 pounds when she was born it just wouldn't work. I cried. I didn't care what anyone else thought, all that mattered was that I felt like I had failed her somehow and I was scared I wouldn't get to take her home. I tried till I bled then fed her formula and loved on her till I got past it.

She cried and had gas a lot, just couldn't get comfortable. Found out she was lactose intolerant, couldn't even have soy. We had to buy the expensive formula but it finally worked and she was so much calmer. Experiment till you find what works. You can read the stuff online and in books but when it comes right down to it there is only one truth: They are not you. We are all different and you have to find your own way of doing things, your own pace.

Do what YOU feel is right. Listen to your intuition not family, not friends, not books, not the internet. They aren't you, they aren't your baby. Do NOT let anyone tell you that you are a failure because you can't breastfeed because they are full of sh**. All that matters is that precious baby and that you take care of her and you. Getting her fed and healthy is what matters, not how.

If you do art fine, if you don't you will find time when you can. One way I got through was to make my girl the reason why I did things, to leave her a legacy. Though my life is not my own any longer and there will always be things I miss, it is a joyful life with her in it because I realize that she is the best thing I've ever created, my greatest work of art, an extension of my very self, a piece of my soul on the outside, and that I want to leave her every little bit of my self I can. That is what makes me create, what makes me want to play muse and help others. I want to make her proud. I involve her in everything.

It WILL get better. Breathe deep. Love her and yourself. And "when you find what's worth keeping with a breath of kindness blow the rest away".

You and your lovely baby are in our thoughts and prayers. Contact me if you ever need someone to cry to, scream to, talk to. No judgment, just an ear. :) :::hugs:::

m.Lee said...

I'm doing better since Friday. I am learning what to do and how to react and cope as I go along.