The first two weeks were glorious and magical and sweet and loving and full of newborn naps and smells interspersed with a sparkly toddler's new words and new tricks and everyone smiling a lot. Oh, no one was getting anything done -- except I was catching up on some very bad TV and awesome Golden Girl reruns at 3 a.m. -- but that's what maternity leave is for, right?
Sure. And then week three came around.
"Cluster feeding" doesn't even come close to what I experienced early last week, as I clocked in around NINE hours of breastfeeding from 7 a.m. to about 9 p.m. on Monday. Not all in a row, obviously, but does that really matter? And after that, understandably, my hormones went into overdrive (or underdrive, or whatever fucked-up thing happens to your body after that kind of a day coupled with nowhere near enough sleep), and suddenly I was a wreck*.
OH, RIGHT. The flip side of the newborn situation had reared itself, and I suddenly -- emotionally and physically -- remembered the weeks and months of feeling anchored by a relentless breastfeeding schedule. And so I decided, after a couple days of sobbing at everything (which did not happen to me with Eve), that I would not spend the remainder of my precious leave feeling like a sad, leaky cow on a leash. I made my decision then to wean Townsend off the boob and so there it is.
Now, ha. I wasn't going to mention this to the internet because I know how internet moms feel about the importance of breastfeeding, and I didn't want the Anonymous Comment/Shame Parade to start. But then a funny thing happened! A few days after I made this decision, I started to feel sort of...secure about it. Like, that it really IS the right thing (for me) to do.
And even then I STILLwasn't going to mention it, because why?
But last night I read Bossypants and, well, it shouldn't surprise any of you that I worship at the altar of Tina Fey. But SHE! SHE managed to write about breastfeeding! In a biography that could have been filled with nothing but anecdotes from her years at SNL or 30 Rock, she found reason to put in an entire segment about her sad attempt at breastfeeding and her giving it up and all the guilt that came with it. And while I wasn't really looking for validation, I got some anyway. (Not just about breastfeeding, either.) (God, I love her.)
If learned anything between reading Bossypants and watching the Oprah send-off, it's this: put it out there. So I am. Maybe someone who is struggling with breastfeeding is reading this and just wants to know that there's someone else (uh, besides Tina Fey) who chose not to breastfeed. Not because I physically couldn't, but because it was making me miserable. Further, I also chose not to feel guilty about my decision, and that seems to be making all the difference.
NOW I TELL YOU ABOUT ALL THESE CHANGES I'M MAKING! MAYBE.
While I've been busy staring into space during 3 a.m. feeding torpor, I've had a lot of important epiphanies. (You know, as opposed to unimportant epiphanies.) I can't tell you what most of them have been, because I find that having a newborn is a little like being drunk all the time. (Note: "Sleep when the baby sleeps!" is something people without mouthy toddlers do.) But the ones that are sticking with me seem worth paying attention to.
The one that has the most to do with this blog goes like this, I think:
Accidentally, this blog is about starting over.
I mean, right? Even though I don't have one single post on the matter of starting over, that's what this whole entire thing has been about. When I started posting in January of 2005 I was single, having come from a wretched divorce followed by a sweet-but-misguided engagement. I was figuring out my adult self while wading in the ridiculous dating waters of San Francisco. I was still healing from my mother's death (which happened two-and-a-half years before I'd started blogging), and managing through my father's illness and death (which happened in 2006) without writing much about those things at all. I've had three very different corporate jobs since I started writing here that have impacted my life in huge ways. And then there's that matter of having met that funny guy from Craigslist who's now not only my husband but also the father of both of my children. YES, THAT HAPPENED. (I honestly wonder if sometimes I'm dreaming this whole thing, because I am just so far from where I started.)
But therein lies the thing that's been niggling** me: I think this blog IS about how I got from "there" to "here"...and there are a lot of holes. Because I didn't know I was writing the story of how I went from that life to this life. (I mean, how could I? I wasn't even there yet.)
Thus, there's lots of stuff I've left out. Stuff like the drama -- holy God, the DAH-RAH-MAH -- around my dating Ish in the beginning, when he was still married to someone who wasn't me. (CAN WE LAUGH ABOUT THIS YET?) Or about when I was first living in San Francisco and didn't know anything or anyone and couldn't identify "garlic" at the grocery store. Or how I, champion of the flip-flop and yoga pant, spent a few months working in an elite sector of the financial services industry and wore something akin to "suits" to work every. Damn. Day.
And then? There's maybe important backstory. I've never really told you about the special brand of crazy I grew up with -- kind of like Running With Scissors except not as sad or homosexual -- and how that all led directly to my marrying a man who didn't "like people."
And also I should probably elaborate on things like how I had a job in marketing with people who barter miniature donkeys.
So of course this all may pass once I've caught up on my sleep (sometime in 2012), but right now I'm inspired to sort of redesign my blog again. Not so much the outside -- although who knows -- but the whole feel of it. I'd like to put my archives into some semblance of order, sorted by topic (CAN YOU IMAGINE?). And while I'll keep writing about my life these days, I won't worry when I veer of the path of "my still-lactating boobs are sore" and into territory of long ago. Because it's all part of the same package.
I think I have a story to tell.
GRATUITOUS PHOTOS OF MY CHILDREN.
|Eve at Trefethen Winery on Memorial Day.|
|Towns making face. Newborns are kind of awesome.|
*Also, there was the Oprah finale, which didn't help the sob-factory that was my face.
**Niggling at me? Which is correct? I honestly don't know.