The Orion Nebula

This is one STELLAR nursery!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Praying to the God of Comfort Proteins

There's a lot of stuff that I know I'm supposed to do if I'm going to be considered a good mom in today's environment. I don't care anymore. I didn't spend my pregnancy eating organic food and washing my pre-natal vitamins down with spring water. Instead, I ate shit loads of pizza and washed my viocdin down with diet coke. I didn't do yoga. Instead, I laid in bed in front of the TV and let Doombot bring me icecream. I didn't have a natural child birth in the comfort of my own bathtub. Instead I had a scheduled c-section and accepted every percocet the nurse offered me. I did not nurse on demand. I pumped breast milk and fed Orion with a bottle. And now, if the Comfort Protein gods are with me, I'm not even going to do that anymore.

The first time I realized I hated being tied down to a breast pump and tried to to switch Orion to formula, he was four days old. After one day he went two screaming days without pooping and finally passed what looked like a small glob of green Play-Doh. We tried again a few weeks later when we heard that thickened formula makes babies sleep through the night. He got a dose of the rice protein stuff and was wracked with such horrible gas pains that none of us got any sleep for three days. Then when we started realizing that he had a case of the squirrel reflux we tried the hypo-allergenic formulas. Even if it hadn't given him horrible gas again, the experiment would have failed based on the stench alone.

I've been thinking alot lately about the horrors of exclusive pumping. Essentially, I have to do everything related to feeding him twice. I don't just have to wash the bottles he eats from, I have to wash the pump parts and collection/storage bottles. I don't just have to take the time to feed him, I have to take the time to do the pumping (not to mention the fact that I have to find something to do with the baby while my hands are tied up with the pumping process.)

Having had such terrible luck with our formula experiments, I tried to go back to nursing the old-fashioned way. There were a few problems with that. First, Orion didn't so much suck as chew on my nipples. Second, he really enjoyed chewing on my nipples. I'm as much for attachment parenting in concept as the next girl, but I had to draw the line at being treated like the squeaky rubber hamburger we gave the dog. The cruelest part of this chewing was that once we started, Orion would only fall asleep with my boob in his mouth. As soon as he'd stop chewing and start snoring I would attempt to ease him off to be carried off to bed. Every single time that little motherfucker would start chewing in his sleep. I might have kept with it anyway, except for the fact that I still had to pump! Orion didn't eat enough to take care of my supply and I still needed some bottles to send to daycare. So, just add the nursing to the list of pumping indignities from above. No time or effort was saved. I even lost the ability to divide labor by having Doombot feed the bottle while I pumped in the middle of the night. Fuck. That. We went back to the bottle.

During all of this, I kept seeing mention of Nestle Good Start formula being a miracle cure all. I don't know what the hell a Comfort Protein is, or why it's a good idea to be predigesting milk for babies. What I do know is that it seems to be the last, best chance for me to move the squirrel to formula and get to back over my Medela Pump in Style with the car. Tonight and for the next couple of days we'll give bottles of half breast milk and half formula. If that works out, we'll be at full formula by this time next week. Maybe by the middle of July I'll get to stop pumping completely.

Please God, let this work. I don't want to have to pump for another two years.

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