I don’t imagine the majority of you are terribly concerned with what my boobs are doing these days, but for those who have asked: I’m not breastfeeding Dylan. This is not a personal choice I made, but rather a sort of crappy and ongoing medical issue that prevents me from doing so.

I knew it wasn’t a possibility for me to breastfeed before I got pregnant, and I hope you’ll understand when I say I didn’t find that a big enough deterrent to avoid having another baby. I’ve had well-meaning friends ask if I planned to breastfeed this time around and I found myself flat-out lying (“Well, I’m definitely going to try . . .”) instead of just telling the truth, because it makes me feel — well, ashamed, I guess. I feel shitty admitting I can’t do something that nearly every other mother on earth can do; it’s all wrapped up in a weird package of guilt and inadequacy for not having “normal” births or being able to feed my child without my good friend Similac and around and around it goes.

I don’t feel concerned that giving him formula will cause him problems, but I do feel sad that the positive benefits of breastfeeding will never be part of my parenting experience. It is what it is, though, and as long as my boys are healthy and happy the details of how they made their exit from my body and what they ate in their first six months aren’t worth dwelling over. So I tell myself, anyway, but of course it’s often hard to follow your own best advice.

At any rate, he’s eating like a champ (seriously, it’s unreal: at this rate those spindly appendages will be Michelin-sized in no time) and it’s nice that JB is able to feed him too and, you know, silver linings.

To address another recent FAQ, if you’ve made a baby-related purchase lately (from Motherhood Maternity, say), you may have received a coupon brochure from a Large Purveyor of Consumer Goods sporting some familiar images. Specifically, images of your intrepid author shamelessly flaunting her stretched-beyond-belief pink underwear for all the world to see:


That’s right, people, it’s MY ASS on the Huggies brochure. Dear god. Anyway, in case you were concerned they ripped me off Sweetney-style, never fear, the good people at Kimberly-Clark licensed those images fair and square. My butt is officially a marketing vehicle for The Man.

Lastly, BEHOLD:


The scary thing? I still think he’s cute when he’s doing this. Biological programming cannot be denied, even when your child looks like an angry, crumpled-up newspaper.


117 Responses to “T & A”

  1. Robin on February 12th, 2008 12:11 pm

    Pros of c-sections and bottle feeding are
    1. Able to plan delivery. No contractions.
    2. Dad gets to feed son.

    You are doing great. He looks happy and healthy and he is just gorgeous. I miss the little baby phase.

  2. Andrea on February 12th, 2008 1:10 pm

    Congrats about your ass on a diaper ad. you must be so proud! :)

    I can’t breastfeed either. Mine is also a medical reason, though it’s a result of a breast reduction, which is of course, elective and considered cosmetic. There are still Boob Nazis telling me I should have waited to have the reduction even though the weight of my former breasts was curving my spine unnaturally. Not to mention the possibility that their sheer size would have precluded breastfeeding anyway. I just tell people that I can’t breastfeed, and that I’m happy there’s an alternative on the market that I can use so that my baby doesn’t starve. Because isn’t that the whole point? To feed our babies? Yes, breast is best, but for those of us for whom that isn’t an option, formula is just fine.

    I loved the way you described the noises a newborn makes. So dead on, as my own 5 week old Squeaker McWheezyton sleeps on my chest while I type, making her own lip smacking noises. And a fart. Whew!

  3. liz on February 12th, 2008 2:05 pm

    It’s only the Healthy McShitheads (a term of yours that I have RUTHLESSLY ripped-off) who are so militant about what other people’s children are eating. The people with nothing better to do. Oh, and, people without kids who have grand plans for all the ways that they will be more awesome than everyone else at parenting when they do finally have kids.

    You’re doing a great job. Don’t ever doubt it. If you need a reminder just read some of these comments!

  4. Formerly DDM (Sonia) on February 12th, 2008 4:21 pm

    I couldn’t breastfeed either, and I was made to feel like PURE crap by a select few people. The guilt, it was horrific. It’s no one else’s damn business whether or not you breastfeed and why. So there! LOL!
    Also, having had a ‘normal’ delivery, I would opt for a C-section next time. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be, for everyone. In fact, in my case, the vag birth very likely caused my son’s brain malformation. There’s at least one reader of yours out here who is envious of your method of baby delivery. And again, no one else’s damn business! I hope you are healing up VERY well, and thank you for sharing your adorable family with us!!

  5. Heather-in-Australia on February 12th, 2008 4:43 pm

    I’m 20 weeks pregnant and, frankly, I have biiiiig tits. That’s just the way they are and, frankly again, the way my nipples are growing even now makes me wonder if a tiny baby is going to manage to fit the entire nipple and areola area in his / her mouth. I really hope he / she can, but if not, or if for any other reason breastfeeding just doesn’t work in my entirely individual situation, the La Leche nazis can fuck off. My body, my baby. (Of course, I may also find it hard to take my own “fuck off nazis!” advice when the time is truly hear, but oh I hope I can).

    You’re a beautiful Mama and those two boys will always, always be clearly well nourished by the security and love you and JB obviously provide.

  6. Stacy on February 12th, 2008 4:44 pm

    The picture is beyond priceless! That face is adorable! Congratulations.

  7. Heather-in-Australia on February 12th, 2008 4:45 pm

    Ahem, *here* not *hear*. I might jsut blame that typo on preggers brain ;).

  8. Heather-in-Australia on February 12th, 2008 4:45 pm

    *JUST* Oh fuck.

  9. Elyse on February 12th, 2008 5:47 pm

    I just now got to read the all of Dylan’s birth posts from start to finish, and I just wanted to say CONGRATS and he is just beautiful.

  10. lucidkim on February 12th, 2008 6:36 pm

    I didn’t have guilt about the fact I couldn’t breastfeed but I did find it necessary to act like it was the end of the world – besides my mom who made me feel like a complete failure (and tried to secretly rope my SISTER into breastfeeding MY BABY)- the lactation consultants at the hospital could also be PETA members – they hounded me at home – I worried they would come over to my house to make sure I HAD REALLY TRIED EVERYTHING TO MAKE MY BOOBS WORK…it was a nightmare to deal with the people who thought world peace hinged on my ability to breastfeed. I on the other hand was relieved because it was so much more convenient and I had enough other traumas going on…


  11. Bryan on February 12th, 2008 6:51 pm

    WEST SIDE!!!

  12. alla on February 12th, 2008 6:52 pm

    I had the worst experience with breastfeeding, and the ONLY reason I even tried was because my husband was so convincing and thought I owed it to my baby. I lasted about 5 days – probably the most miserable 5 days of my life. My scheduled c-section was nothing compared to the horror that was breastfeeding for me. When (and if) I have baby #2, I am not even going to try. And I don’t even feel guilty about it. I was too miserable, and i was much more use to my daughter once i stopped being so miserable. You, on the other hand, have an excuse, so you really have no reason to feel guilty.

    On another topic your description of the c-section brought back such scary memories – I was sitting in my office crying when I read it. Kind of made me re-think having baby #2 :)

  13. Josh on February 12th, 2008 8:00 pm

    I want to start off with something nice before I get to my real comment cause it could easily be construed as being offensive or mean, so, … uh, I’m glad your ass is all over some huggies shit. I hope they paid you, cause you look totally professional there in your pink striped spandex. Way cooler than that fake smiling dufus on the left in the, what the hell is that? A sports bra? Maternity bra? I don’t know shit about bras, but anyway, she’s dumb and you’re cool.

    Now on to other matters. The tiny little green beanie is cool, but am I the only one who thinks that curled up pose makes babies look like tree frogs? Seriously. Or dying bugs maybe. Do they do that cause they’ve been cramped inside you bellah for nine months? What’s the deal. After they’ve aired out do they loosen up and relax into traditional baby pose or what?

    Side note: Looking back at the huggies ad, it kind of looks like they are insinuating there are actually coupons growing inside your prego stomach. Like you waddled around for the better part of a year to pop out a baby coupon. Go look, there’s an arrow pointing right at you.

    Last side note I swear: Don’t feel bad Linda, I’m not going to breast feed my babies either. Only wimpy babies drink milk. In fact, I’m kind of hoping mine just pop out of the womb with Ron Jeremy wieners and chest hair eating beef jerky and playing electric guitar.

  14. samantha jo campen on February 12th, 2008 9:04 pm

    Is there a rule that once you realize you get pregnant you will be faced with guilt until the day you die? Because seriously, is there NOTHING that mothers can/can’t do without feeling like shit?

    I’m planning on breastfeeding, but I’m totally realistic in thinking that it MAY not work. Especially since this kid wants out 9 weeks early, he’ll probably be a preemie with some NICU time, I don’t know if I’ll be able to. Pump maybe, but who knows now? I just want to keep him alive, and if formula is the way to do that then so be it. I’d rather breastfeed because it’s cheap though :-)

    Sweet ass. I’m jealous!

    And I love your little wrinkled old man. Perfect in every way.

  15. samantha jo campen on February 12th, 2008 9:06 pm

    P.S. What about mothers who adopt? They can’t breastfeed. Why should people assume those parents just don’t WANT to? You never know someone’s personal situation so all the Nazis just need to chill the hell out.

  16. Deanna on February 14th, 2008 2:19 pm

    big hugs from a breastfeeding mom!
    We are not all crazy formula haters.
    Do not feel bad at all. Being a good mom is what matters most.
    This is the 3rd time and I thought it would be cake. Nope- toughest yet. Cracked, bleeding nipples- ow!
    It fricking hurts like heck each time all over again. But- it’s cheap and easy after awhile.
    Stop the self beatings.
    There’s plenty o’ other parenting crapto feel guilty of.
    (like did the baby overhear your moans of ecstacy?! Crap!!)

  17. Christine on February 14th, 2008 3:54 pm

    You probably won’t read this far down anyway, but I have to ask, Why do you care what other people say or do? I have 4 kids, am a OB nurse, and I had absolutely no desire to breastfeed. Does it mean I don’t love my kids any less? Hell NO!! Why don’t people just mind their own business and worry about their families and leave everybody else alone.. Incidently, I have 2 kids in the “gifted” program at school and nary a illness or ear infection yet.. so there breastfeeding nazis. stick that in your pipe and smoke it!!!

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