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:

brochure_belly.jpg

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:

d_squall08.jpg

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.

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JennB
14 years ago

He’s adorable, squishy, and furious. All good things.

Congrats on the K-C deal. I hope they’re paying you well in formula!

(Incidently, I remembered that you had a medical condition necessitating the c-sections and no breast feeding and I’m curious but if you choose to keep that information close I certainly respect your decision and won’t inquire further).

How’s life with 2 little boys now?

Eric's Mommy
14 years ago

That is too awesome that your belly, and Riley are famous!

Dylan is the cutest crumpled-up newspaper ever.

Jean
Jean
14 years ago

Nice ass!!

While I’m sorry that you can’t nurse Dylan, there are silver linings. Nursing my daughter came at a price: my sanity. It was mentally and physically gruelling and while I appreciate that I was able to nurse her, I am sure that I could have been a better mother in other ways if I was well-rested or less stressed. There is always a trade-off.

And he is cute, even when it looks like he is squeezing out a big turd.

Shelly
14 years ago

He’s freaking adorable, crumply and all. I cannot get over those tiny toes!

Naomi the Strange
14 years ago

so you never said WHY you can’t breastfeed? Why can’t you? I’m curious to know? How’d you get your photos in there? Cool. Pregnant model! :)

WCD
WCD
14 years ago

Linda- I couldn’t breastfeed either do to a medical issue and Nick was formula bed. He’s a gifted child — for real:) Your little guy looks darling pissed off:)

alli
14 years ago

I love the newspaper look on babies. It makes them look feisty. Congratulations on the picture deal. It looks great!

Jamie
14 years ago

Look at those monkey toes! NOM NOM NOM…

workout mommy
14 years ago

oh, you are making me want another one!!! He is absolutely adorable!

and now I’m rushing off to find those coupons I got to see your pic!

Swistle
14 years ago

1) I love angry babies. LOVE. I want to take that one and gnaw on his little limbs.

2) I have already laughed several times about this line: “I hope you’ll understand when I say I didn’t find that a big enough deterrent to avoid having another baby.” I plan to laugh several addition times in the near future.

3) DUDE. Your photos, of your personal self, officially licensed and advertising national products?? That is AWESOME. Awesome enough to bring out the word “dude.”

kaitlyn
14 years ago

I think it’s a really good thing that you recogonize the importance of the true point of motherhood (which is not breastfeeding alone, but the bond you create with your child, regardless of what they eat or from which hole they made their first debut).
The picture deal seems like a good opening to ask you about your freelance work. I read your other mommyblog and now read parentdish, but how did you get into freelancing? Specifically, how would you suggest one gets into freelancing blogging? Obviously, you don’t have a ton of time right now, but when you get a free minute or ten (note: ha ha ha), I’d love to hear about your experiences and any tips.
And PS: Squishy face and all, he’s still pretty darn cute.

alina
alina
14 years ago

Wow, that a big load of self-punishment right there, isn’t it? Growing up in a loving home (as yours obviously is) is more than a lot of kids get, even those who are breastfed. Your life is your life, your body is your body, and it should be celebrated, “medical conditions” and all.

Aunt Linda
Aunt Linda
14 years ago

Funny. When we saw him Saturday, I don’t remember him looking like an underdone roast.

Mary O
Mary O
14 years ago

Angry babies always make me giggle a little. Newborn babies are awesome.
I felt the same way after my first c-section. What the hell is wrong with my body that I can’t have a baby like everyone else? But really it doesn’t matter in the end anyway, since the result is the same.

Lawyerish
14 years ago

What Swistle said. I about fell off my chair about the line she cites in item #1.

Linda, you are an amazing mom and you and JB provide a wonderful, loving family for your children. You should not heap any guilt or shame on yourself about…well, about anything, and certainly not about things that biology has decided for you.

Also: “crumpled up newspaper.” I’m DYING. He looks like he is trying to contend with the world’s largest poop. That shot is priceless.

Melissa
Melissa
14 years ago

Dylan is very, very cute. As for the breastfeeding issue, I can relate to your guilty feelings. My daughter had serious issues with latching and then I felt like I didn’t have enough milk for her once she did. So she was bottlefeed and breastfed a little until she was three mos old and I threw the towel in. It was so stressful to try breastfeeding, doesn’t work, then give her a bottle, then pump…to only start the whole process over again. (leaving little time for the burping, sleeping, and pooping cycles) Very frustrating and I felt like a failure. Once I gave myself permission to just focus on the bottle, things got so much better. I’m going to try breastfeeding again when my second arrives but I’m not going to let myself get too worked up if it’s not working….I hope. Many women can breastfeed and some just can’t – it’s just the way it is and it doesn’t mean you are less of a mommy. But I hear you. :)

Becky
Becky
14 years ago

I love angry baby face…It actually makes me laugh..along with the “hissing” my 2 month old does when he is really pissed.

I second all who have said that doesn’t matter where he came from or if you are breastfeeding…it’s the love that counts!

Kaire
14 years ago

too cute and I think it’s far more important what kind of mom you are than what milk you provide. Anyone who thinks I’d be closer to my mother some how if she breastfed is on crack!

Jessie
14 years ago

I agree, completely adorable even when it looks like he’s pretty angry/sad/whatever it is that babies cry about. Could just be that I’m anxiously waiting for my own to emerge here in a few months.

Claire
14 years ago

I think he looks cute too though; my son was 2.5 weeks early so his little legs had the same wrinkly, muscle-less look to them. And now, he’s all chub.

Someone Being Me
14 years ago

I couldn’t breastfeed either due to medical issues. I can’t say I’m all that unhappy about it. I would have done it but I’m not heartbroken that I couldn’t. Although I am doing the happy dance now that Bear is transitioning off the formula and on to milk. And your baby is adorable and looks nothing like a crumpled newspaper. He looks like a perfect smooshy baby. Gah, you are going to have to stop with the pictures. My baby fever is going into overdrive. You’re killing me. I bet he even smells delicious.

Leah
14 years ago

Oh, that last pic made me giggle! Poor pissed off little guy.

Coming from a crazy hippie chick with a nursing toddler – I think you have a spectacular attitude towards your situation. Seriously, there is no point in feeling mommy guilt about something that is can’t be helped.

Boobs that work are awesome, boobs that don’t work are still very pretty, and your boys seem to be doing pretty darned good with your current parenting choices.

Marie Green
14 years ago

Here’s what I love- that photos that you took at HOME are making it to the Huggies level of approval. You ROCK at photography, as we all know, but now even Huggies says so. That is really cool and really inspiring.

Also, your baby? Your new, angry, squishy, wrinkly baby? I love him.

kelly
kelly
14 years ago

That is so cool! I always loved that you chose to document your pregnancy in such an interesting way and clearly Huggies agrees with me. Good on ya, Linda. You just keep getting more awesome. :)

TinaNZ
TinaNZ
14 years ago

Dylan is looking very feisty already, and I cannot get over those long, long fingers. I wonder if it’s like when a puppy has big paws, and you know it’s going to be great dane sized. Who does he get those hands from?

Leticia
Leticia
14 years ago

That hat is killing me! He is soooo cute. Congratulations to your a$$ and Riley for being famous. :o)

Pete
Pete
14 years ago

From a guys perspective I’m sure Breastfeeding is a lot like natural childbirth. Sounds better than it actually is. Personally I liked being able to feed our newborns, I loved that little sucking sound they make.

She Likes Purple
14 years ago

I don’t even have a baby and I MUST HAVE THAT HAT. Where from? (So cute!)

ang
ang
14 years ago

Why can’t we know what the medical condition is? You mentioned it last time with Riley and now again with Dylan. Not that I’m horrendously curious or anything. :-) I just find it surprising that you–who are so open, honest, and willing to shell out T.M.I. at any time (can I get an amen, J.B.? I’ve seen some of the stuff your woman puts out there about you) is keeping this a secret. And then I laugh at myself because it’s very freaking nosy of me to want to know. Sorry.

Now quit reading the internet and go give that wrinkly little baby a big kiss for me!

Anna
14 years ago

He is adorable, biological programming notwithstanding!!

And, baha at the title of this post. My husband, whose name starts with a “T” always insists that my initial (“A”) goes first so that people don’t laugh at us. Baha. Do I look like a total moron when I say that I didn’t know what “T & A” meant until he told me after we got married.

Dawn
Dawn
14 years ago

“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.”

Sing it sister.

“…even when your child looks like an angry, crumpled-up newspaper.”

You crack my shit up.

superblondgirl
14 years ago

Hey, awesome! I want to be in the Hanes brochure, too.

And crumpled newspaper??? He is cute! Really cute! You are not mistaken.

Alyson
14 years ago

I breastfed son #1 for a short period of time (he was too hungry all the time!)

#2 got a good six months and was my best breashfeeder.

#3 would have nothing to do with it the minute we left the hospital – talk about feeling inadequate!

“They” say that breastfed babies are healthiest, right? Then explain to me why #2 was the sickliest baby between birth and 5 years! He had a persistent a-symptomatic sinus infection for a year when he was four and is now allergic to two antibiotics because of the heavy use when he was little. So breastfeeding? Not always perfect. Besides, bottle feeding means that Dad can take some of the nighttime feedings.

squandra
squandra
14 years ago

There are valuable coupons inside … your ass! Bwahahaha.

Also, no … He really is cute when he’s doing that.

victoria
victoria
14 years ago

Dang, Linda, are his feet SUPPOSED to be that big?

Sarah
14 years ago

If you can’t breastfeed, that’s completely different from choosing not to breastfeed. So don’t worry about it at all. You’ve got to do what’s right for Dylan AND you, and you obviously are.

And that picture? You’ve got yourself an adorable Angry Little Frogman!

Sundry
14 years ago

Thanks for all the nice words, guys. To those who are nosy/curious: it may be hard to believe, but I don’t share EVERY detail of my personal life here. (You would be surprised, actually.) My blog, my disclosure policy. : )

Joanne
14 years ago

I am in week 5 of breastfeeding my second and I am here to tell you – it’s OVERRATED. People act like formula is rat poison and it is not – it’s made for babies. If you can’t, you can’t, I sometimes wish I couldn’t, especially three times in the middle of the night, when my husband is snoozing away!

And T&A = ha!

Jamie
14 years ago

I think it’s great that JB can help feed Dylan. Helps them bond, and gives you a break. I breastfed and I remember how lonely and frustrating it was that I was the only one that got up in the middle of the night, that I had to go off into another room every few hours to nurse (I wasn’t comfortable breastfeeding when there were other people around other than my husband). Breastfeeding was also very hard for me, painful, and I spent my son’s first two months crying during every single feeding.

I’ve always thought it’s something you should try, if you can. If you can’t, or just don’t want to, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. The important thing is that the baby gets fed (and Dylan is), and we are lucky enough now days to have such great formulas on the market to choose from.

Denise
14 years ago

As a non-breastfeeding mother of a 3-week old boy, I understand how you are feeling. At one point in my postpartum haze, the baby was rooting around on my shirt in search of a nipple and I tearfully (okay, it was approaching “bawlingly”) apologized to him for my failure to provide him with breast milk.

My little guy was due the day before Dylan, but ended up arriving on Jan. 19th. I feel wistful looking at your photos, as my baby is already outgrowing the scrawny, wrinkly phase and developing into a chubby Gerber baby. Which is good in its own way, but I liked the crumpled-up look.

Elizabeth
14 years ago

Um, it’s not just you, that may be the cutest baby I’ve ever seen.

jonniker
14 years ago

Dude, the whole breastfeeding thing is a big “So what?” to me. I mean, I’m not saying it isn’t wonderful, but I maintain that what’s most important is a loving home and a sane mom, and you are both. I’m so happy for you. (And like Swistle, I’m going to laugh at your statement for DAYS.)

And medical issue or not (to which I say it’s kind of none of our business if you don’t want to tell us), there are choices related to breastfeeding made for many different reasons, and since it’s SUCH a personal choice/decision, they are all, in my humble opinion, valid. A happy mom is a happy, healthy baby (within reason, of course, barring that what makes you happy is taking care of your kid and not, say, running off to have sex with strangers in closets and back alleys while the kid languishes diaperless in his crib — insert bad behavior here).

(Nothing personal Sarah, for I see what you’re saying I just … I hate that people might feel guilty reading that statement, because there are plenty of people who “chose” not to breastfeed because it was stripping them of their will to live and any shred of sanity.)

sara
sara
14 years ago

oh my god. the guilt for not breast feeding. How awful it is. I can remember HIDING to feed my baby in fear of getting the evil eye of strangers in public places. And other mamas? WHY ARE THEY SO MEAN?

My first son was in NICU and wouldn’t latch. We tried for three months. Three VERY LONG MONTHS wherein I’d try to latch him, then bottle feed him the pumped milk and then have to pump again. Only to clean it all up and start it all over again moments (it felt like) later. It was either he got boob juice, or I got my sanity. I chose sanity.

Second son latched like a freaking pro, but screamed and cried all the damn time. One day (after bf’ing him for oh, 34899485 hours straight), I decided I’d give him a bottle of the sample formula we had in the house. He quit crying. For the first time in 3 months. I’m no longer breastfeeding, obviously. ;)

Formula is NOT the debil. My oldest kid is smart and well adjusted and you can’t tell that he was not breastfed. However, had I kept doing what I was doing – I would have lost my sanity (what little I have left) and THAT would have left lasting marks on him.

Whatever works for you and your family, I says. And eff everyone else. That’s my two cents for the day.

congrats, by the way :) baby head smell = love.

(are you trying for a girl, now?!)

clarabella
14 years ago

ahh, i love those froggy feet! My son had them too. his squishy angry face is undeniably cute. don’t feel bad about laughing at him; he won’t remember.

about the breastfeeding, I can totally relate since I was unable to successfully BF my boy. I pumped diligently for 3 months, and it almost robbed me of my sanity. but i know all about the guilt feelings, and despite everyone’s encouragement, that does of course help ease the guilt, I only felt better once I sort of confronted myself and just dealt with it. Deal with it however you need to, but don’t let the guilty get to you too much. You have a wonderful loving home with two devoted and loving parents. That’s a lot more than many children get. Good luck!

kalisah
14 years ago

I think it’s cute too! Especially the way that one little pinky toe is curled over.

You take such amazing photos of him that I swear I can smell his baby smell. (I know I’ve said that before but I think it bears repeating.)

Belle
Belle
14 years ago

Many years ago, I bottle fed both of our babies because I had absolutely no interest in breastfeeding. Yes, none. And, I still wouldn’t want to if they were born today.

I know that some women (not on THIS blog, tho, because you have unusually fair and thoughtful commenters) would be ready to shoot me for that statement but so be it. I agree that it shouldn’t be a guilt-laden trip if you don’t want to or cannot.

Thanks for the great pics!

Melissa
Melissa
14 years ago

I’m not sure which comment I like the most – your analogy of him looking like crumpled newspaper, or your aunt’s saying he resembles an undercooked roast! I roared at both!

I gotta say this – don’t beat yourself up about not breastfeeding, and certainly DON’T feel like you need to make excuses to people who ask. We, as mothers, tend to be so freaking hard on one another, and it makes me sick to see how so many mothers are so judgmental of other mothers. Why can’t we just support each other instead, and pat one another on the back for all of our efforts? For crying out loud, none of us are perfect. /stepping off of my soapbox

Where I really have to correct you is with this statement: “I can’t do something that nearly every other mother on earth can do.” So not true. Breastfeeding is hard, and whenever people talk about how natural it is, that’s misunderstood to mean that it will come naturally. There are tons of women on this earth who just can’t breastfeed…and I’m not talking about those with medical limitations or even emotional hang-ups. I have two boys – my first one finally got the hang of nursing, but my second never successfully nursed. There were certain components of his mouth and of my anatomy that just didn’t make for a perfect match. While I tried to work with him to get him to learn to nurse, he lost weight at an alarming pace. So, no, it’s not something that every mother on this earth can do. Please don’t beat yourself up by even thinking things like that. (And take my word for it on the beating yourself up…I did it to myself and lived to regret the amount of time I wasted being upset that he and I couldn’t work out the whole breastfeeding deal.) /ending preachy rant now, really, I swear

Enough about that. Now, about Dylan. I LURVE how it looks in the picture like his toes on his left foot haven’t yet gotten to unfold from being squarshed in the womb. I want to nibble them off of his enormous monkey feet. nom nom nom

Nancy
Nancy
14 years ago

I just want to chomp those adorable feet! I love how they sort of fold together, along with his Monty Burns “ehhhhhhxcelent” finger touching. YOM YOM YOM. Mmmmm…..

As for the whole C-section, BF thing — big deal. You CARRIED that gorgeous child to term and brought him into the world healthy and scrunchy. What else matters?!

jonniker
14 years ago

Also Joanne’s comment made me laugh out loud.

Cassie
Cassie
14 years ago

I cannot stand all the “you HAVE to breastfeed!” BS these days. I don’t have children and I made the decision four years ago to have breast reduction surgery knowing that I may not be able to do it IF I ever have kids. Yeah selfish, but it was my decision. Considering what my honking breasts were doing to my body, I feel I made the right decision. Even if I didn’t have the surgery, I still probably would not do it. That is what formula is for!

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