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Oh dear. Katrina: The Gathering.


View from Alki Beach.





Friday, September 16, 2005

I don't want to stir up another breastfeeding brouhaha, so let me quickly say that if I could have, I would have, but it wasn't a possibility, so no debate is necessary on whether or not it's okay to use formula because in my case there was no choice, unless I wanted to buy breast milk off the internet, which seemed a dubious and horrifically expensive venture. So formula it is, and Riley's doing just fine thus far, and I am NOT wading into a political minefield on this one, mmmkay?

Jeez, that was kind of defensive. Let's offset that crabbiness with an adorable baby photo.

Awwwww. God, he is just really, really ridiculously good looking, just like Zoolander. I suppose it's theoretically possible I am not entirely capable of being objective on the subject, but I will conservatively state that I believe he may be the cutest baby in the history of the universe.

Anyway! I was going to talk about my boobs, because in addition to the contents of my son's diapers, cats in sinks, and the scientific results of going hog-fucking-wild with the caffeine after months of chaste moderation, I am obsessed with my own hooters lately.

About 3 days after Riley's birth, my breasts experienced what is called "engorgement". Essentially, they magically transformed into massive rock-hard globes that rivaled Pamela Anderson's in both circumference and general outrageousness. If I'd ever wondered what my chest might look like with enormous porn titties, I had my answer: frightening. Even my stretchiest maternity shirts took one look at my gigundo rack and said "Sorry man...there's just no way."

For the few days that I was sporting the Z-cups, I had to sleep flat on my back - tipping sideways threatened to disturb the delicate agreement my breasts and I had come to: I would leave them be to figure out the no-demand = no-production situation, and in turn they wouldn't EXPLODE on contact. (Oh, and sleeping on your back while also taking a codeine narcotic? Causes the kind of big blubbery loud-ass snores normally heard only from elephant seals or very old dogs. My body, it was a wonderland.) JB would curl up next to me in bed and I'd involuntarily blurt "Eep! Don't touch! Don't touch!", which I can assure you takes all the potential sexiness right out of having soccer-ball-sized boobs, assuming there was any to begin with.

Now they've reduced back to a pre-pregnancy size, with what I must sadly admit is a loss in the gravity department. While I can now sleep on my stomach (Calloo! Callay!), the remaining problem is one of errant and unpredictable leakage. I hate the way breast pads feel - itchy, so very itchy - and I'm generally sick of having absorbent things stuck to my various parts, so I'm free-balling (so to speak) rather than Taking Precautions. 22 hours out of the day there's nothing happening above the waist, so I think I'm in the clear, until I look down and see the wet spot growing over my right nipple; a sure-fire visual distraction if you're, say, standing in line at Starbucks ("Just black for me, thanks, I've got my own milk"). So basically I spend a lot of time checking for seepage, and as I discovered while en route to a doctor's appointment yesterday, apparently I have no qualms whatsoever about thrusting a hand under my shirt and vigorously groping myself in public. Dear I-5 truck driver: despite the Tom Leykis-inspired plea scrawled on the back of your trailer, I was NOT, in fact, participating in "Flash Friday".


JB is back at work now, and thus I am officially a hausfrau. I spend my days participating in an Ouroboros-loop of feedings and diaper changes; sometimes there are long, luxurious nap breaks and I can shower and futz around online and run the vacuum, and sometimes I have to declare pigtails a fashion Do and kick dog-hair tumbleweeds under the couch because His Lord Majesty the Squirm King has been active, like, forever, and can I just call bullshit on how newborns sleep '20 hours a day' because dude, it's a LIE.

There are times when it's all a little tiresome, like when a feeding takes forty bazillion hours and involves Exorcist-style formula re-appearances, or when Riley's grumpiness is caused by no known factor and leaving him to grouse to himself in his bassinet makes me feel horrible but nothing else works, or when it's quiet and peaceful and yet I find myself thinking "Well, now what should I do with myself?"

But all the cliches are true - it's worth it, every idle instance, every spitup stain, every steam of urine that hits me directly in the eye because I forgot to put a washcloth over his penis during a change (think about that when your ultrasound reveals that It's a Boy!). I wouldn't trade this time for anything, Riley is changing every day and becoming a little more aware, a little more complicated, and I'm humbled, amazed, and so grateful. I don't want to miss a moment.

Plus, when you're home by yourself there's no one to see you rooting around under your bra OR eating Golden Grahams dipped in chocolate pudding for lunch. Oh, la vie!

(This wasn't quite a "real" smile yet, but close enough for government work, don't you think?)

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