Monday, August 30, 2010

Aching Love Celebrates

I wrote this poem for a friend as she celebrated and remembered her 4 babies born prematurely. One she holds here and 3 she holds now only in her heart. Grace is the name of the daughter that survived. Recently, 2 more wonderful families I know have gone through pregnancy loss and my heart aches for them as well. I have changed the words some to fit more moms that have experienced pregnancy loss, stillbirths, or premature little ones that did not make it. With this I honor all my friends that have lost children far too early and remember theirs and my own 3 pregnancy losses.

Aching Love Celebrates

by Jessica Martin-Weber

Sweet hope, please stay

This path you trod, do not take

If I could spare you with my fragile breath

I would not hesitate





Love is breathing

Songs to sing

Wishes can not replace

The loves taken wing

Grace is but a gift

One imagines not to hold

But in the eyes of Grace we see

Joy and Grief, elegant and bold

Aching love celebrates

What some pretend is not

Empty womb knows true

Arms missing burdens lost

From her body early denied

In her heart they still survive

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Leaky B@@b Tube- NIP with layers and standing

I'm embracing my new found lactivist status by posting a video of me breastfeeding. This is moving beyond the photos, right?

Just some information.

My cup size is around a C give or take depending on how full I am.

I'm not sure why the video is so grainy.

Smunchie is just a few days shy of 8 months in this video and about 16 pounds.

Our adorable shirts come from Paper Mama.

I'm breastfeeding her standing up and would walk around just like this while out.

I am not wearing any clothing specifically designed for breastfeeding, not even my bra.

For this technique to work well, the bottom layer needs to have a stretchy neck-line.

You don't have to show even as much b@@b as I do this way.

That strange positioning thing I do when she's already latched is my bizarre obsession with making sure her ear isn't folded over while she's nursing. I know, really strange.

I don't usually glow like that, this video could be called "The outdoor breastfeeding sauna" thanks to the 100+ temps and over the top humidity. The camera lens kept fogging up. No, seriously.

Our adorable shirts are from Paper Mama.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Through the eyes of a child

For World Breastfeeding Week I was excited to host "Perspectives: Breastfeeding through Children's Eyes Art Prject." The original plan was to take submissions for a week and then select one to be printed on note cards, a collaboration with Paper Mama, the sales of which would go to benefit Best For Babes Foundation. We were and are all super excited. But we want more submissions.

In an effort to get more submissions, we're going to extend the contest deadline to September 15th. We have some great submissions so far and love seeing how your little ones view breastfeeding. We are looking forward to even more. Spread the word and ask your little ones to share their artistic expressions of their perspective of breastfeeding!

To submit, send a scanned copy of a high quality photograph of your child's piece to theleakyboob @ by September 15th with your child's first name, age and anything they had to say about breastfeeding and their submission. You may submit as many as you'd like.

We are looking forward to all of the submissions and hope to help a good cause and I'd love to show that children seeing breastfeeding is not a sexually perverted act and is in fact a positive in not only the lives of the mothers and babies but the children exposed to such beautiful nurturing as well.

Milk on Tap

Don't mess with a girl and her mama milk.

Years ago I would never have imagined I'd wear a shirt that talked about or supported breastfeeding. The most words I ever wore on a shirt were band names and even then I only liked band t-shirts that weren't obvious. Comfort, above all else, was what I liked, it was nice if it looked good too.

So you'd never guess what my new favorite shirt is.

A plain organic cotton t-shirt and all it has is words! Smunchie and I have a darling set from Paper Mama, mine says "Milk on Tap" and has, well, a tap. Smunchie's says "I get mine straight from the tap" and also has a tap. Scrumptiously soft, Smunchie and I get to show our enthusiasm for breastfeeding and our sense of humor. It's like a win-win.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, way too many pictures.

I love how she's signing milk while she gets it straight from the tap.

Here at The Leaky B@@b we've got fresh milk on tap. Smunchie gets it fresh from the source just like her shirt says. If you like our shirts and want some too or something like them, check out the Paper Mama online shop. In case you're interested in the amber necklaces Smunchie and I are both wearing, you can find those at Paper Mama as well. Tucked into our package of shirts was a set of beautiful, high quality, glossy print "Thank you for nursing in public" cards as well. I immediately stuck several in my wallet, I haven't gotten to hand any out yet but I can't wait to. Thanks Jephtha, we love our shirts and the cards!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh My Gosh... I'm a LACTIVIST!

Hi, my name is Jessica and I'm a lactivist. To everyone else this has probably been obvious for a long time but this is the first time I'm admitting this fact in a public setting. I'm not sure how it happened really. In my head it was a sudden shift that came out of nowhere and has caught me by surprise. Is that my voice? Is that MY voice? I ask when I hear myself speaking about breastfeeding... again. One day I was a normal, level-headed, regular person and then the next I was talking about breastfeeding all the time, crazy-advocate and a *gasp* real lactivist. There was a time when I read literature on breastfeeding and responded with small nods and "Hm, that's interesting" but now I'm pounding the table yelling "Preach it sistah!" I've even introduced myself as "Hi, I'm Jessica, The Leaky B@@b."

No, seriously, I have.

What the...? How did that happen?

*Freak out*

In reality the shift was probably gradual. Sure, there were some monumental, no-turning-back moments such as when I decided I wanted have my babies at home or when I became a student midwife, but since nobody would ever have described me as level-headed in the first place, maybe I wasn't that far off from the beginning. The funny thing is, when it comes to feeding babies, I actually think I'm more level-headed now than I ever was.

How do I know I'm a lactivist? Well, there are some tell-tale signs that I can no longer deny in myself. So I now bring you:

You might be a lactivist if...
  • You read every article on breastfeeding you come across. Even if you already know everything it says. Maybe even if you've read it before. You can't help it, you have to read them and your significant other is likely going to get an earful about what you read regardless if the tone of the article was positive or negative.
  • You don't flinch, blush or feel even a little awkward with words like "breast," "boobs," "nipple," "areola," "bra," etc. Around anyone, ever. You may not even care where you say them. It is common to say them often.
  • You have to resist the urge to applaud a woman breastfeeding in public. Or smile broadly at her while staring. Or hug her. Or point her out to, oh, everyone. Or stalk her, just a little.
  • Little gets you hotter than another story in the news about a woman and her baby being asked to leave an establishment while breastfeeding or invited to breastfeed in the bathroom. Seriously, the bathroom? It's been said before but you'll say it again; would YOU want to eat in the bathroom? Didn't think so. What is wrong with people having an issue with a baby eating? You will go on and on and on about this to anyone willing to listen and sometimes, even those that aren't.
  • Talking with someone that has just had a baby you don't hesitate to ask "how's breastfeeding going?" You don't actually know if they are breastfeeding but you assume they are. And if things aren't going well you're ready to spring into action to help. Your baby gift is a pair of the softest reusable breast pads, a tube of lanolin, a water bottle and a boppy.
  • The idea of someone touching your breast or you touching someone else's breast to assist with breastfeeding a newborn is like, so whatever. Since that's what b@@bs are for, it's no big deal any more. You might even forget that it still is a big deal for others and inadvertently make new moms uncomfortable. Got to work on that.
  • You have downloaded and printed or purchased "Thank you for breastfeeding in public" cards to hand out to breastfeeding moms you spot while out and about. And you use them too. There are some in your purse, your glove box, your diaper bag, the back pocket of your jeans, and your kids backpack. You consider it a good day if you got to hand out a few at the mall.
  • There are at least 2 Facebook groups you follow about breastfeeding and Twitter too. Maybe even a forum or two. You check often and share lots of links and stories. Reading the stories others post there is addicting and before you know it you've spent hours reading about breastfeeding. All for the cause, all for the cause.
  • You get home from a trip to the zoo and post on a FaceBook wall how many women you saw NIP while you were out. Probably on one of those pages but maybe even your own private Facebook. This doesn't seem strange to you at all, after all, how else are we going to normalize breastfeeding? Seeing mothers NIP should be celebrated, you're just doing your part. Nothing crazy about that!
  • You have taken pictures of yourself breastfeeding. Or had your partner or older child snap a few for you. It's real serious if you've had a breastfeeding sitting with a professional photographer. Is it framed and on your wall? Is there a piece of breastfeeding art, photograph or other, that isn't of you? Why not, right? It's beautiful and natural. In fact, you probably have more pictures of you breastfeeding, most likely of just your chest, arm and little one, than of you actually looking at the camera or doing any thing else.
  • You have shared pictures of yourself breastfeeding online. On those groups or forums. Or your own blog. Even better if it's your profile image on a social networking site or discussion board. You're a proud breastfeeder! Breastfeeding is not obscene Facebook! You probably even "liked" the Facebook page that says that.
  • You know what the World Breastfeeding Symbol is and you have used it either online or in real life. Do you have a bag or shirt with it? Does your baby? A car decal? Or is it part of your profile pic? Yeah? You've got it bad baby. If you ever happen to see the symbol in a business you'll probably hug the shop owner.
  • You know when World Breastfeeding Week is and you get a little giddy when it rolls around every year. Events are planned, give-aways are entered, and lactation cookies are baked. You know what organization is doing what, where and when and you plan on being there. That is, if you didn't organize it yourself. You probably even got a special shirt for the occasion. Maybe even learned a dance.
  • You don't like Nestle and avoid buying Nestle products. Even if your favorite candy is Butterfinger. The fact that the BlogHer conference was sponsored by Nestle really bothered you and you even asked your favorite blogger how they could participate. When Halloween rolls around you debate digging through the kid's loot to find the Nestle products and throw them away. Except for the Butterfingers, you eat those rationalizing that at least you didn't pay for them.
  • Covering for breastfeeding to you means making sure your belly, back and sides are covered but you don't worry about who may catch a brief glimpse of a little b@@b. In fact, you have mixed feelings about breastfeeding covers. Whatever helps a woman feed her baby is great but should we be hiding breastfeeding? It's complicated and you're just happy for breastfeeding in public at all. Personally, you just don't want your flab showing.
  • Breastfeeding past a year is normal, passed 2 common and over 3 no biggie. It's the people that have a problem with it that are weird. You know that the global average age for weaning is age 4 so people just need to get over themselves since breastmilk doesn't suddenly turn to water after a certain age. It's not like there is an expiration date on breastfeeding, sheesh.
  • The Kelly Mom, Best for Babes, Dr. Jack Newman, La Leche League, and other breastfeeding websites are bookmarked on your computer. You also have a considerable breastfeeding library which you loan out often. In fact, you bought several copies of your favorite breastfeeding book to have on hand to give to new moms. You do so with excitement and a list of those websites and don't even notice your partner throwing a breastfeeding-cover-apron-thingy over his head while you jabber on excitedly. When you do notice you give him a "Thank you for NIP" card.
  • You can name at least 3 celebrities that breastfed. You might even know how many kids and how long they breastfed. But you're not sure what movies or TV shows they are from and maybe have never even seen them in anything or know why they are even celebrities at all.
  • Science comes out with new information that breastfeeding has "new" health benefits for mom and/or baby and you say "duh." The information is good to know, you're glad they've done research but it just seems kind of obvious that feeding as nature intended would be a good thing, right?
  • You meet someone for the first time in a non-breastfeeding related environment and you somehow are talking about breastfeeding within 20 minutes. You know if they were breastfed, if they did or intend to breastfeed, how long, what they've read, if they are aware of your favorite breastfeeding resources, etc. Later you may not remember their name but you'll be able to confidently greet them with "You breastfed your youngest for 16 months, of course I remember you!" This applies to men too.
  • You think maybe Gisele was on to something. Even if you don't exactly agree with what she said or that it could even happen you can totally understand it and even secretly wish it was possible. You're cautious about saying that anywhere but can't help wonder "what if...?"
  • The phrases "if breastfeeding offends you put a blanket over your head" and "if breastfeeding is sexual then a bottle is a dildo" make you laugh and you really, really want to share them somewhere. You probably have too. And you know more and have come up with a few of your own. They are what go through your head when having conversations with anti-breastfeeding types. Sometimes they even come flying out of your mouth.
  • Your children think feeding babies with bottles is weird. In their minds the only reason to do so is because something is wrong or the mother is unavailable and then it would be expressed breastmilk. They may not even know what formula is.
  • It is strange that you haven't typed or said "breastfeeding" in one full day. Woah, how did that happen? You must have been sick.
  • Out on a date your partner asks if you could talk about something other than breastfeeding for a little bit. Whether you were talking about you breastfeeding, someone else breastfeeding, breastfeeding in the news, or something else, you didn't even realize you were until he asked to change the subject. It just seemed... normal.
  • You want to replace the slogan "breast is best" with "breast is normal." You've thought long and hard about this and you're ready to change the world. Breastfeeding is normal!
  • After reading an online article about breastfeeding in public harassment incidents, you read through the comments and respond to every uneducated reply posted. You only walk away after you realize your blood pressure is through the roof. And in search of some chocolate.

Recognize yourself at all in any of these? Know anyone that fits these? I bet you could add some too, share yours in the comments here so I know I'm not alone.

Ladies and gentlemen, Hi, I'm Jessica, The Leaky B@@b and I'm a lactivist.

Now... I need some chocolate. Or maybe some baby kisses. Or both.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lucky Mother, I

I have been wanting to write some prose about breastfeeding for a while. My first few attempts were awkward and forced. As I honored and processed a few difficult events including the anniversary of a particular suffering for our family, the passing away of a 15 year old former student and son of friends of ours, the stage 4 cancer diagnoses of a young woman friend of ours about to get married and honoring the memory of 3 babies born to a friend 9 years ago that didn't survive, a feeling of fierce protection welled up within me. Every time I sat down to breastfeed Smunchie my heart would pound with longing to protect my children and my thoughts for prose kept turning to this feeling. Though our own past as a family has shown me I can't protect them completely from everything forever, I can do this. Offering the protection of my milk is something I can do right now and I feel so blessed as a mother to be able to guard my children this way. Down the road my milk won't be the comfort and protection they need but right now, for my youngest, it is exactly what she needs. This poem came out of these thoughts.

Baby sigh
Contentment breathed
Lips slumber's smile keep
Cupids bow stretched
In this moment
I hold you safe
Guarded by my arms
Flowing into you
Filling me

Whispers at my breast
Security expressed
Today I can protect you
A love you can taste
Would it to last forever
And never be replaced

Try, I said I'd try
Afraid that I would fail
But now I'd fail a thousand times
If it meant you could prevail
Someday you'll fight alone
The lions on the prowl
But in this moment I press on
Slaying lions to the ground

Science may support this
As a great thing that I do
But for me it is no greater
Than simply loving you

I offer time and again
In mystery and awe
Part of me redefined
For beauty so small
Once, you inside me
Now I in you
Vulnerable action
The risk of love true
Melding together I find
I am yours
And you are mine

Pain, oh yes, pain
But I traveled through
Pain and back
Just to hold you
And when my breast
You no longer require
I will remember
Like a burning fire
Searching mouth
Gentle hands
Satisfied smiles
Safe, I held you
If for but a time
Safe, I fed you
Lucky mother, I.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I'd Like to Make a Withdrawal, Please

My friend Karen is such an incredible mother, giving everything she can for her daughters. Her story brings tears to my eyes and reminds me why I pump and donated my milk. I am honored to be bringing you this guest post.

Breast is best, and natural they tell me. Breastfeeding is apparently what these boobs I have been burdened with since a young age are made for . . . but my boobs didn't get the memo. After working through some issues, I tried to breastfeed with my second child. But they would have none of it. There were three fundamental problems: 1) no milk, 2) faulty design and 3) lack of support. This led me with only 1 option, I had to make a withdrawal from the local milk bank.

I spent the entire first trimester of my pregnancy hooked up to an iv to sustain bare minimal hydration and nutrition thanks to a pregnancy disease known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). There were times when it took 5 nurses 8 attempts in over an hour to get an iv started. They called in the big guns, the nurse they sweared could ALWAYS get an iv started. Ah, but my body, it was bound and determined to foil even she. So finally they put in a port, sent me home and a nurse came to my house every 3 days to check it and change the location if needed. My wonderful husband set his alarm clock for 3 a.m. so he could wake up and change my iv bags. In my third trimester, I was hospitalized another 3 times for extreme dehydration. So it shouldn't be surprising, but it was emotionally devastating, when I tried to breastfeed and simply couldn't. Apparently, in basic math terms, 9 months of extreme dehydration=no milk.

The faulty design problem became apparent when it turned out there was no nipple for the baby to attach to. A lactation consultant was called in to, well, consult. She walked in, tore open my hospital gown with no announcement or, better yet, permission and declared, "yep, you have flat nipples." Nice. Since I had given birth the day before Thanksgiving, everyone seemed more in a rush to make pies than to help a struggling mother so their basic advice was to pump as it would help bring the nipple out and the baby could create a latch. So I sent my husband to the store and he bought a pump and we were on our own for the next few days.

So here I was, trying to breastfeed and my days went something like this: Feed the baby for over an hour, because she wasn't really get any milk. Pump for two hours, and get half an ounce. Feed the baby for over an hour. Pump for two. All I did was feed and pump, pump and feed. And cry. Remember that excellent husband I mentioned above, here he made a misstep. One day as I cried about it all, he suggested that maybe I was doing it wrong. Or was, in subtler but no less stinging words, a failure - and maybe I should just give up.

Our pediatrician wrote me a prescription for a medical grade pump, which failed to deliver on its promise quite frankly. And the lactation consultants, there is apparently only one in our county, failed to return the messages I left over Thanksgiving weekend. We were, as they say, winging it - and quite unsuccessfully at that. Then, the unimaginable happened, my baby developed severe GERD. There were frequent trips to Children's hospital (seizure like episodes, apnea that resulted in her turning blue) and the recommendation was that we try changing formulas (we were supplementing as we tried to navigate our bfing nightmare). In the end, we had to use an amino acid based formula to minimize her symptoms that she is quite frankly still struggling from at 20 months.

In all of this, I did a ton of research, which is where I stumbled upon the idea of a breast milk bank. What a glorious idea I thought. I wanted my baby to get the health benefits of breastmilk but couldn't deliver traditional, but now there appeared to be a nontraditional way for me to help my baby get what was best. So I called the nearest big city hospital and due to my baby's feeding issues it was determined that I would qualify to purchase breastmilk with a prescription from my doctor. My doctor was a little more fuzzy on the idea: He was worried about sanitariness. And of course since my baby appeared to have food allergies, well - that was a different concern. But in the end we all agreed that I really, really wanted my baby to have the health benefits of breastmilk and it couldn't hurt to try.

Well, it did hurt my pocket book. Donor breastmilk was almost as expensive as the amino acid based formula I had to buy. In the end, we could only afford to give her 1 6 ounce bottle a day for about 3 months. But, they say that a little is better than none and I hope that is true. My secret hope is that the antibodies from the breastmilk helped to make her food allergies less severe. I will say that despite her incredible issues with food (I mentioned she has incredible issues with food, right?)- she has had no other types of illness. No flu. No colds. No croup. A couple of ear infections that didn't require treatment, but that was more than likely from the food allergies.

Since donated breastmilk from a hospital bank is pasteurized, there is some question as to how the antibodies compare to unpastuerized breast milk. But again, I am going with the some is better than none theory unless science comes back and tells me differently. I have heard that some moms are able to get donated milk from someone they know that is unpasteurized making this a moot point. I did the best that I could do for my baby - and I hope that other moms will have the opportunity.

To tell the truth this isn't really that bizarre of a concept - when the Earthquake in China killed many of its citizens a couple of years ago, one of the stories that came out was about how one woman breastfed some of the orphaned babies to keep them alive. Imagine the generosity involved in giving not only of your nutrients, but your time and body in this way.

I am very thankful to the women that donated breastmilk to the bank I used. And now I encourage everyone who can to do so. There are many medical reasons why a woman may be unable to breastfeed, and donated milk can help their babies get the gift and benefits of breastfeeding. Do research to determine where a milk bank near you is and sign up to be a donor - it was such a blessing to my family, and it will be to many more. I am not the only woman who is looking to make a withdrawal.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Tardy WBW 2010 Perspectives blog-carnival wrap up

"Why are you always on the computer now? I thought we were going to do something special while Earth Baby and The Storyteller were at camp?"

Lolie's beautiful blue eyes were wide with expectation, waiting to hear what had to be a good answer from me.

Lolie, 7 years

Generally, I'm very careful about my time and protect the routine for me and my children. Though I'm not attending births right now which does make it a little easier, when I am, knowing it could be thrown off at any second means holding onto whatever rhythm I can is crucial. That, and I like to really be with my kids. Whenever I get really busy I hear the words to Harry Chapin's Cat's in the Craddle spinning through my head. Since I don't want that to be me, no matter what it was I was doing, I strive to find a balance.

Looking at Lolie and knowing the answer to her question the frustration of having just lost the carnival post full of links and information suddenly melted away. In the light of Loli's frustration with me not being available I realized that my explanation of "It's World Breastfeeding Week and I'm running a blog carnival and lots of give-aways!" sounded weak to even my grown-up mind. No way my 7 year old was going to give a rats' rear-end about World Breastfeeding Week, young lactivist though she may be. I had promised cupcakes and her sisters had been gone for 3 days already.

So, dear reader, I closed my laptop. Quite frankly, she matters more than a blog carnival, she matters more than World Breastfeeding Week, even. I knew you all would survive and were probably busy with your own lives on a Saturday. And I knew you would understand. Though I no longer comfort or nourish this child at my breast, I do comfort and nourish her with my time and attention. We curled up together, lap top pushed aside, with a book we had started and read for an hour. We painted toe and finger nails. We turned on Regina Specktor and danced like crazy. We played wii for hours- something we never permit in our normal family rhythm- and she profoundly creamed me in Mariocart. We went out to a fancy-shmancy frozen yogurt boutique. We said farewell to her god-parents for the next 3 months until they come home from London for Christmas. We made lactation cookies. We sighed and giggled after sliding around in socks on the hardwood floors. We built towns of blocks with farms and watch-towers. We set-up the slip-n'-slide. We attended a ball in our living room complete with play silks and gowns and danced to Rachmoninov's 3rd piano concerto. We drank iced tea out of china tea cups because with the summer Houston temperatures we didn't want hot tea. We watched a movie and I didn't even multi-task, she cuddled with 3 of my girls. We went to the thrift store and found cheap treasures. We hit the grocery store and planned a fancy dinner. She reveled in being the biggest big sister and not a little sister. As my helper, she took charge when needed and entertained a tired, melting-down Squiggle Bug for us to make it through the grocery store. When I sat down to breastfeed Smunchie she asked if I needed my computer. I told her no, I just needed her and she beamed at me, grabbed a book and got as close to me as she could without knocking Smunchie off my lap and breast and she read me a story about a boy with a loose tooth. After finishing her story she stroked Smunchie's fuzz and asked me if she breastfed like that. I told her yes she did.

People, it was good. It was better than a 1000 comments on any post ever.

Lolie, 7 years old

And I realized something. The most important thing I did for World Breastfeeding Week was step away from my computer and spend time with my daughter.

So now I bring you the late finale to our blog carnival.

The Piano Man managed to squeeze in some time to write some of his thoughts on breastfeeding; Mammaries... I mean, Memories. I'm not actually sure when he did it, honestly but when he read it to me I teared up. He shared a memory of seeing his mom breastfeed his little sister and I have now made a mental note to write or call my mother in law to thank her. Again.

Our second guest post is another beautiful and moving story. We've had so many this week and I'm thrilled to share another that is honest, inspiring and full of a mother's desperate love. Breast Nurturing: A Relactating Story.

I've really enjoyed all of the bloggers that participated in the carnival. There were new-to-me bloggers and some I've been reading for a while. I hope you found some to follow, their voices offering unique perspectives on life that both challenge you and help you know you're not alone.

Re-Normalizing Breastfeeding: A first step for life-long health- Looking solely at breastfeeding from a health perspective, Kirstin muses about the long term impact of breastfeeding vs. formula feeding. Kirstin is mother to one with another on the way, she says she's learning to be a little crunchier everyday. She blogs at My Belly Blog.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!
- A personal journey that leads to discovering the joy of breastfeeding. I so appreciated Laura's honest telling of her breastfeeding experience, ups, downs, and in betweens. Laura is a SAHM who throughly enjoys catching bugs, splashing in the pool and eating popsicles with her 16 month old son Aiden and I just love the title of her blog: Blissed Out Baby.

Swimming Upstream- Becky didn't see a lot of breastfeeding before she had children and entered breastfeeding her son pretty much alone. Her story and dreams of a world where breastfeeding moms have support is inspiring. Becky is a wife and mom of two little ones, striving to keep order in her home who is enjoying her new found hobby of blogging... somewhere in the desert.

So It Has Been A While. Your Point?
- Alex's hubby hijacked her blog and wrote a great post sharing his thoughts on breastfeeding! Hearing from men on breastfeeding twice in one day is a perfect way to ring out World Breastfeeding Week, don't you think? Even if it is a little late.

Our children's art project, Perspectives: Breastfeeding Through Children's Eyes was planned to wrap up tomorrow but to give more time for more submissions (and we already have so many great ones!) we're extending it through the rest of the month. As August is National Breastfeeding Month this is a fitting time for kids to be creative about breastfeeding. Send submissions to theleakyboob @ theleakyboob {dot} com.

Hope you all enjoyed the blog carnival. I'd love to hear which blog posts and guests posts touched you. Leave me a comment sharing what encouraged, inspired and connected with you from this week. Thanks you all for a wonderful World Breastfeeding Week celebration and I hope you understand why this wrap up is tardy.

Loli holding the Rollie-Pollies that earned her nick-name.

Breast Nurting: A Re-lactation Story

For our WBW blog carnival on "Perspectives: Breastfeeding From Every Angle" we are pleased to host guest posts from various contributors. Today we hear the perspective on breastfeeding from Rachel, a mom that re-lactated after medical reasons led her to wean very early. Rachel has a re-lactating blog chronicling her journey.

When my son was almost 4 weeks old, I began my relactation journey. I stocked up on medication, supplements, information and support. You see, he was formula fed at one week old. I was hospitalised overnight with severe anxiety attacks and extreme insomnia when he was 6 days old and was not in a state to breastfeed so he was given formula feeds.

I then allowed my milk to dry up as I focused on getting better mentally. After finding out that I had lost my first pregnancy early in the second trimester, I understandably was anxious during my second pregnancy and beyond. As a result, I had postnatal depression & anxiety all surrounding the fear of losing my son and not being a 'good enough' Mumma to him.

I so desperately missed breastfeeding - not only for all of the health benefits to him and myself but because I loved it.

I started being very conscious of eating well, drinking loads of fluids, resting, and nursing him as often as possible. He would latch on but got increasingly frustrated because I was producing next-to-no milk. I was taking several galactologues and started pumping regularly. I stayed in contact with a lactation consultant and ordered a Supplementary Nursing System. Some beautiful, generous Mummas are donated expressed breastmilk to us as well.

To say I was determined is an understatement.

I was so blessed to have a cooperative baby and an extremely supportive husband. I went from expressing literally a couple of mLs from both breasts at a time to
producing more than enough breastmilk (750 mL in a 24 hour period) in just seventeen days!

Getting my supply back was only half the battle. It was then a matter of getting him back to the breast. 11 days later, after much frustration and a few meltdowns (from both him and I) my baby boy had his first of many feeds from the breast... and we haven't looked back. That was over 5 months ago and my 'boobah' loving baby boy is so happy.

It was trying, don't get me wrong. I had to hand express at first and expressing so regularly and constantly was draining both physically and emotionally. I had all the normal duties of a first time Mum to contend with alongside postnatal anxiety, an exhaustive pumping schedule, painful nipples (hello nipple thrush, meet hospital grade double breast pump), the financial cost and it was so time consuming. But it was beyond worth it.

I spent most of my free time (hah! Free time with a tiny baby?) researching relactation on the internet. I searched for success stories, blogs, articles, anything that would tell me that it was not only possible but that it was worth it. At one point I remember saying I just want someone to come to me from the future and tell me that this will all be worth it. Well, it is. It really really is.

I didn't just want to breast-feed. I wanted to breast-nurture. I am a relactation success story. I just want to be a voice for relactation to say that it is achievable and gaining back our breastfeeding relationship has been so very rewarding.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mammaries...I mean Memories...

A few weeks ago I had invited The Piano Man to contribute something for World Breastfeeding Week. It didn't seem like he was going to have the time but he surprised me with this and I'm so glad he did. A guest post by The Piano Man, the greatest support a Leaky B@@b like me could ever ask for.

The Piano Man and Squiggle Bug Fall 2009

It’s fascinating to me how perspectives vary from culture to culture, region to region, or even from person to person; how you can discover that you have so much in common with someone who lives half-way around the world, or surprisingly opposite views with a close childhood friend or family member. I’m not sure how much of the way I see the world fits with each of the different cultures (and subcultures) I’ve been a part of - French, American, family, conservative christian, liberal christian, secular university, classical music, etc. It is a complex tapestry of many sources and I won’t try to unweave it here to show where various threads find their origin. I wish to simply share some of the impressions, memories and thoughts that come to mind when I think about breastfeeding.

The first memory that pops into my head is that of a church potluck in France, where I grew up. This particular gathering happened to take place in my backyard. It was a beautiful afternoon, sunny, not too warm, and we had plenty of shade from the trees we had in our yard. Lunch was over and my Sunday school teacher’s baby girl communicated it was her turn to eat. A short asian woman, her mother was my teacher throughout my middle school years, and was always so full of wisdom. In the most relaxed way, she just put her baby to her breast and met her baby’s need in what struck me as a very natural, unceremonious way. I was very aware, in my junior high state, that breasts also serve sexual purposes, but in that moment they were intended for something much more meaningful.

The Chateau by The Piano Man's childhood house (seriously, this was basically his backyard).

I am aware that my mother breastfed all 4 of her kids, but being the third, I have virtually no mammaries - sorry, memories - of it. Sorry, our neighbor across the street has made mention of a certain man’s club nearby (I refuse to associate the word “gentleman” with it) called Memories, and every time he does he slips up and says “Mammaries” instead, which, ironically, while pointing out just what type of club it is, also completely desexualizes it for me.

As I was saying, one of the only memories I have of my mother breastfeeding happened a couple of days after my little sister was born. Back then, in France, kids were not allowed in Labor and Delivery, but my Dad figured out a way for us kids to meet our newest sibling. My mother’s room was on the ground floor and looked out over a grassy area right outside her window. I remember the ground having steep hills, but perhaps they were steeper to me as a 5 year old than they would be for me now. Steep grassy hills would be something that would stick in a young child’s memory. So we walked quietly up one of the hills, admonished by our father not to disturb the other patients with loud voices. When we arrived at the top, we approached an open window and looked into a white room where my Mom was sitting up in bed, holding a bundled baby to her chest. I was afraid to get too close, acutely aware of how unwelcome I was at the hospital. The room seemed very uninviting to me, all white, sterile, with a hint of pink which must have been the blanket my little sister was wrapped in. My mother looked very tired and happy, gently holding our newborn in nursing position. Perhaps seeing my little sister breastfed contributed to my positive views on breastfeeding, having it modeled in such a comfortable environment by people I loved and trusted.

Oh to be sure, I also developed a "healthy" sexual view of breasts as well. They are one of the most obvious physical differences between men and women, and I think it’s in those differences that our fascination and curiosity with the opposite sex start. My wife, Jessica, and I have had many conversations about why men have such an obsession with breasts. For brevity’s sake, I’ll share just a few of my thoughts on the matter. The aforementioned obsession appears to be an American one. Nowhere else in the world does there appear to be such a preoccupation with body image. We could spend all day listing off examples (like how I am assailed by images of perfect bodies every time I visit the grocery store). Breasts are primarily and almost exclusively perceived as sexual in the US. In complete contrast, Jessica mentioned an article where some women belonging to an African tribe where women don’t cover their breasts were interviewed, and they laughed out loud at the thought of grown men being into breasts, the idea being so foreign to them, in fact, that their reaction was to picture men wanting to breastfeed like babies! I place myself somewhere in between these two extremes.

Jessica, Squiggle Bug and The Piano Man, December 2008

The Piano Man feeding Smunchie a bottle of Mommy-milk, March 2010

Seriously, our culture has this sexual-only view of breasts so ingrained in its psyche that I wonder how our babies would survive if formula suddenly disappeared! What a major adjustment that would be in our way of thinking!

The Piano Man providing support in labor, December 2009

When we had our first child, Jessica and I discussed what we would do to feed our baby. Though breastfeeding seemed the natural choice to me, I was also acutely aware that it was Jessica, not me, that would be the one to sacrifice her time, her convenience, her desire for solitude and privacy, in order to give of herself physically to her baby, facing discomfort, frustration at times, and even pain. I realized that the benefits would be hers as well, the closeness and intimacy, the cuddles, the many many moments that would become beautiful memories, and more. But as I wasn’t equipped to make that sacrifice myself - that commitment, if that’s a more comfortable term - I was in no position to demand that she do what I thought was best. Fortunately, we live in an era where there are other options available. (It just now struck me that if formula weren’t available, there really wouldn’t be much of a decision to make for most people!) As to the view that her breasts were “mine,” if they cannot fulfill both functions in the same season (I’m sure I don’t have to tell any of you that this isn’t a problem for many women!), assuming that they are meant for both, then to me it comes down to pitting the distinct benefits of breastfeeding for our baby (and for her mother too!) - her NEED - against my desire to enjoy her breasts for my pleasure (and hers too!) - a WANT. Need VS. want. Need I say more? After arriving at that conclusion, it was just a matter of deciding how long Jessica would breastfeed, a decision that I felt was Jessica’s to make, and which she has reassessed with every baby. My role has been to support these decisions and provide encouragement in every way I can.

I had planned to write something light and sweet, but I guess I have some pretty strong opinions on the matter! But I’ll finish with light and sweet. My favorite part of Jessica breastfeeding our babies, health benefits and all other arguments aside, is how darn adorable they are together. The sweet communion they share, those tender cuddles (I admit I am a big fan of cuddling!), the milk-heavy smiles; those moments they share where they obviously draw into each other a little further, getting closer beyond the skin to skin, in those moments, when I take a moment to observe, I feel myself getting drawn in as well, to both of them, and it. is. beautiful.

Friday, August 6, 2010


World Breastfeeding Week is almost over and we have Friday Happy Hour to celebrate!

And this time, there are 3 totally awesome, totally beautiful give-aways for Happy Hour. The theme? Art! In honor of the children's art project, Perspectives: Breastfeeding Through Children's Eyes to benefit Best For Babes our TGIF Happy Hour give-aways are 2 prints and a children's "Keep Me Busy Note Pad" set.

Without further ado:

1) Katie M. Berggren already did a Happy Hour give-away with us this week and today we have another winner's choice 8x10 print to give away.

2) Another talented mom-artist, Kate Hansen already has a give-away up and running here on the blog but agreed to do another one for Happy Hour on Facebook tonight.

3) From Panda Tushies, we are thrilled to offer a give-away your kids will love, the "Keep Me Busy Note Pad!"

It's Happy Hour at The Leaky B@@b. To be entered, head over to The Leaky B@@b on FaceBook and look for the posts on our wall saying "COMMENT HERE TO BE ENTERED!" There is one for each give-away. You don't have to do anything but comment to be entered but if you haven't already, "like" Kate Hansen, Katie M. Berggren, and Panda Tushies and let them know The Leaky B@@b sent you. The Happy Hour give-aways are only open from 4-10pm CST. Good luck everyone and have fun!

KIDS EAT FREE! YoHo Graphix 4 Me!

YoHo Graphix 4 Me did a fabulous Happy Hour give-away on TLB Facebook yesterday. The PeaceLoveBreastfeeding wall decal was a huge hit and lots of fun. Lisa, the WAHM behind YoHo Graphix has also been putting a free downloadable breastfeeding related digital embroidery designs on her Ice Mudd blog every day during World Breastfeeding Week. I heart today's.

So with all that you'd think Lisa would be done. But no. She's got a TGIF Kids Eat Free give-away! Get inspired with a YoHo Graphix 4 me wall decal design featuring a line from The Road Less Traveled by American poet, Robert Frost.

To be entered into the random drawing for this give away...

  • Comment on this post after you've visited the YoHo Graphix 4 Me Etsy and tell me what your favorite product there is.

  • For an additional entry, share this give away on a social networking site such as FaceBook, Twitter or a parenting board (Not TLB forums) and let us know how you shared it in another comment.

The give away will close Saturday evening. Have fun and good luck!

This Give-Away Is Now Closed!
Thanks to YoHo Graphix 4 Me and everyone that entered.

The winner is Amber! Lisa, from YoHo Graphix has your e-mail address and will be in touch with you to get your shipping address. Congrats and enjoy! Oh, and once you get your wall decal, we'd love to see some action shots!

World Breastfeeding Week- TGIF!

Random, funny French ad using breastfeeding to sell their beer.
B@@bs are used to sell beer all the time these days but it sure doesn't look like that now!

Squiggle Bug doesn't believe in sleep any more. At 2.5 years old she has figured out how to run on pure energy. I'm jealous. I haven't had time to really do my own blogging. Because, seriously, I have to at least attempt to sleep once in a while even if Squiggle Bug is dead-set against The Piano Man or I actually getting to sleep.

This blog carnival is intended to be open minded and thoughtful, to encourage dialogue and view breastfeeding from all different perspectives and experiences and I secretly (now not-so-secretly) hope that will be a spring board for viewing and discussing the rest of life. It's also supposed to have funny moments. Don't think there is much room for humor when it comes to breastfeeding? Check the blog name. Only someone that has never has sported two wet circles perfectly positioned on the chest of their top with milk that came from their own body or has never had a baby dive-bomb their chest with an open mouth or had a toddler screaming "MY BOOBIE!" could think that. Trust me, there is room for humor. There has to be. It's a carnival hosted by The Leaky B@@b and if The Leaky B@@b can't do humor well then, we're screwed.

Talk about a perspective! A really kind Leaky shared this photo with me to demonstrate how she tandem feeds her twins while co-sleeping.

So I finally got something out. There are so many different perspectives I could give on breastfeeding so I shared 4. And just so you know, if you know me in real life and you bring up any of those perspectives I will deny every. single. one. Except for the Easter dress poop one, I photographic evidence of that.

Other blogs today have a wide spectrum of perspectives, visit and let them know you're stopping by from The Leaky B@@b checking out different perspectives on breastfeeding.

Perspectives: When "Natural" =/= "Easy"- I knew I'd love this post from the first two lines. "Hi, my name is Star, and I used to think breastfeeding was disgusting. I like to think of myself as a breastfeeding success story." When Star isn't chasing her toddler or nursing her infant, she works as a peer breastfeeding counselor, blogs, and spends time with her fiance. She blogs here.

The Joys of Breastfeeding Past Infancy #17
- Once again, brings a charming and informative post to the carnival. was cofounded by Dionna of Code Name: Mama and Paige of Baby Dust Diaries. is dedicated to normalizing breastfeeding and advocating for breastfeeding rights. Please follow on its Facebook page to connect with other mamas who are passionate about breastfeeding advocacy.

Postpartum OCD Part 2 of 2: The Mom Who Couldn't Stop Logging- Postpartum depression, breastfeeding difficulties and OCD, Anne invites us to journey deeper into her experience, sharing a perspective as debilitating as it is hopeful. Dou-la-la is written by Anne, doula-in-training, birth advocate and a moderately crunchy mother.

Breastfeeding and Early Intervention- A professional that works with children birth to age three in her state’s Early Intervention program, Susan gives us her perspective working with the families in need of her program's services. A mom of 7 children, she provides support to families with special needs children drawing on her training and her own personal experience with Early Intervention for 3 of her own children. She has enjoyed the roller coaster of different breastfeeding adventures with all of 7 of her kids and is currently nursing her youngest. Susan blogs at My Breastfeeding Journey.

Our guest post today talks about breastfeeding and one's faith and how this influenced one mom of 3. I hope you enjoy The Way of The B@@b from Jessi, an American Taoist living in China doing her best to parent her children naturally.

There are still give-aways going on and even some more to come: Kate Hansen prints and PumpEase Prize Pack.

Amber submitted this drawing done by her 8 year old step-daughter Kate and had this to share about it.

"[This] is of a woman sitting in a chair breast feeding her child and being happy about it.
Kate was very curious about when I started breastfeeding her siblings, and asked a lot of questions about how and why. When her mother had another child this year Kate told her very matter of factly, that her new sister should have the "Boobie Juices" cause that was what is good for the baby, and not those phooey bottles.
Kate is very proud to tell people that babies should have breast milk and that our 2 kids have it making them really smart.

She is very smart herself, and she cracks me up!"

The Way of the B@@b

For our WBW blog carnival on "Perspectives: Breastfeeding From Every Angle" we are pleased to host guest posts from various contributors. Today we hear the Taoists perspective on breastfeeding from Jessi, originally one of The Leaky B@@b regular contributors and partner.

Everyone's motivations for breastfeeding are unique to themselves, but there are certain commonalities for most. Health benefits, frugality, and convenience generally top this list and for good reason. All three are incorporated in my personal reasons for breastfeeding, but unlike most, none of them are the most important reason to me. Unlike most, the biggest motivating factor for me is philosophical, or a more relatable term, religious.

Our family is Taoist. Over the years, I've learned that Taoism is not very widely known or understood. Unlike it's more commonly acknowledged "brother" Buddhism, Taoism isn't even a household word. Before I met my husband, even I admittedly was ignorant to this ancient philisophical system.

In short, Taoism is named after Tao (้“), which literally translates as "the way". The main texts of Taoism are the Tao Te Ching (้“ๅพท็ป) by Lao Zi and the works of Zhuang Zi. I always find it difficult to give a succint explanation of Taoism because outside of the basic principles, it gets very complex and VERY open to personal interpretation, but the fundamental is this:

Nature is the ideal example of the Tao. If you bring your life into harmony with the ways of the natural universe you will be enlightened and at peace.

Obviously, under this main belief there is a lot of sub-declarations that are more specific but the basic idea is pretty much just that.

What this means in reference to my choices as a mother become a bit more obvious once you are aware that Taoism dictates that you pursue the path of the most natural choices and it really does not get much more organic and natural than nourishing my children from the very body that nutured and grew them from the moment they were created. Being Taoist effects and enriches and influences so many aspects of my parenting life, but breastfeeding is one of the most effected. It adds another facet to an already beautiful bonding experience. Of course, any experience in our life is made that much more meaningful when it had a relation to our faith, whatever path you walk.

I could not imagine my life without my breastfeeding experiences. My oldest son nursed until 21 months and probably would have gone longer, but I was 4 months pregnant with twins and my supply suffered and he lost interest when the well ran dry. And now, nursing twins, which is a whole other journey, just seems natural and comfortable. No measuring formula, mixing and warming bottles, no climbing out of bed in the middle of the night to prepare night feedings. I just roll over to whichever side of me is making the noise and drift back to sleep while the hungry baby fills their tummy and then does the same.

Convenient, easy and lets me sleep as much as possible. Damn, Mother Nature knows what she's doing!

Perspectives: Not from personal experience or anything...

This post is a part of The Leaky B@@b blog carnival "Perspectives: Breastfeeding from Every Angle" for World Breastfeeding Week 2010.

Me feeding Smunchie at a working ranch during a field trip.

I've wanted to share some giggle-worth perspectives on breastfeeding but for the life of me I can't find my funny bone lately. Well, I have, it's been in my head. I'm constantly cracking myself up, unfortunately all anyone hears of that humor is me laughing at myself because I can't get it from out of my head onto the computer screen. Which is fabulous. I walk around and giggle from time to time because I mentally write a line or develop a concept that I find funny. A frazzled looking woman walking around laughing to herself, what's so odd about that? Where I live, you see it all the time, particularly near that one part of town. Fortunately I'm regularly upstaged by my children so I think the crazy lady laughing and mumbling to herself goes mostly unnoticed.

To shut-up the voice in my head telling me funny stories and to make myself seem at least a little less crazy, I wrote down some of these under-developed perspectives. I feel I need to be clear, none of these are things I know personally, these aren't my personal perspectives and experiences here. No, I'm sure I can't relate to these perspectives at all. Ever. In all the years nursing 5 kids. Nope. Ok, maybe a little...

Perspective #1: The Cheap Lazy Mother
Ladies and gentlemen I'm a cheap, lazy mother! No, not that way, get your mind out of the gutter. Don't you love how by saying that your mind totally goes in the gutter? Ah, the delights of cheap humor. But it is true, I am a cheap, lazy mother. Yeah sure, breast is best... ok, normal, we'll go with normal, since I've had a thing or two to say about getting rid of that terminology. Human breastmilk is normal feeding for human babies. It is also cheap. And easily available, as long as everything is working normally. I love that. It can be kind of difficult sometimes for the first few weeks maybe but considering you've either pushed the equivalent of a human Smart Car out of your vagina or had your belly opened up and pulled apart to remove the human Smart Car, you understandably have some laying around to do anyway. May as well get the cheap feeding machines up and running while you lay there. A few weeks further down the road and you'll be well into not just the cheap part but the "OH-MY-GAH-WHY-CAN'T-EVERYONE-IN-MY-FAMILY-EAT-THIS-WAY?" mode. Particularly if you've been down this road before and those former happy b@@bie customers are now little (or big) people that constantly say any variation of "I'm hungry" or "What's for dinner?" And then complain about the options. (Consequently, our bilingual home is proof that you do not have to speak a language well to understand "I'm hungry." "I'm hungry" whined in any language sounds just as annoying as it does in English. Even when that other language is French.) But when you have a regular b@@b customer it is over and done with just a lift of your shirt and best of all, no complaints. Those little buggers love it every time! The original fast food and infinitely better for your customers, b@@bie juice is ready and available to customized perfection whenever, where ever and however. Nothing can make that claim no matter how it is packaged and marketed. (HA! Take THAT Nestle!) When 4pm rolls around in my house and I realize I never threw "something" in the slow cooker and I have to actually figure out "something" to cook, I have found myself wishing I could just park my butt on the couch and feed my family without having to get up. It's not gross or disgusting. It's lazy and cheap but still better than McDonald's. And just because I've wanted to do that doesn't mean I have.

The big girls have turned me down every time, dang it.

Perspective #2: The Vain Mom
I've heard women say they didn't want to breastfeed because it would ruin their breasts and make them sag. Aside from the fact that they are wrong about that and obviously haven't researched if that is true or not. And, it's not. Blame pregnancy, gravity and genetics, if your breasts are going to sag they are going to sag. Look around, there are plenty of older women who have never even had children that have their knockers knocking their knees. These women that don't breastfeed to spare their breast, I have to wonder what they are thinking. Breastfeeding is awesome! Burn 500 calories just by breastfeeding! That's like eating a whole giant slice of chocolate cake and it doesn't even count. HELLO! What in the world am I going to do when Smunchie weans? Plus, breastmilk b@@bs are firm but soft, full but natural, bouncy but expanded. They look great in a low top, in a t-shirt, and drop-dead stunning in the nude. Ruin my breasts with breastfeeding? Heck no! Breastfeeding did me a FAVOR!

Perspective #3: The Diaper
Now why should you give a crap what the diaper's perspective is on breastfeeding? Well, for starters, I get to use an obvious pun. Secondly, it's a valid perspective. Diapers deal with the other side of breastmilk and formula. (Score, another obvious pun!) Whether you're changing it, near it when it is being changed, washing it or taking the sausage links of plastic wrapped fecal packages to the trash can, there are no ifs, ands or butts (I am on an obvious pun ROLL!), breastmilk poop looks better, smells better and cleans up better than the formula variety. People, I've dealt with both and here is the cold hard truth (or should I saw the warm, soft, sort-a-sweet smelling truth?): breastmilk poop is way better than formula poop. Formula poop is nasty, stinky, ugly and just plain a load of sh*t no matter how you dispose of it. (And the puns just keep a-coming.) The color of breastmilk poop is even better, I love the color- check out my walls. And if you cloth diaper, breastmilk poop is like a mustard color lazy pass: you don't have to rinse, spray, dunk, swirl or flick just toss the soiled dipe in your wetbag and go on you merry way until the next time it is time to wash diapers. Wash. Hang any stained ones on the line in the sun. Voila, done. You don't have to flush all your time away (YES!) trying to scrape off sticky, stinky formula rejects. The diapers will thank you for breastfeeding, no matter what kind of diapers you use.

And when one of those diapers can't possibly hold the entire package of goo one day and you and baby are both wearing it smeared all over your white Easter dresses, you'll thank yourself for breastfeeding just because yellow mush smells like buttered popcorn or yogurt. You will not thank yourself for the white ensemble or the lack of a change of clothes for yourself. Not that I know this from personal experience or anything...

Perspective 4: The Sleep Deprived, Harried Mom
To get air to her nipples as they toughen up during the first few weeks of breastfeeding her new baby she took an old stained tee of her husbands and strategically cut 2, 2 inch holes in the chest. A needy and upset tiny infant hasn't slept more than 20 minutes at a time for the last 9 days. Her head itches constantly from needing a shower, her hair having been in the same ponytail since the shower she had after giving birth, now drooping and creating a halo of frizz around her head as though she stuck her finger in a light socket. Just as she was going to get in the shower for the first time in 5 days because that little person finally fell asleep and let her set him down, the doorbell rings. Knowing she looks like a meth addict but craving adult interaction, she stumbles to the door, hesitating for just a moment but far too exhausted to figure out why. They are going to leave and you'll not have spoken to another adult other than her husband for who-knows-how-long if you let this moment pass! Flinging open the door with a little too much fake enthusiasm she sees a twenty-something man in a brown work uniform holding a digital clipboard and a box. Somebody thought of her and sent a package! Suddenly she is 6 years old again, filled with glee, A PRESENT! Controlled by fatigue still, she gives a lopsided bounce and weak clap, croaking "yay!" The expression on the attractive (hey, she's tired, not dead) delivery man's face difficult to read, she reminds herself to not act so desperate and takes his clipboard to sign for the package. Avoiding her eyes, he awkwardly takes the clipboard back, pushing the cardboard package away from him. She takes it and reads the label, her best friend from out of state sent the hand made blanket they had planned together for the baby. Even more excited, she bounces up and down a little more and needing to share that excitment with someone she calls out to the UPS guy retreating from the house "Thank you so much! You don't know how much this means to me? What's your name? Joe? Joe, thank you so much, I could hug you!" Like a cornered puppy desperately looking for an escape, he nearly trips over a flower pot to bolt to his truck. He must have a lot of packages to deliver, he's in such a hurry. Inside she opens the box and admires the beautiful handmade blanket with her son's name stitched into it and reads the card 6 times, having to wipe the snot and tears from her face at least as many times. The clock is ticking though and she knows the angle sleeping in the co-sleeper will wake up soon and become the swirling vortex of screaming. Shower. Still smiling slightly thinking of the blanket and note from her friend, she walks with a little more energy now into the bathroom to shower. Walking past the closet door with it's full-length mirror, she sees someone. Oh, that's me. Wow I look... Oh. My. God. Smile gone. The hair, the eyes the red nose and blotchy skin, they are nothing.




All the blood drains from her face. For just a minute she sees how it looked from the other side of the door. How she looked. And it totally makes sense.

For just a few seconds she feels a little sick.

Then she snorts, chortling at the image and the memory of the scene. She rushes to the shower to start the water and laugh without waking the baby. Silently giggling she tugs the ponytail free and looks in the mirror. With a bray, she's laughing hysterically, tucks her hands into her shirt and jabs her fingers through the nipple holes. She has to lean against the wall and hold her side when she suddenly realizes she's about to pee, she takes her seat and remains on the toilet until the uncontrollable laughing subsides and mops her the snot and tears from her face once again. Stripping down, she gets in the shower and shrugs, oh well, who cares, she's just happy she's actually getting to shower. And, as a bonus, she peed in private. When the baby wakes up she'll have to tell him all about it.

Other Perspectives
I have more. Oh yes, I talk to myself all the time and think up funny and even some not so funny perspective about breatsfeeding. And other subjects too, actually. Here are some I've written before.

Lactating b@@bies and I have a conversation
. Well, I talk to them really. I let them know how I see things on a few issues. More on b@@bies, A-DD, here. I talk about b@@bs a lot.

This could be called "The Smart-ass vs. Polite response to Stupid Breastfeeding Comments Perspective"

For a colorful perspective on breastmilk, particularly on The Piano Man and Earth Baby's first poop experience you should check out "Holy Crap."

My friend Sue takes a look back at breastfeeding now that her youngest is weaned. Talking about the experience of giving her 4 children the "sweet nectar of life," Sue brings humor to even the most, um, interesting experiences she had breastfeeding.

Earth Baby has shared her personal perspective on breastfeeding already, but all of my girls have a very vocal opinions on breastfeeding.

My perspective of a 4 month old Smunchie nursing in the carrier.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

HAPPY HOUR! Peace, Love, Breastfeeding

Lisa, at Ice Mudd and YoHo Graphix 4 Me, has out-done herself for World Breastfeeding Week. Offering daily free digital download embroidery designs EVERY DAY this week and contributing 2 give-aways to The Leaky B@@b, she's made sure we can party hard.

Check out this awesome vinyl art wall decal Lisa is giving away just for Leakies on our Facebook page from 4-10pm CST tonight.

(Please note, the decal for this give-away is light blue)

It's Happy Hour at The Leaky B@@b. To be entered, head over to The Leaky B@@b on FaceBook and look for the post on our wall saying "COMMENT HERE TO BE ENTERED!" You don't have to do anything else to be entered but if you haven't already, "like" YoHo Graphix 4 Me page and show another Leaky your support. Good luck everyone and have fun!
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