Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Poppin' boobs in your face, baby...

cleavageImagine this: I’m posting about a news story that provoked me without waiting a month…or three;>

I read a Women’s Health News blog entry yesterday that led me to read this story, which then led me to this other coverage of the same story. I was completely fired up yesterday afternoon by the comments on those stories, particularly the negative ones that shunned the woman for breastfeeding in public.

I’m going to admit right now that I am not uncomfortable breastfeeding in public. At all. I would not feel an ounce of shame if I had to completely uncover myself to do so, but I also don’t like to do things that might draw an excessive amount of attention to myself, so I do attempt to minimize the skin I show when nursing in public places. (All bets are off if you’re in my home, though, because I will not be juggling blankets or cover-ups in my own living room. I tried a time or two when visitors were here while LMX was a few weeks old, but it became futile, and I decided I didn’t care if my boobs were exposed, and anyone who might care could either be an adult and look away or leave.) However, I cannot stand it when people 1. Compare breastfeeding a baby with urinating or defecating (because those things are so far from being the same; breastmilk is life-sustaining nourishment while urine and feces are waste products), and 2. Act as though they are physically incapable of not staring at a woman who may have some breast skin showing. It's almost the opposite of how some men try not to stare at women with breast implants or naturally large breasts.

Today, I read another story, and this statement bothers me: "The Sheriff's Department acknowledges in the statement that breastfeeding is legal in Tennessee, but if there are complaints, they ask women to cover up or move to a private area."

Hmmm, let's see...
Why suggest the mother cover up or move to a private location at all? Why not simply tell those who were complaining that she is doing nothing illegal or wrong and suggest they refrain from watching if they find it offensive or indecent?

And, if one of the stories is correct in that they were asking her to move for her safety as there were inmates being brought through the hall, then I wonder if this was expressed to her? Did that first deputy say, Ma’am, we’re preparing to bring inmates through here. If you would feel more comfortable in a private room, then I can help you get to one.? Somehow, I doubt it, especially since none of the stories indicate this amount of concern was used when talking to the mother. It seems as though she was approached by a female deputy and asked to cover herself more or move to another location, and after she declined, she was approached again by Sgt. Potts. The bottom line is this: if she was comfortable feeding her child where she was, then they needed to let her continue to do so without making any additional pleas for her to move.

From what I’ve read, and the way the incident has been portrayed, the mother could have handled the situation more gracefully, but maybe she was having a sucky day or a crappy week, and maybe, just maybe, she was just plain fed up with people acting like she should be embarrassed for feeding her child the way her body intends, especially by law enforcement folks who should have been aware that she was not doing anything illegal. I just don't understand why anyone, let alone two people, felt obligated to say anything to this woman about what she doing; her reaction is irrelevant, in my opinion.

I’m also irritated by the amount of people who commented to say women should just pump and feed from a bottle when they need to feed their infants in public. Excuse me? First, not every mother can afford to buy a pump, especially a decent one, if it isn’t a necessity, and I don’t like the implication that a desire to leave the house for more than 20 minutes at a time makes a pump necessary. Second, the likelihood that any non-top-quality, non-double-electric pump will produce as much milk as the baby would need is pretty slim, and even if you have a top-quality, double-electric one, you might not get as much as the baby wants. And third, do these people have any idea how annoying and time-consuming pumping and bottle-feeding is in comparison to just latching the baby to a breast? Trying to keep the milk stored properly, cleaning the pump parts and bottle parts, not to mention that hands-free pumping is near impossible…it’s just more trouble than it’s worth so that somebody doesn’t have to witness breastfeeding, which is significantly less disgusting than someone blowing their nose, picking food out of their teeth, or licking - I do mean licking, not sucking - their fingers in public, at least to me, and when I glimpse someone doing one of those things, I simply look away and keep going about my life without giving them a second thought.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Real or sarcasm...

thoughtful monkeyI upgraded my Firefox browser over the weekend (With which I am in love! I'd been using Opera as a default, but that may be changing since some sites that don't work properly in Opera do work in Firefox.) In doing this, I added a toolbar for StumbleUpon. That's a little button of addictive crack for people who get in the majority of their reading time via the internet for ease of one-handed scrolling versus one-handed page-turning while holding the multiple-hundreds-paged book.

One of the items I stumbled upon last night was an book review for The Shadow God. The review is awesome, and I've never before seen an review have so many comments of its own. The review involves several digs on the writer's poor word usage, whereas the author probably meant to use one word (emanated) but used another, somewhat similar-looking word (emancipated) that means something entirely different. The examples quoted in the review, such as the emanated vs. emancipated one, are quite laughable, and if the book wasn't 472 pages and almost $20, I'd consider reading it to find all the hilarity for myself. Instead, I'll just take his word for its awfulness.

The point of all this is that one of the 70 comments on the review was, "I don't think word choice is nearly as impotent as you think it is. Who cares if he mixes up a few words? It's not like he's a doctor or a science test or something." Now, this brought me to question if he was seriously defending the book's author while making his own usage errors, or if he was simply attempting his own clever jab at the ridiculousness of the author's work. I'm leaning towards the latter, especially now that I read it also says "impotent" rather than "important", which I failed to notice last night.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

How low can we go...

Well, I guess not really "we" so much as "me".

I'm a little worried about me because I can't remember the last time I felt so awful about myself. My self-esteem and self-worth seem to have sunken to new lows, and what makes me sad is that the only thing I can pinpoint that has had such an impact is my physical appearance, my weight specifically. That's sad because I know that isn't all I am, but it seems to be the only thing I can focus on nowadays.

I had hopes that this post-partum period would be different than the one following my twins. I gained 70 pounds with that pregnancy, lost half of it within a few weeks, and then didn't lose another damn ounce until they were 6 months old, and even then, after losing weight for a few months, I continued to carry around an extra 10-12 pounds that I hadn't had before the pregnancy. But, I eventually lost it all, and then continued to lose so that I was back at a size I was happy to be...but that was during a supremely stressful period of my life, a time when I was force-feeding myself because I knew I couldn't just not eat, and also at a time when I became unemployed and found it easy to workout every other day for an hour.

The pregnancy with Baby Angel left me with weight as well, but because it was short-term, it wasn't a lot. However, this time, I've still got 30 pounds to lose just to be where I was before I got pregnant, which was about 10 pounds more than I like to be. I wanted to cry as I continued to step on the scale, seeing little to no change those first few weeks following LMX's birth. I had expected much more drastic results; I thought I'd lose at least half the weight by then, not just 15 pounds. I somehow knew that whatever didn't come off by then wouldn't be coming off anytime soon.

And now, now my body is holding onto everything else, just as I thought it would. It sucks. I still want to cry because I came to a decision that I would not actively try to lose weight while breastfeeding, but that decision, no matter how right I feel about it, doesn't change the perception I have of the woman I see in the mirror.

I hate that I feel so awful about a body that has done so much good; it's like I'm afraid to truly accept it as it is for fear that when the time comes I won't care enough to get it back to the way it was before. It's an awful internal conflict, and I just don't know if there's a resolution for it.

I cringe when someone comments on the appearance of other women. Whether it be that they are attractive (I feel like a toad) or that they are heavy, homely, or anything less than attractive (I identify with them and then feel insulted and hurt). That doesn't seem like a healthy way handle these comments, yet I can't seem to change my reactions.

As much as I didn't want to, I had to buy new clothes. Wearing maternity clothes while not pregnant, or only wearing the select few items in a wardrobe that are made from stretchy and loungy materials really does very little for one's appearance. I had to get some things that actually fit this body so that I wouldn't fully dread having to dress myself to leave the house. It doesn't help as much as I thought it might, but having real clothes, ones without elastic waists in particular, helps lessen the frumpiness I once felt.

If I truly think about it, I'll probably end up losing more weight after I'm done nursing without doing much else since that's when I restarted losing weight after M and J. Since LMX actually nurses exclusively, I'm sure it will take a lot longer than it did back then since I simply decided to stop pumping once they started solid foods at four months. With a kid that actually feeds from the breast, I know I want him to continue for at least a year, which could mean at least a year of static weight. At least I know I'm not the only woman whose body reacts this way...thanks, Selma! I knew I loved that woman for good reason;>

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm a lucky one...

I was dreading my return to work this week, as in I seriously considered if I could feasibly spend all-day, every day with all my boys at home, only going places where our feet could take us so that we could give up a car payment/insurance/gas (OMG, THE GAS!!), and I would never have to return to work...that's the sort of dread I was choking on. I think a lot of it stemmed from my fear of being forced to put my not-quite-3 month-old baby in a stranger's care for two months, at which point he may have just gotten adjusted to said stranger's care, and then we would yank him outta there and do it all over again, 3,000 miles across the country, following what is sure to be the most memorable car-ride of my life. (Whether that be good memorable or maybe-I-should-have-opted-to-ride-in-the-roof-box-thing memorable is a looming mystery.) So, I was uneasy about this plan of mine to work with LMX at home, especially since I'd never gotten around to voicing said plan to anyone at work, let alone obtaining agreement with it prior to firing up the VPN connection yesterday morning.

But, as it turns out, no one wants me to toss my baby into someone else's arms; it might even be they expected he would continue to be home with me. It's a relief beyond reliefs, and yesterday afternoon, I took several moments to recognize how freakin' lucky I am to work for the company I work for, with the people I work with, and to have the skills needed for this job...and then, I said thank you. I'm still saying thanks today and may very well be doing it every day for a very long time as I relish in not having to part with my infant in order to earn a decent living wage.

I used a lucky bamboo image for my post about being lucky, but ironically, my lucky bamboo has died.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Flickrific mosaic...

Saw this lovely little time-killer over at the blog without naked pictures. If you'd like to do one, too, here's how:

1. Using the questions below, type your answer to each of the questions one at a time into Flickr Search.
2. Using the result, select an image from the first page.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker. Choose the 4 x 3 or 3 x 4 option. There are 12 questions, so you’ll need 12 images.
4. Save your mosaic and upload it to your post. Or print it out and mail it to Grandma. She’ll think you painted it yourself and she’ll invite her friends over to make them jealous.

The questions:

1. What is your first name?

2. What is your favorite food?

3. The name of your high school?

4. What is your favorite color?

5. Who is your celebrity crush?

6. Favorite drink?

7. Dream vacation?

8. Favorite dessert?

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?

10. What do you love most in life?

11. One word to describe you?

12. Your flickr name?

Mine came out like this:

Giving credit where it's due:
(even though this totally makes obvious some of my not obvious choices)

1. Gina Art, 2. Cheese-kun! Amigurumi!, 3. Warwick Castle taken from Mill Garden

4. Blue Morpho, 5. Harrison Ford Sat Here, 6. Margarita Rosa 2008 ©™ JGyL 2008®

7. south Pacific sunset, 8. Double Chocolate Cheesecake, 9. Whale Watchers being Watched

10. {side-splitting laughter}, 11. You're Special....., 12. DSC_2707.JPG