I’ve been feeling a little run-down lately. My family might even say I’ve been acting a little cranky. Okay, I HAVE. I’m so tired. I’ve been trying to figure out why, and I think I got a little clarity last night, when Mark attempted to give Karis a bottle. Karis was not having it. She was screaming and crying and arching her back, and as this was going on I made the connection that this was her first bottle in about six weeks. Which means, for the past six weeks, I have not been away from Karis for more than three hours at a time.
Hmmm . . . think I might need a little break?
Breastfeeding a baby is an interesting venture for a pseudo-feminist mom. Because no matter how much you think you can co-parent and be an egalitarian couple and continue your own career and bla bla bla – when you are the milk supply, suddenly you are kickin’ it old school. I love that I’ve decided to breastfeed exclusively. Truly, I do. But I think the element of sacrifice involved was a bit startling for me. It is a beautiful bonding experience, but at the same time for a Type-A personality it can be mind-numblingly boring to sit there for hours each day as you think about other things you could be doing with that time. (Although it is a great opportunity to catch up on facebook). But the hardest part for me is that feeling that you can never really get a break from your baby. I mean, sure, I’ve gotten out to see a movie. I had a great night with friends just last night. But man. I’d love a whole day right about now, without watching the clock for when the next feeding time will be.
I hope it doesnt’ sound like I’m complaining about nursing. Even though I guess I am . . . I am so glad I am doing it. Most of the time I love it. I’m just trying to process why I am feeling a little stir-crazy, and a little like a hamster on a cage at times. I think it’s okay to acknowledge as moms that oftentimes the liberated, “you can have it all” notion is just not possible, and that’s okay. As much as I’m longing for a little freedom, I know that once she is weaned, I will be an emotional wreck who longs for those quiet midnight feedings again. Such is life.
For the time being, though, I am a little determined to get her back on a program where Mark can administer the occasional bottle. I wish I could have videotaped the scene we had going on when he tried. She refused to let him do it, but she would reluctantly let me hold her and drink from the bottle. So then Mark and I tried to get creative. He sat right next to me while I was feeding her, and we would try to slowly transfer the bottle from my hand to Mark’s hand. IT WAS CRAZY. She was still in my lap, but the minute my hand came off that bottle and Mark was holding it, she would lose it. And then I would hold the bottle again and she would calm down. It was so funny. But then again, not at all funny, since it makes it that much harder for me to leave her.
I do have to report that despite the bottle issues, Karis has finally taken a liking to Mark. They are slowly becoming buddies (as long as he’s not trying to feed her). They are even working on a party trick together:
Alright, I gotta go. It’s feeding time!