Tag Archives: Breastfeeding


Just checking in…. kitchen renovation is happening.  Painting and finishing is on deck and I am chomping at the bit to get things finished.  My mother asked me today “So, when exactly do you want me to come down and help you get things finished?  This afternoon?” She was only kind of joking.  I am feeling very Veruca Salt about this whole scenario.  I want it all and I want it now.

But it is summertime.  And summertime deserves a certain reverence.  So, instead of painting and figuring out how to make a  perfect mitered corner in the baseboards I need to replace I am eating watermelon and letting my kids eat popsicles at the pool moments before we go home for dinner and staying up too late and running too little and getting excited when Tone Loc is on the radio and occasionally misbehaving.  Because it is Summertime, guys.

But I miss y’all.  So, I am checking in.

Overheard just now from the living room:


Lucy was terrorizing Emily. Emily yells out “Mom!!! Can you help me? Stick a boob in her face or something?!”

pool breastfeedingShe has a point.  It does tend to chill her out.


I hope you are all enjoying your Summer.  Tell me, what is keeping you busy?


Thousands of Push-ups and This Is What I Have to Show for It

I should have been excited.

Lucy only has about a dozen words.  Four or five of them are new as of this week.  So many things get easier when your toddler can use words. You know what they want.  Water?  Sleep? Outside? Up?

I don’t know what I thought her first two word thought would be.  Love mama? More eat? Dog out?

She was sitting in my lap.  It was nearing her bedtime and I was trying to squeeze a few more minutes of chatter with an old friend  in to my evening.  She was scooping her hands in and out of my tanktop.  I knew what she was after but she was still happy. I kept talking.

She had her eyebrows squinched together like she does when something does not meet her approval.

“Boob.  Up!”

Sigh.  I hear you, little lady.  37 years old and two pregnancies –  this is as up as they get, girl.


The Lone Boob

Recently I wrote something for The Outlier Collective, a blog where a topic is chosen by the administrators and two bloggers write independently on the same subject.  When Eric, of A Clown on Fire, asked me if I’d write about Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy my response was “Let me think about it and make sure I have something to say.”

I did a little reading and wrote 500 words in about ten minutes.  Turns out I had a lot to say.  I read it and reread it and thought “Yep.  That’s what I think.”  She did what she thought was right with the resources she has to reduce her risk.  It’s that simple.

As soon as I got to think about mentioning the fact that breastfeeding contributes to reducing the risk of breast cancer I started to second guess myself.  Me?  Hesitant to talk breastfeeding? I started to wonder if I was becoming a broken record.  Would the mention of breastfeeding cause someone to think “oh, there she goes again, back on her soapbox” and disregard the rest of my message? Maybe.  But is that a good enough reason to keep silent? I don’t think so.

I like to add an image to everything I write.  It’s Blogging 101. The pictures that I include in my posts frequently get as much attention as the post itself. In a world where Instagram and Photoshop make it so easy to beautify ourselves it seems people take notice when you put your un-airbrushed self out there.  Pictures of my stretchmarks, pictures of my journey back to some level of fitness, pictures of my leaky wet spots and yes, pictures of breastfeeding, get a lot of attention.  A lot.

But I hesitated.  Should I include a picture of myself breastfeeding  in the post about Jolie and her mastectomy?  I was searching my pictures for an appropriate image when I opened up PhotoBooth while I was writing and snapped a picture.

Recently a picture that I posted of myself nursing Lucy while I changed Emily’s bicycle tire got a lot of negative feedback on Facebook. While I elected to delete the comments and rise above it one comment in particular got under my skin.  “Some people will do anything to get attention.”  Presumably she was referring to my posting a picture of part of my breast on the internet. But her comment stung because part of me started to feel like maybe I had become a one-trick pony.  My breastfeeding posts get far and way more traffic than any others. I like to think it is because it is the topic about which I am most passionate so they are likely some of the most well written.  But I had to ask myself – am I getting lazy? Is breastfeeding my go-to when I am coming up empty?

The truth is I am nursing roughly 60% of the time that I am writing.  I am nursing 30% of the time that I am eating.   I am nursing 60% of the time that I am talking on the phone.  I am nursing 70% of the time that I read.  Because I am nursing 95% of the time that I am sitting down.  I am nursing a toddler.  And as any woman that has ever nursed a toddler can tell you it is a blessing.  Nearly 100% of the time that I stop to catch my breath I am nursing.  Life moves quickly right now. We are climbing and running and jumping and falling and exploring.  And in the moments that I take pause, the moments where I write blog posts in my mind and dictate semi-unintelligible notes in to my phone, I am nursing.

It’s not an agenda.  It’s just where I am right now.  It’s my life.  Will I be talking about breastfeeding all of the time in a few more years? Probably not.  It will always be important to me but I imagine as my life changes something else will move in to my mental spotlight.

And before someone else can say it – I guess when I am no longer nursing I will have to think of a new reason to take pictures of a single boob and put it on the internet.  The web is saturated with images of pairs of boobs.  It really doesn’t garner much attention.  But a lone boob?  Man, it really gets people riled up.   Is it just a gimmick?  I don’t think so.  But am I going to get all defensive when someone calls me out and tries to make me feel like a jerk?  Nope.

Or I suppose I could think of something else that really irritates people.  And if it has as many benefits to my own health and that of my children I will probably take pictures of that, too.  In the meantime I am just going to keep on keeping on. Doing my thing, raising my kids and being me with a lone boob out.  Because that, friends, is how I roll.

Peace out!

gooseandmama copy



Hey you guys!!!

It’s not my best look. I call it “just rolled out of bed not even wearing my cute glasses wearing my favorite sweater and only two sips in to a cup of coffee” chic.

Photo on 1-26-13 at 8.09 AM #2

I just wanted to sit down this morning and say Hey you guys! Yesterday afternoon yours truly was Freshly Pressed and with that comes scads (gobs? hordes? what shall I call you?)  of new readers that deserve a little shout out.

It didn’t seem right to get all fancied up and try and be something I am not and dazzle you.  So. Here I am.  This is where I usually am.  In my chair with the kiddo on the boob.  This morning is cold so I am enjoying one of the four (four!) cowl neck scarves I have recently crocheted.  Yeah.  I am a woman that crochets, guys.  I don’t know how it happened.  Sometime this winter when I realized I had watched everything on my DVR and every single series on Hulu I decided I needed to find something else to do while Lucy slept in my lap.  So, yeah, I crochet.  And I am impatient.  Cowl neck scarf – the four hour project – we are pals.  Stick around and maybe I will send you one if your neck looks particularly cold.

I wish I had more time this morning but I am trying to get out the door.

You know when you do something that you kind of think is awesome but you aren’t sure if it is totally absurd.  You’re not embarrassed exactly, but you’re not sure if people that know you would think “Oh, that is strange.  You don’t really do that, do you?”  When I was fourteen I bought a hot pink swing dress and purple polka-dotted tights to wear to my boyfriend’s graduation.  (It was 1991, it was a hot look.) Previously I had been seen in my overalls.  Pretty much every day.  I thought the dress was cute.  I thought it was kind of adorably Molly Ringwald-ish, actually. But I wondered if it was “me.”

I don’t work hard to stay in my “me” box.  But I think we all have a type.  Not long ago I was horrified when I realized I had Mom-hair but I owned it.  In fact, I declared myself to be the Samue L. Jackson of Motherhood and decided that in spite of my hair I was a bad motherfucker.

So, I am yammering on because I am not sure I can admit this.  I like to work out.  It keeps me from being totally mental.  I run.  I actually love p90x.  I am not afraid of the weight room and I don’t really wear “cute outfits” to the gym.  I like to get sweaty.  But this morning I am going to do something I have been talking about doing forever.  And I might get hysterical and get kicked out but I am going for it.  I am going to Zumba, guys.   Zumba bills itself as a sexy Jazzercise.  Take a minute to chew on that.  Sexy.  Jazzercise.  I hope they serve margaritas.  I am going to need one.  Or four.

So, a big fat “hello” and “happy to meet you” and “what took you so long let’s be best friends!” to the new readers.  I gotta jet.  Get my sweat on.  Oh, and shake my moneymaker. Because apparently when I am not busy being a bad motherfucker or crocheting I go to Zumba.  Sigh.  The latter half of my third decade is going to be weird.  I can feel it.

Mom Gets Up Close & Personal with the Big Kid

Emily has a short week of school this week. Consequently there is no Show and Tell. This is probably a good thing.

Yesterday afternoon I put my feet in the stirrups at the midwive’s office to get my new IUD.  I had planned to have Emily watch Lucy for me but it was late in the afternoon and Lucy was hungry and wanting her mama.  Lucy ended up in my lap which meant Emily was free.

She was standing by my feet.  “Can I … see what she is doing?”

“Sure, just don’t bump in to my leg, please, and stay out of Rachel’s way.”  My seven-year-old disappeared behind the sheet covering my knees.

“Is that blood? Is it period blood or blood blood?  Why is betadine orange? Does it hurt? Why are you squeezing your toes? Are you making that noise to make Lucy laugh or because it hurts? Is that where Lucy was? How did she fit in there? When you were having a baby you kept saying “I can’t do it” and you were crying.  That’s the part that is scary. So, what exactly is your vagina? Where is that?”

On our way to the car I said “I don’t think very many seven-year-olds have seen their mother’s cervix.  Was that neat? Or kind of weird?”

“Well, I thought I would just have to sit there and watch Lucy and that it would be… Lame. That was not lame.”

photo 1

When I got up this morning this is what I saw at the kitchen table.  I don’t think her cervix sighting has irrevocably changed her.  Although she has a certain “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar” flair, no?

In other news I snapped a picture of Lucy after she finished nursing just now.  She doesn’t look like a kid who has a mother with low milk supply to me.  I am ever vigilant, but so far so good.  photo 2

The Ongoing Saga of My Innards or Five Fun Facts about My New IUD

You havent heard enough about my innards, have you?  When I showed you a picture of my IUD moments after it was removed, that wasn’t enough.  When I took a picture of the view from my colposcopy I know I really left you wanting more.  And I know that when I gave you the play by play of Lucy’s birth I left out a lot of details.

So, that is why I feel compelled to give you some more deets about Lady Town.

Five Fun Facts About My Choice to Have My Paragard Replaced With a Mirena 

1.  Fact:  I love my kids. I was blessed to fall in love with each of them the moment they were born.  Moments after Emily was born I knew I would do it again.  And the moment after Lucy was born and Emily said “It’s a sister” I knew that I was done. These were my children.  We were complete.

2.  Fact: I have good intentions.  And grand plans.  Eat a healthy snack every day becomes eat peanut M&Ms on occasion.  Stop wearing yoga pants unless I am exercising becomes wear yoga pants when you are planning on staying home for the day.  Make sure I have planned our dinners in such a way that I do not have to throw away a single leftover easily turns in to I totally I forgot I bought this cilantro but we ate everything else! Go, me!

Small things.  A single bag of M&Ms, cozy yoga pants when it is cold outside and a $2 bag of fresh cilantro won’t change  the course of history.  But take this pill every single day at the same time or you might get pregnant. Another baby? A baby changes you.  Forever.

It took me 36 years to like me just fine.  This Life, the one where I forgive myself for a bag of M&Ms or some wasted cilantro, I want this Life.  And the “Yes, actually I was on birth control pills but aren’t we Blessed to have this baby” baby just doesn’t fit in this Life.

3.  Fact: Nursing my babies is important to me.  It might even be more than important.  It goes well beyond nutrition and it is the cornerstone to my parenting philosophy.  Many of the decisions that I have made about how to be the best mother that I can be center around continuing the mother-baby nursing relationship for as long as it is mutually desired.

I am not denying that other women can be wonderful mothers and not breastfeed. (Nor am I telling you that daily M&Ms, a wardrobe made up solely of yoga pants and regular take-out because you forgot to pull chicken breasts out to thaw signals the imminent failure of your family foundation.  But it doesn’t add up to the Life that I want.  For me.)

So, I breastfeed.  And I avoid things that can have a negative impact on that relationship, things like hormonal birth control.

I shared here about how I had Big Plans for getting back in the marital saddle as soon as I got my IUD last February. I had a copper IUD after Emily was born and it worked well for me for years. There is an adjustment period, pardon the pun.  But it is worth it.

4.  Fact: I am not a squeamish gal when it comes to my own body.  I sing the praises of the menstrual cup loud and proud.  Who wants to think about their period all of the time? Not me.  Twice a day you can empty a menstrual cup and chances are your periods will be shorter in length!  The Diva Cup is awesome.  The other day a friend asked me if she could talk to me about it.  I laughed.  I sat in my living room and showed her how it works, folded it, talked about the magical twist and release that creates a perfect seal.  Ordinarily someone has to ask me to not talk about my menstrual cup.  I am what one might call a huge fan.

But that doesn’t mean I want to wear it every day.  The Diva Cup is not intended to be an everyday accessory.  You see where I am going with this, right? This is when I try to find a clever way to explain that I have had my period on average for 14 days out of every 21 since I got it back (at three months post-partum!!) Umm.  I don’t need a separate paragraph to include the Fact that that is some bullshit right there.

5.  Fact: Every women is different.  Every body is different.  And evidently every woman’s body isn’t even the same year after year.  My beloved hormone-free Paragard isn’t working for me this time.  After much research and soul searching I am having it removed and replaced with the levonorgestrel-releasing Mirena. Many women have had a Mirena with no impact on their milk supply at all.

But I am afraid.

The rest of the ill side-effects that are possible: hellacious acne, migraines and depression, I won’t be able to ignore them. It won’t sneak up on me.  I will never sit down at the end of the day and say “Damn, I have had a debilitating headache all day, I didn’t even realize it.”

But I don’t know what low milk supply feels like.  I don’t know how to know that it is happening.  I know I do not want my baby (and yes, she turned one last week, but she is a baby) to wean.  I don’t even know what weaning a baby looks like.  And more than that – I do not know how to mother a toddler without nursing.

I am, as I always am, nursing Lucy while I type.  And I am, as I sometimes am, crying.  If the Mirena works for us I will be happy.  And if it doesn’t, if my mik supply dips and I can’t get it back up quickly, I will be having it removed “even though” my baby is over a year old.

I struggled with this decision.  Above all else I struggled with admitting that I was making choices about my birth control largely based on my ability to breastfeed my twelve month old.  And I shouldn’t have to struggle to admit that.  It’s how I choose to parent.  And it works for me.  And for my kids.  And when I put it like that it doesn’t sound so complicated.

If you find this because you are struggling with your own decision, feel free to contact me.  If you want to share your experience because it will be helpful to you, please do.  If you want to tell me about your sister-in-law with a Mirena that breastfed her entire neighborhood until they graduated from high school or warn me that my insides will likely turn inside out I can assure that I have weighed both the risks and the benefits and made a choice.

In the coming weeks I can promise to keep y’all posted about my milk supply.  More boobs, less uterus! Now that’s a campaign platform if ever there was one.

Update: What did my seven-year-old think of watching me get my IUD? Find out!

It is understandably difficult to comprehend why I do not want any more of these.  It is even hard for me to wrap my mind around.

It is understandably difficult to comprehend why I do not want any more of these. It is even hard for me to wrap my mind around.

In Flight Meal

We are sitting at the airport. Em is eating some fruit salad. She is licking the fork. Lucy is nursing in my lap at the Starbucks inside the terminal.

“Mom, does that ever embarrass you?”


“You know. Having your boob out.”

“Nope. Lucy has to eat. Are you embarrassed that you have your tongue out? Everyone can see you eating.”

She smirks at me, the way you smirk at your mother.

“It’s only weird to see a woman feeding a baby because you don’t see it very often. The more people see a baby eating the less weird it will be.”

“Yeah. That’s good, Mom. That will be good.”

Yep. It sure will.



An Attitude of Gratitude

I learned my life lessons from 80’s television.  If you tapped a cane on the floor right now I would stand up straight.  I would grab the back of a chair and lift my chin.  In my mind I would hear Debbie Allen saying  “You want fame? … Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying. With sweat.”

Some time in the early 1990s I decided that sweatshirts with the neck cut out were maybe not the very best look for me.  And I abandoned my dreams for Fame.  I hung up my legwarmers and decided Fame wasn’t for me.

A couple of days ago I contributed a picture to The Feminist Breeder’s Normalize Breastfeeding Campaign on Facebook.  I chose to send a picture of myself sitting down after an excellent day. Lucy was nursing and I was having a glass of wine.  It was the perfect image to reject the idea that nursing mothers have to spend their lives cooped up in a nursery, missing out.  Gina’s “offensive” picture featured a piece of bacon and a nursing baby.  I thought it was amusing to feature a glass of wine and a nursing baby because Facebook is clearly pro-pictures of people with a drink in their hand.

I have been blogging in my little corner of the Internet for almost three years. It has been a great way for me to hash out my feelings as my life progressed from single parent to a married mother of two.  It served as a record of my pregnancy and Emily growing from a teeny little thing to the 7 year old going on 17 that she is today.  I have been honest.  I have talked openly about my insecurities and my struggles with being a woman and received a lot of “Good for you!” and “Thanks for sharing” and pats on the back.

And then yesterday the picture posted of me having a glass of wine while nursing my baby and within an hour I had that icky “what have I done?” feeling.  Comments racked up and the great majority were negative it seemed.  These weren’t people that read here and support me.  These were strangers sharing misinformation (that breastfeeding and a glass of wine don’t mix) and saying that I was a lousy mother.  (My favorite being the woman that pointed out that I was ignoring my baby when I looked at the camera!)

Every day I aim to choose happiness.  I choose to see the good and the joy in the smallest moments.  It is part of who I am.  Yesterday was a test.  I kept waiting to feel my stomach flip flop and a tear escape my eyes as I read another comment from a stranger about how I was classless.  But it didn’t happen.  Because I didn’t need to look very hard to see that there were really only a handful of people shaming me.  And they were doing so from a place of lack of knowledge.  They really believed that you can’t nurse a baby and have a glass of wine.  Shame on them for judging me? Maybe.  But don’t we all just do the best we can with the information we’ve got?  And for every criticism there were more than a dozen women that said “this picture is great!” or that I looked so relaxed and happy.  Or that I had great eyeglasses.  (Special thanks to them because amidst a persecution of your character it is important to remind yourself that you are fashionable!)

This morning I am taking the opportunity not to speak to the judgement and the misinformation (largely because the inimitable Amy West has already done so.)  Instead I choose to thank my friends and the many strangers that responded on the Facebook thread or on Twitter.  So many of you spoke up to say “Hey, you are doing a great job, keep on keeping on.” And really? If I am honest – thank you to the folks that said you can’t have an alcoholic beverage and nurse a baby because it was an excellent platform for dispelling that widely believed myth.

My last thank you goes out to the women and men that spewed the kind of garbage that can only be done from behind the protection of your computer screen.  You probably didn’t mean to.  But you made this girl with her tiny little blog feel famous!  Because you aren’t Internet Famous unless somebody hates you.  I am going to have to wear a clean velour sweatsuit every time I leave the house if y’all keep this up.  I might even need to bust out that sweatshirt with the neck cut out and some legwarmers.  Rumor has it – Fame costs, but I can take it.

Even as a child I knew I had to suffer for my art!

Fast enough so you can fly away…

Allow me to set the scene.

I was still wearing my velour sweatsuit as I sauntered past his side of the bed. Sometimes I like to amp up the funny before I bring the dead sexy. Funny goes a long way in our house.

There was a successful transfer of the baby in to the bed. She was out like a light. I woke him from the couch and he smiled. All signs pointed to Sexy Town. I had my fingers crossed and my knees, well, uncrossed. He was sitting up in bed when he asked me to grab the cord for his phone.

So, I was sauntering past the bed getting ready to bend over in my velour sweatsuit all Jessica Rabbit like when he said “You’re leaking.” I looked down at my shirt for the tell-tale spot of milk. I grabbed my chest the way only a nursing mother can. I wasn’t wet. “This?” I said, pointing at a spot on my shirt. “Nah, that’s old.”

While I was busy giving myself a breast exam he bent down and grabbed his own phone cord.

“You ruined it,” I said. “I was gonna bend down and get it for you.” I was smiling. But I might have been starting to pout. We had already turned down a street that didn’t head to SexyTown. Might as well pout.

Incredulously he smiled back at me. “I ruined it? You! Talking about your OLD stain! That ruined it!!” By now I had snuggled up against him on the side of the bed. Between the two of us we had about a foot and a half. Lucy and the dog took up all the rest of the room. And like kids we started to laugh. I kept trying to get the words “you mean this old stain?” out of my mouth in feigned breathy sexiness but I couldn’t do it through the giggles. The more I tried to stop the laughter the funnier it was.

The Internet is abuzz this week with breastfeeding pictures. Should we post them on Facebook? Should we nurse in public? Or is it a private thing? You can guess how I feel about nursing a baby in public. Feed your babies, ladies. Cover up or don’t.  Just feed your babies.  Anywhere you want, preferably before they are super mad. I find hungry, crying babies really troublesome, a little exposed boob here and there, not so much.

But I can tell you where breastfeeding doesn’t belong. It doesn’t belong in my bedroom while I am in a fast car on the road to SexyTown. Because evidently “old stains” can send that car careening towards Laughter and there is no turning that car around. (Note: you need to say “old stains” with your hands up making the “I  don’t know what all the ruckus is about” face for the full effect.)

This post is dedicated to the fools that think nursing a baby in public is disgusting and attention seeking.  I will give you disgusting and attention seeking, how about this wet tshirt contest winning picture? And to the new mothers that think they will never, ever get to SexyTown again.  You will.  I promise.  It seems like you won’t.  But keep visiting that little village called Laughter, it will carry you and your marriage right on through.

“Punctuation, is? fun!”


What’s that saying “the bloom is off the rose?” It means that the thrill is gone.  The newness has worn off.  There is no longer new car smell.

Lucy still smells like a baby.  At least once a week as I close my eyes to fall asleep there are tears on  my cheeks.  My nose is pressed against the top of her head, inhaling.  And at least once a month MQD will ask “Are you okay?”

Always my answer is the same.  “She’s getting so big.”  She just walked by me now with the television remote control in her hand.  Great. I can add Lucy to the reasons I can never find it.

My baby is almost ten months old.  Ten months. For ten months she has slept next to me at night.  She has napped in my lap in “our chair.”  She nurses on demand and she is not shy in her demanding.  She will not take a bottle.  And I haven’t really tried all that hard to convince her.  This is exactly what I had hoped for when I made the decision to stay at home with her.

I do not long for nights out on the town.  I am not craving an evening alone with my husband.  We carve out time.  It works for us.  She will be little for such a short time.

She used to nap for an hour a few times a day.  I needed the rest, too.  It was Lucy Enforced down time for me.  As she nears a year old her naps are growing less frequent. But they are growing longer.  I’d like very much to put her down for one of them.  I have tears on my keyboard while I type that.  Jeez, I am not shipping her off to boarding school.  I am just considering putting her down while she takes a nap.  I’m not even talking the “It’s 10 am, put the baby in the crib and close the door until 11” naptime.  I am thinking maybe we both lie down on the floor in the living room so that when she falls asleep I can roll away from her and stand up and empty the dishwasher without “help.”  (I like to dream big, remember.)

The baby smell is not gone.  But perhaps the bloom is off the rose. I am not sure if I am holding on to her for me or for her.  And when I start to feel like I am making choices for my children based on my needs and not theirs it is time to examine those choices.   She is my last baby.  Remember when you came home with a newborn and they slept on your chest?  I don’t want to let that go.

Em came in to our bedroom the other night with a wicked cough. I got her some cough medicine and checked her for a temperature.  I was preparing to make her a spot in our bed when she said “I can just sleep on the couch with Fisher, Mom.”

“Are you sure?  I mean, you have a cough,” I said.  I could hear how ridiculous it sounded when it came out of my mouth.  It was a cough.  Not meningitis.  She slept that night on the couch.  And soon Lucy will take a nap without my boob in her face.  And she will be just fine.  But I don’t have to like it.


This afternoon I made the decision to Keep the flowers on my kitchen table and to Donate a few of those crummy vases from the florist that you keep stashed behind your wine glasses.  And for the Trash?

Just like I can’t figure out a way to make my baby stay a baby – I also can’t seem to figure out how to get an orchid to bloom again.  In the coming weeks while I adjust to the idea that Lucy needs to start napping on her own I am going to pretend I am crying over this orchid.  Yup.  I sure am.  Because what is more sad than an orchid without a single bloom?

*Can you name the novel the title for this post comes from?!  Bonus points if you saw this play with me a hundred years ago.