Nursing-strike sacrifice


Written on Monday, October 30, 2006 by Jessica

As mentioned previously, I had to make sacrifices during the nursing strike. Namely, I was forced to hack off my index fingernail to use an SNS. See the carnage for yourself:

Seth's union suit


Written on Monday, October 30, 2006 by Jessica

Aunt Teriana gave Seth a union suit (you know, the thermal underwear with a drop seat) and Mean Mommy is making the photo public.

Oh, the indignity!

Naturally, Seth didn't put up with it without a fight. He promptly peed on the carpet.



Written on Friday, October 27, 2006 by Jessica

Here's the view outside my window at work. Nice, huh?

Humor for today


Written on Friday, October 27, 2006 by Jessica

After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. The first thing he said was "DON'T!"

"Don't what?" Adam asked.

"Don't eat the forbidden fruit," God said.

"Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey Eve, we have forbidden fruit!"

"No way!"

"Yes way!"

"Do NOT eat the fruit! " said God.


"Because I am your Father and I said so!" God replied, wondering why He hadn't stopped creation after making the elephants.

A few minutes later, God saw His children having an apple break and He was ticked! "Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit?"

"Uh huh," Adam replied.

"Then why did you?"

"I don't know," said Eve.

"She started it!" Adam said.

"Did not!"

"Did too!"


Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.


1. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.

2. Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your own children.

3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.

4. Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.

5. The main purpose of holding children's parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own.

6. We childproofed our home, but they are still getting in.



Written on Thursday, October 19, 2006 by Jessica

I haven't kept you updated on the nursing strike. It ended just as quickly as it began, although he continued to be fussy about nursing from time to time. I wrote a cutsie little newspaper article about it for you, but I didn't publish it b/c I wanted to include a photograph of my naked index finger -- the one without a long beautiful fingernail (see article below for explanation).

Anyhow, I'm utterly frustrated. Tonight he absolutely refused to nurse even though he was clearly starving. Here are some reasons babies refuse to nurse (i.e., go on strike):

  • Mommy has eaten something that has given the milk a yucky taste.
    In this case, unlikely. He eats anything I pump without complaint. If he didn't like the taste of the milk, he would occasionally refuse a bottle.
  • Baby has an earache, which causes suckling to be painful. (The jaw motions hurt the ear.)
    This is not our problem. As mentioned above, he eats just fine from a bottle. Furthermore, he shows no signs of any other earache symptoms.
  • Baby has thrush, which somehow makes nursing uncomfortable.
    Actually, he does have a minor case of thrush. The pediatrician wasn't even going to treat it, but I mentioned that my nipples were stinging after a feeding, so she prescribed treatments for us both. Here's where I'm confused. The lactation counselor said sometimes thrush causes breastfeeding to be painful while not affecting bottle feeding, but I'm skeptical. Why wouldn't bottle feeding be painful as well? Furthermore, we've both received treatments for several days, so the thrush symptoms have cleared up.
  • Mommy has slow letdown, so baby gets mad.
    Sooooo not the case. My milk always seems to be instantly available.
  • Mommy smells funny.
    I haven't changed my deoderant or detergent, and I don't wear perfume, so this isn't the case.
Because nursing strikes are more common in bottle-fed and pacifier-using babies, I can only conclude that he has decided he like bottles better. Conventional wisdom says he's getting milk faster from a bottle, so he prefers it, but that just isn't the case. We're using low-flow nipples, and furthermore, I happen to produce a bunch of milk at the beginning of a feeding. I'm certain that I actually deliver it faster than a low-flow bottle.

Bottom line: He's just being stubborn. In the beginning, I said I was more stubborn and could wait him out, but tonight I began to wonder how I can take eight more months of this. Yes, tonight was extreme, but it's a daily occurance that he's become difficult about breastfeeding. Most of the time, he'll nurse for only about five minutes and then refuse to nurse any longer, which means I'm feeding him again in two hours instead of the normal three. And it's really frustrating to have to relatch forty or fifty times in a single session, which is how we go about nursing an entire meal two sucks at a time.

I'm so tired that I'm just blathering on and being utterly boring (or "udderly" boring -- ha! which reminds me, I'm thinking of being a cow for Halloween). I'll go away now. Here's the cutsie article I was talking about, still sans the photo of my missing fingernail:

Tentative agreement reached between management and union

AP - Mommy management and baby union leaders announced a tentative agreement today to end a week-long nursing strike. Baby union's only demand was to be bottle fed at all meals, but Mommy management refused to make any concessions, going to far as to call in scabs in the form of a supplemental nursing system (SNS) and a nipple shield.

An SNS is a device that delivers bottled breastmilk to the baby through a small flexible tube. The tube is usually taped to the breast to encourage a newborn to nurse by rewarding him with small amounts of milk. In this case, the SNS was taped to Mommy management's index finger, which Baby union happily suckled. A nipple shield is a device that fits over the mother's nipple to protect a cracked or very sore nipple while nursing. In this case, the nipple shield tricked baby union into thinking he was suckling a bottle.

Events came to a head on Saturday, when Mommy management threatened to take away the three bottles that Baby union received each day while she was at work. In that case, Baby union would have to be spoon fed instead. However, a lactation counselor-arbitrator ruled this step unnecessary.

Although Mommy management was reluctant to make concessions, the strike was not without sacrifices. Mommy management was forced to lop off her index fingernail to use the SNS.

Breastfeeding doesn't boost IQ


Written on Monday, October 16, 2006 by Jessica

A recent study says breastfeeding doesn't enhance a baby's IQ. However, it does confer many other benefits.

According to the study, breastfeeding moms tend to be smarter moms, and smarter moms tend to provide a more stimulating home environment. This results in a higher IQ in the baby. So if you're a smart mom (or even a not-so-smart mom) who loves your baby and provides a stimulating home environment but couldn't or didn't breastfeed, you needn't worry any longer that you're baby will have a lower IQ than breastfed babies. If you're like me, you probably already have tons of other things to feel guilty about, so cross this one off your list.

Note: In case your wondering, I'm still breastfeeding (with only *four ounces of formula supplements in the last four weeks -- yay!). This article has no effect on my decision to breastfeed, nor does it change my resolve to weather this nursing strike...

*Four ounces in the last four weeks. That's down from a bottle of formula a day while I was on maternity leave! I'm really excited about that.

Nursing strike


Written on Friday, October 13, 2006 by Jessica

It's official. He's on a nursing strike. Suddenly the breast is some horrific beast he wants nothing to do with. He screams when I put it anywhere near him. Fortunately, I'm still smarter and more patient than he is. :) I can still get him to nurse when he's half asleep (that's the "I'm smarter" part) or half starved (that's the "I'm more patient" part). Yes, it's true. I had to wait him out yesterday evening. I let him cry until he was half starved and willing to eat.

Basically, he wants a bottle, but I won't give it to him. He already gets three bottles a day while I'm at work. He doesn't have thrush or pain while eating because he eats from a bottle just fine. It's not a scent issue, either. I'm wearing the same deoderant as always, and I never wear perfume. Haven't changed laundry detergent or fabric softener. The little bugger is just mad that he can't have a bottle.

Mean mommy.

Nursing strike?


Written on Thursday, October 12, 2006 by Jessica

He isn't nursing well, but I'm not so sure it's an acutal nursing strike, because he's not utterly refusing to go to breast. He eats for about five minutes and then gets really fussy -- latching on like he's still hungry but then pulling away almost instantly and fussing. Grandma says he takes his bottles like a champ.

I wonder if the milk flow is ticking him off. His behavior coincides with a precipitous drop in production.



Written on Thursday, October 12, 2006 by Jessica

It's snowing today. Sigh. I knew the snow was coming, but for some reason I thought it wouldn't be here until tomorrow. I don't have my boots, and I'm wearing ankle socks. And I'm not even sure I have a scraper in my car.

In happier news, snow means fewer bugs. :)

The accident


Written on Monday, October 09, 2006 by Jessica

This one is just too funny. It's been out there for awhile, but this is the first I've heard of it. Have a listen:

Thanks, Aunt Eileen.

Update: It's sound only, so turn up/plug in your speakers!

Slumber party


Written on Tuesday, October 03, 2006 by Jessica

Seth and I stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's last night. It wasn't the original plan, though. Sitting on the couch last night, I noticed spots on the wall. What the heck? I walked over and saw I was infested with ladybugs. Not the real ones, which are unlucky to kill, but some lookalikes that have been infesting houses in the area for the past several years.

I've already discussed my phobia with bugs, especially ones that fly or hop erratically, but the big thing about phobias is that they are irrational. Ladybugs don't bother me. I went to sit back down on the couch when I saw a cricket running across right where I'd been sitting! The horror! Oh, how dearly I hate crickets. How to kill it??

First, I ran to get a glass to trap it, but I simply could not get close enough to trap it. Then I ran for a flyswatter, but when I returned, it was gone. I called my in-laws to ask if they had a minivac, but no such luck. I told her about the cricket. "What am I going to do?? I can't sit on the couch! Not 'til I kill it. But it's gone."

As I was bemoaning the lost cricket, I saw something on the carpet by the loveseat. It looked like some fuzzy lint, but as I approached. "Dear god, it's a stinkbug!" My mother-in-law asked if I wanted to stay there that night. Yes, very much.

I stomped on the stinkbug but couldn't bear to leave the cricket running loose, so pulled the couch away from the wall. Gone. So I gathered up my things and my baby and prepared to run away from the buggy house. That's when I spotted the cricket near the couch. He looked a little smaller, which made me wonder if it was yet another, but I banished the horrific thought, grabbed the flyswatter, and beat on it about ten times. Dead.

I began to consider staying in the house, even though I knew I would dream all night that crickets and stinkbugs were crawling on the baby. (I had similar dreams in the face of the minor earwig population.) But then I looked over, and under the baby's swing, was another cricket. Another beating with the flyswatter, and I was out the door.

I really wish my husband would come back home.

Places not to live


Written on Monday, October 02, 2006 by Jessica

One day in tenth grade biology, we had to dissect a giant grasshopper. Thank god it was already dead. I asked the teacher, whose name I can no longer remember, where these hideous creatures came from. North Carolina. That's when I decided I could never live in North Carolina.

Thanks to Ms. Zee and beloved Mr. Hop, I've also crossed Southern California off the list. (Actually, though, it was already off the list due to the San Andreas fault.)

I'm beginning to wonder if I should cross Michigan off the list. My new home, while not exactly infested with earwigs, has its share of the creatures. I hate bugs. I suppose it could be worse. At least I can kill* earwigs. I'm too terrified of grasshoppers and water crickets to get near enough to kill them unless I have a can of WD-40, which works wonders against water crickets. I don't know about grasshoppers, though.

*I can kill most earwigs. I completey mangled one the other day, though, and even though I was sure it was dead, it crawled off when I left the room. Hopefully it crawled off to die.