Happy Birthday, Baby Boy!
We didn't do anything special for his birthday yesterday, since he has no idea what a birthday even is, but we'll probably party this weekend with the family while we're doing Easter stuff. Bill's family really does up the holidays, and Easter is no exception! I'm looking forward to gorging myself on piles of chocolate. My diet has pretty much gone to hell recently anyway, so I've got nothing to lose.
Now, you guys, if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, know I'm an avid supporter and promoter of breastfeeding. A friend of mine had a horrifying experience at Fred Meyer last week, and I wanted to let you all know that FM is NOT a breastfeeding-friendly place, at least in the Pacific NW. My friend had stopped in to the FM near her house to pick up some rice for dinner and let her daughter blow off some steam in the play area. Her son (who is a couple months old), who had just been nursed to avoid having to nurse again in the store, decided he needed to eat NOW. So she sat on a bench outside the play area and started to feed him. He was sort of fussy and squirmy, so she had to fight him a bit to get him latched on, but then he settled down to nurse.
A few minutes later, the district manager came over to her and told her that she needed to be more discreet and that some other customers had been complaining. She was, of course, totally embarassed. She told him she was within her rights, since by Oregon law breastfeeding in public is protected, and he told her to cover up with a blanket or something. She later called the store to get the phone number of a higher-up in order to complain. She eventually got in touch with Fred Meyer's regional manager (I think that's what his title was), he basically told her the same thing - it's fine if you breastfeed in our store, but you need to be as discreet as possible.
Now, I'm all for discretion, and I certainly try to be as discreet as possible when nursing in public, but when you have a cranky baby who needs to eat NOW, it's not always possible. Covering up with a blanket isn't always possible because some babies, especially cranky ones, won't tolerate it. Going someplace else to feed your baby isn't always an option, and women should NOT be forced to do it in a bathroom (grosser than gross) or in the car.
I am continually irritated by the fact that breastfeeding is seen as something perverted or at all sexual. Anyone who's done it knows that it has NOTHING to do with sex. This is the purpose that God (or Mother Nature) intended for breasts. Just because this society has some weird hang-up about them doesn't mean that nursing mothers, who are doing what's best for their babies, should be punished. Ladies, let's take back our breasts! As for people who are bothered by women breastfeeding, I say this - don't look! I find it so ironic that a society who is entertained nightly by all manners of gory death (CSI, Law & Order, the evening news) can be so troubled by a nipple. I think our values are a bit out of line.
It's funny, because since I've moved to Portland I've become friends with a circle of women who are all very like-minded. It's easy to get lulled into complacency - to think that everyone around here thinks like we do. I was thinking about this last night in relation to my births. I had both my kids by c-section - the first was an unplanned c-sec due to "failure to progress". The second was elective, because I didn't want to try for a VBAC and end up back in the operating room after hours of labor. I was also a little bit afraid to try a normal delivery. At least with another c-section I knew exactly what to expect.
There are several pregnant women in our group and so when we're together, the conversation often turns to delivery. Quite a few of them had natural births, and I always feel a little bit like the odd man out with my two extremely medical births. When I was living in California, I was around a completely different kind of people, and I never really considered a natural birth. I was all about the epidural, as soon as I could get it. My doctor induced me two days after my due date (her idea) and I got my epidural very early. I labored (painlessly, for the most part) for about 32 hours before I agreed to a c-section. I had been stuck at 8 cm for 8 hours and the doctor didn't think it was going to change since Sydney wasn't descending at all. I often wonder how things would've gone if I'd been living up here, surrounded by my natural birth-advocate friends. I also wonder if I was having Owen now instead of a year ago, after we'd just moved here, if I would've tried for a VBAC. It's hard to say for sure, but I'm guessing I would've.
It's funny how motherhood can be so cliqueish sometimes. Like if you're into natural mothering, you need to do a specific list of things in order to avoid poseur status - use cloth diapers that you was yourself, delay or avoid vaccination, have a natural birth (preferably at home or in a birthing center), make your own baby food, breastfeed, co-sleep, use a sling (preferably a Maya wrap), etc. etc. I do a few of those things, but we use a diaper service, I'm a strong advocate of vaccination, and I am quite happy to use the jarred baby food (although I do try to buy Earth's Best or some other organic brand). But I think it's the way I had my kids that most often makes me feel like I'm outside the inner circle. I bet moms who bottle feed feel the same way...
Okay, I'm off my box. I've got some more submissions to get out (this time to Big Girl Knits 2), and I think they're pretty darn good. It feels like I keep getting better and better with each batch.
Oh, did y'all notice that the new Knitty is up? Take a look at Jamesey. Look familiar? I got all depressed when I saw this, because I know if I would've sent Winter Branches to Amy she would've sent it right back... Sigh. I shouldn't let it get to me, but I can't help it. Now that I've conquered Interweave Knits, Amy Singer is alone in my sights! She will be mine. Oh, yes. She will be mine. I sent my little pattern off to her for Summer Knitty. It hasn't come back yet, so I'm hoping that's a good sign. If she doesn't want it, I'm going to offer it for sale myself. I think it's pretty darn good, and hopefully, you guys will, too!