another random post

Every time I finally sit down to write a post, I feel like I need to apologize for taking forever to write and then I feel like I need to apologize for my lack of structure and cohesiveness or even a general point… but then I remember, most of my readers are moms and you all know how it is. Besides I started this blogging for myself and someday I’ll probably get a chuckle looking back on my random wayward posts of those early days.

So what’s new?

Baby Bug is getting cuter and cuter every day. When she wakes up in the morning (after about a half an hour of grunting and stretching and yawning and fidgeting) she’ll look up at me with the biggest whole-face smile that you ever saw. I’m amazed that babies don’t wake up terrified. Can you imagine being brand new to this world and just naturally having an optimistic outlook? It’s crazy. But I guess it’s the only way to survive. Starting the day with a big sloppy smile is probably a lot better than the grimace I might be inclined to make.

I started pumping finally. Or as Toby likes to call it, playing my boob horns. It really is kind of funny that they call this machine a “symphony”. I think about it a lot while I sit connected to it. Sometimes I really do feel like I’m playing a symphony. A symphony of errors.

I rented the hospital grade pump so I get to honk both boobs at the same time. It’s a riot. I wait until Baby Bug is napping (which is hardly ever) and then I hook myself up by sticking each boob into a funny plastic funnel that is connected to a bottle at the bottom and a long tube at the top end. The tubes ares connected to the machine that sucks air. The machine has two circular lungs inside it. You can lift up the lid and watch if you want to. Which I do, of course, since I’m fascinated with this mechanical sucking breathing stuff. It’s like having a little life support system sitting on your desk.

The machine sucks air and I watch my nipples extend and retract inside the plastic funnel tubes. It’s a weird sensation getting sucked by air. The tubes criss cross across my desk and sometimes I get tangled up in them. Sometimes Baby Bug wakes up and starts to fuss because her pacifier has fallen out of her mouth. This is when I start to feel silly. Why am I connected to a pump, squirting milk into a bottle while my baby cries on the other side of the room? This is so unnatural. Should I unhook, clean up and give her a boob or just stick the pacifier back in?

How am I going to stick the pacifier back in when I’m suctioned to a bunch of drippy plastic parts and tubes that don’t let me move farther than a few feet? I forgot to mention that the bottle-funnel-suctioning cups, that are stuck to my boobs, aren’t stuck there very well. So if I want to type on my computer I have to lean up against my desk and keep them on that way. And if I want to get up and walk across the room to Baby bug, then I have to hold them with both hands. But that doesn’t work either because I’m connected to the pump and the tubes don’t’ reach that far. SO….I have to let one bottle fall off so I can pick up my pump and walk across the room, while tripping over tubing and letting the disconnected bottle suck gasps of air like Darth Vadar. By the time I finally get to Baby Bug she’s past the point where a simple plug of the pacifier will work and now she requires full strength soothing measures. So much for my symphony of pumping.

Sometimes Baby Bug does stay asleep and I do manage to pump two or three ounces. I then carry this to the fridge as if it were gold and dump it into my storage bottle. I’m so proud of myself and my mighty milk. I have to force myself to refrain from carrying it over to to Toby’s office door and bragging about it. But it’s precious stuff. I’ve been feeding Baby Bug one bottle a day and it is pure heaven for my boobs. She loves the bottle nipple. She hates my nipples. If I didn’t want to become the earth mother who can take her baby camping in the wilderness without any electricity, I might think about switching to pumping exclusively.

Around five in the evening is Baby Bug’s witching hour. She fusses exceptionally well from five to seven (exactly when I’m supposed to be thinking about cooking dinner). Giving her a bottle at this time seems to really fit our routine. I still haven’t mastered getting dinner done on time and not burnt, but it is a lot easier on the nerves.

I exaggerate some. Baby Bug is actually a really good baby. She hardly cries. She doesn’t have colic (knock on your wooden head) and she’s remarkably easy to sooth. Meaning, when she fusses I can usually figure out what she wants pretty easily. Easy to anger, easy to sooth. That’s not so bad. I think her orneriness makes her even more adorable sometimes. You should see when she gets upset and sticks out her lower lip. I never know whether to laugh at her or feel terrible.

I know the photo of Toby and Baby Bug doesn’t really match this post but I didn’t really feel like illustrating myself and the breast pumping machine (Ha! I have some modesty left…) and I haven’t yet managed to catch Baby Bug with her lower lip out with the camera yet. I guess I could illustrate Baby Bug’s sad face…but I don’t have that much time. It’s bad enough I typed this whole thing with one hand.

Just kidding. She does sleep sometimes.


  • Mama22Boys

    I know exactly what you mean. I feel like I’m a cow being milked every 2 hours. It’s awfully strange to be tied to a piece of machinery just so I can give my little one 100% booby juice (as my husband likes to call it). Ah but we are mothers and I wouldn’t do otherwise.

  • Sweetgum

    Oh, the things to be learned here! One day I’m reading about how to animate in Photoshop, the next day I’m reading about gymnastic breast pumping. Thanks, SAJ!

  • Anna

    Great photo of Toby and Baby Bug!

    And the boob machine is hilarious, I was too nervous to use an electric pump, so I hand pumped. Thankfully for me, J loved the boobs too much, so I didn’t have to pump too often :)

  • Abbey

    I had never thought about babies just automatically being happy when they wake up. You’re right…it should be super scary! Thank goodness that they do, though, otherwise they’d be crying ALL the time!!

    And I just have to say – your baby is one of the cutest darn babies I’ve EVER seen! And believe me…I’ve seen a good many recently. I’m at the age where ALL, and I mean ALL, of my friends are having babies…so I’m surrounded! It’s lovely…

  • Captain Mom

    When our baby girl (now 8) was 6 weeks old, I had an emergency gall bladder removal surgery. Needless to say, I was freaked as she was strictly breastfed. I geared up with 3 days notice and rented the hospital double honker, and pumped between every feed for 2.5 days, to have enough milk to leave for about 10 hours while I did the out patient procedure. Wierd enough. But the topper came when I was still under anesthesia, barely coming out, and I passed through 2 what would have been feeding times. The answer my midwife gave? Take the honker and have my hubby hook me up. So he did. Propped me up in the hospital bed, pulled the shoulders off that nasty gown, and attached the honkers right up, and turned on the machine. Twice. I never knew what had happened during the fact, and I think he says I was even drooling, while my head lolled all over the place til he could get me situated back on the pillow. Lovely. Really marriage bonding right there.

  • Nila

    It’s been many years since I’ve had to use one of those machines, and I still have a vivid picture in my head of my nipples pulling in and out of those plastic tubes. Very scary and fascinating. Motherhood is so attractive.
    The worst part of pumping is sanitizing all that stuff.

    Who knew you were so multi-task oriented. So many talents.

  • Amy

    I am so completely going to give assvice here and now. Get rid of the soother! (Just my two cents!)

    Soon your daughter will have you trained to wake up 6x a night fetching it for her. You will spend many a night (numerous times) for many months with your butt in the air in the dark trying to fetch the darn soother from under the crib! BTDT.

    My son was addicted to his till he was 5. (Only at nap and bed time mind you for the last few years..) I finally outlawed them when his twin sisters were a few months old and he would creep in their room to steal their soothers as they slept (waking up crying). Decided there and then that soothers were evil ;) They were GONE the next morning and we all survived.

    If she is a calm and easily soothed baby toss the soothers. Unless of course she is fine doing without all night. Just my two cents as the mother of a former soother addict/sleep deprived mother!

    (I cannot tell you how many times I got up in the middle of the night to find/pop in soothers with sonny boy. A million?! Easily soothed daughters made the transition beautifully, a little fussing and then back to bed on their own.)

    You are doing so well my dear. With my first born (colicky son) the first months were hellish! You sound like you have everything under control :) (Even if you don’t think so at this point!)

  • Ines

    Hi Brenda,
    From one pumping Mom to another, here is my trick for hands free pumping… take an old bra (preferably one that fits) and cut a hole in each cup! I hated holding on to the funnels. Since I was pumping every few hours I would feed the funnel through the hole and attach the tubing. Just think of yourself as Madonna with her cone bra… very retro! ha
    Good luck.

  • Lola

    Ines, that is brillant advice about the Madonna pumping bra!

    When I was pumping a few years ago, my pump used to talk to me. It mostly said “Go home, go home.” A bit weird where I was already home pumping. Somedays it would say “so sad, so sad.”

  • american girl

    I am SO jealous seeing Baby Bug in just a diaper and onesie…must be lovely to be in nice warm CA and be able to see your daughter’s chubby little legs and arms. I’m always surprised when I take all of Cate’s clothes off to see her chubbiness, because she’s usually underneath 3 layers of clothes/blankets! I can’t wait for spring!

  • Heidi

    Ines has the best idea ever…I will defintiely use that method with baby #2. While pumping with baby #1 I used lanolin to sooth my nipples. The bonus was that it created just enough “stickiness” to keep the pumping gear stuck to my breasts without having to hold on the entire time (just not enough to walk around the house). I got enough freedom to read or do computer work while pumping. It was great!

  • Ines

    I am so glad noone laughed at me! As weird as you will look, it saved my sanity and gave me and my husband a good laugh every day. I hope this works for you.

  • laura

    I love the picture. It goes perfectly with what a happy baby she is. And I’m so glad you got the cone-bra advice – what a good idea. And what an interesting illustration that will make!

  • Christina

    I was a pumping mama.. no real helpful hints on that one, just go girl! You will be nurturing your baby, bottle or boob.. doesn’t matter in my book. (kinda like the natural child birth thing.. is there an UN natural way to have a baby? I mean is it possible to emerge from your ear or something?)

    pacifier/soother.. tried with the oldest he wasn’t interested. The younges LOVED her sucky. Oh my! I didn’t even care. She gave it up when she started preschool at 2&1/2 years old. But then, she wasn’t on the bottle at a year, so maybe she just needed more sucking. I don’t know.. it doesn’t really matter. It’s what makes YOUR baby happy that really counts. And if that one thing turns out to be a giant orange oompa loompa well then, I’ll scour the globe with ya to find 50 of them to make sure you never run out!

    your doing a great job, she is beautiful and healthy and you love her! (I can kinda tell hee hee)

    gentle hugs my friend

  • Jenness

    I actually bought a bra that’s specifically for pumping. When I went back to work after a couple months, it got really boring to sit and hold two cones to my boobs for the 15+ minutes it would take to drain them, so I bought a “pumping bra”. I believe it was from Medela. Probably the best $40 I spent during the breastfeeding year.. :)

  • Boogie's Mom

    I love the picture of Toby and the baby. It’s just so endearing. She’s just such an adorable little baby.

    I had a pumping bra too. It let me actually read a book while pumping because I didn’t have to hold both hands onto the pumps.