Desperate times call for desperate measures, and after several days of Leta’s unwillingness to eat a full meal during the day I found myself on the phone with La Leche League, otherwise known in this household as The Boob Nazis. I was worried about my milk supply, that somehow my boobs might dry up because Leta would rather stare at a blank wall than eat, and I needed some professional advice.
Nikki, the La Leche League leader in my area, assured me that my milk supply would be fine, as long as she was eating at some point during the day, and the only thing I should be worried about was becoming engorged because then my boobs would tell my body to stop producing so much milk. I asked her if I should just pump if I became engorged, and she answered in all seriousness, “Why certainly, go ahead and pump, and store away that milk in the freezer so that in three years when you decide to give up breastfeeding, you’ll have some extra you can give your baby.”
Three as in the one that comes after two?
My baby will be walking and talking in three years, and walking and talking aren’t necessarily the perfect ingredients for a comfortable breastfeeding relationship, at least not for me and my boobs who don’t want to be walked up to. Many kudos to the woman who can continue breastfeeding her child through toddlerhood, but in my household there is only one person who is allowed to have a nickname for my chest and that person finished teething over 38 years ago.
Last week we took Leta to her physical therapy session to get a better diagnosis for her head and neck condition, and we were instructed to give her a lot of “tummy time” where we flip her over on her stomach and encourage her to lift up her head and strengthen her abdominal muscles. Leta, unfortunately, has been cursed with two parents who suffer varying degrees of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and she has spent the majority of the past two weeks of her life on her stomach, her mother and father cheering maniacally from the sidelines. This exercise has been a mixed blessing, however, because not only does she now know how to hold up her head, but she also knows how to HOLD UP HER HEAD, DEAR GOD.
Apparently, there is nothing more exciting or fulfilling in this world that to hold up one’s head, and why eat or sleep when there is just SO MUCH HEAD HOLDING UP TO DO? When I’m trying to feed her during the day she stops after about one minute of sucking and then looks at me like WAIT! You tricked me! A minute ago I was holding up my head and now I’m not holding up my head and I need to hold up my head! And then she’ll root and contort her body in an attempt to get into a position where she can hold up her head. And then she holds up her head and the thundering sigh of relief can be heard in Minnesota.
The good news is that Leta won’t have to wear a helmet because her OCD parents have been overzealous with her neck exercises, and the shape of her head should resolve itself in the next month or two. Hoorah for OCD! The bad news is that in the next month or two she’ll be learning how to reach for things and how to sit up on her own, and OH MY GOD, she’ll never eat or sleep again what with all the reaching and sitting and holding up of her head that will need to be done. And I guess I have a decision to make, do I want my child to develop normally, or do I want to sleep? AND I’M HAVING A HARD TIME CHOOSING.