Hello Month Number Four
Lucy clocked in at 11 lbs 10 oz, 23 5/8″ long this morning at the doctor. She’s holding strong around the tenth percentile.
I have decided to delay introducing any foods to her even though she is able to begin eating rice cereal at this age. I am concerned about her tendency towards food allergies at this point. Plus it runs in the family. Two other cousins in her generation of my family have the same issue. I’d rather be safe than sorry. Even though I wouldn’t give her milk before a year, I would rather sacrifice now than have to avoid ice cream for the rest of our lives. It’s my dream to have a pizza oven in our back yard one day, which will cover with lumps of my favorite food – fresh mozzarella cheese. Oh, cheese… it has been so long.
Before I had my most recent milk supply scare, I kept getting this idea that I should give her breast milk through 18 months. I don’t intend to breast feed her that long. But I have a rather large supply of frozen milk without a real plan. I have a couple of months worth in Taylor’s basement. When they asked me what my plan was, I really had no idea.
Let’s just say that last week was crazy with a capital K. I can’t share all of the details here; my dad reads this and, well, the stories are so great I am waiting on a book deal. Let’s just say some of the most shocking conversations happened at church, aka The Zoo, according to Leah. Nice to find the humor surrounding me when I really just wanted to cry.
Yes, this is the third time I thought that my milk was vanishing before my eyes. But I managed to keep it together and went to work. I started pumping, increasing the number of feedings from 5-6 to 9 times a day, plus I started popping herbs again, and drinking Guinness. I also had a couple of sessions of acupuncture and bought another batch of Oreos.
Coincidentally I had sworn off Oreos the week before my supply went down. I hadn’t really picked up another snack. And by the time I realized that things were looking bad, I wasn’t hungry anymore. I thought this was a bad sign. I have been starving since 9:15 am four months ago today, way beyond anything I experienced in my pregnancy. Maybe there is something to this whole “Milk’s Favorite Cookie” thing. I wasn’t taking any chances. While reading Spin Magazine, there was a reference to Axel Rose that said, surprisingly, he was the sanest crazy person the author had ever met. This quote really resonated with me this week.
When I realized I needed to return to the pump, I took a deep breath and asked Paul, the church business manager, a question I had never hoped to utter. Our conversation went something like this:
“Paul, as a trustee, I hope this is the strangest request you receive today.”
“Can I store my breast milk in the freezer downstairs?” We need to insert Leah’s remarks to describe the look on his face here, because I was too embarrassed to watch.
Well, who cares about the rest of the conversation. But he said it was fine as long as I CLEARLY label it. I told him that each of the bags say “My Mommy’s Milk” on them. But I would do my best so that there wouldn’t be any confusion.
Once I received the okay, I took the bear to The Container Store and bought a couple of containers. The next day, I bagged up my little packets according to date. So it’s approximately two weeks per gallon bag. I zipped up the container, set it on top of my grandma cart and started rolling it down H Street.
Talk about a surreal experience. First of all, it made me love my stroller even more, with its adjustable handles and agility. In fact, I want to come up with some collapsible cart accessory for the top of my stroller to use as a grocery cart for many years to come. Back to the story, for every person that gave me an odd stare, I thought do you know what I have in this container with this baby strapped to my chest? I am all hunched over and doing my best to keep it balanced on top of the cart without running into anyone. And I am trying my best not to let her flail around too much. Thank you neck muscles.
Right around the H Street entrance to Gallery Place and the Chinatown Cultural Community Center, a woman was standing dead in the center of the sidewalk. A friend was with her and looking at her with a somewhat stunned reaction. I usually keep moving as fast as I can, but this time I sort of stopped and huffed. She was probably about 5’10” and 350 pounds, wearing a tight yellow shirt. After about fifteen seconds, I figured that she wasn’t moving. So I started to move my little cart bit by bit. It was like a ten point turn around her body. When I finally make my way around her and get back on track, I hear her hock a loogie. I thought, surely that is not at me. I did not look back.
I rolled into church with my “liquid gold” and asked for the easiest way to get to the kitchen. That’s when I met Polly, my breast milk guardian. She gave me a milk crate to sit it on and I told her my story of how I have to keep ahead of Lucy or else, this will end very quickly. Plus I am concerned about her food allergies, so I have an added incentive to keep at it. She totally understood and was great! She also pointed out that the freezer is set to negative sixteen degrees. She added my milk could last for five years in there. Good. That’s what I needed to hear.
So when I return upstairs, I share this story to Eric and Leah, who are meeting in the break room. Eric has seen the woman in yellow. He tells me this and I think how could he possibly have seen this woman before. I don’t believe him until a couple of days later when he told me that he frequently sees her standing on the street spitting at people. Once she pulled a drink out of the trash and threw it at someone. Wow. This is my life.
But we are back on the up and up. Our feedings are still a little more frequent than I would like. But I’m hoping that will work itself out over the next couple of weeks. New moms, watch out… things can dry up between 2-4 months overnight. OVERNIGHT. That is not an exaggeration. Now that it happened to me, I remember Pat’s warning. I should have marked my calendar.
At Arts on Foot, I showed Leah my books from the Library Book Sale. I picked up a dictionary of American Sign Language. She asked me if I was going to use to sign to Lucy. I told her, no, it was for art projects. I flipped it open to God. She said, “Look, she is talking to you.” I thought, good, because I have been praying very hard. This week only confirms that God has a serious sense of humor. It has been very entertaining to say the least.