millk tether

I've been feeling a little run-down lately. My family might even say I've been acting a little cranky. Okay, I HAVE. I'm so tired. I've been trying to figure out why, and I think I got a little clarity last night, when Mark attempted to give Karis a bottle. Karis was not having it. She was screaming and crying and arching her back, and as this was going on I made the connection that this was her first bottle in about six weeks. Which means, for the past six weeks, I have not been away from Karis for more than three hours at a time.

Hmmm . . . think I might need a little break?

Breastfeeding a baby is an interesting venture for a pseudo-feminist mom. Because no matter how much you think you can co-parent and be an egalitarian couple and continue your own career and bla bla bla - when you are the milk supply, suddenly you are kickin' it old school. I love that I've decided to breastfeed exclusively. Truly, I do. But I think the element of sacrifice involved was a bit startling for me. It is a beautiful bonding experience, but at the same time for a Type-A personality it can be mind-numblingly boring to sit there for hours each day as you think about other things you could be doing with that time. (Although it is a great opportunity to catch up on facebook). But the hardest part for me is that feeling that you can never really get a break from your baby. I mean, sure, I've gotten out to see a movie. I had a great night with friends just last night. But man. I'd love a whole day right about now, without watching the clock for when the next feeding time will be.

I hope it doesnt' sound like I'm complaining about nursing. Even though I guess I am . . . I am so glad I am doing it. Most of the time I love it. I'm just trying to process why I am feeling a little stir-crazy, and a little like a hamster on a cage at times. I think it's okay to acknowledge as moms that oftentimes the liberated, "you can have it all" notion is just not possible, and that's okay. As much as I'm longing for a little freedom, I know that once she is weaned, I will be an emotional wreck who longs for those quiet midnight feedings again. Such is life.

For the time being, though, I am a little determined to get her back on a program where Mark can administer the occasional bottle. I wish I could have videotaped the scene we had going on when he tried. She refused to let him do it, but she would reluctantly let me hold her and drink from the bottle. So then Mark and I tried to get creative. He sat right next to me while I was feeding her, and we would try to slowly transfer the bottle from my hand to Mark's hand. IT WAS CRAZY. She was still in my lap, but the minute my hand came off that bottle and Mark was holding it, she would lose it. And then I would hold the bottle again and she would calm down. It was so funny. But then again, not at all funny, since it makes it that much harder for me to leave her.

I do have to report that despite the bottle issues, Karis has finally taken a liking to Mark. They are slowly becoming buddies (as long as he's not trying to feed her). They are even working on a party trick together:

Alright, I gotta go. It's feeding time!


  1. My daughter is 5 months old and also a 3rd child-there just isn't time to remember to give the bottle! We have the same situation going on right now here too. Although, we are having an easier time with the bottle since I bought faster flow nipples. Maybe that will help? With my other children I was sure to include a bottle in so that weaning would never be an issue, so I could get breaks, etc...but a 3rd child is a whole different story ;)

  2. hey you probley dont know me but i am one of austins friends, Rachel, and i was over at Austins house today hanging out with him and playing with baby hannah. well i got to help feed her today. she took about half the bottle and then i burbed her, after that Kim told me to feed her the other half of the bottle. so tryed giving to to her she took it for about half a seconde and then spit it out and started crying......agian. so i would stop and then try agian, when i would she would take it for a seconde and then spit it i would sit her up and she would stop and start agian. it was funny but then not funny. so well i love reading your posts they make me smile.-Rachel

  3. I have a feeling that if you and I ever met in the "real world" we would be freakishly alike. I felt the same way, wanting to do what was best and exclusively breastfeed while at the same time wishing my breasts were velcroed on and could be worn by others to give me a break! I nursed eached baby for two years, hence the trip to the plastic surgeon, and wouldn't in retrospect change one second of it!

  4. so darn cute. my mom forcefully put an end to my nursing camden at 14 months by booking plane tickets to palm springs for a THREE DAY WEEKEND with my sisters and her. no kids allowed. i have never felt more relaxed than i did that weekend. and now we do it every year!

  5. I know you hear this a lot, but the reason I love reading your blog is that it's like YOU SPEAK MY MIND! I had a major love/hate relationship with nursing both my kids. It was hell--HELL I say, at first for both. I lasted with each for at least 10 months, though. I contend that having a child is like losing yourself completely for approx. 18 months. 9 months of pregnancy (which is a whole book of rant in itself) and 9 months (or more) of constant drain of your physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological, sexual, intellectual and comical energy. No one thinks you are complaining, just sayin' it like it is. Hang in there with the bottle thing. Sydney refused one from anyone for about a month, which was a delight for me going back to substitute teaching. Keep trying! She'll take it eventually!

  6. Anonymous12:32 PM

    Hi - i found your blog after reading MamaManifesto - we have a 4 mo old who was the same way as Karis - until my husband realized that if he sat her in the swing or the bouncer chair, he could get her to take the bottle. (and the 4th type we tried, no less). So finally, after 3 1/2 months of being a mommy tether (I know the feeling) she finally would take it in a neutral place. Good luck...

  7. Nursing is very difficult. I made it to eight months with Lydie but it was hell.


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