celticdragonfly: (Breastfeeding - international symbol)
I just got home from an exhausting long grocery run at Walmart. I also got socks for [livejournal.com profile] selenite, and some tops for myself, including a v-neck top to wear underneath that sweater I'm working on. Whew. Long list, long lines.

In front of me was a couple with a baby in a stroller with a cartload of stuff - and separated out from all their other stuff were cans and cans of formula, which apparently she was paying for separately with WIC or whatever it is. After she'd left, I asked the cashier, curious, about how much did that stuff cost and how long did it last? She didn't know the latter, but could tell me that the woman had bought 31 cans and it cost $130. I'm guessing that's a month's supply.

My 4th baby is 8 months old, and I have never bought formula. Supplied them all myself. So presumably I've been saving us that much each month.

Yeah, I deserve a raise!

Dentistry

Dec. 20th, 2007 01:44 pm
celticdragonfly: (Don't wanna)
I had a dentist's appointment this morning. Filling and two crowns, all in one quadrant.

Fortunately Dr. Dave is a really really good dentist. Makes darn sure that I'm numbed, despite my weird reactions to anesthetic. Has actual conversations with me, the only doctor I know that will do so. Turns out for people like me, apparently it isn't so much that we need more anesthetic, but that we need longer for it to take effect, and that's due to differing blood pH. I know I have a weird pH, given that shots and eyedrops and such that are supposed to be neutral, sure aren't on me. So this made sense.

Still. It sucks. And the loaner mp3 player I had with me I couldn't get to work until afterwards, so no music while drilling.

And mostly I just have this immense sense of I spent HOW MUCH money? On teeth that weren't hurting? The guys keep saying well, they *would* have hurt later, this is a good thing to have done, but eeeek.

And because of the medications, and because they were taking out an old filling with the mercury stuff in it, Alanna's not getting breastfed today. She's getting bottles for the first time. [livejournal.com profile] fordprfct is helping with her, took care of her while I was at the appointment, and got her first bottle of pumped milk down her. This afternoon I'm pumping and dumping, which I don't like, but needs to be done. Poor Alanna.
celticdragonfly: (Breastfeeding - international symbol)

Saturday's protest did happen, and I thought it went really well. I'm not sure how many were there - it was a good little crowd. I was quite pleased with the signs we brought - ours were the best constructed and easiest to read. Someone else had done great stickers with the symbol in my icon, and somebody had made and brought buttons for everyone, and someone had printed nametags for the mothers. All very nice touches.

Maggie did great - she was very proud to carry her sign, and showed it off. She let other kids hold it some too. She demonstrated for a while, then went off to play with other kids.

We took a bunch of pictures, and the gallery is here:
http://pics.livejournal.com/celticdragonfly/gallery/0002ttxx?page=1
with some commentary with most of the pictures.

Mostly it was holding up signs for the traffic in cars to see. I had one lady I could see trying to read my sign - it said "THE BEST PLACE TO FEED YOUR CHILD IS WHEREVER YOU ARE" - I kept turning it so she could see it as she passed by - I saw her finish reading it and nod emphatically. That felt nice.

Jamie had fallen asleep in the car on the way there, so he mostly slept in the stroller. Alanna mostly slept in the sling. She woke up after a while, and seemed just happy to be there. She didn't get hungry, oh well. There were plenty of mamas and babies feeding when they needed it.

As we were leaving at the end of the hour, I had a car pull up next to me in the parking lot and ask me what this was all about. I think I did a good job of explaining it clearly and succinctly, and got a positive response. That made me feel good!

UPDATE: We had 30 adults. And... a lot of kids. Not sure how many.
celticdragonfly: (Breastfeeding - international symbol)
After various emails on the list - and I feel very pleased with what I wrote - Ellen posted that there definitely WILL be the protest outside on the public sidewalk for those of us willing to attend. One other woman had written that she too did not want to be in the restaurant and would be there if it was outside - so there should be at LEAST three mothers and our families. Good!
celticdragonfly: (1776 - obnoxious and disliked)
Oh, this is not happy. Various of the people from the DFW area on the protest's email list are now saying oh no, they aren't willing to do the protest on the sidewalk and the area between the sidewalk and the street (which you need to do so that you're on *public* property and the business can't tell you to leave), that's too *dangerous*! What about their kids?

Well, I have a kid who'd be very difficult to get to stay safely out of traffic - and I plan to have him securely strapped into a stroller.

These other women are now talking about well, we'll just go inside and order and nurse, and maybe they'll tell us to leave, and we can make a big fuss about it!

I hate this idea. I do not intend to bring ANY business or spend any money with that restaurant as long as they keep up their current attitudes. And I want to educate the public, not pull some stunt to make a fuss.

Or, they said, we could just meet in some OTHER restaurant! Um, this is a protest, not a lunch date.

Feeling very John Adams-ish, "This is a revolution, damnit, we're going to have to offend somebody!"

sign advice

Sep. 6th, 2007 01:59 pm
celticdragonfly: (1776 - obnoxious and disliked)
Okay, so I'm told it would be really good for us to have signs for the breastfeeding protest Saturday.

Figuring out what to put on the signs I can do. I may ask Maggie if she wants one, and ask what she wants on it. One other mother did that - she reports that her son said “Grown ups are supposed to be feeding their babies and you guys are being mean”

But I don't know HOW to make protest signs. Never really did that sort of thing before. What's an easy way to make signs? Where do you find the stuff to make them? What's the easiet way? I'm picturing ideally some sort of firm cardboard thing that you could oh, I dunno, peel off a sheet covering a sticky side and put a nice color printed-out sign from my computer onto it. Does such a thing exist, and where do you buy it? And what do I use for a handle? Maybe a paint stirrer stick, those are pretty easy to get.

Advise me?
celticdragonfly: (Breastfeeding - international symbol)
I am planning to be part of a group of breastfeeding mothers demonstrating this upcoming Saturday. I'm very excited about this, glad to have a chance to stand up for what I believe in.

Well, probably sit down for it, with a lapful of hungry little girl, but you know what I mean.

I originally found out about this at the Lactivist's blog:
http://thelactivist.blogspot.com/2007/08/applebees-ticks-off-nursing-moms.html
that's a pretty good overview of how it all started and what the issues and problems are.

It has gone national. Here's a page with a lot of the information gathered together:
http://mothernurtureky.com/pages/Applebees.php

and a short UPI news article about the upcoming protest:
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_News/2007/09/05/ky_breastfeeding_protest_to_go_national/8897/

To answer any questions about why are we doing this, what's the issue, or "why don't you just cover up?", I'm going to share here a few quotes from flyers we plan to have, and discussions that have come up on the mailing list for the people who are planning this. (And it is people, not just nursing mothers - anyone supporting breastfeeding mothers and children is invited - my whole local family will be there.)

The planned "Why are we here" flyer:
We are here today as a result of Applebee's recent discrimination against a breastfeeding mother and baby at an Applebee's in Kentucky.

The nursing mother was asked to cover up while breastfeeding her baby, in direct violation of Kentucky law.

We sincerely hope that Applebee's will encourage and welcome all families, regardless of their choice of food, into their establishments. If Applebee's is to truly be a family restaurant then all members of a family should be welcome.

This protest is not against this specific location but is part of a national effort to send a loud message to the corporate office that their actions and statements are unacceptable and even break the law in many states.

Then there's the questions of "why don't you just cover up with a blanket?" or "well, just be discreet!" I don't want someone else deciding what's 'discreet' for me when I'm breastfeeding, or for any other mother. If those teens in bikinis waving carwash signs and flashing cleavage are fine, hey, that's way more than we show. Here's some more culled from the email list, that I agree with wholeheartedly:
Why can't a breastfeeding mother just cover up with a blanket?
  • It's impractical. Many babies (and all the adults I know!) won't tolerate a blanket over their heads while they eat. The baby tugging and pulling the blanket off actually draws more attention to the nursing pair. Plus, it's inconvenient to add one more thing to lug around in the diaper bag.
  • It's hot! Even in an air conditioned room, having the baby's head under a blanket is hot for mom and baby.
  • It's dangerous. Re-breathing the air under a blanket can be dangerous for a baby. Recommendations to reduce the risk of SIDS include making sure your baby's head stays uncovered during sleep.
  • It's unnecessary. Breastfeeding is a natural, healthy part of parenting. It is nothing to be ashamed of, and need not be covered up. The only definition of discreet" that should matter is that of the mother herself; mothers shouldn't feel they need to hide themselves or their babies while the baby eats nature's perfect food.
From another woman on the list: If I *had* to discuss blankets, I might say something like, "Well, certainly some women prefer to use a blanket or cover, and that is fine. But women wear revealing/immodest clothing all the time, and no one asks them to put a blanket over their cleavage. I wish they would! I don't want my husband or children seeing that."
And here's some points on how we feel things ought to be - and again, I'm right on board with all of this:
  • All babies have the right to receive nourishment on an as needed basis.
  • All mothers have the right to provide nourishment to their babies in a manner that suits the mother and the baby.
  • All nursing mothers have the right to nurse their babies in any place where they are otherwise legally allowed to be.
  • No nursing mother shall be approached to cease nursing, cover-up, move, leave, or be more discreet in any fashion. To approach a mother in such a way is to imply that the activity she is engaging in is shameful, wrong, or undesireable when it is in fact none of these.
  • All nursing mothers have the right to nurse their child at any time or any place without fear of harassment.
  • Anyone found guilty of approaching a nursing mother to cease nursing, cover-up, move, leave, or be more discreet in any fashion will be subject to penalties consistent with harassment laws in their state.
  • All nursing mothers have the right to nurse confidently, freely, and openly regardless of their ability or desire to be "discreet".
  • Nursing mothers are not responsible for the comfort of the general public.
No, this isn't how it is. But it's how it should be. It's how I want it to be for us now, and especially how I want it to my for our children now and in the future.

Not all of the Applebees are in our bad books. Women on the list have been contacting various locations and franchises around the country. Many have had bad responses, or ones that just clearly show that they don't get it. One, however, did get it - and sent a letter back to the mother showing it. I'd like to quote briefly from it:
Whit-Mart, Inc., the Applebee's franchisee for the greater Louisville and coastal South Carolina areas, acknowledges and supports the benefits of breast feeding for developing children. I have attached a copy of our (Whit-Mart's) current company policy where we adopted the Kentucky language of "non interference" for use in all of our Applebee's restaurants regardless of the local state law permitting breastfeeding. This policy has been distributed to all of our Area Directors and in turn, they will ensure each of their assigned restaurants observe the policy to the best of our ability.

While I was disappointed to hear of an incident occurring so close to our market in nearby Lexington, where the franchisee ownership group is Thomas & King, Inc., rest assured we will not be acquiring or requiring cover-up sheets or blankets in our Applebee's restaurants in your neighborhoods surrounding Louisville. We recognize that if a nursing mother wishes to use a discrete cover, she will most likely be carrying her own along with all the other necessary child care items.
Go, Whit-Mart!

For reference, here's the Texas law on the subject. Most relevant bit:
Sec.A165.002. RIGHT TO BREAST-FEED. A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.
If anyone would like information about the DFW area event, let me know. For information in other areas, I recommend going to the email list and asking -
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/bwb_lactivist/
celticdragonfly: (Breastfeeding - international symbol)
Monday I took all dairy and chicken out of my diet. I am still having a little chocolate - nondairy dark chocolate only. Monday night was still difficult. Last night - NO colic.

Which is good, in that yay, no colic! Which is annoying in that, gah, months of no dairy. And dairy's in EVERYTHING.

Sigh. The fridge has all these lovely things I can't have - cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt.

I'm HUNGRY. I think I'm getting an apple for lunch. I'm going to try to get a grocery run in later, but it's going to be frustrating.

I love her, though, and I don't want her to hurt. And I certainly don't want to be up with her screaming at 3 am.
celticdragonfly: (Alanna 6-19-07)
Right now I have an adorable, freshly-bathed little girl in my lap, wearing a onesie that says "My daddy is a geek", dozing off after a nursing. Awww. I love nuzzling clean baby hair.

The last several nights have been difficult. She'll fall asleep in my arms (mostly vertically) downstairs in the evening, but getting her upstairs and asleep in the bed is much harder. We go through multiple cycles of changing, nursing, burping, with her getting fussier, and often crying even during nursing. Last night I know she and I were up past 3:30 am, I'm not sure how much past.

So, I think it's time to remember what I learned from Brendan's colic, and give that a try. Time to remove the most common colic-causing foods from my diet. Dairy, chicken, and chocolate. All of which I had yesterday evening, yes.

I am NOT looking forward to this. This is going to leave me not a lot to eat. Dairy will be especially hard to get out, and chocolate will be especially painful. (The only downside of chicken is losing those leftovers in the fridge from last night's dinner.) None of the cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt...

But if it works, that would be good
celticdragonfly: (Breastfeeding - international symbol)
Alanna slept really well last night. We went to bed a bit after midnight, and when I woke up at 6 she was still asleep next to me. Now, this may be very nice in the sleep category, but ow, she really needs to be nursing in the wee hours at least once. I was engorged and painful.

When I woke up and looked over, Alanna was still sleeping on her left side, facing me, and behind her Karina was lying snuggled up all along her back, with the cat's head tucked in right behind the baby's head and neck. It looked like she was actually pushing a bit hard against the baby's neck, so I pushed the cat away. A few moments later when I was more awake, I was kicking myself for not getting a picture first. (I will have a cute pic of baby and cat from yesterday to put up, once [livejournal.com profile] fordprfct sends it to me.)

I changed Alanna and got her to wake up enough to nurse a bit, and then we fell back asleep for a couple more hours. I woke engorged and hurting again, and had to try to get her awake enough to nurse. I'd still like her to nurse more soon. Ow ow.

I know, I know, mothers with small babies who are up screaming half the night will curse me that this is my complaint. I know, because I was one once. Brendan was my easiest pregnancy but my most difficult baby - so far Alanna seems to be the opposite. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop and for things to get difficult.

I think since Whisperwear seems to be vaporware, I better get a new kit and bags for the Medela. I'd have liked to be able to go pump this morning. If the bottles from the old kit had been clean/sterile, I would have, although I don't think I have any more storage bags.

Vaporpump?

Jun. 19th, 2007 03:06 pm
celticdragonfly: (Breastfeeding - international symbol)
Grrrr.

I've been wanting to get one of the hands-free Whisperwear breastpumps. Not that I actively need it now - more that I'd like to be a milk donor again, if I can do it without making my life too difficult.

But last night I was thinking that if anything happened to take me away from Alanna temporarily, that would be bad, Karl would be left scrambling to try to find some formula alternative and figure out what was best and how to use it while juggling a screaming hungry baby. My advice was in such an emergency, call the midwife and ask her advice, and fer gosh sake get avent bottles and get the pump to me as soon as possible. Hopefully nothing bad will happen. (Yeah, my ankles were all swollen again yesterday, and we automatically think about worst case scenarios.) He was saying maybe he should get an emergency stash just in case. If so, he has to hide it.

Anyway, it had me thinking maybe I should just look into the pump sooner and start freezing some emergency supply, better all around. So I called the retailer down SW of here, wanted to look into a couple of sleep bras anyway. She says the pumps have been backordered for months, and she hasn't even been able to find out anything about when they'll be available again. If she doesn't hear soon, she's taking them off her site.

So I dug up the main company site, and called them. "Nobody is available to answer the call" in either sales or operator. I left a message, but I'm rather concerned that the company may have become vaporware. DAMN.

I could get a new kit for the 11 year old 'rental' Medela pump I own. I think the thing is starting to lose efficiency, though. And the worst part is that for it, I have to be tied down and away from the kids for a 15 minute period, ideally a few times a day. I can probably do it, but it's annoying. I do still have the old 'stuff' for it, I was using that when we were trying to encourage labor, and I suppose it'll still work for now, once we get the bottles thoroughly clean, but a new kit would be a good idea.

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