Thursday, October 26, 2006

Feeding A Bhaeblet

… is no mean feat. The one we have at home, in particular, is a rude, messy and downright impertinent feeder.

I should explain at this point at that I’m handicapped by an uncle and a paediatrician who are both vociferous breastfeeding fans, and who have lost no chance to tell me that I should not give The Wee B anything but breast milk, otherwise I will have a sickly, ailing, cranky baby.

Any mother reading this post knows at this point just why I’m feeling so blue and bitter; all others may not be able to empathise, but sympathy will do just as well really.

So. The WB wakes. He has peed, his tummy is empty and he wants his food. He wants it right away and the lackadaisical handling of these idiot adults who take over 30 seconds to change him leads to a buildup of righteous anger in a tiny body, which finds expression in ear-splitting howls. You must understand, the new man in my life is the macho kind. He does not cry in front of people. What he does is throw extremely loud temper tantrums.

Anyway, back to feeding. After he is changed he is still howling of course, when Ma sneakily stuffs his mouth full of breast. Stumped mid-howl he abandons rage and settles down to playing around. For, of course, it wouldn’t do to start sucking right away, only wimpy, goody-goody babies do that. So he whips his head away, licks everything in reach, pretends there’s no milk available and in general makes a nuisance of himself. All this while anxious grandmothers and great-aunts wonder (to Ma’s indignation) if Ma is eating properly, perhaps the poor baby is not getting sufficient milk, and whether what Ma thinks is fooling around is actually a desperate search for nourishment.

Then he finally latches on and starts pulling in real earnest. When I say pull I also include chomping, sucking with the power of a mini Hoover and other related activities all guaranteed to cause the maximum pain one Wee B possibly can. To cap it all, the horror falls asleep with clockwork regularity ten minutes into a feed and then on, sucks lazily, at long intervals, for an hour or more. Let the woman wait. (Those who are wondering why I don’t put him down once he is awake, don’t forget the Hoover-strength vacuuming power; others who are wondering why I don’t wake him up – well, he slept through the Diwali chocolate bombs a hundred odd yards from our bed.)

But what really gets my goat is when he finishes, after ninety minutes or more, stretches, smiles, pees and is instantly hungry once more. That treatment has been known to drive a strong girl like me to hysterical tears.

So you see, I’m doing my duty the best I can. But in the meantime, anybody coming to me asking me to sign any petitions championing breastfeeding will probably find themselves being chased with a hatchet.


Rohini said...

Atleast WB is grateful. Ayaan was the fussiest feeder ever and gave me lot of trouble with crying and poor weight gain and what not. I know breastfeeding is important and I put up through all the crap to feed Ayaan through 11 months but anyone who says breastfeeding is a beautiful, out-of-body experience needs to be slapped...

jhantu said...

no comments

M (tread softly upon) said...

LOL. I knew someone who delivered twins and said that she felt like a milking cow because one or the other was constantly hungry :)

Rohini said...

This might make you feel better – you are not alone!

Sue said...

Rohini - He is not grateful.

And I remember that post of yours. I can empathise with the toe-curling pain, you know. That is why I find feeds beyond an hour so intolerable. And then I realise, since he is sleeping thru it all, he is not really getting the amount he needs.

Jhantu - Likewise.

M - Well, an aunt of mine felt like a Mother Diary booth, with her two daughters. I feel like my body will never be my own again, and I only have one baby.

Grafxgurl said...

* err im back finally*


babies have no feelings for their mommmy whatsoever!!...oh and get heavy duty bras!!!

Sue said...

Grafx - Yes, I 'popped'. Your term has caught on, dammit. Heavy duty bras are already bought. You're a month late, where were you??? Anyway, you're back now. *Hugses back*