Thursday, January 19, 2006

But For Lack of a Boob

MaGreen went to work today, only four weeks after giving birth to BabyG. She teaches writing to children at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Normally, MaGreen works three hours twice a week. For now, she has agreed to go just once a week. My employer does not provide paid leave for paternity, but I am taking all my vacation days and I have not yet run out. So I stayed at home with BabyG and took care of her while MaGreen went back to work.

BabyG slept soundly – that is soundlessly – for the first hour and a half. I read twenty pages of a book, put the soiled cloth diapers in the laundry, and picked up around the house. Then BabyG started to fuss, which she usually does before peeing or pooing. I decided to catch her elimination. When my parents and my brother’s family came to visit last week, we stopped practicing elimination communication (EC). I couldn’t focus on BabyG’s signals and it felt awkward holding a bowl under her for several minutes at a time. Everyone vied for time to hold BabyG and EC just wasn’t going to happen. Today though, without any distractions, not even from MaGreen, I was able to catch everything – multiple pees and a two-squirt poo – and I did not have to wait long. I used our new bowl bought from the EC store that allows BabyG to rest her thighs on the curved top.

When BabyG cried for food, I popped a pacifier in her mouth. Then I warmed up breastmilk MaGreen had pumped that morning. When I gave the bottle to BabyG, she drank eagerly and with focus. I had to warm up a second bottle after BabyG drained the first one. I felt quite confident. I can care for BabyG just as well as MaGreen but for my lacking lactating breasts. I feel lucky that we can afford an electric, double breast pump.

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