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Monday, February 09, 2015


There is a new baby in the family (no identifying information here, sorry, will be calling the little one Bebe, French for "baby"), though I hear the little one is having some tummy trouble.  A suggestion:  La Leche League can give the most contemporary information on whether mom's diet might be affecting Bebe.  It is said that reducing cow's milk in Mom's diet might help a little baby with tummy troubles:

I know someone who was colicky for three solid months, though it was not as bad as relatives make it out to be.  He was a little night owl and we would just sit and be quiet together on the couch while Dad slept.  Most of the time he felt better in the "football hold" because there was some gentle pressure on his tummy.  I was living on a diet of coffee and toast half the time because there were relatives living out of our house (and in our side yard from time to time) who literally ate the fridge bare (my mother cooked for me after I came home from the hospital; this was about two or three months later and continued for quite some time, creating a great deal of tension in an already fragile household).

I am convinced my terrible diet, unbelievably bad for a woman who has just given birth, was the worst thing for my baby and also for me--it was also, it seems to me, another bout of the anorexia I had in college (I know I am back in anorexia when I fascinatedly watch my weight drop a little more every day AND am curious to see how low the numbers can get).  Pictures of me from that time show me with glacially white skin and far too thin...every bit of fat I had in my body went into the milk production.

I loved my baby so much and, looking back, there were so few people who really, really cared about me, and him,....way too many significant people in my life were battling alcoholism, drug use, and work addiction, and what I needed then--some person to support and be just a friend to me--was not available at the time.  I was off my center: a year before I had a child, I was a college student and still identified as such.  Suddenly I was in Santa Cruz, and the whole disorientation: moving, getting pregnant, figuring out what to do with everything, put me so completely off center.   The two stable things in my life were my determination to have my child, and my writing.

Had I one stable person in my life, it might have been better.  I remember sitting with my son and trying to talk one of my alcoholic parents out of killing themselves.  Nice environment for a baby, huh?  I had fantasies at the time of running away with him somewhere, anywhere, to get away from all the people reaching out for anything but to support a young mother and child.

Still, here is the present time.  I know this sweet bebe will have a much easier time of things, and I am glad.