Thursday, March 31, 2011

#3 Top Ten Reasons It's You and No One Else

Because you say the wrong thing quite often, but almost never to me. I'm always beautiful, never stupid, never fat, never less than any other woman, always trying to do the right thing- in your eyes I am the best version of myself and because you see me this way I am a better person than I would have been, and much better looking, too.

You learned how to put aside your fears and comfort me when I am afraid. I learned how to put aside my sadness and comfort you when you are sad. We learned together that the simplest rule is crucial for marriage: take turns.

Then we learned if you absolutely can't take turns, don't tear each other to shreds when you're trapped in the same cage. We're all in this together.

Your ass is awesome. It's fresh.

Once you made your way to an underpass and gave a man and a woman all the money in your wallet.

You take baths all the time. I knock on the door and you laugh and me and ask why I'm knocking on the door. I reply you could be masturbating! pooping! and you laugh again, the pages of your book wet, your face kind and attentive. You say What's up, sweetie. I love the way you say What's up, sweetie. I love that you never make me feel like I'm interrupting you. Even though when I'm on the computer, I can't say the same.

When I'm dying I hope I get to hear you talking to me. I hope I hear your voice.

You made Ever Elizabeth with me.

I want to take Lola to Disneyland, you told me, just the two of us.

We've been married 8 years and haven't run out of things to talk about. You're my person,
you tell me. And you are mine.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Working Girl

cindy sherman, working girl

Back to work with baby. A room full of babies, and my baby. My arms full of babies, and my baby. My breasts full of milk for my baby. All day telling myself you are so lucky you are so lucky you are so lucky I am not leaving my baby with someone else, to hold her , swaddle her, rock to her, show her the small awakenings of Spring. I am there. I count the differences like ominous pox marks: I cannot hold her all day, I cannot sling her, I cannot nurse her on demand, I cannot respond to her every movement and noise as though we are one being; these things are how I know to be a mother, but now I am a working girl. At work I am watched. When I leave they sidle in and ask: How is it going? Meaning: Is she still doing her job? I know I am because of the hard pit in my stomach all day, because when I look at Ever she is often not one foot away from my face with her sweet breath in my nose, but lying on the floor/rocking in swing/bouncing in the seat. I juggle her needs the same as I juggle the other baby needs in the infant room. Same/Same. Mr. Curry comforts me and holds me when I cry that it's all so different and he told me She's getting the best of you and God, I hope that's true.

Monday, March 28, 2011

zac efron and contraception

- Exhaustion finally caught up with me. Ever wakes anywhere from 2 to 6 times a night to nurse. The two times nights are good. The six, not so. So. Tired. The laundry is epic, spilling over in the hallways like an orphanage. Ever's toys, swings, bouncy chair, play mat, etc have taken over the house. Mr. Curry was woken up twice the other night by unidentified toys turning themselves on. In other news, I was woken up twice the other night by turning myself on. I had a long epic dream about my husband and zac efron. Is that wrong? I sat behind zac and drew a heart on his neck with lipstick, then told him I feel like Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in Top Gun, except I am way hotter than Kelly McGillis! And everyone watching us ( don't ask ) stood up and applauded. ? ? ?....
- When I'm worrying about something small, something completely insignificant in the scheme of things, 90% of the time I will get a flash of something horrible, something like illness and premature death and I will think What an idiot you are! Then I will wonder what life would be like if we existed, all of us, in perfect non-worry and only mused on significant matters. What would happen if no one worried about anything that wasn't really, really important? What would the world look like? Would we all look like bankers?
-Mr. Curry and I had sex last night. This in itself is worthy of a bulletin point on my list. It was the first time we have gone in a room ALONE and closed the door and had sex since Ever was born. Angels wept, clouds parted, Woody Allen blew his nose and said that life couldn't be all neurosis and tragedy, could it? And then, the condom broke. The entire tip of the condom fell off and we had no idea until we had a really GOOD idea. And by then, it was too late.
-So today, Mr. Curry, Ever Elizabeth and I headed to the Kaiser pharmacy for a morning after pill. The pharmacist, who looked amazingly like the old farmer in Babe, explained to me that this pill was not for the use of birth control, but for emergency only. I adjusted my hips. Well, I explained, just as carefully, my husband and I have a brand new baby and last night we had sex and the entire tip of the condom broke off. So it was an emergency. He turned beet red and snorfled his nose and stared at the rectangular package as he put it in the bag and agreed that, yes, that counted as a contraceptive emergency. Mr. Curry said afterward that all the Babe pharmacist was probably thinking was you recently had sex! you recently had sex! vagina, vagina vagina! I think that's generous, and he was probably thinking All I wanted was a bagel for lunch and instead I have to hear about this girl's broken condom. I hate my job.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

WELCOME Sponsor: Kinderel Bamboo Organics

Please welcome Flux Capacitor's newest sponsor, Kinderel Bamboo Organics In the founder's words:

Kinderel is committed to making environmentally friendly, ethical products and are proud to have all their products made locally in Vancouver, BC.

Kinderel is donating a portion of all sales to the - Helping Families Affected By Childhood Cancer .

Ever has a bamboo onsie that is hands down the softest thing she owns. It's like...clouds.
These are products that are earth friendly and completely safe and non toxic

Kinderel offers baby hairbands, onsies, hats, blankets and bamboo fabrics in gorgeous saturated colors. Put ' Flux25 ' in the comment box to receive an amazing 25% off your order

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fuzzi and Co.

Maggie May spotted in La Jolla with her adorable new baby girl Ever Elizabeth

That's my US Magazine snapshot. The paparrazi don't normally stalk writers but maybe dancing with Justin Timberlake in an N-Sync video just made me irresistible

Justin and Maggie: Did He Cheat on Brittney?

To answer, I was in an N'Sync video as an extra, you can find me here
at time 1:42 on Justin's right side, I'm in a pink cowgirl hat with
blonde braids
So fun, and Justin was really sweet and talented and nice to all of us!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ask Ellen To Change My Life!

So I've written Ellen, twice now, in her ' Ask Ellen To Change Your Life ' segment on her website. I'm determined to get up out of this hole we are in, and Mr Curry and I work hard- damn hard! - and always, always pay it forward. Since my hours were cut at work I've pressed harder than before seeking writing work, getting sponsors for Flux Capacitor and now I've embarked on a campaign to have Ellen pick my family for her Change Your Life segment.
( Here's a summary of how we were financially devastated )

Would you please help me in this and email Ellen here and ask her to pick Maggie May Ethridge for her show?

Here's a sample format, feel free to copy and paste:

I'm writing you to ask that you pick Maggie May Ethridge and her family for your Ask Ellen To Change Your Life segment of the Ellen Show. I read her blog Flux Capacitor and would love to see her and her family get a boost up! Maggie's email is
Thank you, Ellen!

Thank you Lovely Readers!!!
'only, connect'

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Poor People

" Poverty in the United States is cyclical in nature with roughly 13 to 17% of Americans living below the federal poverty line at any given point in time, and roughly 40% falling below the poverty line at some point within a 10-year time span. Poverty is defined as the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.[1] Approximately 43.6 (14.3%) million Americans were living in poverty in 2009, up from 39.8 million (13.2%) in 2008- wikipedia "

We are poor. No surprise to anyone that knows us. The closest we have come to not being poor is when Mr. Curry's business was thriving, before the laws changed and his workers comp. insurance more than tripled and put him out of business, and before I had my surgeries and went into medical debt. I wrote about our financial downfall here.

Sometimes we are more poor or less poor; sometimes we can afford as many groceries as we need, pizza for the kids Friday Family Night, to pay for insurance co-pays L or I or D's sports fee/art class/tutor, and sometimes we can't afford to pay our water bill, take our kids to the doctor or let go of a roommate we don't like. But we are always on the edge. I grew up like this, too, poorer even than we are now, and as I grew up I overheard a lot of discussion between my parents about what it means to be poor in this country. My family on both sides are southern born and bred, and the poverty in Jackson, Mississippi, where I was born, is widespread and old, with enormous sad eyes and broken fingers. The buildings fall apart and disjoint like arthritic arms and legs:

Being poor means something else there than it does here in San Diego, CA, but there are things that stay the same for the poor, wherever they live in this United States. My family just experienced one of them.

I have spent the last five years of my life working my ass off to provide care for Dakota, in the various ways that he has needed it. Almost all of the care he has received has cost money. Some of that care was payed for by my mother, Dakota's enormously generous Grandma who loves him as if her were her own boy- and he is, in a way; he's her grandson. Some of that care was paid for by Mr. Curry and I. Almost always, the care he received was purposely geared toward people that don't have money. ( Us ) Almost always, the telephone call return, the appointments made, the questions answered, the care eventually received came after prolonged periods of time with delays, a lot of driving, a lot of asking, many humbling explanations and sometimes a very verbal and pushy mother at the front. ( Me ) And sometimes, the care did not come. Because we don't have the money to make it happen. Because we can't afford a lawyer when our rights are challenged or revoked, and we can't afford the time it takes to challenge those things on our own when we both work full time paid by the hour at businesses that, while they like us, could replace us. Sometimes all I could do is protest with tears in my eyes. And yes, I've done that.

Please help my child

It has to be one of the most fundamentally honest and uniting questions a person can ask or hear. But when money is involved and resources- even just the resource of time and effort- are low, even the most compassionate person can turn their heads and compartmentalize and justify and put your child in the back of their mind. My child has been that child. At his own schools, he has been that child. I've sat at many a walnut rounded table, recently with my own rounded and hugely pregnant stomach, asking questions, politely and calmly but insisting on being answered and heard, and still, " We can't help you. " It's not can't. I don't let me kids get away with that. It's won't.

Here's an equation:

($= :)X ) ($=@Y)

Money cannot buy a caring therapist, the right medications, the right diagnosis or the perfect treatment: but it can buy the opportunity to find those things. Money buys time. It buys opportunity. It buys choices.

Standing in the tiny waiting room that smelled like cooked cabbage, Mr. Curry, Dakota and Ever and I tried to make ourselves comfortable. We waited. The clock ticked. We waited and waited and finally, some time after the actual time of our appointment, the door opened and we were let in. In the one hour we spent with Dr. L, my sixteen year old son who has worked his ass off in the last year to mature, change and open himself up was treated like shit. In a government funded office I am glad even still exists, where the receptionist was rude and condescending and the
staff are under-trained and under-qualified and totally in over their heads- yes this is what it means to be poor. Poor is a place where you go and they treat you like shit and you are glad they are there to do it.

Poor means that Dr. L was volunteering her services at this office and according to her every expression and nuance, we are going to take her shitty service and like it, or we can leave. Which is always the choice- take it or leave.

We waited two months for this appointment.

I filled out humiliating forms on what payments I thought I could make - after being asked to do so- to be openly scorned by the fucking receptionists in the office because what I offered was so much less, apparently, than all the cool poor people offered.

And then, once we finally arrive, wait after our time and see Dr. L, she sighs, she fiddles, she makes faces at my kid, and eventually, grudgingly is backed into a corner by me after initially denying our request- WHICH, I might add, was a request backed up by another doctor I paid ( and am still paying off ) to do extensive testing- and another doctor Mr Curry and I paid for D. to see for a year - and finally agreed that maybe, possibly, these other experts and me, his mother, knew what we were talking about, and if we wanted her help, we could do xyz and come back in a month, and then, maybe she will help us.

Oh, if we could only be so lucky.

And then, on the way home, Dakota informs me that when he talked with Dr. L alone in her office- before she called me in - she badgered and humiliated him.

I am so angry that I cannot feel angry.

And this is what it means to be poor:

We might go back and see her next month.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Welcome SPONSOR: Fe Fi Fo FUN Fairy Tales

Please welcome Flux Capacitor's newest sponsor: Fe Fi Fo Fun Fairy Tales

Lola often has trouble relaxing into sleep at night, and listening to stories on CD has been one of the most effective ways to keep her mind occupied with something and let her body relax. These classic fairy tales, like Jack In the Beanstalk and Thumbelina are perfect for entertaining kids of all ages, and extremely affordably priced!

And wonderfully, if you buy 2 CD's, $5 of your purchase will be donated to charity.

Friday, March 18, 2011

what is the what

Here in California the radiation comes calling. Iodine in stock or not, the invisible plumes of illness and death fluster and fight their way to our coast on the second level winds, the newsman says, with a serious expression because he has to pretend he understands any more than I do what a second level wind really is, or why people have to die.

(My girlfriend is using the hashtag #tryingnottothinkaboutnucleardisaster)

I am being gutted like a fish, beginning with Ever's cesarean birth and moving steadily forward in girth and weight, the turning inside out of skin and soul that happens to me every time I have a baby. I miss Mr. Curry in the worst way, I miss the intense focus of intimacy that is rudely interrupted by my preoccupation with our baby girl, his preoccupation with our baby girl, three other children, a family bed, exhaustion, work, clogged toilets, cooking, cleaning, writing, internet and the sweet spot of ten minutes of complete zone out. zone out/sex : the battle begins. It's not sex I miss the most. I miss us. I fret internally over Mr. Curry possibly falling out of love with me because

1 i wear sweat pants too often, becoming a damn cliche
2 i am boring, in the way that infant obsessed mothers inevitably are
3 i have an image to keep up. ( can you believe i actually THINK these things? still. there it is. )
4 my enthusiasm for a good blow-job has waned to the point of counting on one hand. let's admit
it. one finger.
5 sometimes men just randomly leave their wives

Sometimes the Earth randomly cracks it's head open on the dark endless wall of time and splits itself open, swallowing whole families and towns and grazing herds of goats, leaving one four month old baby soaked and starving and alive for three days under an enormous pile of rubble, to be found by rescuers who could not have been more astonished or more grateful for a sign of life. Sometimes I want to be oblivious.

I am so grateful for my babies and my husband and my mother and my friends that occasionally I look up at the sky and wait for a piece of it to fall and crush me. We are all singled out. We are all crushed. It's the size and weight of the piece that differs. I want to stand above my children and open my arms and let the pieces all fall on me. If the Earth opens or the radiation smooths its way into our breezy March winds, I want to fall, I want to sicken, I want what everyone wants: to save all the children and all the babies, and since that is impossible we want in place of that to save our own.

Nobody has to be alone. This is what prayer means to someone like me who doesn't believe:
now i am telling you, you are not alone It is a ritual to say the unspoken and unsayable.

A baby came along and the things that come with babies- emotional swings, messy houses, fatigue, a lapse in sex, self-doubt, joy, happiness, gratitude, existential despair, hope, love, belly laughs. Nose honking laughter. Possibly, maybe, poison is sluicing it's way through the clogged atmosphere to our home. Possibly, maybe. This list could go infinitely on. And in Japan, and in my town, there is suffering, some acute and despairing, some silenced in death. I am alive and the details of my life are precious. You are alive and the details of your life are precious. Yesterday Mr. Curry swept his callused hands over the back of my left arm for five minutes, up toward my neck, and back down again, while I nursed our baby. Lola sat and cut tiny pieces of paper to make fairy homes. Dakota rode in smelling like sweat and asking if his hair was too long on one side, his lime green skateboard pressed against the wall. Ian moved his hands unconsciously to the music from his earbuds. In Japan, I'm sure of it, someone's life was moving this way, someone's hand loved their wife's smooth skin, someone's children grew loud and stinky, and those people are gone, and we are thinking of them with love and trying to be alive while we are alive.

*title by What Is the What (Vintage)

make out session

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I've Got A Crush On: Bethenny Frankel and Family

She's the new breed of those we love to hate: famousjustforbeingonT.V. But! one of the smart ones who has an actually interesting, real person behind her initial persona ( on The Housewives of New York ) and in her new show, ( with the annoying title Bethenny Ever After ) she is married and has a baby girl. Now I'm clearly biased toward anything involving babies, but the show is interesting on it's own merit. Bethenny's husband is a doll, coming across as endearingly good hearted and innocent in a way that reflects his small town upbringing, and obviously very in love with his wife: a totally refreshing change from the too- cool roving eyes of the uber-serious or uber-stupid men typically chosen for these shows. Both Bethenny and her husband come across as intelligent and aware, poking sarcastic one liners at each other and themselves while working hard at the business end of Bethenny's new life, her books ( Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting )and products which are selling well. When they visit Bethenny's husband's hometown and come across a pub full of blue collar workers drinking, Bethenny hops right in and hangs out, drinking and shooting pool. She's a goer. They spend a lot of time together and with their baby, and witnessing the growing bond of a new marriage and family as it is tested and then, in passing, grows stronger and more vital, is really enjoyable. Bethenny had an emotionally barren childhood, her father left her and her mother and her mother is 'crazy' as Bethenny has said, and she keenly feels the lack of a family, or 'roots to call my own'. One episode found her crying on her husband's shoulder because the officiant of their wedding asked who would be there to stand for Bethenny, and she had to answer 'no one' ( having no siblings, either. ) Her husband whispered to her that they would start their own family, and the show's core draw is the very growing of this family, Bethenny's struggle to let go of her past and open herself to her family. Living in New York is always good for a show, NY being a secondary cast member, and did I mention they have a baby girl ? :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fancy Girls

(Wolfgang interruptus, Mmm baby Everkins smells good)

I Am A Writer For Hire

I'm back to work. Back to half-work. Almost half the hours, chop, like that. This economy began it's financial beheading of my family with the loss of my husband's hard earned and much loved business, continued along with the enormous IRS and medical debt, and has ascertained that a tendon, a ligament, some kind of silly string was still hanging by our neck and CHOP. Half-hours at work. I have looked so hard for writing work online. I have sent out carefully crafted emails that I spent hours working up. I have sent ideas, columns, poems, links, perfected the art of the self-selling soundbite, and nothing. I am a writer. This is what I do best, what runs in my familial blood, what I have done since I was five and what I always responded with to the question What do you want to be when you grow up? I write more than I breastfeed. I write more than I have sex. I write more than I eat. I probably write only less than I read. Hire me. I'll make you happy. I'll write until your shark tank is full of chum and your hands full of newspaper print. I'll write until your teeth are stained with coffee laden afternoons of reading. I'll write until your eyes are tired and your email is full of my attached. Just pay me to do it, so I can pay our goddamn water bill.

Maggie May Ethridge

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sunroom Interview: Lola Moon

Lola Moon 9 years old

Tell us about yourself.

I love sports. I love art. My favorite soda is an Izzie. I love playing with my Mom and my sister. When my sister smiles it always brightens up my day. I don't like talking about tsunamis. My favorite book series is Junie B. Jones. I have a club called the Sparkle Buddies. I love going to the park and playing with my friends. My favorite toys are my lizards and dragons. My favorite colors are orange black purple and white.

What is love?

Something that aches in your heart. I think.

What do you think the best thing about your family is?

How loving and caring they are.

What do you think your family needs to work on?

Communication. Talking more about our feelings in family talks.

What do you think makes a good parent?

Someone who is nice and compassionate to their kid and calms down when they do something wrong and doesn't just let their emotions out really deeply. Someone who is very loving to their kids. A fun person, an active person, someone who likes to learn. Someone who has had experience with kids so you know how to handle it. Most of all being fun and creative.

What do you think the meaning of life is? Why are we here?

To learn and experience things and to make more people on this Earth so we have more solutions to things. And your family and the people you care about.

Tell us something about being a kid that's really hard.

Understanding things. Kids don't understand things...that's why we have teachers, because we don't understand things...and when we don't understand things in school it's very frustrating. I've had three friends who got held back in school because they didn't understand, and that's hard because you can't see your friends then.

Tell us your favorite part about being a kid.

You get to do a lot more fun stuff than grownups do. You have playdates, clubs, activities, you don't have to worry about rent or bills or anything. You just worry about your life and learn and have fun and be a kid.

What do you like about yourself?

I'm a caring person, I don't criticize people. I care for the people around me.

What do you think you need to work on?

Listening to my parents. Not having them have to tell me things 500 times.

How do you get through hard times in your life?

I ask people for advice and try to see if they can help me. I try and talk it out when I feel sad or upset. I think of things I can do to make myself happier. Like I'll draw a picture of a happier environment when I feel depressed.

Who is the prettiest mom you've ever seen?

I'm not sure. You're one of them. You are in the top three.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring Is Here, Even If The Money Isn't

self portrait in pastels

A small surge of energy. Our family is stirring. Spring is here. I feel it because I want my husband. Because last weekend I dragged Lola soaking wet out of the shower, threw a towel around her and ordered her to watch her sister who had fallen asleep in the baby swing, while pushing Mr. Curry toward the bed with the other hand. 8 to 10 of the best minutes I've had in a long time. When you have an infant, and a daughter on the couch announcing to her brother that Mom and Dad need to be alooooonnnneee, quickies have to be quick.

Lola has taken to leaping around the house doing dance moves that defy explanation. Last nite in the shower she was singing at the top her lungs " life is good / life is good / oh baby, life is so good " and when she hopped into bed, hair soaking wet, she announced that marrying daddy was the smartest thing you've ever done ! She also informed me that after thinking about it a lot, she realized that my childhood was really good. I haven't had any major things go wrong. I have a family that loves me and just keeps growing and getting through hard times. She's nine, so I hope we can keep up this impression until puberty hits.

I started back to work yesterday and received some bad news. My hours have temporarily been cut in half. Not only mine, but all the girls who work in the baby room. We only have a handful of babies and too many teachers, so the solution was to give us all reduced hours until May, when one of our teachers is leaving. Meanwhile, we're royally screwed. We meaning Mr. Curry and I. Anyone need a writer to write? I'm up for hire.

This weekend Mr. Curry and I are working out a schedule for me to finish my novel. I hate schedules. But I hate not finishing this novel more. So something very mature and structured will occur, where I write from 5-7 four days a week or 6-7 five days a week etc.

The dogs are starting to scratch their arses again, which means fleas, probably. Sometimes you have to have a pain in the arse to signal a change for the good.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Successfully Breastfeeding Newborn Babies

This is not a particularly good shot- it's not flattering, it's from a month or more ago, the elements weren't arranged to be aesthetically pleasing- but it is beautiful and important because it illustrates a perfectly working breastfeeding relationship between mother and baby. Myself and Ever.

I am not an activist. I breastfed my son when I had him at nineteen because it never occured to me NOT to, something that I attribute to the action not words attitudes of the women in my family. My mother breastfed my sister and I, and I grew up watching my Aunt E extended nurse both of her boys. No one told me how to do it. This could have backfired- if the baby hadn't latched on properly and I wasn't sure how to teach him to- but he did latch on properly, and because no one had told me any different I nursed him whenever my guts told me to nurse him, which it turned out was about every 45 minutes. Or when he got scared, because he told me that's what he wanted. And no one told me I was wrong.
No one told me that my instincts were wrong.

This, above all else, is why I'm writing you tonight. As a young woman, I thought women didn't breastfeed just because they didn't want to. And sometimes, that is true. It's also true that many times a mother wants to breastfeed her baby- or at least
try it- and she ends up bottle feeding. Why is that? I read this amazing essay at The Feminist Breeder and as I took in her words about women being told how much and often to nurse I had the strange, visceral experience of the voices of mothers I've known echoing in my mind in one, long stream I tried to nurse him but I didn't make enough milk I wanted to nurse her but she was too fussy every time I tried I nursed him but not for long because he still cried too much

nd in the sound of those voices I realized that I was hearing the political become personal.

At Ever's one month checkup her pediatrician marveled at Ever's weight, her beautiful fatty fat self.
You must make a lot of milk, she said. Sure, I shrugged. Only afterward did I stop to think why my pediatrician thought it notable to comment on how much milk I made. Ever is a perfectly normal weight and I make just the right amount of milk for her. In order to 'successfully breastfeed' there exists a symbiosis between mother and baby that is not created in rule books, guidelines and recommendations, but in the baby's cues to the mother, and the mother's trust in her instinct and in her baby's ability to communicate what he or she needs. Not what a book says the baby should need, or what you should insist on so that the baby doesn't end up clingy/underfed/overfed/demanding/lacking in Vit D/unable to cope etc, etc, etc.

This cue based relationship between the mother and baby begins the moment the baby is born. A baby who is placed, immediately, naked onto his or her mother's chest has a greater chance of successfully breastfeeding. The stimulation of the mother's skin, scent and heartbeat against the baby's is important for both the mother and baby. All kinds of studies have been done to prove what common sense will tell you: babies and mothers do better in a myriad of ways when pressed against each other, as soon and often as possible after birth.

After Dakota, Lola and Ever were born, all of them were immediately placed with me- Ever wasn't placed naked on me because she was the sole CSection baby, but I insisted on having her in my arms as soon as they wrapped her, and immediately let her latch on, as they were stitching me up. This begins the connection of skin on skin that probably sends signals to our brains that we don't even understand yet- a most primal of acts in a society removed from our primal selves, an act that biology made workable for the continuation of our species.

After Dakota was born I saw that he was fussy, and I held him. He still fussed. So I rocked him. He still fussed, so even though he had just nursed 20 minutes ago, I placed him again to nurse, and his face relaxed, his little body relaxed against me, and as I smiled down at him I knew that I had made him feel happy and safe. Dakota was a colic baby, for reasons I didn't understand at the time, and he still cried often and I still often felt crazy and impotent and frustrated. But I watched him- his mouth, if his head was rooting, if he moved his arms and legs a certain way, and the look on his face that all of my babies seem to get when they want nothing more than to breastfeed- a certain far away longing that ends with closed eyes and mouth open and then a look around that is saying
where is my booby? Not every baby acts this way. The point is that is what this particular baby needed, and no one was telling me it was wrong, so I did it. If I had done a scheduled feeding with Dakota I would have thought breastfeeding was 'not working' and I 'wasn't good at it' and given up.

Because I nursed him whenever he asked me to, I made milk- a lot of milk. This is one of the most crucial steps in successful breastfeeding. I've watched many an episode of A Baby Story since I went on maternity leave, and seen too many women stick carefully and diligently to a 2 or 3 hour lapse feeding schedule and then wonder why it's not working. The last one I saw was a week or so ago, and the mommy really wanted to breastfeed, had been excited and waiting for it, and cried when deciding to give up. It broke my heart! It was obvious to me that the reason the baby was fussy when nursing was because she was waiting way too long for the infant to nurse, and by the time the little guy got there, he was too miserable and hungry to properly latch, and her breasts weren't making enough milk because the nipple/milk ducts weren't being stimulated enough.

I had a C-Section with Ever, and again this could have been a situation where I gave up on my body and bottle fed. No one explained to me that after a C-Section it is common to have a delay of milk production. Ever was fussy and irritable and my milk wasn't coming in. It was because I have a deep sense of trust in my bodies ability to do it's job that I let her continue nursing, often every half hour, until my milk did come in. And because she kept nursing so frequently, it finally built up to a solid supply; so I went from milk-'deficient' to Ever's pediatrician saying I made ' a ton of milk '. I didn't add a bottle of formula just in case, and if I had, statistics show that our chance of successfully breastfeeding would have been greatly reduced.

Of course sometimes women don't make milk. I have a friend who just didn't make more than a slow, paltry trickle even after trying and trying.
BUT. And it's a big but. This is not a commonly naturally occuring problem, although so many women are under the impression that it is. Every other woman I personally know ( who I talked to regularly and saw nursing ) who believed they weren't making enough milk were doing one of these things:

1 Scheduled feedings
2 Supplementing with formula
3 Not holding the baby skin to skin

These reasons are much more likely to be the culprit behind a failed breastfeeding relationship between a newborn and his or her mother. And this is why, when I heard the voices of these women I've known in my head, that the 'political' became 'personal'. Having faith in our bodies and our instincts and our babies communicating what they need is a key component for women feeling confident that they can and will successfully breastfeed their babies.

Welcome SPONSOR: Peekaboo Kozy

Welcome Flux Capacitor's newest sponsor: Peekaboo Kozy's are leg warmers with retractable footies attached- patented and rightly so, what a cute and wonderful idea! Made in adult and kids sizes: I must have these star ones for Ever....

She makes a wide array of patterns, beautiful stripes and color combinations in addition to these charmer

Oink! The grey piggies are too cute

Come ON. Ridiculously cute. Buy some or bookmark here

Friday, March 4, 2011

baby's got a new hat

101 Ways To Smile: Keep A List of Inspirations

She overcame panic attacks after witnessing the death and brought-back-to-life accident of her young daughter.

She makes secret notes for strangers

A like minded community

A blog dedicated toward one awesome thing to be happy about every day

The website of a man who is now a motivational speaker and writer after surviving a plane crash in the Andes.
Love is the opposite of death"

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Dude Abides

twilight by nick higgins

There is a pause that began when Ever went into the hospital with RSV and has not let out it's breath. I had a baby. I had a sick baby. She wasn't all right. She's all right now. For now. As long as I keep a close eye on her breathing and make sure she's not moving toward not all right. She rubs her open fingered hand across the front of her brow and the side of her ear until she covers her eye with five fingers and in that tiny fat hand my heart is and she has smashed it all over her face and there it remains. There is a tethered balloon of my head smiling and I carry it around with me and people talk to me and I want to pull the balloon in front of my face and say talk to the balloon but that would be weird. My hormones are bad because I have wacky female hormones, worse than your typical girl, hence the endometriosis, and after I have a baby I get sad and silent. A great vacuum comes along and sucks all of my brains out and it's mouth is shaped like a breast feeding baby. I think very little. Yolanda encouraged me think Maggie think because she is a passionate artist intellectual poet goddess and sometimes, so am I, but after a baby I am something else. I am porous. This is part of the seasons. I have seasonal osmosis. I am not responding because I have not been given the proper weather conditions. I am buried but the soil is very rich.

Mothers, good mothers, create richness for their children to experience. Richness can be created in many ways but the important factor is that it exists. Not it's face or it's accent or if it has two dollars or two hundred thousand. After I have a baby I am creating richness. I am tilling. I am absorbing. I am abiding in a body. I am working out and walking and - I am resting so that when the moment comes along when the sun opens at a certain shining angle and hits the top of my head so that a circular portion of my scalp begins to rise with astounding heat I can respond in the way intended by springing open with the rest of Nature and beginning the months of creativity.

Meanwhile I am reading. And bringing flowers to M across the street whose father died; she is my favorite neighbor and I've been bringing her daughter R home from school with Lola and I watch their house quiet down for mourning. And praying for many people because illness and death seem around every corner lately. Katie Mcrae is very ill with her cancer and her parents covet prayers so please pray for her small shining self. Lola's friend's dad just died of pneumonia and so we pray for their family and I am thinking I want to bring them a meal but we have no working oven so I have to think what to bring. Dakota's new girlfriend's mom has terminal breast cancer and I keep feeling like I should.... something- but what? What is appropriate for your son's new girlfriend's ill mother you've never met? Maybe nothing but prayer. Kate, Henry's mom, is working in a veritable frenzy for justice for her son and I hope you all continue to leave comments on her blog because it's such a small thing we can do that might really help her. As Robert Stolorow said here in what is now one of my favorite quotes:

I have long contended that the mangling and the darkness can be enduringly borne, not in solitude, but in relationships of deep emotional understanding. In such relationships, we do not encourage the traumatized person to "get over it and move on." Instead, we dwell with him or her in his or her endlessly recurring emotional pain, so that he or she is not left unbearably alone in it.
Because this is one of the exact principles that saved my marriage when Mr. Curry got sick with Bipolar, and because Mr. Curry abides with me in the darkness when it comes, we have found in each other a great sanctuary. Of course no one can stay all the hours and feel all the feelings. But a lover or a friend who will go there with you and hold space with you, even if it's uncomfortable, painful, scary? Irreplaceable.
Thank you for the title of this post.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ever Elizabeth 3 Months

13.6 pounds of looove
holding her head up high and proud
* laughs when i zerbert her neck
* stops crying when daddy sings Nirvana to her
* open mouth laughs in happiness and wiggles when laid down for nursies
* looks at her sister with wide eyed love from her carseat in the car
* sleeps long and hard when Ian holds her
* pumps her arms when Dakota takes her on walks in her stroller
* is teething! chews on her hand/fingers constantly and is beginning to drool
* was told by Dr R. her pediatrician that she is one the happiest, prettiest babies she's ever seen ♥

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

the milkmaid

take this nested breast
flower cream, or blood colored nipple
watch our bodies make these ripples

over sheets so white and clean.

my love i know i am far away
the babies squall mouthed suck
always before your hands

always before your eyes.

the house is a jungle forest
water steams from teenage dreams
showers that last longer than dinner

cooks with tears and breastmilk.

but between us
there is a non calculated symmetry
between late and never made it at all

a collective groan of longing

her cries rise like tiny balloons
popping over our heads
she is the queen

i am the milkmaid in your bed.

maggie may ethridge
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