August 31, 2008 § Leave a comment
at the black midwives conference 2007
August 29, 2008 § 1 Comment
so we have begun a new phase in the revolutionary motherhood project…
check us out. bookmark us. keep coming back. tell your friends…
looking at the intersections of motherhood and reproductive justice, nationalism, race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, socio-economic class, health care, ability and other structures of violence and communities of resistance…
August 20, 2008 § 2 Comments
i am starting to have a soft spot in my heart for fundamentalist christian mamas. i have hung with two in the past month and frankly, they are on point with some of the basic values i associate with being a rev’y mama. like compassion for other mamas and the do what works for you/stay sane attitude. honesty about the difficulties and pleasures of having a kid. anti-materialist/anti-capitalist analysis. respect and curiosity for other cultures. de-centering the western/us. etc. funny, huh? maybe if you are required to pay attention to the actual words that jesus says then, i dont know…ya start to sound a lot more radical than people who think of themselves as ‘progressive’.
i was brought up in a fundamentalist christian church…and so i have a deep appreciation for the values that i took from that tradition. textual analysis, poetry, redemption, radical compassion.
now where i theologically disagree my fundamentalist upbringing is: i believe that you can disagree with god and the bible. the bible is a record of communities relationship with god. and sometimes god is wrong. and sometimes the communities are wrong. and sometimes the accuracy of the record is wrong.
anyways, no one can be perfect all the time. not even god.
but some mamas who try to live the truth of jesus’s message are pretty revolutionary and it is not just a lifestyle choice for them…
right on. as for fundamentalist christianity and gender issues…that is another post
August 19, 2008 § Leave a comment
i breast fed my kid for the first 14 months of her life. we also supplemented with soy formula. this is because the pumping machines did not work for me. often when i would tell this to other breastfeeding mamas they would say algo asi: oh yeah i had to pump alot at first…then they would tell me about pumping for 15 minutes to get 8 oz of milk…this never happened to me. i had three pumping machines (a handheld, a single breast, and a double breast) never happened. i cried. i felt inadequate.
my midwife had said giving my baby formula was giving her poison. ok she didnt say this, she screeched it. when i asked her what was in the formula that made it poison, she said: just read the ingredient list. me: yes, but what exactly are the poisonous ingredients. she shrugs me off. she rarely had good specific knowledge about her midwifery craft. she usually got annoyed when i asked her for details. she regarded it as a strange quirk that i expected her to know facts, figures, cogent analysis. this was not a good sign.
anyways, i got over the fact that i couldnt pump, breastfed as much as i could, and my daughter drank soy formula. i figured that she was probably going to get poisoned a million different ways by the urban air, various cleaning products, chemical and dyes in clothing, etc. so purity was out of the window. and i was not going to dedicate my life to creating the pure child.
furthermore, she broke her leg when she was 2 months old, and was in a cast and body sling for a month, thus ending my baby moon. all i could do was breastfeed her and give her pain killers and cry and pray.
the poisons let her sleep at night.
when we were in mexico a friend asked how did i feel about letting someone else breast feed my kid. and i stumbled in my response. breastfeeding is a private/public intimate act. i breastfeed in public. she and i had breastfed side by side, my lil one squirmy and playful, hers, quiet and sleepy, and yet it felt strange to think of her breastfeeding my child. i had read about disease being passed through the breast milk. i felt undecided about the matter. and undecided about the idea of breastfeeding some one else’s kid. was it a violation of space? a violation of food?
i think, i would want someone to ask permission (if they could) first. but in an emergency do what you have to do.
cuz actually not alot (other than breastmilk) passes through breastmilk. and tandem breastfeeding (in trust) could make some mamas lives easier. after she asked me that, and i did some research, read some stories, i felt like i could let go of ‘possessing’ my babe a bit more.
i loved breastfeeding in mexico. sitting a cafe, drinking coffee, watching youtube, and nursing. other than people giving me little smiles and nods as they passed by, no one seemed to give me more attention when i was feeding her. other than the internationals. ah, the gringos. who thought it was so ‘unusual’ what i was doing. god, i could have slapped them. and their non-baby-having, i am a traveler-look-at-my-dirty-clothes, stop-and stare-at-the-breeder, asswipe-like attitudes.
i started to wean her…well, she started to wean herself…well, it was a back and forth process, when she started walking. her love of moving walking running crawling exploring the world, meant she would rather have a cup in her hand than a breast. and the breast was still good for going to sleep, but other than that she would try to pull the breast off my body so that she could go exploring with it….ummm…it doesnt work like that.
but all in all it took a couple of months to wean. i didnt really have a schedule or a plan. i just put the idea: wean, into my head and figured it would happen. her papa took over more of the feeding and i got to spend more time writing and typing. (she would never, not even as an infant, let me type and breastfeed at the same time…all those images of writer or office working mamas typing as they breastfeed, did not happen for me…fuck!)
and then one day i looked up and realized i hadnt fed her in 2 or 3 days. and she hadnt asked for breast milk. and we were weaned.
or so i thought.
because the next couple of weeks, i felt weepy for no apparent reason. over little things. and tired. and depressed. and silly. and then as i was writing a letter to a friend, mid-sentence, i realized, this was the emotional/hormonal side of weaning.
she has been weaned for less than two months, and i dont think she remembers it at all. i am kinda amazed how quickly she just got over it.
but the entire process from conception to weaning has been amazing. when i have gotten pregnant the first thing to start umm…blossoming…are the tetas…and they dont stop.
i remember looking in the mirror one night, and thinking: these arent my breasts…and then…oh fuck!…im pregnant!
now i watch my toddler galloping over her world and think…oh fuck!…how the fuck did i become a parent?