Monday, October 25, 2010
On Parasites and Choice
The umbilical cord stump fell off this morning, which caused much rejoicing for Freddy and me because we were a little freaked out that it might have gotten infected. We noticed some greenish-yellowish crusty stuff on The Boy's onesie and at the top of his gDiaper, and looking at the cord stump itself it has some yellowish-greenish goo in it. Didn't exactly look like pus, but it didn't exactly look healthy, either...
We had not been cleaning the stump because the hospital hadn't said we had to, and my books said you could clean it or leave it alone. However, the presence of goop prompted an emergency trip to the store to buy some alcohol (er... for cleaning, not drinking).
After a while we noticed that the stump looked... less attached. So maybe it wasn't infected, it was just detaching. Which was a MUCH preferable situation.
(Plus, it just looked so yucky. And it icked me out every time I had to change his diaper.)
Then, this morning, Freddy showed me The Boy's clean and clear (and not infected) belly button. Whee! The stump was gone!
Freddy asked if I wanted to keep it. Part of me wanted to throw it away, because it was yucky and it had caused me stress. But part of me felt sentimental, and wasn't ready to throw away that nasty, crusty, dried-up stump.
It was, after all, the source of his life force for 39 weeks and two days. (A life force he sucked out of me, like a good little parasite.)
Now, he still sucks his food source from me, but that's because I CHOOSE to breastfeed him. If I wanted to, I could let him have a bottle and let Freddy or one of the Grandmas take over; breastfeeding is borderline torture right now because my nipples are cracked from a bad latch I keep thinking I can fix myself. It kinda sorta seems like it's getting better, but then at the next feeding the pain when he latches on is so fierce I'm surprised I don't draw blood each time I bite my lip.
But I keep doing it. I keep letting him feed off me, I keep letting my day revolve around his needs and his feeding schedule, even though it's wearing me out mentally and emotionally and taking its toll physically -- even though I have such an easy out, now that he's no longer inside of me, attached by the umbilical cord.
Because I WANT to breastfeed him. See how this works? I CHOOSE to put up with the sh!t and pain and "minor inconveniences" because it's for something I WANT. Some people would make a different choice when faced with this same situation -- some people would make the same choice as I when faced with a worse situation; some would make a different choice when faced with a less challenging situation.
This doesn't make any of us "better" people than the others, it just makes us people who exercise our God-given free will.
at 9:59 PM