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Don't make me post a recipe, too.

I don't know where to go from here.  My first feeling based on the comments from my last entry is gratitude — from most of you I felt warmth and understanding, even from those whose stories are radically different from mine, and, man, what an amazing gift that was.  Thank you.

My next feeling, though, is defensiveness, the almost irresistible urge to say, But wait, we did have his tongue clipped, and we did try again.  My God, of course we did.  And You know, I am still pumping, just not with crazy-making frequency, so Ben gets human milk at least three times a day.  And After two days on the bottle we gave on the lactation consultant's advice, Ben wouldn't latch worth a good goddamn.  And But.  And And.  And so on, graf after graf of fevered justification.  But then I rein myself in — uh, okay, mostly — and remind myself that although I feel buoyed by the support of my friends inside the computer when I'm lucky enough to get it and occasionally crestfallen when I don't, it's Ben and Charlie and Paul to whom I ultimately need to answer.  And Paul understands; Charlie, despite my frequent pestering, doesn't read my blog; and every time Ben makes that captivating baby bird mouth I smile instead of grimacing.  All answers good enough for me.

My friend T., who had difficulty nursing her own two children, said something to me that rings beautifully true: Don't let anything get in the way of your relationship with your kids — least of all yourself.  Depending on your situation, of course you can read that any number of ways, and I recognize there are those who will say that by giving up on nursing, that is exactly what I've done.  But in our circumstances I interpret it as meaning that it would be emotionally ruinous for me to indulge my own lingering issues at the expense of being the relaxed, happy parent my family and I deserve.

And that really is all I'm going to say.  Except that I still want to make out with anon of comment #45 et seq., although despite professional encouragement I still haven't settled the contraceptive issue, so maybe we should wait until we're really sure we're ready.  And that I have a few choice remarks to share with Jonnelle of comment #256 and a few other commenters who've offered similar views in the last two weeks.  And that Ben's jaundice has resolved, he has regained his birth weight, and I am taking back everything bad I ever said about ready-packed prefab food for kids because it turns out that the Campbell's Cream of Lunchables we're feeding him ten times a day really isn't that bad after all.

What, humor's not working?  Then how about that last refuge of someone who'd really like to change the subject, a picture of a baby?