Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Am I too jealous?

Tonight we all went over to my MILs.... everyone loves holding the baby... feeding him, changing him and such, and especially talking to him. Naief seems to enjoy it as much. I'm glad he's loved so much by everyone.

The night was going nicely when all of a sudden it was feeding time.... and once again the topic went to my not being able to breastfeed. I don't think anyone realizes that when you have a c-secion, it's very difficult to breastfeed or can take a good week or longer for anything to come. For a baby, this can be extremely difficult, especially if he's really hungry. A mistake I made was allowing them to formula feed him - even tho it was from a cup - it still gave him instant gratification whereas he had to work when he was w/ me and that's something he didn't want to do. So khalas, no breastfeeding. Now, it's not saying that Naief gave up immediately cuz he didn't, but he's not one for waiting.

Anyway... I'm off the point. No one at my in-law's house understands how much this has affected me. Believe me, I cried for days over it and even still when I look at Naief while he's taking the bottle, I wish it had gone differently, but it didn't.

Well... tonight.... of ALL the things that could be said to me, I was NOT expecting this one. It came right out of left field and almost floored me. My SIL offered and pretty much insisted, as well as my MIL, that she be able to breastfeed the baby!!! I thought I was dreaming. She has a two year old and is still nursing him.... so, she's primed and ready. She strongly offered to do this and then they went on about how Naief would be Hamoodi's (her son) brother, and then my MIL said that if my SIL brought a girl, they wouldn't be able to marry because they'd be brother and sister!!! I sat there hardlly believing what just hit me square in the face. Without a second thought, I said loudly and w/out hesitation ,"NO, no, no".

They just looked at me. I sit here and wonder now if they expected for me to say yes. How could I? Yes, it was an incredibly sweet gesture on my SILs part... thinking about it after the fact, I do realize that, but there is no way, and I mean NO WAY that I would allow her to breastfeed my baby.

Here I am feeling lousy for not being able to breastfeed, have made it known to them, and they want my SIL to breastfeed him. He's my child.... not hers. Why would I want my baby breastfeeding from her? I can't even imagine it. The thought of her holding him and him doing that.... I can't even stand the thought of it. Believe me, it would drive me insane if they had some type of control and were able to do this. I know, I'd go insane. Kidding here, but seriously.

I wonder if a lot of families do this. I know it was done years ago by the British... they'd have nurse nannies, I think that's what they called them. Their whole function was to do the breastfeeding.... and maybe other societies have done this or do it... and maybe it's a norm for some women and some wouldn't find issue with it... but I do. I wouldn't be able to take it. I think it would cause a ton of jealousy on my part.... because I, in no way, want my baby having that type of closeness w/ any other woman. Hell, I would never even allow a housemaid to take on any type of mothering role w/ him... ever.... for that matter... and they wouldn't even be doing that or wanting to do that.

I hope I didn't make her mad or offend her or my MIL, but, honestly, I wonder if they really expected for me to allow it. I know they weren't kidding.. they tried to say it in a light way, but still... they were not kidding.

I breathe a sigh of relief that this is not something that would be put upon me... something I would never be made to do because it would cause me such hard feelings. I wonder how a mother could do that... why a mother would allow that.... how she could give her child to another woman to feed from.... to bond with.... to create a closeness that I want no other woman to have w/ my son.

Maybe I'm too jealous.... What do you think?


Jane said...

I think it was totally rude, insensitive and just plain wrong for them to bring it up--only an idiot would pretend to not know how you felt about breastfeeding. You are not too jealous. They were cruel and ignorant.
My feeling is, although you have had difficulty, because it does mean so much to you don't give up on it entirely. Perhaps you can nurse him only before bed as comfort. Maybe you won't be able to provide him with enough nourishment without formula, but it is still possible for you to nurse. Just a thought.

tooners said...

you know... hardly anything is coming and he gets frustrated, turns away and doesn't want it. i would soooo love to be able to just do it for comfort... so i'll try. maybe, hopefully, he'll go for it. he's a little stubborn boy though, that's for sure! :)

yes, i agree... i thought it incredibly insensitive and rude. i could hardly believe it and in seeing that they weren't kidding... well, it floored me!

Olivia said...

Have you tried drinking raspberry leaf tea? Mum says she used it when she had me to encourage milk production.

Also, I was a lazy eater, so she used to nudge my chin under my tongue to stimulate my swallowing reflex.

Don't know if these are the sort of tips you're looking for?

But I am so shocked about your SIL. I know in the middle east there is a totally different approach to child-rearing, and I will never understand why. It's almost as if for westerners, mothering/the role of mother is more personal and intimate than it is for easterners, I don't want to offend anyone but in my experience that is what I see (and hear from your past posts).

YOU want to do what's right by your son. Not what someone else wants. I totally think there is nothing wrong with you for that.

P.S. The title you're thinking of is Wet Nurse. Boy hasn't society changed a lot since then?

Khalid said...

I know this is a sensitive topic. Now am not sure really how aware they were regarding the whole situation, but it is a cultural thing, at least a lot of people actually do it out there. It wasn't done in my family but I know people that have done it. For a lot of people, it isn't really an insult to ask to do it, but I know how you'd feel as mom (well not technically).

This is as far as I know.

tooners said...

olivia, haven't tried the raspberry tea. i think i might try it. it's not that it hasn't come in... it's that it isn't flowing the way it should, therefore he doesn't want it. hope that makes sense w/out getting too personal. as far as being a lazy eater... i'm sorta thinking he's the same way. he's all for what's the easiest and fastest way to get it. i'll try what your mother did and see if i have any luck.

khalid, my husband says the same thing.. that there are a LOT of nursing brothers and such here. i know my SIL wasn't trying to be rude, but i felt it was rude and/or insensitive, especially seeing that i've tried over and over and they know this... but, it is a different culture and such. it's hard for me to understand a woman who would do this - give her baby to another woman... to me, it's just.... i don't know.. something i could never do. but i don't want my baby establishing that closeness w/ someone other than myself. here, i think women see it as a duty - seeing that it says to breastfeed for two years in the Quran, so therefore they see it as something that HAS to be done, and maybe that's why they think i should do this... but i would never ever think of giving my child to another woman to nurse.

IRC President said...

Well what I know from the Medical point of view is that the baby sucking (even in C-section) is most probable successful n stimulating feeding cells to feed the baby. (Milk is produced within the whole period of pregnancy). Try make the baby suck when hungry.

Breatfeeding from other women was dominent in arabs community in th past since they sent their babies to live in a healthy place like the desert for example to make the baby stronger and healthier, but it is not that dominant at present time.

But anyway, I understand your jelousy :D

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Rain said...


If i were in ur place, i would say "NO" too , that's for sure...
I know the SIL was trying to help , but not all ppl appreciate these kinds of help.

You know what, i was imagining the other way around...if i have to feed someone else's baby...well of course NOT too!!! only my babies should get that... a relationship between a baby and his mother is so special .

gazza27 said...

Try a different brand of formula till you find one your baby takes too,no harm in trying soya milk incase the kid has a milk alergy,total dis sespect for someone else to feed for baby?

The Moody Minstrel said...

Tooners, I don't think you're being too jealous. You're being a mother with proper maternal instincts, i.e. determined to protect and nurture your own child. I'm sure your SIL meant well, and such things might even be common in their native culture (I just don't know), but that's something I think any parent would have trouble with.

Heck, I used to get screaming mad when my MIL treated my babies as if they were hers and just snatched them out of my arms without a word and took over whenever I tried to feed or otherwise take care of them in her presence. Bottom line: your kid, your responsibility.

Christopher said...

Jealous? Hmmm maybe that could be part if it, and do remember way back in the not so distant past it was common for wealthy people to have "wet nurses" for their offspring, if the birth mother couldn't or refused to breastfeed (could you imagine the leakage if a corset was involved? I'm sure after the last cinch was done a fountain could be made a la Michaelangelo). Muslim/middle Eastern culture is very different in the raising of children compared to our Western ways of doing and thinking...what we may think as weird or odd is a way of thinking and way of life for them. Rituals and ways of life are still practiced from thousands of years of traditions without the flicker of an eyelash..traditions wiped out and perhaps forgotten (thought of as heathen maybe?) by white anglo-saxon people.

Though I am a fag, and lord knows as a gay man I have an obsession with boobs (all my girlfriends would attest to this...I have copped more feels that a heterosexual man would get slapped for), I wasn't breastfed (keep in mind I also came out to my mother in the midst of a fight, to get her to shut up and when she wailed it was her fault, I told her it wasa because she hadn't breastfed me) as a baby, but I have a bond with my awkward one but a bond nonetheless. The spiritual and beauty of a mother breastfeeding her baby creates a bond that nothing else can ever create or replace. The touch, the nourishment..the beauty. I honestly do not think that they were meaning to be insensitive, it is just obvious that they are tactless. In their hearts I am sure they meant well, but they went about the wrong way of bringing it to your attention. It is something that they should have brought up to your husband first.

Olivia is right when it comes to Eastern child rearing...I grew up around muslims in the small town in Oregon I grew up in. One could not find a more doted upon group of toddlers (i.e. SPOILED) I have ever come across. But then again at the same time, the children weren't as mannered as western children, and the mothers weren't as "protective" of their offspring. If a child was to fall into a pool and drown from lack of supervision, it was the "Will of Allah" as an American adult, maybe I see that as an easy way to write off that a parent was careless and to make themselves feel better in the process...but then again...this is coming from a man who when babysitting children and they misbehave, gets great joy of chasing them around with a squirt bottle and super soaker squirt gun before they go into time out...le sigh, I LOVE being me! Good to see you and good to be back...xoixoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Puppy said...

Hello Tooners,

I might sound tough and rude, but if i were you i will NOT give anyone to feed my baby even if with formula. I think during feeding baby generates this “conditioned reflex” where he associate your smell with food, your smell with comfort of being full, your smell being comfortly placed, relaxed and etc.

And what will u do if everyone will come and feed him? I am totally against, but again its up to you. All that instincts will be generated towards differet ppl, or someone in particular that its not you. That is my opinion. I think by giving the baby to SIL u r giving her a chance to establish that connection. Even when your baby will cry and you will take him in ur arms he wont get calm or whatsoever. I think u understood what I mean.

Try different type of teas to increase milk flow. Here ppl try nettle tea, and there are some HIPP teas to increase milk, u know. Come on!!! work hard and don’t give up!!!! Everything should be good.

I will send you my positive emotions :)

Take care


Anonymous said...

The first words out of my mouth were swear words! This is your adorable son. You and Your husband need private time to bond with Naief. I would never allow another woman to suckle my babies. This is barbaric. I just call it like I see it. Honey you and your hubby just love that baby he is YOURS! I am worried if your SIL had your baby would she do that without telling you? I don't trust them. They are being selfish and trying to stuff their beliefs on you. Shame on them. Stand to your convictions.


Christopher said...

Oh and by the way...your son is absolutely beautiful...

tooners said...

christopher, first... i'm glad to see you back!! you make me laugh. so you have a total fascination w/ boobs eh?! lol.... you know, i saw some gay guy on the E channel doing the same. now i'm wondering if naief will have a big fascination w/ it... we shall see! you know, i totally agree w/ you on it being a spiritual thing and it's something that i think creates a lasting bond, but in speaking to my dr. about it today, she reassured me that all will be ok, even if i don't breastfeed. i'll give it another shot for the next couple of weeks and see what happens, but lastnight, once again, he wanted none of it. the dr. said it's because the formula tastes way better and this little fella is a smart cookie. he knows the formula comes quicker and he doesn't have to work for it... and yeah, this culture is way different and i'm sure they saw the offer to be just like any other offer, but still. there's just no way i'd allow her to do it. and you're right, they do spoil their children and the kids aren't as well-mannered... but i hope to at least raise ours differently. i'm already getting grief for putting our son into a car seat! they think we're bruising his bones!!

moody, you know, when we first brought the baby home from the hospital, his mom insisted we come to their house right away. so we went there. as soon as i walked in, she took the baby from me and started ooing and aahing over him, and then insisted on feeding him. i felt the same as you and immediately went into their severe protective mode and wanted to grab him and run away. i just want all of them to know that I'M THE MOTEHR and no one else. but... many women, after having babies, give the child to their mothers to raise, and it's no different w/ my SIL... she did the same. so, i think my MIL expected for me to do the same but thankfully i'm not like that. :)

rain, hi! glad to see you again. i agree w/ you... i couldn't breastfeed someone else's child either and would never ever even offer to do that. i think that's a closeness only a mother and child should have between each other.

irc, you know, i know that breast milk is secreted or made during the entire pregnancy, but with the c-section, it doesn't come in right away. and in my case, it came but didn't flow properly.... and that makes for a very hungry and frustrated baby. that's why it was easier and faster to feed him formula... he just prefers not to work for his meals! ;)

gazza, you think that changing up the formula could make a different in him breastfeeding?? cuz he loves the formula... not having a prob w/ him taking that... he just refuses my milk.

puppy, i agree 100% w/ you! everyone at my in-laws expect to hold and feed him and i don't like it, but i haven't said anything. whenever it's feeding time, they don't allow me to have him. this has caused my emotions to go haywire.. believe me. not only am i having mood swings because of all the hormones but then i'm having to deal w/ this stuff... something that's very difficult to deal with!

amirah, you know... i feel the same as you. it sorta scares me to think of leaving him there. i'll tell ya... lastnight not only was the breastfeeding an issue and my SIL feeding him, but my MIL told me that i need to pinch my baby's nipples to get a liquid to come out so that he won't have body odor later on!!!! i sat there and said nothing and then told my husband when we got home. he had a fit.... and couldn't believe this and got mad at the thought of her doing that to him as a baby. i told him that i didn't want to ever leave the baby there because, like you, i wonder if they'd try something w/ me not there!!! i seriously think if that happened that i'd have an issue for the rest of my life. so it's easier not to do it. and yes, you're right... me and the hubby need bonding time w/ the baby. most every night they want us to come there and spend 3 and 4 hrs and it's almost just too much. not only this but his mother expected me to stay over there for 40 days and i politely refused.

memo said...

Hi there, I dont know if you remember me but its Saba, i had Bahrain And Beyond and then quit blogging..because of some people..but heh im back..i miss writing so much...and wow you have a baby now thats so happy for you...

Anyways as for your post, Yea i really think that was rude. But really, she did it out of goodness and not to do you any harm. Because breast feeding is better for the baby. Milk has anitbiotics and such. But yea, i know what you mean he is YOUR baby. And breastfeeding is a bonding process, which you should preserve not ur SIL.

tooners said...

Saba, my dear!!!! i have wondered about you more times than you can imagine! it's really good to see you back here and i'm so glad that you came by my blog! my SIL was brought up to believe things that i don't agree w/ and i think that's why she offered to do such, not understanding the bond i'm trying to create. seems that no one understands me at my in-laws, except my husband. they did this from a kindness, but i didn't like it and would never do it. yesterday she started up w/ the breastfeeding issue again... and i must say, i'm getting terribly sick of it!!

again, i'm soooo glad to see you once again. :)

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello new mum. Now I will beg to differ from almost all the posters but I think it's okay for aunts to breastfeed a baby. Not often, just sometimes. My youngest was breastfed by my sister-in-law occasionally because I went off to teach three days a week in a town half an hour's drive away. She had a little boy three days younger than my Junior. It was no big deal. The baby still bonded to me.
My husband's mother breastfed him and a second cousin baby boy whose mother had a nervous breakdown and ran away. The age difference was about three months.
But you see this is Fijian culture where the children are brought up treating their cousins as brothers as sisters and they are brought up by the extended family and even informally adopted by relatives.
I can see your point of view though - it seems gross to you, but it is cultural in many places.