First let's tackle infant formula. And since this will no-doubt offend several of my followers (again, proving my husband is correct that you are nobody until somebody's offended...), let's get it out of the way.
I failed (big surprise) at breastfeeding. But see friends (can I call you that?), I didn't just fail once and call it a day. I failed miserably with all three children - however, I did manage to squeeze (male readers skip ahead a few paragraphs) out enough breastmilk to ward off the Evil Lactaction Consulant-Swat Teams that lurk on the Maternity Wards watching and waiting for any sleep-deprived, disillusioned new mother to fail. See, usually with child #1, this is the photo we see in the hospital brochures or ob/gyn waiting rooms that give us that first misconception of the pleasantries (not) of breastfeeding. I had to use a cartoon because I don't want to post a real photo (there are hundreds if you image search for breastfeeding moms..) of these women who go to Picture People and get naked and smile for the camera while breastfeeding - setting the rest of us moms up to think it's truly a lovely and enjoyable experience. (ok, here we go - some of you are saying - 'ohhh yes, i loved every second of breastfeeding..' that's great - please don't read any further then!)
My experience with my first child was to put him right on to breastfeed - how hard could that be? Since I didn't pay attention in my Childbirthing class, I did not realize you had to break the seal of his latch with your finger so he doesn't rip the nipple off. People were coming in and out of my room like I was a museum exhibit - but when all of a sudden a male Pediatrician came in to 'check' on the baby - WITHOUT knocking, I ripped Deano off my nipple, losing most of the skin along with him. 'CAN YOU KNOCK NEXT TIME SO I HAVE A MINUTE TO PUT MY SIZE 34 F'S IN THE CLOSET BEFORE YOU COME IN?' I blame him for my failure. I also blame the fact that it felt like someone hooked up a Dyson to my nipples. I will skip through all of the gory details and get back to my theme of poisoned infant formula. (SIDE NOTE: YOU KNOW THE LOUD SCREAMS YOU HEAR ON MATERNITY FLOORS? IT'S NOT WOMEN GIVING BIRTH IT'S WOMEN WHO ARE BREASTFEEDING!)
As I went to the drug store, I quietly looked for the aisle marked 'SO YOU'VE FAILED AS A MOTHER AND NEED TO PAY FOR FORMULA TO FEED YOUR CHILD.' I found a small selection of infant formulas in the baby aisle and while I was looking them over, a fellow new mom was looking over Nursing Pads while cradling her baby in a Baby Bjorn. She looked at me in disgust, shook her head and walked away. Whatever whacko! Go stuff your bra with pads boo hoo hoo I am a horrible mom..judge away and hate me because my boobs won't be down to my ankles by the time my kids reach toddlerhood! I figured I couldn't go wrong with the most expensive of the formulas..I mean aren't there some things money can buy? Enfamil...the formula of champions!
Fast forward a few years..and a few children. My two youngest are 13 months apart. If you can imagine, there is not a lot of extra time, patience or energy to breastfeed every 2 hours without having a toddler escape up the stairs while I am attached to an infant and a chair. I go back to Enfamil - only this time, it's Premium and the price has doubled!! Ahh yes, my youngest gets an even better formula, he will be even smarter than the others! And as always, I am HAPPY to pay for this price and intelligence increase!
I power up my laptop to see what the rest of the world is up to and there it is...the heading of the article,
"Traces of a chemical used in rocket fuel were found in samples of powdered baby formula, and could exceed what's considered a safe dose for adults if mixed with water also contaminated with the ingredient, a government study has found."
Enter lactation nazi voices.."see, another reason why breast. is. best." SHUT UP VOICES IN MY HEAD, SHUT UP VOICES IN MY HEAD!!
Now I've done it. What the hell do I do now??? I switched to a $50/can Organic Formula, forcing our darling baby to drink away his entire college education. If I would've just let my nipples 'toughen up' as breastfeeders like to say! If I would've just 'stuck with it' and 'not given up' as pro-sucklers call it! If I would've just gone to ONE STINKIN LA-CAFE-CON-LECHE LEAGUE MEETING! Nope! I was a quitter...and quitters must PAY! I tried...I did. I tried once, twice, three times...I failed. But I scratched and fought my way to the one year mark when I could finally have all three children on cow's milk. WHEW! Crisis averted!
Now, I just need to make sure that none of the milk that I buy comes from cows that were given Crack or Prozac. Sigh.
Move along. I am sitting at the school park watching my thriving (what a miracle I've helped them get this far in life!) children run and jump and play. My cell phone rings...it's my mom..her voice sounds ominous.
"Andrea, I was just watching Dr. Oz (oh God here it comes...) and he had an entire program about Apple Juice and how it is contaminated with arsenic. What kind do you use again?"
Mom..."Oh Boy, that was one of the juices with the highest levels of arsenic. Dr. Oz said Motts had 5 times the acceptable level of arsenic. You'd better not give them any more of that and switch to organic."
Me..."Thanks for the newsflash mom...talk to you later!" (mental note: add this to the 250 other things to worry about when I go to bed at night, right after Red #40 causing Mentally Unstable Children, and Rat droppings in Peanut Butter...other findings on Dr. Oz's show (kidding, not verified..))
As soon as I get home, like a good Dr.Oz-fearing soldier, I do a quick inventory and decide to let this be the very last bottle of apple juice I buy for my kids. After all, I have been buying it for what THREE years, multiply that by how many glasses a day...and I've poisoned a small village of children. WAY TO GO MOM! My kids are facing the possibility of growing another ear...is this so bad, maybe with 3 ears they'll actually listen when I say something? I digress...
I reassure myself that I will stick with non-steriodal milk and not-from-concentrate-nor-from-China- Orange Juice. My kids unknowingly accept the change with the ignorance they could've only inherited from me and we make a smooth transition to an arsenic-free life. I feel like Dr. Oz would be proud. Mission Accomplished! (but as with George Bush's premature statement, I was too confident too soon...)
Several days ago, I opened my precious Yahoo frontpage to find this heading,
Orange Juice's 'Secret Ingredient' Worries Some Health-Minded Moms
Awesome. What's the Secret Ingredient? Fuel? Window Cleaner? Antifreeze? And W-T-F is with the title? Health-minded moms? As opposed to who??? Are their moms out there that are really hoping to put disgusting additives in their kids juice??
Formula? Nope. Milk? Sure, if you'd like your child to develop breasts at 7. Apple Juice? Nope. Orange Juice? Again, NO. Water? Only if filtered by Nikken Rocks, served 6 degrees over room temperature and filled with enough flouride to appease your dentist but not too much to turn their liver blue. What's left?
Well kids...your choice is Coffee, Beer or Yoohoo. Enjoy.
Until next time, my fellow underachievers....I'm failingly yours,