Mothering and Life in General
Good-bye My Friend
Back in September 2009, who I thought was a dear friend and I had a falling out. We haven’t spoken since. It was not the I-am-in-a-bad-mood fight it was I-am-a-better-mother-and-person-than-you fight. You would think I would be over it now, but I am not. I have twisted feelings on this situation. One hand I miss the friendship and the person I thought she was, on the other hand I hate myself for even thinking about how she is doing.
I think about it everyday, not every minute, but when the day turns quiet I think what is she doing now? Sometimes I forget all about the feud only to remember when her number is not in my phone when I try to call. It’s so hard to have someone gone from your life one day, when she’s been in your life constantly by phone for the past, almost 5 years. I met her in High School computer class and we became great acquaintances ever since. Of course back then we were two different people, she liked the drugs and I loved my beer. We grew up since then, she got cleaned and I stopped numbing out.
I visited her once through rehab, and we talked on the phone often, I remember her saying that I was the only one besides her boyfriend, at the time, who visited. Although she enjoyed the drugs, she never pressured me into doing anything. It was okay that I was not stoned; I respected her for respecting me. Where can you find someone like that?
After she got out from rehab, we talked periodically. She moved away where it was long distance and back then you had to pay by the minute. We emailed or Pagered (Yahoo!) when we where both online. She birthed a beautiful boy and we both moved on with our lives. We still heard through friends of friends, how the other was doing. It was great to hear.
It was then when I started dating DH that my friend and I met up again and started to talk regularly. She was fully cleaned up, her son in school. Everything was really working out for her. I loved to see her, it looked good on her. Although she never wanted motherhood, it really did look good on her. She had some really focused views on things, and I loved the fact she was a blunt person, or at least I thought. I love blunt people, they might hurt your feelings, but at least you know where you stand.
We really started talking more then 5 times a day while I was pregnant. She was the one I turned to for questions about the pregnancy and breastfeeding (at the beginning) and support because of DH. Some things I went by, others did not seem right so I followed my instincts. It was nice to know someone, even though we where 2 hours drive apart. We both knew the trails of breastfeeding. I respected her. I really did.
So once K2 was born and went on through life, this friend was pretty much involved, by phone, with everything about our lives. From the low parts in DH and my relationship, to the screams of K2, to the newest thing she learned, and to what the quackiest thing the Peditrician said this week. It was nice to have someone around that was interested and would understand. After all, I did not really get it from DH. At that time, to him I knew nothing!
We talked often, and I figured since she was a blunt person, she would talk to me about things that would bug her. I started opening up more to her about things I found out about in breastfeeding, my goal to become an IBCLC, and things that I ran into from Kellymom. Not saying breastfeeding was the only thing we talked about, but it was the main focus most times; mainly because I was always justifying it to DH and the in-laws. Besides it’s not like I could talk to DH or someone else about it.
I talked to her about my issues with the in-laws and DH. How they never agreed to my breastfeeding K2. They even resorted to saying that I am starving her, at 6 months she should be eating a full meal. Then they said that K2’s big eyes where the signs of the starvation, they were just too big. Then the numerous amounts of Breastfeeding myths that came about, that I tried to disprove. I was put down for allowing K2 to play with Crayola markers and crayons, and baby wipes at 6 months. You see the in-laws believed that they all where poisoning K2, I did disprove this by calling poison control. My friend was who I turned too, to cry too or to vent too, for someone to understand what I felt important. Only another breastfeeding mother can support another breastfeeding mother in this situation; only because they can understand, hopefully.
We also talked about K2 and I being apart of a service that provides a family nurse and visitor; whom both knows that goes on in the home because they where in our home often. I never held things back. I would call the nurse with any issues with K2 and would follow through on the advice. We talked often about how valuable this program was and how between that program and her, they are the only resources and support I have.
This was around the time where I was reaching out to understand my experience with the NICU, and the reason for my Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. I shared, what I thought was interesting articles on the subject matter. Maybe I said too much, or sent too much. I do have to say that some things I did not agree fully with but the views where interesting. This is when I felt I was starting to get shunned. I started to feel ignored. Then I started getting mad.
I got mad because I believed this friend was going to let me know if I offended or if she’s had enough. That was why I trusted this friendship so much. I felt stupid, and that I unintentionally took things too far. I felt dumb for letting someone in to my thoughts and life. I usually don’t do that. I am usually a cautious person who does not trust. With her, I did feel safe, and I hope she felt safe to mention things about her life as well. I started to also feel childish for even letting this bother me. Most times I would just a friendship take it’s course.
Finally, I sent email and Facebook messages, and no response. I did notice my friend would be commenting and conversing with others. I figured I would call her and ask what is wrong. Our conversation was ok, but distant. I knew there was something wrong, but she reassured me that everything is ok. She is just tired from the new baby and the two older boys that was all. So I verified that if I do something she needs to let me know. I am not the greatest with beating-around-the-bush statements.
We talked a little further about a mutual friend and how she is the next to be welcomed to Mommy Land. The mutual friend was scared about a lot of things like breastfeeding and pregnancy etc. so I shot off some resources that I knew would help her.
Then August came, I could not make it to the Breastfeeding week nurse-in so I participated virtually. Last year you change your status on Facebook to “Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding is not obscene” and you change your picture to a breastfeeding icon or picture. I had animals nursing their babies, a different one each day.
I think this is where the darts started. Our mutual friend commented, and I commented back, then another mutual friend commented after that. Yeah it got ugly! I just don’t understand why people have to comment to me about breastfeeding being ‘private’ and all that fun stuff. Yes, Facebook is a social networking group, but there are things I don’t like to read about; like Religion, Cars, what you’ve eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner and how much you love your spouse.
If things pop in that I don’t agree with or don’t particularly like, I usually don’t comment. With that being said though, if there was something misinforming about breastfeeding or babies I do comment about that. I try my best to word it the best way like: I had that problem with K2 as well when she was your baby’s age. I was so stressed that she would not STTN. I found though, that STTN is where a child sleeps 4 or more consecutive hours…. Bla bla bla.
After all that, things where quiet; I really did not want to talk to any of them. Breastfeeding is the greatest thing to do for your BABY but there is a place and age for it? Come on! That’s like me going to the Pope and saying remarks about the Bible being a story book. Would you do something like that? I don’t know why anyone would.
Finally in September I tried to call her, to find the phone busy, so I figured my phone was acting up, yet again, so I tried back. No answer. I wrote a note to both the friend and the mutual friend. Asking why since July was I on the ignore list. I can understand the reasons, but not the fact that they let it go so far. I tell everyone who asked me for information and resources for breastfeeding and pregnancy. I have lots of links and information. I read up on these things because they interest me. Just like the brain and the development of a child; the child-parent connection and the science behind parenting. I have always been interested in this stuff, always. However, when it gets too much, please let me know. If you ask a question, expect that you will get an answer or two or maybe three.
A few days later I received a response from the friend. This really upset me because in the response was several different twisted things that I wish she would have talked to me about. I am ashamed that over the years she actually thought that this stuff was going on in my home.
What really pissed me off though was that she threatened to call CAS. Then in the same sentence said she cared for K2 and want to watch her grow up to be a healthy young woman. That and the fact that she accused many things from administrating pain medications on a daily basis and taking K2 to the doctors every other day, to choosing our animals bedding and food over food for K2. How I stop giving food to K2 when she’s sick because breastfeeding is best for a sick child and many other things.
I was surprised really. How can someone still talk to someone when they think that horribly about that person? How can this friend call me up to get information or vent, but think I am a disservice my daughter and all the while spreading this stuff around. I was shocked she was accusing me of having Munchhausen Syndrome; then to say that she had been thinking about calling the authorities. I mean if I cared for a child as much as she said she does, what is the issue. If she truly believed me being this horrible mother, then why not call; especially if there is a life in danger? I still don’t understand this to this day. I don’t like it when people use children to get back at someone. I really don’t.
What got me livid was not the fact that she sent these horrible accusations to me, and not that she’s been telling her assumptions to others in the same circle of friends. I don’t really care what people think of me, if only they are condemning the truth, it’s when the truth is twisted and made to be something off the wall, then posted it as a comment under my status in Facebook. This is what I have a problem with!
Facebook; where I have contacts to local fellow Daycare Providers, A mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group (that I volunteer for) and leads for Parents who need childcare. All this and more was on my status comments for about 2 hours before I finished cleaning up my house (another thing that she mentioned I don’t do well) and noticed. I read it and cried. Not because the truth hurts, but because she posted lies publically then said she cares for K2, then takes all the leads to my home business away; K2 and my only source of income.
It really pisses me off, because I want to know how long she has thought this about me. I want to know why she could not talk to me about all of these misunderstandings. This is why I am writing this now. I think I need to get this off my chest. I just wanted to put my feelings out and be rid of them.
There was a time when K2 was in her first year that the Paediatrician stated to give K2 pain meds 2 hours before every dinner meal. Instead of her lack of eating and weigh gain being because of GERD, the Peditrician said it was teething. Since she was on medication, GERD was ruled out. I told this to my friend, because I thought this was the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. We both vented about it. What if K2 needs the medications and because I gave it to her everyday, they don’t work? What if she has a fever and I need to bring it down? Back then I was always afraid of the doctors, and their power, so I tried it out for about 1 week and noticed nothing about K2 eating more. So that was done. She only got the medications when I had tried everything else possible then I would think she was suffering with pain from teething or GERD. Or when she had a high temp, since her normal temp is low, the average moderate temp is caution for her.
There was a time when a Doctor did tell me to take foods out of K2’s diet when sick at any age and if she is still nursing. That is only when she is throwing up. Yes, a doctor told me that. Our family doctor, who respects and promotes breastfeeding, he does not promote Pedilite for any breastfeed child, because breastmilk is 1) easier to vomit up than water and Pedilite. 2) breastmilk has everything and more in it than pedilite and finally 3) Although a child will be vomiting the milk back up there is still some that gets in the child’s system. If you think about it, it does make sense what does a doctor tell you if you where sick? Get some rest and drink plenty of clear liquids. Of course I was advised about dehydration and what to watch out for. In that case the child will be brought to the hospital for intravenous fluids and will still be welcomed to nurse. As K2 got older I was told when she’s ill, offer foods, but if I see that she is not eating well, to increase my calorie and fluid intake and nurse her more often.
There was a time where I took K2 to the doctors almost every day. I will admit that. This again was in her first few months and she was not diagnosed with GERD yet. She screamed, I was frustrated and running on little to no sleep. I did not want to loose it on her. I was afraid the doctors missed something, I was afraid I would do something. So I took her in. Still when she was really ill, meaning that if she is not the normal happy sick baby, I take her in. I ask the doctor to check her ears and throat. I know that with different illness has different comforts, so if I know what we are dealing with, it helps us both out. For instance if she has an ear infection that is not bad enough for antibiotics (which is another post all together) I knew that laying her flat is painful for her. I know and expect that she will wake up more often throughout the night. Nothing is worse then not knowing and getting frustrated about it. If she’s got a throat infection, then I know and expect that nursing will be hard for her. I can express as much breast milk I can and make her Milk Pops (frozen expressed breastmilk). This also leads into the issue my friend had about K2 being ‘sick all the time’ with ‘usual illnesses’. K2 has had Hand, Mouth, Foot Disease more then I would like her to have. She’s had either Fifths Disease or Roseola, Common Colds, and we have been exposed to H1N1. Why? I am an at home daycare provider. With children come germs… Not that I like that fact too much. I do what I can to keep the germs away, but I forbid my child to grow up in a sterile environment then become sicker while in school.
As for the pets, well the pets that we have are not the normal dog or fish. We have reptiles and a cat and a rabbit. We are known as the funny farm here. Everyone gets taken care of, and everything runs smoothly. I can understand that one from the outside might not understand reptiles, I can honour that. I can’t honour ignorance. The reptiles do not eat things every day. Snakes can go for months without eating, actually some a year. A lizard, when older does not eat crickets everyday, but will eat veggies. Crickets also cost $1.50 for a dozen, but you can also breed them to decrease the costs. Rabbits, well they eat veggies. As for bedding we spend no money on bedding, why? We use Astroturf, what I call fake grass. We had a lot of it from our first lizard, worked great, cleaned great, and we’ve been using it ever since. Our rabbit, well he thinks he’s a cat. He uses the litter box and eats our cat’s food, so really no increase in buying. Out of all the animals our Cat and Rabbit (mostly our cat) shells out most of the money we spend on our animals (which is $10 on litter every other month and $45 on food every 3 months). Which comes to, does K2 not eat because we spend for the animals? Nope! Actually our animals eat the stuff we would through away because K2 does not want to eat it. If only we could get the cat to start eating human food we would be laughing! All in all, the ‘strange’ animals are DH’s and he pays for them. They are his hobby and passion. I pay for my cat.
Finally the myths that I never thought I would have to justify, at least not to another breastfeeding woman. Just because you smoke, drink alcohol occasionally, or have days where you don’t eat right, does NOT mean the milk is lacking. Although no two women’s milk is the same, it’s because no two babies are the same. We make what our baby/child needs. As for me, in the beginning my milk had more protein and calories because K2 was premature. Nature intended for the baby to get what it needs, and you have to be really starved before that child will be harmed. Yes, it’s best that you eat accordingly, but there are going to be busy days, or when money is tight. Do you have to stop breastfeeding because of this? No! As for smoking and the occasional drink; I would not recommend occasionally drinking any alcohol while your baby is exclusively breastfeeding, but I heard about women doing that. For a baby to get anything you must be really, really drunk and you must be drinking every day. Then I would say, you need to get some help and maybe, just maybe, you should stop nursing. Smoking, well, it’s recommended for every smoker to quite. Do you have to quite nursing because you smoke? NO! Yes the child gets some of the nicotine through breastmilk, but is that percent enough to make formula a safer bet? Well for this last topic I encourage you ladies, and other who have been misinformed to connect your local Le Lache League or even read their books. The one I like is The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Even better, go to a meeting and ask the questions. I have, and believe me; I will not knowingly do anything that will harm my child.
I will end with this. I have a great interest in all things breastfeeding and breastmilk. It’s grown over the years. Why? Because I want to learn about what I am making, what I am giving to K2 and what it does. I find it empowering, knowing that I grew my baby. Although I have or will do things that you may not do, it does not make me the bad mother and you the greater one.
I would love to hate and condemn this friend for all her faults, but I can’t. I will still be bitter, and feel betrayed. My blood will still boil when I hear her name. Will I ever want to talk to her again? Although I miss her, she is not the person I thought she was. I would have rather this to have turned out to be different, but it is not. I do hope the best, although a tiny part of me is waiting for Karma to kick her in the ass and piss on her. All in all, I do not regret the things I have learned from her; I can thank you for that. The answer to the question: No I will not want to ever see or hear from her again.
Good bye my friend, yet you are still in my thoughts.