12 November 2012

Worth what?

Maybe you noticed the "worth it" down at the bottom of the BH cover. One person told me she liked it, but I've never been sure myself how much I liked it. I fear that it gives the wrong impression.

The impression I do not mean to give is, "Breast milk is the fluid than which none higher can be conceived! My baby's life would have been ruined without it!"

What I mean to say is, "I don't know if I could have lived with myself if I had quit," because at the time, I pretty much believed that impression just north there.

Boob Hell was worth it because I would have hated myself so much if I'd given up on breastfeeding, and even more because I'd have lived in constant fear that other people thought less of me for having given up. But I still have to wonder what a personal, subjective insecurity is really worth.

Thanks, internet.

21 October 2012

Cliches of breastfeeding

Breast is best rhymes and is more or less true so we probably won't be able to do much about this one.

Nursing like a champ in reference to a latchy newborn. Are there nursing championships? How does one enter? What is the prize? Why does everyone say this?

Liquid gold designating colostrum. I think this might have originated in The Womanly Art, but I gave my copy away to a boob hell mom once my couch lost enough legs that I didn't need the book to prop it up any more. Incidentally, TWA is one of the books I see most often on the shelf at my nearest Goodwill. Haven't seen BH  there yet.

I'm pretty concerned that breastfeeding lit won't become a serious subgenre until we get past these.

Oh, now I get it!

20 October 2012

Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be selling a book here or something

My mom is really good at selling things. She is so good at it that she gets paid a ton of money by a commercial company you've almost certainly heard of to teach people how to sell things. Unfortunately I didn't get the "selling things" gene, which makes for some awkward conversations when my mom asks how my book is selling.

Selling things makes me feel like I'm defrauding people. If they REALLY wanted this thing, they'd have tracked it down and bought it already, right? But, come on. I really wanted to read Boob Hell when I was there and I know other people are in BH right now feeling like so miserable. It's a matter of finding them. In fact, I have no desire for non-boob hellions to read it because they'd think really stupid things about it. So we're all above board here.

Nevertheless, I must find the boob hellions and sell them the book, which is where this post comes in. I made one of those badge thingies that all the cool blogs have. So if you've been there and have some very modest desire to alert people that you lived through something awful that they don't think even matters and you should basically never allude to or think about, you can have a badge for it, and I can tell my mom I did something to try to sell my book. I made a tab for it and everything. Wow, that was gratifying.


04 August 2012

Juice Joint

In the very unlikely event that I do not soon come into my millions in Boob Hell royalties, I think I'll open a formula speakeasy in New York.

10 July 2012

Who would read this thing?

The truth is, I don't know that I really recommend this book as a maternity or baby shower gift for a first time mom. It's kind of like telling a pregnant lady about your horrible birth experience. It just scares and/or annoys her. Not that helpful.

BUT--I do think it would be a really good postpartum gift. Whether or not a mom is in Boob Hell, postpartum is a lonely time. Another postpartum mom could be comforting company, even if she's a self-obsessed psycho. Postpartum moms who are nursing are usually in some state of boob discomfort and can relate at that level too.

Most important, a postpartum mom needs LOTS OF GIFTS; way more than she needed when she was pregnant, although she didn't know it then. Buy her fourteen or fifteen copies so she can build some kind of arty structure and pin it. Tell her to make sure the cover is clearly visible.

Still life with Boob Hell

01 July 2012

Because researchers are dumb.

Dr. Amy and I have our differences, but I think she is 100% right in her post "Why do breastfeeding researchers ignore the obvious?" She was even nice enough to supply the pullquote herself:

The dirty little secret about breastfeeding is that starting is hard, painful, frustrating and inconvenient. And continuing breastfeeding is hard, sometimes painful, and incredibly inconvenient especially for women who work, which in 2012 is most women.

Read it all here.

17 May 2012

Bullshirt, Kellymom

My Baby 4 was a good nurser, and I thought I had finally figured it out. Now I knew how to nurse. Now postpartums wouldn't be terrible, if I had any more.

Baby 5 was a terrible nurser. It was, to understate, disappointing. He was sleepy and mean and I was miserable, so miserable that I got desperate enough to revisit Kellymom.

I don't understand Kellymom. I don't know if there is a real person named Kelly. I don't know why Kelly, if she exists, is qualified to be the person about whom people always ask, "Did you check Kellymom?" when you mention a nursing problem. I only know that Kellymom has been around for a fairly long time (I'm pretty sure I learned about Kellymom during Boob Hell actual, which was 9 years ago), and that Kellymom is some kind of online hippie den (it's OK, some of my best friends are hippies), and that the site is finally looking a little more up to date than it was even at the time of my Baby 5 consultation.

So anyway, finding myself in Boob Purgatory following the (admittedly un-ideal) birth of my FIFTH freakin kid, I went to Kellymom, and this is what she had for me: rebirthingRebirthing. And honestly, people, I was and remain at a loss. What could Kellymom possibly mean by this? I mean, the explanation is there in my first language and I understand the vocabulary and the syntax. But I do not understand how anyone can take this magnitude of absurdity seriously. Who is going to call bullshirt on this kind of thing?

I guess I am. Bullshirt. Rebirthing is the most idiotic thing I've ever heard of. Two people in a warm bath is not in any way like the birth of a human being, even if that birth takes place in a warm bath. Maybe (?)  nursing in a warm bath would help with nursing problems, but a warm bath is all it would be. It would not be the counterfactual you have designated "rebirthing." Desperate as I was at that time in my life, and still feeling victimized and guilty in the aftermath of my ridiculous fifth delivery during which I missed my opportunity to initiate nursing immediately following the baby's birth, I could not be mind-tricked into this one.

The emperor, he is naked, and Kellymom, you are too, but I guess you and your devotees do that on purpose. I'm only judging it when it surpasses eccentric and achieves willfully stupid.

24 April 2012

I'm so offended

Jeanne Moos: a lady who isn't afraid to call an Amelia Earhart an Amelia Earhart.


22 April 2012

Yeah, WHY?

Well, I'm really excited. Several people have left favorable reviews of BH at Amazon, and I am grateful to them for their kind words and BH promotivity. But today I noticed that someone else is not so pleasedQuoth Sus:

Why would anyone suffer the way the author did, just to feed their babies breast milk? How terrible that she didn't enjoy the first year with her baby(s). Why?

Hard to believe I wasted 45,347 perfectly cromulent words trying to answer that question, and in this economy too! Thanks for those two stars, Sus; they're the coolest thing I've gotten all day. :)

At least we have each other.

13 April 2012

Boob Hell meets Motherlove, no joke

My countless Facebook disciples know that all my life's a book tour. After scouting the Roosevelt National Forest as a nursing venue this morning (approved), I was surprised to find myself driving by a sign that said "Motherlove." It was a sign. Oh, I already said that.

LaPorte, Colorado: a real place!

So my current dairy patron and I stopped in with a copy of tomorrow's bestseller, Boob Hell. We got to meet the mother of Motherlove Herbal Company, Kathryn Higgins, and tour the facility. The shelves and boxes loaded with all kinds of natural "Get Out Of Boob Hell Or Don't Even Go There In the First Place" potions were powerful inspiring. Nothing like a lovely meeting with the gracious and successful proprietress of a commendable product line to make you know you're getting the better end of your own book tour. Thanks to Kathryn and all the ladies at Motherlove for their kind reception of a crazy person who walks in off the street with a glurky baby and a goofy book.

02 April 2012

Earth Mamas get me good

Ahem. Someone has been kind enough to point out to me that I don't know what the heck I'm talking about. Turns out the idea is to discourage "You're not doing it right"ers within the ranks of breastfeeding experts. Oh yeah, I kind of wrote a book about how mad I was about that kind of thing. Sorry, Earth Mamas. I dum dum, and I am all for encouraging aspiring breastfeeders to get the job done however they can make it work.

31 March 2012

Boob Hell History Museum

A few artifacts for you to ponder. I took the first two outside so I wouldn't have to wipe down my counter for a decent photo backdrop.

One of my Fiestaware coffee cups, ergonomically designed for manual expression. Also my cat. His name is Phileas.

The man-funnel. It looks so natural reclining near the lilacs.

The qipao. I'm supposed to wear it in a couple of weeks. Haven't tried it on yet. Yerg.

25 March 2012

You babies think you're so smart

This article about lactation consultant Freda Rosenfeld is real ancient now, but I've always remembered it because of one sentence:

She has coached novices so anxious they tried to schedule a session before giving birth (“Just enjoy being pregnant,” she counseled) and Hasidic women suddenly unable to nurse baby No. 7, 8 or 9.

That last part. That's what I remembered.

Baby 4 was the first time nursing went for me like it was supposedly supposed to. It was lousy for a few weeks, but not horrendous. That was the only postpartum during which I did not have meltdown after meltdown. I thought, I've got it. I know how to nurse now. It doesn't have to be terrible again. And then Baby 5 was a total bust: scabs, meltdowns, months of painful nursing. Sometime during those rotten months I read that article and had my big epiphany. 

(Oh boy, here it comes.)

Mothers have to learn to nurse, yes, and some get it more easily than others. Same deal for babies. Some nurse well and some don't. It's not always the idiot mom's fault. Boob Hell may have been all my fault, but there's really no way to know. I honestly don't know if BH Baby had a bad latch. The lactation people I talked to said that must be why I had so much damage and pain, but no one who observed a feeding could ever say, "This is what you're doing wrong. This is how to fix it." Looking back, I think that the best nursey-baby in the world could not have kept me from getting mangled. I had a bad time getting broken in. I think some people just do. I will always resent the suggestion that nursing, if done right, absolutely won't cause pain or injury.

But even being "broken in" is no guarantee. Not a lot of people do personal primary research on this any more, but if I've learned anything from nursing 6 babies, it's that there isn't a magical experiential knowledge of nursing that solves every problem. Nursing can be stygian on a first baby or a fifth, and probably a tenth too. 

Help us, Freda. Or Orpheus, or somebody?

"Asymmetrical! It has to be asymmetrical!"

18 March 2012

Weirdest breastfeeding products ever

I have this brilliant insight about how breastfeeding has succeeded in propagating itself by getting capitalist, but I'll spare you the analysis for now and just provide some of the stranger examples.

The Baby Bond Nursing Sash.

This is supposed you let you see your whole baby while still covering you up. I cannot begin to imagine how such a thing could work. And is it just me, or is this lovely mother not really that covered up?

Milkies Milksaver.

The Milksaver collects milk from your spare while the other's working. I'm not saying this isn't a good idea, but it's still weird.


I actually own a pair of these. Unlike my messy, bulky, and expensive nursing pads, they have been in the back corner of my underwear drawer for 6+ years. Judging from the product reviews, though, that makes ME weird.

Does it have to be Butter? Does it have to be Boobies? This kind of thing is how I know I'm inorganic. One more from the Earth Mamas, if it's really a product:

Sure, breastfeeding judgers are jerks and very stupid. Kind of their problem, though.

Another one I have trouble imagining in action. I love breastfeeding diagrams, though. I'm also glad that now pillows have pillows.

Definitely not my style. But if I saw your baby wearing one, I would laugh my butt off and give you $5.

14 March 2012

How to change a nursing bra: a tutorial from Nicolas Cage

(You don't have to watch this whole thing--the instructions begin at 6:00 and run through 7:00. Sound is not required.)

1. Slow and careful
2. No matter what happens--slow and careful.
3. You can always try hiding.


The good news is that there probably won't be a crazy dude chasing you with a gun.

11 March 2012

Shut up and write, and then don't say anything stupid about it.

I hate it when writers write about writing. No one cares. Shut up and write.

But I just have to say this one thing now that I have become as qualified to do so as I ever will. I don't mean any hard feelings here to the many people who have drawn this comparison, but:

Writing a book is IN NO WAY like having a baby.

The process of writing is not like being pregnant. The act of publishing is not even remotely like giving birth. I'd explain, but do I really need to? Could I just mention some general concepts like vomit, 20-40 pounds, acne, incontinence, sutures, etc., and assume everyone is tracking?

The only thing bookgrowing and babygrowing have in common is that both take longer than it feels like they should, kind of like baseball games, college, making pastry, toilet training, grocery shopping, wrapping Christmas presents, digging up dahlia tubers, middle school band concerts, Finding Nemo, Lent, water boiling, adolescence, parades, driving to Fort Wayne, and travailing toward the end of this sentence.

It's a post! A miracle every time.

07 March 2012

Book fail

Nothing like seeing your hard work pay off. Dum dee dum dum dum.

So anyway, if you ordered from Amazon or Createspace and for some reason are not really excited about receiving this limited release collector's edition, please email bhbreastfeeding at gmail dot com for a replacement and full postage compensation.

25 February 2012

Boob Hell begins

I went to Boob Hell when I had my first baby. I thought I was the only person who'd ever been there. Then I thought every nursing mother had been there. I thought a lot of stupid things. It seemed wise to put them all in a book for other people to read.

My husband and I always referred to that year of our life as Boob Hell, so when this book needed a title I really couldn't come up with anything else. I'm sorry if you have to hide it from your kids. I'm hiding it from mine too. I commend to you e-readers.

I am not a nursing junkie, but for some reason I can't stop writing about it, like here.

Thanks for visiting. Rebekah Curtis