Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Mangia, Mangia!

Clio looks exactly like this kewpie doll sometimes when she's breastfeeding. She gets this impish little proto-smile on her face. Then her eyelids sag, and she looks like a happy baby stoner. Then, she's sound asleep. When she pulls away from the breast (falls off it, more like it), she pouts adorably, her lower lip thrust out, her eyebrows raised, and her chin covered with milk.

We have a whole series of "Wake up the baby" rituals we practice on her mid-feeding to try to get her to perk up: blowing on her face, tugging on her ears, squeezing her feet and hands, and, our favorite, holding her upright and bouncing her while we sing "Bouncing Baby," an original composition to the tune of "Frere Jacques." It doesn't always work, but it's fun to watch her facial expressions while we torture her with it.

She's a terrible eater, really, but she's just so damned cute.

Elsa does much better -- it's no wonder she's half a pound heavier. She chugs like a frat boy at first, voracious and alert, then downshifts into a steady, businesslike sucking. Sometimes she forgets to open her mouth wide before latching on, and makes a little kissy-wissy face instead, but eventually she remembers to open up like a baby bird, and all goes smoothly.

She is, however, a noisy little thing during and afterward, with frequent hiccups and burps and hiccurps and burpups. She's also prone to spitting up. Last night, after I'd fed her and was getting Clio started, she was sitting in her bouncy chair and started clicking/pulsating, much like our cat does before she barfs. (And rather like the Fire Swamp, before the flames shoot up out of nowhere.) She spit up a little bit, then a little bit more, with more force. And then she did this big, huge, projectile barf, like a tiny Linda Blair -- a thick column of milk, just spouting out of her mouth.

I yelled for A. to come do something, quick. I don't know what; I guess I was afraid her head was about to start spinning around. It was quite disturbing, though Elsa herself didn't seem in the least bit bothered. A. changed her sleeper, which was soaked, and then she promptly went to sleep. I'm amazed she wasn't crying to be fed minutes later. The volume of milk she expelled was extraordinary. Maybe we've been giving her a complex by calling her "piglet" since her last pediatrician visit. Oh dear. Our one-month-old has an eating disorder. See? This is why I was afraid of having girls.


Blogger Ranger said...

This is why you should have a dog. It would clean up all the barf for you.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Churlita said...


Oh, but that's a lovely image.


My youngest daughter was a big eater like Elsa too. I think the projectile vomiting just comes with the territory.

I wouldn't worry about the eating disorder until all she ingests are candy bars and diet Coke.

1:48 PM  
Blogger T-bone said...

Oh it is all coming back to me...Ada (aka the Lucas street lazy eater) would have me parked on the couch for 45 minutes a feeding. I tried everything to kept her awake. Then I discovered the bottle, and for some reason she didn't fall asleep--perhaps it was because the milk was pouring down her throat. I was only able to keep up with the breast feeding (combined with bottle) for about 2 months. In other news, a bald eagle just flew way close to my office window. Do bald eagles ever fly into windows? Also, your post totally gave me that full of milk boob feeling. I'm kind of scared I might start lactating.

4:39 PM  
Blogger OHN said...

Very funny post. We gave our middle son the nickname "hoover" because he sucked so loud anyone in the tristate area knew when he was breastfeeding. Very funny memory :)

7:50 PM  
Blogger Larki said...

Heh. Does she do the poops that squirt up to her shoulder blades too?

And you are a splendid writer. No one else could have me enchanted and in stitches, both, by descriptions of baby barf.

(Stops and puts on NP hat): If she keeps projectile barfing you might want to get her checked to rule out pyloric stenosis. But that would be unusual. I bet she just likes freaking you out.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous ellen said...

I agree, it's hillarious. Can't chime in with my own experiences, but having seen the girls just last week, I can attest that they both look beautiful and have a healthy appetite.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A suggestion from a mom of a spitty 6-month old (not me, just someone I know): spill an ounce of milk or water or kool-aid or tequila :) on the floor and/or on your clothes so you know what it looks like when your precious darling upchucks an ounce of milk.


10:13 AM  
Blogger PoconoMom said...

that's the most terrible kind! my son had a horrible stomach and could NEVER keep anything down. he vomitted almost everything up. we had to mix some cereal in his bottle to thicken it up and he seemed to digest that better...then again, that was after the doctor suggested we change formulas about 6 different times! *headache!*

12:34 PM  

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