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The Breast Whisperer

This morning I had the distinct pleasure of reading an article in the newspaper while I drank a latte and ate the top of a muffin.

Ah, the Breast Whisperer. It almost brought me to tears when I thought about how grateful I was to my own whisperer, Judy LeVan Fram, who lives in Park Slope (of course). In Baby's first week, Judy packed up her scale, hopped on a bus, and came to my apartment.

She asked if I had any swelling in my legs, and I showed her the science experiment that was formerly known as my ankles. She smiled and said that the swelling was not that bad. She even said that she had seen worse (and seemed to mean it). She did not wince or even shudder at the sight of my post-partum belly even though I shuddered at the sight of that belly for weeks and weeks. She helped me find a way to hold Baby so that he could latch on and actually get some nourishment . . . something that a parade of post-partum nurses failed to do in a spectacularly gruff fashion.

When Baby seemed to have finished nursing on one side, Judy suggested that I offer him the other side. I slid my hand under his back to lift him, and somewhere between his lower back and his neck I noticed that my hand was moving faster, it was quite literally slip-sliding up his back. Baby had pooped an enormous newborn poop that came squishing out of his diaper, up his back, covered my hand and arm, and slathered the couch cushion.

Judy responded calmly by saying that she thought she had heard him poop. I was mortified. Three days in and I not only needed some one to tell me how to feed my baby, but I had no idea when he was pooping (even though it was apparently an audible event), and I smooshed his poop everywhere in front of company. My husband came in to see what was going on and seemed just as embarrassed. He threw out the couch cushion.

Judy helped as I changed Baby, and then she offered to hold him so I could wash my hands. (Mortified again. What kind of mother thinks it is okay to continue to handle a baby when she is covered in poop? The kind who is three days in and experiencing a public poop panic.)

Finally, Judy weighed Baby and reported that he was indeed getting nourishment from me. Sweet relief.

My time with Judy was so comforting, I highly recommend her to anyone who lives in New York. And I encourage anyone who is thinking about hiring a lactation consultant to find a good one, give her a call, and feel this wonderful, calm reassurance at a time when the world may seem to have been turned upside down.

N.B. I have not referred to anyone in this blog by name before. However, I had such a positive experience with Judy that I wanted to give her credit publicly. I liked her so much that when I saw the headline for the article I read this morning, I thought that it was about her.


Last Month of Vacation

When I think of the great vacations of my life, several immediately come to mind:

(1) One week with my husband in Hawaii for our babymoon. We went to the beach every day, we snorkled whenever we wanted to, and we even took a helicopter tour of the island. It was perfectly relaxing and beautiful.

(2) Two and a half weeks with my husband in South Africa. We spent three nights in Kruger, we visited Johannesburg, we visited Cape Town, we toured wine country, and we went shark diving (as chance would have it, with Anderson Cooper and his Planet in Peril crew).

(3) One week with my husband in Mexico for our [second] honeymoon. We went to the beach, we drank pina coladas and ate fish tacos, and I went scuba diving for the first time in my life. I even [reluctantly] swam by a [nurse] shark.

(4) A long weekend with my husband in Quebec City for our mini-moon [i.e., first honeymoon]. He surprised me and brought me to the most beautiful hotel in the city. We walked around the old city during the day, we ate delicious food and drank delicious wine at night, and we accidentally referred to flies as handkerchiefs in French.

(5) Two weeks with my husband, who was then my fiance, in the Pacific Northwest. We hiked, camped, went out in Seattle, went out in Portland (sort of), and toured wine country. It was an amazing time.

(6) One week with my husband, who was then my boyfriend, in Brazil. We were there for a wedding. It was a wonderful, week long party.

I just sent my secretary an email letting her know that I would be taking an unpaid leave to extend my maternity leave until March 1. The final sentence of her response was that I should enjoy the last month of my vacation. She does not have children.