Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Back To Basics

It's been a hectic last 2 weeks for me. In an effort to save money and probably fool myself into thinking it's going to make my life easier, I've decided to give breastfeeding and cloth nappies a second try when Nachos comes.

I attended a cloth nappy workshop last week. Can you believe I actually traveled all the way to Discovery Bay to listen to someone talk about all the types of cloth nappies that are available out there, why women like to use cloth nappies and why it is environmentally better. Although I am all for recycling and saving the planet, I didn't know if people would misunderstand that my wanting to use cloth nappies was basically a financial reason. And also because I was starting to find having to buy nappies all the time a pain in the butt.

For some reason I thought the lady I was going to meet up with to travel to DB together would be this internet savy, high profile looking, made a ton of money selling cloth nappies to the expat community, well-off French lady. But when I finally met Sophie at the ferry terminal, I was humbled to meet a backpacking, no cell phone carrying, down to earth French female. She had no make-up, carried a huge backpack and was happy to approach me first to ask me if I was who she was supposed to meet. I had a good chat with her on the ferry. Found out she has been living in Macau for 7 years, went there as a student, met her husband there and because of her own frustrations with cloth nappies when she had her own 2 daughters, decided to start an internet company with her husband selling and educating people about cloth nappies. Because their business isn't very big, she still holds a full time job in Macau to support their family.

We arrived in DB and headed to her friend's house who was also in a similar type business. Her friend sells organic products and was having a combined presentation with Sophie that day. Although I feel for the hundreds and maybe even thousands of kids out there who have serious allergy problems, I am still extremely skeptical when it comes to organic products. Our hostess who sells these products import all her stuff from France. When she asked me where I live, she proudly told me she was making quite a few deliveries to the Pok Fu Lam area the following day for all the organic milk orders she has. I looked at her brochure and was shocked to see that one litre of her organic milk costs HK$145!!! Who are these crazy women who would rather feed their babies over priced organic milk rather than just breastfeed???

So I hung out there for about 20 minutes before the rest of the ladies started showing up. All of them were late. I was just happy they had organic chocolates and organic chocolate chip cookies to keep me happy which didn't taste like sweetened cardboard. When the workshop finally started, I was impressed at how much I learned in just a few minutes. All of a sudden the world of cloth nappies didn't seem so complicated at all. I was also very happy that Sophie didn't force any of her products on me. When I told her at the end of the presentation that I still have all my cloth nappies from Boy Wonder and just didn't use them because no one taught me how to, she said she would email me more information and to try what I have before I actually venture into other cloth nappy products. That made me happy because then I knew she was more into her "cause" than her business. I left the workshop satisfied that I made the effort and felt relieved that all those cloth nappies I had might not go to waste after all. I think Hubby was even more relieved when he heard the workshop was free and that I didn't end up buying anything that afternoon.

Then today I attended a La Leche League meeting in Happy Valley. All of us who attended were either pregnant or just had a baby. Oh, it was only the host of the event that had a 9 and 6 year old and wasn't breastfeeding anymore or about to start breastfeeding. I don't think I have been presented with so many bare breasts in my life before! I think other than the fact that I'm worried whether I'll have enough milk or not, its the thought of having to expose my boob everytime Nachos gets hungry that's up there on my list. I know its suppose to be a natural thing, but I'm a woman of the 21st century, I am not used to flopping my boob out when there is hunger to be satisfied. How do you get past that? Heck I am seriously considering breastfeeding, but I also understand how some people may be opposed to women breastfeeding in public. How do you deprogram a society that has been so pushed into thinking women's breasts are an erotic part of the body and not purely for the practical reason of nourishment? We mention our breasts as a neglected part of fore play when we complain that our partner only wants sex. But after we've gotten the fore play and produced the baby, how do you suddenly switch your brain into thinking: ok, now your boobs are to be used purely for nourishment by your baby? And to tell your partner not to touch them anymore because the baby will be suckling on them from now on until its been weaned?

So anyways, the afternoon went on quite well. I learned alot from the meeting and felt confident again that this time I'll have all this information and support to work with while I attempt to breastfeed. All the experienced mothers there gave me their support, told me to call them if I have any problems and were very eager that I succeed this time round. It was obvious these meetings were not social and they were all there for a purpose. Although I didn't agree with all their opinions in terms of looking after the baby, I was glad to find they were a no non-sense bunch and wanted you to succeed. I left the meeting with a stack of information, a handful of phone numbers and a tummy full of delicious chocolate cake. I'm looking forward to not having to buy formula, washing baby bottles and using my breastfeeding cape when Nachos arrives.

So all in all I feel like I'm doing my homework this time and not just waiting around for the day to come. Although I really want to succeed in at least one of these goals, I know I have to be realistic and not stress myself out in the end if nothing works.

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