Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Confessions Of A Middle Aged Jewish Grandma

i sat for my grandson, sahar, today for nearly five hours. at around 8:00 a.m., as zvi was leaving for work, he told me that gal needed to go to the doctor and i was needed upstairs at 8:30a.m. as usual, i was curled up on the couch fast asleep, while zvi spoke to me. this seems to be our morning ritual. i used to be a heavy sleeper, but i guess i got used to jumping up to go into my mom's room. i also wake up to let the dogs out each morning and then run back to bed, actually, the couch. zvi left, and i jumped up and ran to the bathroom. afterwards, i ritually, washed my hands and said my morning blessings and grabbed my favorite jar of instant coffee and headed up the stairs to sahar. my daughter-in-law said something about leaving some frozen 'mommy' milk in the freezer and attempted to show me something. i wasn't exactly, paying attention. i hadn't had my morning coffee, yet. she left while the baby was lying in the big crib, enjoying his new mobile and making contented baby 'cooing' sounds. i took the opportunity to make myself a coffee. i didn't want to go back downstairs for my whole wheat bread, so i ate a few cookies. when sahar seemed a bit fussy, i took him out of his crib and played with him for a while on the bed. he seemed to love today's version of 'clap hands'. it went like this: "clap hands, clap hands til daddy comes home, he works in a winery and loves to drink, rum. clap hands, clap hands til mommy comes home, she went to the miyun (emergency room) down in the darom." (the southern end of zefat). sahar was pretty attentive until he got hungry and started to cry. i put him in the crib for a moment, so i could prepare his bottle, and the poor thing started screaming. i immediately, picked him up and went about searching the freezer for the mommy milk. i had to put the baby back down for a moment until i found a small baggie of frozen milk. he was wailing and turning red while i put the baggie into a small bowl of hot water. i was so afraid that the bag might melt. in the meantime,he kept on wailing. when the milk seemed unfrozen, i carefully opened the baggie with a knife while i said a silent prayer, that i shouldn't puncture the bag. i then found a small baby bottle and put the pump contraction over it like a funnel, and started to pour out the milk. to my utter shock, i watched all the milk pour out the side of the pump into the sink and not into the bottle. there were only a few drops of milk left and i feebly, tried to use a dropper to feed them to the poor baby. he was really agitated now! i picked him up and kissed him and cradled him in my arms until he fell asleep. just then, my daughter-in-law called to say that she was on her way to the emergency room. i didn't have the heart or guts to tell her that i had just spilled out all of her expressed mother's milk. i thought about calling up my niece, sarah, who is also, nursing, to see if she had any spare mommy milk in the freezer. i played with the idea of running over to sarah's with sahar, so that she could nurse him. but i have not, yet, taken the baby out by myself, and i didn't even have the cab fare anyway, because i had given the last of my cash to his parents that morning. i figured that i could probably, give the baby a bottle of water, as the worst case scenario. just then, i spotted a package of materna, non dairy, baby formula, on the shelf. while the little angel slept, i read the instructions on the box. thankfully, they were in english, too. i quickly made up half a bottle, as an 'experiment', and at that moment little sahar woke up. i decided to try it. he drank it down, calmly and willingly, but i felt like i was feeding him poison. i had never given his father formula. i nursed my son until he was 2 1/2 years old. i felt like i was betraying my innocent grandson. i was so nervous that he may have an allergic reaction to the formula. i was convinced that the formula might constipate him, too. sahar seemed quite content but a bit sleepy, so i put him down in the small crib and rocked him to sleep. i made myself another coffee. when he woke up again, i played with him some more and then made another half bottle of formula for him. again, he drank it down without any fuss. i then started to worry that he might refuse to nurse when his mommy came home. and then i started to worry about his mommy. i was so afraid that she might be admitted over night to the hospital. right then, she called to let me know that she was on her way home. she asked how the baby was and asked if he had drank his bottle. i told her that he was fine and had had his bottle, which was the truth. but i lied about what was in the bottle. i just couldn't fess up. i was so ridden with guilt and afraid that i would be found out. the baby hadn't made a 'poop' yet and i was convinced that the formula had already clogged his delicate digestive system. gal shared with me that sahar hadn't pooped since the night before. after 5 hours, she was bursting with milk, and couldn't wait for him to nurse. i was really afraid, now. but he latched on to the nipple immediately, and drank the mother's milk until he was full. i still didn't tell her the truth and let her know that he had drank formula. perhaps, when he's married i'll let her know before the chuppah. it looks like we'll be having a thanksgiving meal, here on thursday, after all. i had searched the closet for my turkey napkins, but i could only find my chicken napkins. and there was no way that i was going to host a thanksgiving meal with chicken napkins. i did, find my two sets of turkey napkins. the small cocktail size turkey napkins will be great for serving cake. the turkey dinner napkins have a thanksgiving motif and say "giving thanks every day",which nicely, coincides with orthodox, jewish thought. i am scheduled to sit for sahar tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m.while gal goes to the dentist. hopefully, i'll make it over to the chabad supermarket to buy all the traditional food items to prepare for the thanks giving meal. i think i'm going to skip the pumpkin pie and make simple, pumpkin cake 'bars" instead. we'll see. right now, my foot is hurting so much that i can't stand on it. and i've had a blinding pain in my right eye, all evening long. now my nose is running. i'm a wreck! i hope i won't have any more confessions to make for awhile.


  1. Zelda, no baby ever died from one bottle of formula, and almost certainly no baby has gotten seriously constipated from a bottle of it, either. I nursed my son for about a year, but he had plenty of formula during that time so my husband could feed him when I could not. He grew up healthy, I never found that formula made him not want breast milk, and he lived to tell the tale! :-)

    Relax. You've done no damage, except to your own psyche, with the giant guilt trip!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family.

  2. number 1-but a funnel for when u need to "frozen mommy milk" sahar.
    but even more important, u did the best u could!
    formula ain't the end of the world!
    mommy milk is best,but....
    sahar ate and slept. he didn't starve and was content.