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Monday, December 29, 2008

Thrilling News: I Bought Place Mats

Greetings, Mommas-n-Guests!

Not to brag, but K and I got somewhere in the area of six hundred bucks from various family members for Christmas. Everyone knows not to get us casserole dishes and scented candles or coffee table books, because those things usually end up a basement closet or out on the curbside with a "free" sign taped to them. Not because we're ungrateful, but because with merely 700 finished square feet, our house is hardly enough for a dance party, let alone accumulation of holiday knick-knacks.

Rather than plopping all that cash prudently into our Roth IRAS for when we are in our eighties and need to stock up on Jello and denture cleaner, we (well, really just me, to be honest) spent a large chunk of it on woven, spring-green and white place mats, eight of them, each costing $2.99.

Why place mats, especially for people like me who never ever host fancy sit-down dinners? The thing is, we don't have any place mats at all, and sometimes I just feel like setting the table and putting place mats underneath people's plates, even if it's just me and K. Sometimes I feel like hosting a fancy dinner party, but not having place mats inhibits my inspiration. With eight new place mats, I might actually feel compelled to host a big dinner, a celebration of place mats.

Why eight of them? I could have gotten four or six, a more reasonable number. But places mats are things that you don't use if you don't have enough, so why just get four and risk never using them. I really wanted eight for when it's me and Kevin, my parents, Kevin's parents, and our two beautiful children. And if the children don't happen, Tebow can have one for his doggy dish, and we can walk down to the mall food court and borrow a baby from some random stranger to use that eighth place mat.

I'm sure they won't mind.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Holi-daze

Greetings, KuKd Mommas and Guests!

Christmas: supposed to be a sad and poignant time of year for us dead baby-mommas. Amazingly, it's been one year and four months since I called my friend J to tell her I was measuring bigger than normal, and going in for a extra ultrasound just to check things out. My voice sounded high pitched to my own ears, taut. You'll be fine, she told me. My sister-in-law measured big, and she just had a big baby. I pretty much believed her, because the idea of something going wrong yet again was truly outside the realm of possibility, and because I loved this child, sluggish movements and all. I wasn't going to lose someone I loved.

And of course, the unthinkable did happen. My doctor mentioned "scrotum" as she told me, and more than our baby's imminent death itself, all I could think about was why the hell did you just tell me the gender? We weren't planning on finding out, remember? Not that it mattered in the end, of course. We were going to find out, turning our baby into a boy or a girl instead of a genderless baby.

So now, Christmas. I can say I felt occasional flashes of something sting inside, wistful, a cold awareness of being without my children, either of them. K's mom sitting on the sofa in her Christmas sweater - the cheezy kind that moms like to wear. All of us around the table, eating gravy-laden meals. Opening presents, stuffing ourselves with wine and Hickory Farms cheese and sausage. A hurtful understanding of Zachary not being there - especially him, since he's the one I felt moving, existing, turning. Awareness something not having turned out the way I wanted, against all odds. Followed, always, by amazement:

I survived, we survived, even in the face of something I never thought survivable - and I'm not unique in this achievement. People go through shit, and they survive. It happens all the time - just look at the gals who I met at my "healing retreat for women." That is, really, the most amazing thing about human life there is.

Isn't it relieving to know that we can get through such things intact? I think it is.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A New Food-ifesto!

Greetings, KuKd Mommas and Inquisitive Guests!

There was a time, not so long ago, when I felt as though my pregnant months had been a waste of life. A waste of time spent reading What to Expect, a waste of emotion, a waste of love, a waste of money spent on maternity clothes and baby gear. A year of my life in total, wasted on wanting and waiting, on needlessly swollen boobs and weight gain, on what turned out to be the unnecessary torture of coffee and smoked salmon withdrawal.

Thankfully, I have since come around, realizing that such a world view does me absolutely no good. Instead, I've grown to appreciate the ways in which my pregnancies have changed me, become woven into my new KuKdx2 life, the Monica I am today. Those pregnancies - and the baby and almost-baby that characterized them - are an inextricable part of who I am.

The example I'm going to focus on for this post is how deeply and irrevocably my pregnancies changed my eating habits. Not just my eating habits, but my entire outlook on food. As many of you know, being knocked up forces you to step back and take a close look at what you are putting into your body. For me, I started - for the first time EVER - to read not the "nutritional information" on the foods I was eating, but the ingredients themselves.

I had always been a more-or-less health conscious person, at least in terms of sticking to low-fat this and that. If a product said "LOW FAT!" or LOW CALORIE," I was into it. I didn't care about what was actually IN the food I was eating, because if it had the wholesome image of Marie Callendar or Aunt Jemima, or a nice cursive homely font on the label, I totally bought it. How could Marie Callendar or the cartoon Honey-Nut Cheerios bumblebee have anything other than my best interest at heart? And simple things like Best Foods Mayonnaise and chicken bouillon cubes...stuff I grew up on and was fed by my parents and my friends' parents and my school cafeteria...how could any of that possibly be bad?

So again, fast forward to getting knocked up. Suddenly, something told me to start paying attention to what I was putting in my mouth. Not only that, but around that same time, somebody gave me a book-on-tape of The Omnivore's Dilemma, which K and I played during several road trips, practically memorizing it. The book's rules for what humans should eat, which author Michael Pollan repeats in his later book In Defense of Food, is simple:

1) Eat food.
2) Not too much.
3) Mostly plants.

And, one of my personal favorites:

4) Only eat foods that your grandmother would recognize as food.

Anyway, this book left a lasting impression on me, as did my own knocked-upness, and has ever-altered my outlook on food. I'd even go so far as to say I've developed a passionate distrust and hatred for the food industry, which I feel has duped not just me but my parents' entire generation, making us think we've been eating "food," when really we haven't.

Take these few recent examples:

Hellman's Mayonnaise: Soybean oil, whole eggs, vinegar, water, egg yolks, salt, sugar, lemon juice, natural flavors, calcium disodium EDTA (used to protect quality).

Now, try Googling "calcium disodium EDTA," and you won't find much. You will find, however, the words "rats" and cancer." So should this particular mysterious compound be eaten? My gut tells me no.

Knorr Chicken Bouillon: Salt, monosodium glutamate, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, chicken meat, chicken fat, lactose, hydrolized protein (corn, soy), sugar, yeast extract, natural flavor, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, spice, caramel color, tartaric acids, citric acids.

Okay. It's the monosodium glutamate, disodium inosinate, and disodium guanylate that get to me. What the hell ARE those things? And why are they in my chicken broth? Isn't chicken broth simply the water that is left when you boil a whole chicken in a pot and add salt?

Marie Callendar's Yankee Beef Pot Pie: I won't even list all the ingredients here, because there are simply too many to cite. But I'll give you a few alarming ones. Let me preface this by saying what I would normally guess might be in a beef pot pie: beef, flour, salt, butter, carrots, peas, celery, pepper, maybe a bit of red wine. That's it. What else do you need? If you freeze it and sell it, you shouldn't even need preservatives, right? But good old Marie insists on adding Sodium Phosphate, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrin, Calcium Chloride, Modified Food Starch, Yeast Propylene Glycol, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Monosodium Glutamate, Phosphoric Acid, and Xanthan Gum. You can read the full riveting list here.


Now of course, all of this begs the question: why be concerned about eating things my grandmother wouldn't recognize as food? Why should I care if I'm eating small amounts of disodium EDTA and guaylate and monosodium gultamate? My personal reasons are as follows:

1) For every piece of evidence out there claiming these things are okay to eat, one can find evidence that they aren't.

2) Soaring cancer and autism rates in the Western world. What's the cause? I'm sure there are all kinds of theories out there. As for me, I look at what I eat here, compared to what I've eaten in developing countries, where processed and preserved foods are much too expensive for ordinary citizens to purchase and consume. Maybe it's the cheap availability of chemically preserved foods in the West that has caused our cancer and autism woes. Or maybe not. But why take chances?

3) If I'm going to eat an 800-calorie piece of coconut cream pie, why waste it on something that has artificial flavors and nasty chemicals, like Marie Callendars' pies? I'll save it for real food, thanks - just the milk, cream, sugar, butter, salt, flour, and coconut.

4) And finally, I'm just pissed at the food industry, the people who decide to add gross chemicals to our food and market them as "wholesome" and "low fat." You know, the executives over at General Mills and Coca-Cola and Frito-Lay. I just don't want to patronize them, period. It's dubious, this kind of corporate trickery. When I picture them, I see a bunch of sketchy balding white dudes wearing suit and ties, sitting around a conference table in some shitty New Jersey suburban office complex, devising all kinds of ways to make money - even if it means making Americans fat and unhealthy and cancer-ridden. Even www.dietfacts.com tried to contact Marie Callendars for "her" product ingredients list, and was flat-out denied (see the rejection letter here).

Anyway, don't take this as a preachy "call to action" of any sort, unless that's what you want this post to be. This is simply an announcement of my own personal

...FOOD-IFESTO!

I will eat food, not too much, mostly plants. And more than any of that, I will only eat things my grandmother would recognize as food. And yes, for the record, that includes steak and bacon and wine and coffee and all that other good stuff, since I'm pretty sure my grandma knew what those things were and ate them often (she did die of a heart attack after all; what more proof do you need!)

Thanks, Zachary, for teaching me something. You made an impression on your mom, little guy! (you dad is getting there, but he's a tougher nitrate-loving nut to crack. I'm working on him.)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wicked Witch of the Pelvis

Greetings, KuKd Strong Mommas and Inquisitive Guests!

Warning: the first part of this post is cheerful-sounding. I only say that because I know how irritating it is when you're feeling like an old scrooge, only to have some Polyanna type come along and wave daisies and lollipops in your face. After I get the cheerful part out of the way, I promise it will get more gritty and sulky. Got it? Okay, here we go.

The cheerful part: this whole Exhale thing is really, really satisfying. Seriously, I've been thinking that if things really do happen for a reason, then perhaps this is my reason for getting knocked down. My calling, I guess, other than shopping for baby binkies and sticking my boob into my baby's mouth.

And now, the whiney part.

Remember "Poop Elves," one of our earlier KuKd words of the week? You know, those little elfin beings that inhabit the intestines, pushing out human excrement with a "heave ho" chant, strengthened by a high-fiber diet and weakened by refined grains and other "constipators."

Well, I'm not sure if this warrants a new KuKd word, but I've had a different kind of entity wreaking havoc on my body for the past few years. I call her the Wicked Witch of the Pelvis. Unlike the happy little Poop Elves, the Wicked Witch of the Pelvis does nothing to further the world in any way, nothing that betters humanity. No, no. Here's what she does: she inhabits mysterious corners and crevices in the lower abdomen, and - for no reason other than to be evil, she causes chronic pelvic pain.

The thing that's particularly bad about her is that people often don't believe she's there. She's like that Mister Snuffaluffagus character from Sesame Street, but an evil version who messes with women's reproductive systems. No matter how fervently Big Bird tried to convince the world that Mister Snuffaluffagus existed, nobody belived him.

Same goes for my own chronic pelvic pain, which started about two years ago, and sort of dissipated while I was knocked up. Lately she's returned in full force, and it's taken me a long, long time and lots of visits with various doctors to FINALLY convince them: I really have pelvic pain. No, I don't think it's stress-induced. Don't send me home with an Advil and tell me to relax; that may have worked during the month or two after the stillbirth itself, but it's been almost a year-and-a-half. Give me a break, people.

Anyway, I'm finally getting checked out for real, but it won't happen until March, when my doctor will surgically check me out for endometriosis, hopefully fixing whatever they find.

Or maybe they won't find anything, and I'll be back to cursing that Wicked Witch of the Pelvis.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Exhale is On!

Greetings, Literature Buffs!

The December-January issue of Exhale has been launched - my best coffee-fueled achievement of the morning, second only to watering the perpetually dying palm plant in the living room. Go on over and check it out! Here are just a few of the highlights:

Monica Crumback crank out babies, but wrestles with what to say when her best friend can't. How cool to hear that perspective, for once!

Shawna Strohm fears imminent divorce when she catches her husband "wacking off" in the shower a mere twenty hours before a sperm-analysis appointment. Busted!

Pamela Jeanne
has "decided" to go child free, but only after years and years of unsuccessful infertility treatments (if you could call it a "choice" in the first place).

Cindy "Murgdan" C. is sick and tired of those week-by-week descriptions and pictures of what's happening to a developing fetus, so she's fighting back with her own version: the same type of deal, but for infertility. Imagine that.

Sharon van Wyke writes about her experiences with Left Behind Syndrome - the sensation of being the lone infertile tree left rooted in the ground while gusting winds of pregnant women blow past you. Can't you just totally picture all these pregnant women cartwheeling through the air?

Okay, back to work. Happy reading!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Overpriced Spas and Laminated Membership Cards

Greetings, KuKd Strong Mommas and Inquisitive Guests!

Sometime last spring or summer - it's all a blur to me now - I reluctantly went to a three-day "women's healing infant loss retreat," which I had seen advertised in the flimsy newsletter for the Puget Sound Parent Support group. Here's why I was reluctant:

1) I wasn't sure if I was eligible, if stillbirth would be considered "infant loss." Lord knows I didn't want to try to sneak in there without really qualifying. That would be just bad form.

2) Even if I DID qualify, I wasn't sure if I even wanted to go. I'm really not a "healing retreat" kind of person. I didn't know these women - the organizers, the other participants - or what the whole thing would entail. The advertisement was suspiciously under-detailed. No itinerary, no price, no location, nothing. It wasn't affiliated with any particular organization or anything - just these two random women who were organizing it. Would it be a bunch of pow-wows and yoga sessions and bible-thumping? Would everyone get stoned and watch the sun set and talk about deep things? What if these women were all a bunch of annoying losers? Just because you've lost a baby, doesn't mean you're automatically a cool person (contrary to popular belief). I know that sounds really snobby and horrible, but imagine being stuck in close quarters for three solid days with the wrong people. I was apprehensive.

3) Even if it DID turn out not to be some kind of freaky cult-ish thing, I was pretty sure I was over the whole stillbirth thing. It had been, like, six or eight months since the Ultimate Shitty Event. I was SO done talking about it.

4) When I e-mailed the organizer to get more deets, she told me the price - somewhere in the $300 to $600 range, and just about wet myself. I'm sorry, did you just day - gulp - what you just said? For two nights? Now, granted, the thing was going to be held at this fancy-shmancy resort and spa up on Hood Canal - which, for those of you who aren't from Washington State - is really more like a huge, lake-width river that snakes along with the jagged Olympic Mountains in the background. Not some murky, nasty, sewage-smelling typical canal like the ones in Uzbekistan. And of course, it included all of your food and everything. But still - couldn't they just as well have done it at the Motel 6? Seriously, I would have been fine doing that and subsisting on dried fruit and potato chips from Trader Joe's for the weekend.

ANYWAY, in the end - after C and D, the organizers, convinced me I was a "perfect fit" and K told me "YES, do it!," I did it. I won't bore you with all the details of that weekend, but suffice it to say, it was - and I am not kidding here - one of the best things I've ever done for myself. I wasn't as "over it" as I'd thought, and couldn't believe how much I bawled and yammered about it. The group was small - only about seven of us. We did lots of sitting around, sharing our stories, eating and talking more, crying, commiserating, going through boxes of Kleenex like it was nobody's business. I felt, for the first time ever, like I had found "my tribe." Oprah Winfrey would have loved it, and most of our husbands would have hated it.

Oh, and the resort was pretty damn nice too, although I did get irritated when they had baskets of tempting snacks in the rooms - peanutbutter cups, Pringles, chocolate truffles - with signs listing the ridiculous prices of these things if you so much as MOVED one from its original position in the basket. Gawd, why do the most expensive places nickle-and-dime the shit out of you? I mean, come on. You're already charging up the wah-hoo. For god's sake, at least give me some free Andes mints on my pillow or something. Even Motel 6 gives out free coffee in the morning.

But that's beside the point.

When I got home, K said, "So, what did you guys do for three straight days?"

Me: "Talk about stuff."

K: "Mmmm. Glad I stayed home. Do you know if we have a wrench anywhere? Oh, and what are we doing for dinner tonight?"

Men. Gotta love 'em.

I'm still in touch with these gals, for the most part. Once in a while when I need to vent, I'll pick up the phone and call one of them to discuss. At one point a month ago, they were all knocked up again (the organizer herself was pregnant DURING the retreat, it turned out, but kept mum about it), which made me get that "I've got a lot of catching up to do" feeling (which I despise).

Then just a few days ago, I found out that V - one of my retreat buddies and just about the sweetest person you'll ever meet (her daughter P was stillborn), just miscarried at nearly 14 weeks. This news made my stomach drop about ten floors, perhaps because when you bond with women who have undergone horrible circumstances, you just want the best for them no matter what. What's particularly sad and scary is the notion that a person can actually be KuKd X two, or even three or more. What is UP with those odds! That's one of my worst fears - that I could get knocked down again (Actually, truth be told, I have worse fears than that. For example, I worry that K might suddenly disappear, that I might suddenly become allergic to milk or wheat, that my fly might be unzipped while I'm teaching a writing lesson at the college, etc.)

"I guess I'm a card-carrying member of the KuKdX2 tribe," V told me on the phone. Not exactly a tribe that anyone wants to be a part of. You kind of get thrown into it unwillingly. I'm considering making her a laminated membership card, but I'm not sure if she'll want one.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Clearblue Insanity Monitor

Greetings, Guests and Mommas!

Here's a rather typical conversation I had with K the other day. Has anyone else engaged in this kind of discourse?

M (After Coming Home from the Tavern): "We should try the Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor. You pay a few hundred bucks, pee on a stick a bunch of times, and get pregnant within one month. My friend G found me on Facebook and told me I should totally do it."

K: "Let's not and say we did."

M: "But, it got five hundred fifty-four five-star reviews on Amazon. Everyone who uses that thing seems to pop out a baby ten months later. Don't you think that's worth the money?"

K: "Sounds stressful to me. Let's just do the SLOT method (Screw Lots Of Times). It worked twice before."

M: "But at least then we'd know when exactly to SLOT, and you wouldn't run out of sperm."

K: "I don't think that'll happen. Just relax."

Okay. So, I know he's right. Taking that step of actually PURCHASING the Clearblue Fertility Monitor means admitting that:

a) I really want to get knocked up. This is an impossible thing for me to admit outright, because confessing desire means confessing vulnerability. Doesn't it?

b) To the point where, I'm willing to bank money, time, energy, and urine on a precarious hope for the future. That's money that could otherwise be spent on a Brazilian steak dinner and strong mohitos; that is, spent on living in the here and now, which I strongly, strongly, strongly believe in - but sometimes have trouble actually doing just that.

The whole point of this post is to issue a product suggestion to the makers of Clearblue. Hey, Clearblue CEO: why don't you make a Clearblue Insanity Monitor, a Clearblue Time Monitor, a Clearblue Money Monitor, Clearblue Happiness Monitor, to go along with your Fertility Monitor. If you could fit those things into the package, I might - just might - get K to go along with it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What Happens to Dead Babies? An Introductory Lesson

Greetings, KuKd Strong Mommas and Inquisitive Guests!

Today I'm putting on my teacher hat, even though it's Sunday. With the holidays coming up, now is a good time to give the stillborn and miscarried kids of the world - both ours and others' - an affectionate holiday shout out. To that end, and in their honor, Miss Monica will be focusing fairly heavily this month on knocked-down kids - what's become of them, and why we should all be insanely jealous of the Hollywood-esque afterlife they are living.

Let's begin with a brief lesson on where they are now, our knocked-down babes. Contrary to popular belief, they are not merely frozen, lifeless entities moving around the vast, aching space inside our memories. Take heart, melancholy mommies out there; our kiddies are in good hands.

When our fetus' and babies' lives are cut short by Mother Nature, they are conveniently swept up to baby afterlife, sometimes referred to as Babe-istan, via shuttle bus:



Happy the Dragonfly is like their little fairy god-bug, hovering from baby to fetus to baby to fetus, telling them soothing words and handing out warm chocolate chip cookies:




They are brought to the Mad Cool Realworld Penthouse for Bitchin' Stillborn and Miscarried Babes, where Happy the Dragonfly shows them to their rooms:



There, they are greeted with an infinite supply of foodstuffs:





On weekdays, our knocked-down kiddies go to school just like any other kid.



Here, they are taught and looked after by the highest caliber of professional educators. Meet Miss Buttercup, homeroom teacher and Teach for Baby-stan volunteer, fresh out of college:



There's Zed the Zenmaster, yoga instructor, who gives our kiddies better meditation skills than any of us have:



There's Gary Granola, the gentle art teacher, who also plays the role of Santa during the holidays. Everyone loves him:



And of course, there's Father Fritz, the religion teacher. Don't think our kiddies are missing out on spirituality:



Some of our kiddies - the older ones, mostly - participate in the School Air-Dance Squad. Apparently, gravity is less of an issue in Knocked Down Baby-stan:




So there you have it - a brief overview of what's happening with our miscarried and stillborn babes. Living the high life, and looking down at this war-ridden earth.

More to come later! For now, close your notebooks and put down your heads for nap time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Booby Leche: A Critical News Analysis

Greetings, Breast Milkists and Anti-Breast Milkists Alike!

First, I apologize for the delay in posting. It's not that I've been any busier than usual this past week; it's just that there was what I can only describe as an Unexpected Wrinkle in Time. You know, where you're toodling along, minding your own business, and suddenly you look up and realize in shock that four days have gone by. It's like, Wednesday got folded over Tuesday and Monday, swallowing them up completely.

A while ago, Shaz responded to one of my posts like this:

"BWAAAA-HAHAHAHAHAH!"

This maniacal laughing sound has stuck with me. I've actually practiced saying it by myself in the car on more than one occasion. Come on, everybody try it: "BWAAAA-HAHAHAHAHAH!" It's the kind of twisted, Halloweenish laugh that could come from a lot of different kinds of people. Like, Crusty Mean Old Sister Estelle - my 4th grade teacher at St. Lukes - calling on me in Religion class with some Bible trivia question, knowing that I wouldn't know the answer. The other kids would laugh as I writhed in embarrassment, and I'm pretty sure that's exactly how she would laugh inside of her own, sadistic mind (she did finally die, by the way, years and years later).

But I digress. So, how in the world does "BWAAAA-HAHAHAHAHAH!" relate to the oh-lovely topic of dead babies?

Well, I was thinking this is also the kind of booming laugh that the Great Being Above, God or Buddah or Brad Pitt or whoever, bellows with echoing, evil, giddy force when a stillbirth momma's boobies begin, a week or so after the el yucko event itself, to produce milk. It's like a double bitch-smack - one to see what you can really handle (that would be the stillbirth itself), and another humiliating added sting for good measure (that would be your breasticles switching into unexpected, unwanted dairy mode).

Any stillbirth mommies out there will back me up on this one. You're sitting there going through eight boxes of Kleenex a day, still reeling from losing your dream baby, and JUST when you think you're kind of sort of maybe a little bit returning to the brink of sanity, BOOM: you look down and go:

"What the f**king f**k's that f**king sh*t on my f**king sports f**king bra!!!??? NOOOOOOOO!"

At least, that's how I said it during this profanity-filled, world-hating time of my life. And meanwhile, the great being above just kicks back, totally entertained, and watches with sick pleasure.

So, when it happened to me, I did consider trying to use the "make lemonade out of lemons" analogy for my own personal benefit. In this case, it would be like, "make $$ out of breast milk." All I would need would be a handful of booby milk pumps, a brilliant marketing strategy, and perhaps a wee bit of start-up funds.

I began researching if people actually BUY other people's breast milk, if it's possible to make stuff out of breast milk for adult human consumption. The more I thought about it, the more endless recipe possibilities I realized were out there!

Turkey Tit-razzini-
Just like Mom used to make! All white-meat turkey medallions in a breast milk sauce with peas, carrots, and a hint of white wine.

Deep Dish Teat-zza: A soft and chewy crust baked to a golden brown, brushed with olive oil, topped with breast milk cheese blend, fresh marinara sauce and kalamari olives.

Vanilla Rum Milksicles:
Breast milk, bourbon vanilla extract, crushed vanilla bean, and a hint of Bacardi, blended and frozen in an ice cube tray with toothpicks.


I wasn't able to find ANY evidence of adult humans consuming dairy products made with human breast milk, and there wasn't much breast milk for sale on the Internet. I did find, on Ebay, one listing for a bunch of bottles filled with the stuff from some woman out in Kansas or Oklahoma or some such place. I personally thought the concept of ordering someone else's booby milk was kinda gross (especially from the Midwest, where there might conceivably be traces of chemical food preservatives from Cracker Barrel biscuits), and ultimately my whole plan withered and faded. Probably for the better.

Nowadays, though, breast milk seems to be finding its own niche in the culinary world. Look around, and you'll see an UPTICK (don't you LOVE that word!) in breast milk recipes. Recipe Zaar how has yummy recipes for breast milk butter, "momsicles" (didn't I already think of that?), and yoghurt. Then, of course, there's Le Petit Singly, a rather dodgy sounding farm in France that produces authentic cheese from "breast milk of woman, tinged with a touch of hazelnut and a subtle caramel color." Contact them directly to donate your own boob milk - you may even be able to buy your milk back as your own cheese wheels, wrap it in pretty foil with ribbons, and give "the gift of yourself" for the holidays! Now THAT'S classy.

Au contraire, mon ami, one blogger out there documented her attempt to make paneer - you know, that yummy Indian cheese - with breast milk, and concluded in all capital letters that cheese CANNOT be made with booby milk, so don't even try.

Best to contact Le Petit Singly for tips and tricks if you decide to embark on your own breast milk foodie adventure!