The fact that I nursed both boys for over a year is one of my greatest achievements. Not only did I nurse two large newborns (aka PIGS), I nursed them while working a job that regularly put me away from my babies over-night. Other Breastfeeders are probably air high-fiving me right now because they can still hear the sound of the breastpump. They know how you painstakingly pour each drop through the themos’ opening. They know how you hoard the tiny bags of milk and dread if one tips over. It sucked. <zing>
But I kept on nursing.
Breastfeeding is a choice for most and not an easy one for anyone. It would have been a hell of a lot easier to stop. For the first 8 weeks, Coop nursed and only gave me an hour break between nursing jags. My boobs were his silencer. When the boys cried, I stopped everything and nursed. Sometimes I bled. Sometimes I cracked and got a fever. In the beginning months, I dealt with enormous rock hard tits until the let-down relived us both. I couldn’t shower without them swelling. I couldn’t hear another baby cry without figuring a way to cover the future wet spots. A meeting would run long, I’d start to sweat and causally begin compressing my breasts. To some truckers’ delight stuck on I-70, I’ve bent over car seats to shove my nipple in a screaming kids mouth. I wasn’t even able to get the Beautiful Madonna feeling when I breastfed, I just did it. A few missed pumpings and I’d have to figure out how to bring my supply back up because my baby was still hungry. All of this could have been worse and isn’t even exclusive to me. It’s simply part of the deal when you breastfeeding. I can ignore all of this because it was the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done.
Sadly, I don’t have a decent photo of me nursing either Coop or Becks. I rely on the memories: sleeping milk grins, the bubbles of milk that came with a laugh, the pop-off smile from a nine month old, an instant satisfaction I provided for my child, and the mumbled gibberish conversations with a baby. All of that is tattooed into my memory. Because of my Breastfeeding Pic Void, I’m your gal. You deserve not only a medal, but something to remind you of the early days with your baby. One day that chubby little angel gurgling at your breast will be a lanky pimpled face teenager shoving pizza into his face. And when he slips into his food coma sacked out on the couch, I hope a picture will remind you of the milk drunk baby that once fit in crook of your arm.
** We’ll talk more about breastfeeding in the next couple of days. I promise.