I’ve been thinking about this post for a while now, and after my friend Rebecca sent me this hysterical blog, I decided that one little post about breastfeeding is not TMI. Lots of people talk about breastfeeding while you’re pregnant, but no one tells you how hard it actually is. It’s not as simple as it should be: put baby on boob, baby eats, repeat every few hours. How about all of that other stuff like: squirt baby in the face with fire-hose-like spray, or baby is starving and there’s nothing in there, or waking up after a few hours and your shirt and bed are completely soaked with breast milk (don’t pretend it doesn’t happen, moms). And then there’s pumping. It’s hard to figure out, it hurts, and once you start, you can’t stop because all of a sudden you’re making enough for 3 babies instead of one.
I nursed Harper for about 7 months before my body just gave up. Actually, one side gave up and the other was fine, which made me look awesome in a bikini. Eventually the other side gave up too. Roman was terribly allergic to milk, so at 11 weeks we had to put him on a hypoallergenic baby formula (aka liquid gold since it cost a small fortune.) Ada is 5 and a half months old and I’m still nursing her almost full time. Like with Harper, my left side completely quit on me, so I only nurse on the right. I look pretty cool in a tight t-shirt. I guess I’m not as vain as I used to be. She likes it better than formula and seems perfectly content, so I’ll keep up this charade as long as my body cooperates. It saves us some money and I get to eat a little extra, so I can’t complain. Oh wait, yes I can complain. Ada started biting about two weeks ago, and I swear she does it maliciously. She will nurse for a while, then lets me know that she’s done with a nice big chomp. Then I wake her up with a shriek of pain, which scares her and I have to spend the next 10 minutes calming her down again.
Breastfeeding around toddlers is an everyday comedy. A few months ago when Ada would get fussier during the day, Harper would say “mom, she needs to eat. Just lift up your shirt and do it. Right dare on dat brown fing.” Then she would lift up her shirt and point to exactly where I should put Ada, just in case I didn’t already know. She still hasn’t asked about what it’s called, although the other day I overheard her asking Ada about “mom’s booms,” so evidently someone told her (Yaya??)
One evening I was nursing Ada while Harper and Roman were in the tub. Something alarmed me, and I put Ada down and rushed into the bathroom, topless (Ada had spit up on me and I shed my shirt). Harper looked shocked, then slowly reached out and tried to grab a little handful. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry, so I just ran out of there and found a clean shirt! Roman was in the cart at Whole Foods last week and pulled a similar stunt. Right when we hit the dairy section, he decided to “play dwums,” that’s drums for all of you English speakers. He reached out and banged on the left, then the right, finally settling on the right for a while since it’s substantially bigger. Seriously, parenting books do not come with any instructions for situations like this.
So, for all of you breastfeeding moms out there, you are not alone! And to my sister, Cammie, I hope this provides you with a little boost of birth control.