Well, Wisconsin IS the Dairy State

This here post is going to be about breastfeeding.  You’ve been warned.

It started because I came across this image:

And HAD to share it with everyone.  Awesome. 

I then also found these at Babble:

19 Extreme Breastfeeding: a Collection of Images From Around The Web

22 Extreme Breastfeeding: a Collection of Images From Around The Web

11 Extreme Breastfeeding Images: 2nd Edition

OMG, how hysterical is that last one?

So, I love breastfeeding.  In an almost obnoxious way.  It is the thing that turns me into a sappy sappy momma.  There are several things about breastfeeding that I’d like to address today.

1. Nursing in Public. 

It is not only Okay, it is important.  It is a flippin public service.  I am borderline preachy on this subject. 

When I first started nursing Lola, it never even occurred to me that it was anything other than fine and normal.  I nursed my baby at a restaurant 3 days after she was born.  I didn’t realize until later that all those stares were probably not of the “oh how cute” variety.  I nursed my baby at a restaurant while sitting across from my dad.  I now wonder if maybe that was a little weird for him.  After a while it was brought to my attention (on a message board, so you can imagine how POLITELY it was brought to my attention) that this is gross and offensive.  MORE THAN ONE person compared it to ejaculating where people eat!  More than one! 

I started to worry.  Was it bad?  Gross?  Was I rude and offensive?

And then it slowly dawned on me: we don’t have a right to not be offended in this country.  And as a parent, pretty much every. single. thing you do is going to make someone pissy.  So get over it.  If they are upset, that is THEIR issue, not yours.  You’re doing something important.

And every time that you are seen nursing in public, you are making it a more common occurrence, one that we can hopefully someday take for granted.  There are women who don’t breastfeed their babies because they don’t want to have to go into hiding every time their baby is hungry, which is often.  But it is healthy for mom and for baby and it’s GREAT, so lets try to do what we can to promote the practice.  I don’t mean you have to whip off your top in the Red Lobster or anything.  But don’t go hide in a bathroom stall every time your child wants to eat, either.  This culture where  feeding your baby in the way your body was designed to do is somehow taboo?  It is ridiculous.  And we all need to do our part to stop the ridiculousness.

2. Pumping sucks.  Can I get an Amen from the pumping moms!? 

I am not blessed with a prolific milk supply.  So I have to pump 3 times a day at work, and I still don’t get enough milk, so I have to try to find time to pump at home too.  It’s boring.  It requires extra dishwashing.  INEVITABLY I pump all day and then knock over a bottle cause I’m so tired.  Or leave ALL of them sitting out overnight accidentally (that one nearly brought me to tears.  And I did it, so I couldn’t even yell at my husband to make me feel better.)  And every single workday is a reminder that my milk supply is not where it should be.  Which brings me to…

3. My lack of abundant supply makes me sad.  I know I’m usually trying to be witty around here, or get a chuckle out of you.  But here I’m just going to vent my sadness because I can’t afford therapy.  (Really, I can’t.  I went twice, but I couldn’t afford to keep paying the copays.)

I love nursing.  Did I mention that?  And I’m so sad that my milk is not just flowing like a damn river.  I do Okay.  It could be worse.  I am able to breastfeed exclusively when we’re together.  But, because my pumping output is not so great, I live in fear of the 6 month slump.  What if my milk supply dips so low that I have to supplement even on the days that I’m with him all day?  What if my milk just starts drying up altogether?  I get teary every time I think about it.

I am doing what I can to increase my supply (which, by the way, is costing more than it would to just supplement formula).  The primary galactagogue (that’s just a word for breastmilk-booster) is an herbal tincture.  I started with the More Milk Plus.  It was the MOST disgusting thing I ever put in my mouth.  And everyone with a dirty mind says “are you SURE?”  Yes.  I am.  And when it didn’t work, I tried the More Milk Special Blend with Goat’s Rue.  I didn’t think it could get more disgusting, but it did.  Now NOTHING could be worse right?  Well I accidentally purchased the alcohol free version this last time.  It CAN!  It CAN get worse!  Alcohol free!?  There is not enough alcohol in this world to make this palatable.  I have really thought of taking it with a shot of bourbon each time.  In fact, I haven’t even come close to ruling that out yet.

My next option is to buy some drug from New Zealand because they don’t sell it in the States.  I just don’t know if I can afford that.  But it’s looking like a better and better option.

Because I am not ready to give this up!  Nourishing another human that you love more than yourself with nothing BUT yourself.  It is wonderful.  It is so stinkin MOTHERLY.  Watching that sweet baby find contentment in you. Blissful.  Corbin is not AS into it as Lola (which could be because my supply was better with her.  I worry that he gets frustrated.)  And that breaks my heart a little.  With Lola, ANY time she was ever upset about anything, my boobies made it better.  Corbin sure doesn’t hate it though.  That innocent face looking up at you.  Sometimes they hold your hand while they do it.  And when they SMILE at you, with your milk trickling out of the corner of their mouth.  It’s just the happiest, sappiest shit on the planet. 

Please Milk Gods, don’t take this away from me too soon!

4.  On a shallower note: why in the WORLD does EVERY OTHER WOMAN IN HISTORY find that breastfeeding helps her lose weight, while I am the EXACT OPPOSITE!?  Yes, I’m a little bitter.  I can never lose weight while nursing.  And everyone else is claiming that it just FALLS RIGHT OFF.  Jerks!  I swear, I am convinced that my body knows about my less than abundant supply and is hanging on to every ounce of fat so I can feed my baby through a famine.  Newsflash!  There will be no famine!  Someone please alert my metabolism!

I think that’s enough now.  Though I can’t promise I won’t have more to say on the subject in the future.  Watch this spot.

International symbol:

Shirt I like:

I also saw one once that said something like “if it makes you uncomfortable feel free to put a blanket over your head” and it made me laugh out loud.

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I Brought PJs to Work Today

I didn’t sleep much last night.  I know, SURPRISE! What the Hell else is new?  But last night was a particularly bad one.  In addition to the usual fussing, flailing, squirming, and grunting, we had a fair amount of full blown crying, from both Corbin and me.  While my husband irritatingly, peacefully enjoyed his Valium-induced coma not 12 inches away.  Meanwhile, I kept checking the time on my phone until I gave up in depression, realizing that even if Corbin DID fall asleep RIGHTNOW, my alarm was going to go off in 30 minutes.

Then I go to work to find a bunch of annoying stuff that didn’t get taken care of because I was off yesterday.

Then I went to pump.  Pumping is drudgery.  I LOVE nursing, but I HATE pumping.  The PITA that is pumping is actually the reason I ended up weaning Lola before I would have otherwise wanted to.  I just couldn’t take the pumping anymore.  I have to do it 3 times every work day, and that still doesn’t yield enough to fulfill what he consumes while I’m gone.  That is a source of endless frustration and devastating feelings of inadequacy.  Lola would shun her bottles and never needed much while I was away.  Corbin, not so much.  I find that irrationally insulting.

So today, I reached in my bag full of pump stuff that I have to haul around with me everywhere, and in the side pocket I saw some weird pink polka dot thing.  What the heck is that?  It was Lola’s baby doll’s pajamas.

She was being really cute with her baby doll yesterday; wearing her around in her tiny pouch sling, repeatedly burping her, etc.  Then she took off her doll’s little pink outfit.  “She’s too warm. She just wants to wear her t shirt.”  And apparently she stuck it in the diaper bag I use for my pump parts. 

It cheered me up so much.  I think about my kids all the time when I’m at work.  Especially after the second kid, I HATE having to work full time.  Hate it!  Usually I’m just thinking about them, and how precious they are.  In this case, I could actually SEE in my mind Lola rolling that little doll outfit up and sticking it in the diaper bag (just like she has repeatedly seen me do with Corbin’s clothes.)  It’s such a mundane instant in a whole day, but actually having my fingers find a tangible connection to my daughter while I’m stuck here away from her for 10.5 hours, it warmed my whiney heart.