Boobie Prison

 

Breastfeeding is unrelenting.  I am thankful to the tune of over 800 dollars in formula savings and thankful after two non-nursed babies that I have had the experience.  Other than that:  Boobie Prison.  I am in a prison of boobs.  I am bound by those guys in every since of the word:  bound literally to a human and schedule bound by my diary farm.

My newly turned 8 month old has decided to make me her full-service Kroger vying only for breast milk and rejecting most foods as gag worthy garbage cans. It’s all me, all the time.  I feel like I am just two jars of baby food or one mushed potato away from a little freedom.  Something…anything…just not my boobs.  Whole aisle of baby foods, 15,000 food items in a grocery store and all she wants is me (sobbing audibly).

I want some bond paid on these guys so I can get a little escape like a date night without a pint-sized person in tow or an outing alone where I’m not worried about being home by the magical three hour mark where she turns into a pumpkin if the clock chimes boobie time.

And I know what you are thinking, just pump and give her a bottle.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha (crazy person laughing continues) Hahahahahahahaha.

There is nothing a person who feels like she is in boob prison likes more than pumping, never mind you have to have something to pump.  I don’t want to shatter any storage records, but I have 8 ounces frozen in my freezer.  That’s not for a date night.  That is more for like, “Hey, I’m throwing up with a stomach virus.  Use the emergency dispensary.”  Furthermore, she has to take the bottle.  She has and I think she would again, but I make no promises nor bets on the poor babysitter who would have to venture the validity of that statement.

So, until then, I nurse in public.  I nurse in cars.  I nurse on couches.  I nurse on beds.  I nurse while standing.  I nurse while nodding off.  I nurse in boxes.  I sometimes nurse with foxes and because of that, I know what the fox says.  He says, “Hey, this is weird you are nursing here.  You must be in boobie prison.”  I breakdown and say that I am and we embrace.  He told me his wife has 8 nipples so I felt a little better.  People underestimate the compassion of foxes.

When I walk around the house and she hears my voice or makes eye contact, she will give me that little toothless grin.  I love it.  If she starts to sort of whimper, oh no.  It’s coming. Smiling over…feast a’comin.  Still I’ll admit, it can be really sweet and I’m sure I will be a little sad when it’s over (although right now I  would bet my left leg I’ll do a cheer).  I feel like I can’t remember what life was like before the take over.  It’s definitely been an experience for me.  Difficult in the beginning, draining (Is that a pun?  I’ll never tell.), and all consuming.  Hallelujah it worked out for me this time because I really wanted to nurse but, help me mammories!  Have mercy! I’m drowning in baby and she’s zippidy- do-dah happily drowning in me.

I think she may be stalking me.  I really don’t like to talk about it.  But if I ever turn up dead and they do a 48 hour special on me, alls I’m sayin’ is…make sure they use only my Facebook cover photos for the episode.  THEN look into the baby as a suspect.  Her DNA will be every where, but it will be a confusing scene. It’s her. Dehydration.  Death by dehydration while being forced against her will.  Write that down.

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The Lie Of Breastfeeding: An Autobiography

 

Now I’ve been lied to about Santa Claus.  I’ve been lied to about how much time is left in a football game.  But who knew there was a lie tucked away in breastfeeding?  The lie is as old as boobs and everyone has heard it.

“You lose weight when you breastfeed!”

I’m sure it’s true for some women but let me tell you, this sister typing to you right here has GAINED weight breastfeeding.  It exists.  I Googled it.  After three kids, Rebecca “sack of bones” is gaining weight like a boss.  I’ve spent many a moons of my skinny days trying to gain weight without success and the one time everyone is supposed to be burning marathon like calories just by making milk, I gain weight.

Like.

A.

Boss.

Like a mob boss.

The bossiest.

It’s ironic but with my bony build sporting chafing thighs, I claim this truth. It’s quite frankly none of your business how many jars of Nutella and boxes of Oreo’s I ate single-mouthed-ly in the first two months.  I was supposed to be burning 16, 748 calories every 10 seconds.  I know those things make you gain weight.  Duh.  BUT, I use to get away with eating like that just burning regular non-breastfeeding calories.  Then, bam I have three kids and finally nurse exclusively and pack it on.

I’m even doing another thing I’ve never done that is supposed to make you lose weight:  drinking tons of water.  Boo.  Boo to you nursing and boo to you water.  I even changed the way I ate the first few months to making better choices and I tell you, no progress from the dairy factory in this challenge to drop a few. I feel like a mother bear preparing for hibernation where every last blessed berry I eat goes straight to my jowls and little puffy bear tail. However, the bears have the upper hand because they will be in a cave this whole time and wake up as if they had never fat slept in a dark hole for a winter.

So breastfeeding, I’m disappointed in you.  I thought that while my baby slurped up your delicious nutrition that you were going to slurp up all of delicious chocolate chip cookies right off of my thighs.  I’m eating good and I drink more water than a drowning whale and STILL, you lead me astray dear mammaries?  At least it goes good with the stretch marks and temporary baldness I DID know was coming.

I thought we were closer than this.

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Photo Credit:  www.geekphilosopher.com Free stock photos for personal and commercial use.

Breastfeeding in Public, Y’all

 

I have ventured into the brave new world of breastfeeding in public.  Why?  Because it’s either do that or be a hermit.  I’ve always hated the thought of being a hermit.  It’s the opposite of me.  I even hate hermit crabs.  Excluding the ones I had as pets and took on the school bus.  R.I.P.  It’s a hard knock life, crabs.  Sometimes you have bigger shells to run to when you abandon your shell and sometimes, you don’t.  Thanks, pet store.

I have had no issues nursing in public but one time while I was in a far back corner of a Starbucks at night, I did.   An older man leaned over while staring at me, covered his mouth so I couldn’t see, and said something to his wife. I had a huge nursing cover on and I was back up against a wall with a friend sitting in front of me. Whoa.  Drink some more coffee, bro.  Decaf.  With a Xanax.

Now that I nurse a baby exclusively, I have some opinions for those people who act weird about nursing in public.  I’m an all out booby advocate when they need to be used in public.  I have a CBL:  concealed booby license.  They are safer than concealed guns. Nutritional even.

So here is how I feel about people who think the “girls” should stay at home.

 

1.  You’re dumb.

2.  Grow up.

3.  Okay, I need to grow up.  Refocusing.

4.  Breastfeeding is so time-consuming, especially in the beginning, and you wouldn’t be able to go much of anywhere ever if you stayed home every time you had to feed a baby.  I have two other children and I have groceries to buy, pre-schools to take them to, friends to see, and a life to live out in the world in my minivan.  If I had to go home every three hours, I wouldn’t get anything done. Hey, mommy gots to keep livin’ and baby gots to keep eatin’.

5.  Everyone should know that I still have boobs when I go out in public, even if I’m not feeding a baby with them.  Whether they are covered with a nursing cover or a t-shirt, I’m not sure why that matters.  They are covered.  Nothing to see here, folks. Everybody move along.  Just more boobs that you can’t see that are covered in fabric.

6.  I get that breasts are a sexualized part of the body, but they were made to feed children.  If breastfeeding makes you feel weird, please contact God at 1-800-Heaven.  He will direct you to customer service department:  What you think you are smarter than me, fool?!  That’s silly. God doesn’t have a customer service department.

7.  “There is a time and a place for that.”  Yes, I’m not going to feed my baby at a job interview, while singing a song on stage, when presenting an award, or when receiving a reward for this post because so many gals are gonna love it.  Holler!  However, I can while sitting at a park, at a restaurant, and living my daily life.  Legally, I can anywhere.  Please see next awesome point.

8.  It’s not against the law. I repeat, nursing in public is not considered public indecency and there are no laws prohibiting a woman from nursing anywhere.

9.  Hey, you think it’s cute when a litter of kittens do it and a mom cat has a good 8 nipples!

10.  You don’t have to look and you can remove yourself if a mom draped in enough fabric to make a circus tent offends you.

11.  If public breastfeeding wigs you out etc., please never go to a swimming pool where girls are half-naked in water proof lingerie. Please, never ever watch a Hardees or Victoria’s Secret commercial or 90 percent of T.V. shows because there are actual sexualized immodest uses of the chest I use to feed my baby.  A mom nursing her baby is NOT like a scantily clad girl in a Hollister Ad or a billboard 20 feet by 20 feet advertising a casino on the side of the interstate.  Don’t tolerate an uncovered sexy girl in print or media and then say it’s inappropriate for a woman to nurse her baby in public.  PUH-LEASE.  That’s as double of a standard as the boob is double on my chest.

12.  In lots of other parts of the world, girls just walk around topless and nurse their baby.  Heck, they even nurse their neighbor’s baby or any child within reach that may have looked at them sideways.  It’s just not that big of a deal.  If anyone ever says anything to me when I’m nursing my baby in public, I’m just gonna interrupt them by naming countries.

“Excuse me, couldn’t you nurse somewhere…”

“Liberia!”

“People are here and you are making them feel…”

“Philippines!”

“Why do you keep yelling geography at…”

“America!!! Because people do it everywhere and it’s not illegal here! Suckas!!”

Then I’ll walk away triumphantly with my nursing cover flapping like a gallant American flag behind me.

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Liquid Platinum Diamond Gold

The are two types of women in the world: those who make lots of breast milk and those who don’t.  Then there are two other types of women:  those who want to breast feed and those who don’t.  So, really, there are 4 types of women.  I added that up myself which would bring my high school math teacher to tears.  Hey, while you’re cryin’ there teacher, don’t forget who won multiplication math drills in seventh grade.  Yes, it’s me aka the perfect score on a hundred math problems in the fastest time.  Watch out NASA.  I multiply.

What were we talking about?  Milk?

Milk, multiplication, they all start with “m” so I don’t owe you an explanation.

Anyways, I’m two of those women above.  I’m the one who doesn’t have lots of milky, who wishes she could breast feed like a normal woman.  Because I don’t breast feed exclusively for several reasons, what milk I do have is way more valuable than liquid gold.  Breast milk is a nutritious shake that your body makes and something about my body having to make it makes it extra feel like it can’t be wasted.  I can’t just grab that at the store, dear infant child.  It’s probably the same way I’d feel if my forehead made lasagna.  You better eat your dinner, son!  I don’t actually have any sons so that’s why when I make believe, I might as well say son since in real life I only say daughters.

When I’m nursing Salem and she lays back and I see some milk coming out of her mouth I think, “You betta get choo’ a straw and slurp it up!”  I don’t know how long this nursing train will run and I know I don’t have much milk so every drop is a Black Friday exclusive sale you just can’t miss out on. When I see milk on her cheek, the look of it rolling down is like tragic slo-mo….nooooooooooooooo!

When I see girls who have freezers full of breast milk, it’s like seeing the 8th wonder of the world.  Some women HAVE to be part cow.  I’m convinced.  I think seeing an arsenal of breast milk is like a rare beast that you just saw in the woods with your own eyes.  I pumped 15 ounces in the first few weeks of Salem’s life and have saved it in my fridge like a trophy.  My step-mom who is a nurse practitioner and lactaid consultant told me that I better hurry up and use it because I stored it in the wrong part of the freezer and it won’t keep much longer.  It. was. a. terrible. day…for babies every where.

So, some say breast milk is liquid gold but if you make very little milk or if you weren’t able to breast feed in the way you hoped, 3 ounces of breast milk is like the ruby necklace from the Titanic.  Near, far, wherever you are, I believe that my milk must go on.

And as it dwindles down, it’s value goes up so don’t run up and chest bump me or you owe me 5 ounces.

The Tribe Of Mother’s Milk Nazis

In the hospital, you find out very quickly which nurses are pro-breastfeeing and weak supporters of formula feeders.  Everyone knows that I had hoped to be a mom who could exclusively breastfeed but have chosen for postpartum reasons not to.  No matter how much I think it’s an individual decision, I felt like I had to explain myself every time I told a nurse that I was going to do both the bottle and nurse.

“Okay, and so will you be breastfeeding?”

“Yes and no.  I’m going to do a little of both but the majority will be formula.”

Then I would feel a 20 ton elephant in the room either due to their response or my insecurities and I would feel like I needed to explain this preposterous choice I’ve made as a mother.  (note the sarcasm)

“I had severe postpartum last time and because of that……”  and so on.

I wanted to be like, “I mean, I usually hold breastfeeding rallies and picket outside of Enfamil in my free time but I figured I would take a break from rallies and just try both.” (nervous laugh)

Let me just say, I totally think breastfeeding is awesome and good and women who are able to and should try their boob at it BUT, it doesn’t work for everyone for a lot of different reasons and when it doesn’t, that should be okay too.  They should give nurses training on how to not guilt trip a mother, especially mothers like me who want to for cryin’ out loud!  Let’s not taint the experience of having an awesome new baby with milk peer pressure.

I had one nurse who I told I would be formula feeding mostly with a few breast feedings a day.  Now, once I’ve said that, it should be the end of it but oh it wasn’t.  She came in one time when I was nursing and when she came back a while later, I was giving Salem a bottle.  She said, “What are you doing?!  Get that bottle out of her mouth!”  She said it with spirit in her voice but many a truth is spoken in jest.  Again, I told her what my choice was and she sat down on the bed with me and talked to me about postpartum.  She said, “Now if you go home and you cry and you don’t know why, that doesn’t mean you have postpartum.”

I felt like a kindergartner was explaining algebra to me in that, I know WAY more about PPD than this nurse did.  She had never had PPD and she only breastfed her babies for a few weeks each.  It’s weird how my not nursing made me more sympathetic to non-nursers and some people it makes go opposite.  She was a nice person and I don’t mean ill to who she was, it’s just the experience of choosing to use formula and how some nurses react that irks me.  This lady was more intense than the lactation consultant.  Whoa.

Oddly enough, the nursery staff were the easiest.  I told them what I was doing and they smiled and were like, “Okay, thanks!”  Way to go, team nursery!

When I went to leave, some other nurses came and brought me a big bag of free formula things.  I could barely see the bag over the glare of her subtle button that said, “Breastfeeding Changes Lives”.  I’m telling you, people can be intense!  It’s kind of funny really.

I think next time I’ll just have fun with it and tell them that I think I’ll opt for alternatives to nursing and formula and just give a steady IV of Mountain Dew.  At least then Enfamil will seem like a lush garden of nutritious jubilee.

 

 

You again? Medela Comes To My Door

I went to my 17 week appointment last week and my ob told me something that shocked me.  She said I could try breast feeding again if I wanted to.

Hold the pump!

What?!!  I thought she had told me that I could never do it again because of my ppd and what nursing does to a person hormonally.  She clarified and said that last time it wasn’t an option for me but that if I wanted to, I could try it again.  This time I will be on medication right away and I will be “monitored” so to speak because she will be aware of my past problem and she said this time could be different.

I told her that I had resolved and come to terms with the fact that I would never do it again.  I mean, I mourned that fact.  I cried over not being able to nurse another child on several occasions. It took me until Eden was a good 10 months old to be able to let it go and hold up my lactose free Similac proudly.  Finally, I came to terms with it and even wrote the declaration of my acceptance in the post “Here I Give To You My Dreams In This Fashionable Medela Bag”.

When I told my ob that I had resolved never to nurse again she said, “Then I wouldn’t.  It’s a big commitment and you have to be committed to doing it.”  She is so stinkin’ right.

I talked to Lance about the prospect of me nursing again and it makes him really nervous.  He is worried for me.  He said that he didn’t care if it was hard for him if I were to have a bad time but that he doesn’t want that to happen to me again.  He also said he would support me either way.

Drat!  Drat this prospect and drat this support!  Sort of =0)

Honestly, I just don’t know if I can even if I want to.   I think part of my “want” is to just be normal.  Just to do it like you thought you would pre-baby. Nobody plans on a c-section with their first.  No one thinks they will have ppd when they set up their nursery.  No one thinks breastfeeding will kill them when they buy their new shiny breast pump but in life, these things happen.

Those first three weeks were hell for me and I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t nurse! I couldn’t keep up with the every 2-3 hour schedule round the clock.  It was painful.  It was consuming and it was hormonal.  It kicked my butt so hard.  SO hard.  It was never easy.  I still look in awe when someone walks in our church nursery with an 8 ounce bottle of pumped milk.  How did you do that?  How was it easy to get?  Do you moo?  You are so a breastfeeding winner.

Breastfeeding defeated me. There is a part of me that just wants to be able to do it.  Nobody likes to be defeated.

I know it’s not worth the risk but I’m haunted not only by the defeat of something I wanted to do so badly but by the reality that maybe I could successfully do it.  If I’m on meds, what if I would have been fine?  What if it nursing would be easier with baby number 2 like it is for so many women?  What if?

Ultimately, I guess the “what if” has to be worth chance if my “what if” turns into “it wasn’t”.  In light of what I went through, I’m not sure there exists such a potent and nutritious breast milk that outweighs the benefits and  importance of a happy, healthy mom.

Thinking about all of this, I wrote a friend who helped me when I had my ppd who is also a 3 time ppd haver herself.  I laid out my concerns and my hang ups and she told me that the best advice is to do whatever will allow you to be the best mom, whatever that may be.  She also told me that she breastfed all three times and had to stop all three times because of emotional/hormonal reasons and that every time she got better afterwards.

She even shared with me about one of her friends who is one of my blog readers who just had her first baby maybe a month ago who has had a terrible experience.  Once this girl quit breastfeeding and went back on her anxiety medications, she got not only good but great.  I even say myself that my first piece of advice to ANY woman in throws of ppd would be to stop breastfeeding.  There is a science to why it exacerbates the problems when it arises for mothers.

I don’t know a person who had a good ole’ case of ppd who didn’t stop nursing.  It’s not only the havoc it brings on your hormones, but also the demand on the mom who is feels like they are losing it, or anxious, or depressed.  Even one of my best friends who didn’t have ppd but had a difficult start to motherhood said she cried inexplicably for the first year and only realized how much better she felt after she had quit nursing.  I know the reality is that nursing is not kind to the depressed mother or the mother who has had a history of emotional or anxious issues.

It seems so obvious.  I know I’ve given some reasons why I’m flip flopping a little bit in my mind but I just can’t fully explain to myself why I’m wavering back and forth at all.  I guess I just wonder, “What if I never did it again and I really would’ve been okay?”  Then again, what if i did it, had a hard time, and ended up never knowing what it is like to bring home a baby and not cry and have panic attacks and feel depressed.  I feel like that’s almost the greater loss.

I know for fact that I will do the first latch after birth and maybe some in the hospital just so she can get some colostrum and so I can at least have that small experience with her.  My milk is coming in regardless so at least then, I’ll have some of the experience and she will get the first nutrition.  I could stop then when I go home and it gets real all up in that piece.

It’s so easy to just give a bottle that doing some hospital nursing will either make me sad to stop OR remind me that anyone can feed my baby a bottle at 4 am and last I checked, it causes no pain or energy to shake a bottle around. =0)

Who am I kidding?  Formula is great!  Haha.

Sigh.  I’m such a schizo.  I don’t even have to re-read this to know that I’m more scattered than cats in a room full of rocking chairs.

I think what we may be experiencing here is the re-entering of the dream and the exiting phase which is marked by huge denial.  What?  Who said that?

Everything baby has been so different for me than I ever imagined it would be 3 years ago.  But then again, Eden is more wonderful than I ever conceived possible for a child of mine to be.  God has a way of trading our picketed fences in life.  Either way, you still end up happy looking through the planks.

 

Milkman by photographer Imgorthan

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/108329479/Vetta

Here. I Give To You My Dreams In This Fashionable Medela Shoulder Bag.

Say it.

Say you are formula feeding your baby.

FOREVER.

For the past 9 months, that has been the hardest thing for me to say.  I’ve actually even cried over my food at the kitchen table about it.  I’m trying to be expressive for a change.

I breastfed so I know it’s inconvient, painful at times, demanding, all consuming, let’s see what else?  So because I know that, it may seem  crazy to be so sad about it to others who are not enjoying their milkier times or didn’t enjoy them when they were the real Dairy Queen.  BUT something about knowing I can’t makes me remember all the sweet and precious moments of being your baby’s only source of nutrition and survival.  It’s like the external version of the umbilical cord and you just love caring for them that way.

However, I am severing my dream of breastfeeding my baby officialy with the  ceremonial selling of my breastpump.  I have picked it up and thought, “Well, you never know….someday….maybe….right?”  For real, I am just now exiting my denial phase. Throughout these past 9 months I have come up with a million different twists of how I can tweak breastfeeding so it works for me but  I know that the only way for me to try breastfeeding again is by taking the chance of not being medicated and going down that dark postpartum road again and if I was in that position again, speaking for that person, I’d tell you it’s not worth it.  Seems like everyone in my life, including my doctor, has told me its not worth it and I guess I’m getting to that point of seeing that clearly myself.

Coming to this realization, I actually feel a little bit of the excitement I felt when the doctor told me to stop when Eden was a few weeks old.  The feeling was something like screaming FREEDOM  butt-naked from the top of cliff in the rainforest while nature beasts gather around me like Snow White beckoning the birds with her vocals.

Breastfeeding is a huge responsibility and now I can have anyone help me at anytime, anywhere, when my baby is any age. I can appreciate that convience.  That’s huge.  Sure, I wish I could give my baby the best nutrition but I can’t give her excellent nutrition and a garabage can mom. 

I will be sad when, Lord willing, we have another baby and I don’t get those first sweet nursing moments and days in the hospital BUT I think I’m becoming okay with being a bottle slinger. 

Mommy is growing up sniff, sniff.  I get big so fast.

Here. I Give To You My Dreams In This Fashionable Medela Shoulder Bag.

Say it.

Say you are formula feeding your baby.

FOREVER.

For the past 9 months, that has been the hardest thing for me to say.  I’ve actually even cried over my food at the kitchen table about it.  I’m trying to be expressive for a change.

I breastfed so I know it’s inconvenient, painful at times, demanding, all consuming, let’s see what else?  So because I know that, it may seem  crazy to be so sad about it to others who are not enjoying their milkier times or didn’t enjoy them when they were the real Dairy Queen, BUT something about knowing I can’t makes me remember all the sweet and precious moments of being your baby’s only source of nutrition and survival.  It’s like the external version of the umbilical cord and you just love caring for them that way.

However, I am severing my dream of breastfeeding my baby officially with the  ceremonial selling of my breast pump.  I have picked it up and thought, “Well, you never know….someday….maybe….right?”  For real, I am just now exiting my denial phase. Throughout these past 9 months I have come up with a million different twists of how I can tweak breastfeeding so it works for me but I know that the only way for me to try breastfeeding again is by taking the chance of not being medicated and going down that dark postpartum road again and if I was in that position again, speaking for that person, I’d tell you it’s not worth it.  Seems like everyone in my life, including my doctor, has told me its not worth it and I guess I’m getting to that point of seeing that clearly myself.

Coming to this realization, I actually feel a little bit of the excitement I felt when the doctor told me to stop when Eden was a few weeks old.  The feeling was something like screaming FREEDOM  butt-naked from the top of cliff in the rainforest while nature beasts gather around me like Snow White beckoning the birds with her vocals.

Breastfeeding is a huge responsibility and now I can have anyone help me at anytime, anywhere, when my baby is any age. I can appreciate that convenience.  That’s huge.  Sure, I wish I could give my baby the best nutrition but I can’t give her excellent nutrition and a garbage can mom.

I will be sad when, Lord willing, we have another baby and I don’t get those first sweet nursing moments and days in the hospital BUT I think I’m becoming okay with being a bottle slinger.

Mommy is growing up sniff, sniff.  I get big so fast.

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