Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Post About Boobs

***This post is going to be about boobs - and not in that fun way, dudes, so you've been fairly warned.***

Perhaps my biggest bout with mommy amnesia comes in the area of breast feeding. Because right now I actually think I missing nursing my daughter. When I got pregnant, I was on the fence about nursing. I figured I'd give it a try (because "breast is best"), but wasn't going to stress over it. I was actually excited when right after Anna was born, the nurse asked if I wanted to try breastfeeding her. Exciting until I realized that I was leading a toothless shark to what would soon be lumps of chapped and bleeding flesh. OUCH! But not one to quickly give up, I stuck with it in the hospital figuring that it would get easier eventually.

Then we went home. Any of you other moms have that "oh my, God, where is the emergency call button???" moment when you first walked into your house with your new baby? But Hubby was great, got me all set up on the couch and commenced whole-heartedly supporting me while I endeavored to feed our child at intervals that seemed inhuman at best.

Did you know that it's completely normal for some new borns to nurse, TRULY, around the clock? Anna would be up to eat, take nearly an hour to do so, sleep for 15 minutes and wake up wanting to eat again. Lather, rinse, repeat for a 12-hour cycle and you not only have one tired Mama, but you also have some EXTREMELY sore boobies.

I told the hubby, "Don't even look at them. I can feel your eyes and it HURTS! Definitely don't ever think about touching them again. EVER." Poor hubby.

Then let's consider when my milk came in. I laid down for a catnap with my normal, somewhat larger-from pregnancy breasts in place and woke up with HELLO - Size F cup chest puppies throbbing like you wouldn't believe and busting (pun INTENDED) out of my piddly little D-cup nursing bra. Hubby was somewhat happy until he saw me crying from the pain. Then he dutifully and without me even having to ask went to Target to buy me nearly every nursing product they offered in the baby section. My favorites were the icepacks to fit into my bra with holes in the middle to spare my sore and bleeding nipples. It takes a good man to unashamed go into a Target and purchase all of those products. Honey, I commend you. Not sure if you even remember doing that, but I was/am very greatful!

Plus Anna had latching problems, but you know what? Lack of sleep, soreness and frustration aside, breastfeeding took on a whole new importance to me when I had to go back to work when Anna was just 6 weeks old (let's not get me started on the archaic maternity leave policy of my previous company!). That separation was (and often still is) one of the hardest things I've ever endured. I can't explain it, but I imagine some of you know exactly what I'm talking about. It took a long time for me to accept that this tiny little person was building her own little life apart from me. But at the beginning and end of each day she and I had 30-45 minutes of quiet time together where I was forced to just sit quietly and nourish my child. And I began to live for those times. I didn't even mind the awkwardness of pumping in an office full of people who either hadn't breastfed or were men, just to hang on to those precious moments.

One last fact that I grew to accept as a result of nursing - everyone, including my pastor, has now seen the ladies. And I'm OK with that!

So I'm sold on breast feeding. I plan to do so with any/all subsequent children. Especially now that I know what to expect and that thigns do indeed get easier. I made it to 9.5 months with Anna and I'd really love to make it to a year next time. But I'm not going to stress over it. I'm just going to enjoy the closeness and bond that it builds between me and the baby.

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