Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Yummy Yummy Boobies
It is World Breastfeeding Week. YAY for the Lovely Lactating Lady Lumps everywhere in all their splendid shapes, sizes and spraying powers.
In keeping with my nature to compulsively over-share the intimate details of my life, here's what I've learnt about this so far.
In the beginning:
IT HURTS!!! Boy does it hurt. Those first few days are agony. Especially when the midwives you are relying on for information (because you are a clueless first-time mom who has knows nothing about what to expect despite having read the book) don't tell you that you should be using nipple cream until you are already chaffed and bleeding. Even though you told them IT HURTS, they will still pinch and squeeze your poor tender titties and force them into the mouth of your precious new angel, whom by the way, you are seriously considering bottle-feeding by this point. They will ignore your cries of pain and tell you in bad english to get used to it... until a few days later (when you are lying there exhausted and topless because even the slightest breeze causes you to wince in agony) one midwife notices that your boob has a crease down the middle. And this should not be so. AH HA! The baby was not latching on properly. Hence the crease, hence the pain. It will take some time to figure out yourself how it should be done. Because they won't show you. And your angel won't do what the books and videos say she should be doing.
Oh yeah, and, NOBODY has milk for the first few days. Nobody. You have other healthy, gentle, important stuff in there for your angel, but your milk doesn't come in until a few days after. It doesn't mean that your supply is low or anything. Just keep nursing away. The more you nurse, the more you will have.
Then overnight, your chest will go from zero to torpedo. You will wake up on the morning of the 3rd day or so with 2 MASSIVE ROCKS. You will wish that you could go clubbing in a slinky little top just so you could show them off. Not really. But you will be very impressed and show them off to your hubby. ''Look at these!'' jiggle jiggle... ouch. They still hurt. And they are HARD!!
That's when you turn into a firehose. The little angel whom you feared wasn't getting enough will now be choking. You will spray everything in your path including hubby, the bed, the floor, the mirror, and of course, the angel. You will spray her in the eye, up her nose, all over her clothes. Especially those times when she nurses just enough to get things flowing and then decides she doesn't really want it after all, and leaves you in full blast.
But it gets better :)
By the fourth or fifth week, things begin to settle down a bit. You feel like you have been doing this your whole life. It has stopped hurting. Now you look forward to laying down side by side and nursing your precious angel. Even if it is 20 times a day. It is beautiful, calm, relaxing.
And boy does it take the weight off! Hello pre-preggy jeans! Or maybe I'm just lucky.
It has been 8 months now and I can't imagine not being able to bond like this with the angel. When I think back to the torturous first weeks, and how it was sheer determination that got me through, I am beyond grateful that I kept at it.
There is nothing that soothes an angel's cries when she bumps her head trying to crawl, is scared or overwhelmed, or maybe the moon is in the wrong phase, than cradling her to my now normal-sized and once again soft chest.
I hope to self-wean, and mentioning this has met with looks of shock and horror. ''You going to be nursing a 4 year old?? That's gross!''. Well, maybe she'll be 4, maybe she'll be 2, maybe she'll be 7. Who knows how it will go. I do know that right now, I'm pretty determined to let her decide when she's ready.
And I also know that I am nowhere near ready to stop.