I haven’t talked as much about breastfeeding this time ‘round. I guess since it’s not my first rodeo at this point, there isn’t as much shock and awe to discuss. Yes, I know that boobs can shoot streams of milk a surprising distance. Yes, I know that I can easily drain 10+ ounces out of them at a sitting and they don’t look completely like deflated balloons. Yes, I know that using a breast pump is probably one of the most undignified-looking and -feeling things a woman can do.
This time I was prepared for that first 10 days or so, when it would hurt like a MF’er when Felix first latched on. I was prepared for the nights of nursing, although to be fair he just never did (or does) wake up the way Stella did (and does). I was prepared for not being able to drink the way I sometimes want to.
This time at work there is a Lactation Room, although I’ve renamed it the Dairy Farm; there are currently at least 4 of us using it, and there isn’t a reasonable schedule in the world to accommodate us all. I’m thinking of writing the Powers That Be to see if there isn’t some second closet somewhere that at least half of us can use. If you get a call or have a meeting that runs long, you just aren’t going to make your allotted interval. It’s ridiculous.
This time I roll with it a bit easier. I nurse more in public, although I’m not one of those proud girls that can just let it all hang out. I have to have a cover. This time I actually use the famous “Side-Lying Method” of nursing at night (which I’ve renamed “The Lazy Bitch” method); I was afraid to with Stella – afraid that I’d accidentally roll over and suffocate her.
If I haven’t already mentioned it, I work with some pretty nifty people. My boss, in particular, has taken the whole nursing thing in stride. This is pretty remarkable for a man who has never had biological kids of his own. He has driven me down the interstate at 75 mph while I pumped in the back seat when we didn’t have the time to stop somewhere. He regularly allows me to boot him from his office when I can’t make it into the Dairy Farm.
He heard somewhere that August is National Breastfeeding Month. Hell, I didn’t even know that. I was summoned to his office yesterday where there was a package with my name on it labeled “Confidential.” Another colleague was sitting there as well. They both looked way too innocent if you know what I mean. When I opened my package there was an award for “Highest Production.” They framed it and everything. It’s an absolute hoot, particularly in a state agency where people are usually too afraid of being offensive to say the word “breastfeeding.”
In addition to getting a good chuckle out of it, I AM proud that I’ve nursed my 2 kids – and not just nursed them for a handful of days or weeks, but went the whole way. Sure, Felix and I are still in progress but I see no reason other than serious injury or illness that would derail it. It’s not always easy or convenient, but I do think it’s the best thing to do nutritionally. And hell, it’s CHEAP. It’s kind of a miracle in a way when you think that your body can completely and totally sustain and feed your children in that way.
So nurse on, mommies out there. We all ought to be kind of proud.