milestones & musings, side effects of motherhood, the breast things in life are free

If all goes well, I should be able to have my boobs back

Finally, it’s time. But first, I need to congratulate myself for sticking through nine months of exclusive breastfeeding, and also my boobs for really stepping up and delivering.

That’s 947 hours of expressing milk, $463 spent on equipment, $1392 saved in milk powder, 18.6kg of fats transferred to baby girl and 2 rounds of mastitis. It’s been quite a journey.

Before Kirsten was born, I was so psyched about breastfeeding. Still feeling a little guilty about not breastfeeding Tru, I totally succumbed to all that propaganda on how “breast is best“. So I got all the equipment and read up on all the books and visualized my boobs spraying milk but all it took was 2 days with a screaming baby who was more interested in gumming the life out of my nipples and I was ready to give up. I’m *resilient* like that.

My breasts refused to produce milk despite being manhandled by the lactation consultants who pinched and squeezed them like as if they weren’t attached to any nerves. The psycho commando nurse actually made me chant “no pain, no gain” as she gave me a pep talk on pain endurance, which is like asking for me to punch her in the stomach because there’s nothing worse than having a really enthusiastic sadist who looks like she’s enjoying the process. According to the husband, it is exactly like the game where a friend sneaked up on a you and pinched your nipples till you cried uncle. The kind of friend you want to kick in the balls.

And of course I have to talk about the pain. It’s possibly worse than the actual delivery because you can still rely on the epidural to provide some relief. Ain’t no doctor is going to give you morphine for the pain in your nipples no matter how much you beg for it even though they’re cracked and sore and bleeding. It’s something OBGYNs need to look into because I guarantee a little bit of painkillers for the boobs will result in a spike in the number of mothers who successfully breastfeed.

I still look at mothers who manage to latch on their babies and wonder if maybe their breasts have no nerves.

Good thing there’s always technology to rely on. I didn’t think I could do it but just like that, I’ve been lactating for 9 months. After tasting solids, baby girl is starting to push away the milk and I take it as my cue to transition her to formula. I’ve cut down my milk pumping to once a day just to clear out the lumps and hopefully I don’t get bitten in the ass by mastitis one final time.

Some mothers feel a little emotional at this weaning stage because it marks the end of the special bond with the baby. But then all I’ve had is a special bond with a bunch of tubes and some machinery so I’m a little less nostalgic. Alright who am I kidding? It’s time to bring out the champagne and do my victory dance. I can’t wait to have my boobs back.

Hello freedom. How I’ve missed you.

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  • Reply kless April 13, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    You have done amazingly well!! Kudos!!!
    .-= kless´s last blog ..ION is the New Playground =-.

    • Reply Daphne April 16, 2010 at 3:38 pm

      @kless, thanks! That’s why breastpumps are so exorbitant. I would have given up much earlier if not for it.

  • Reply Chrystal April 14, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I have to admit this. I breastfed my girl exclusively for 7 months and I kinda hated it. Initially I was all guilty about it, and not being able to give her the best milk for 12 good months, but now I guess it’s okay for women to not want to breastfeed. And I didn’t even have any engorgement problems and what nots to begin with!

    • Reply Daphne April 16, 2010 at 3:33 pm

      @Chrystal, I’m hoping the next time around, I’ll be able to breastfeed direct. I think that will be much easier and a lot more fun. You planning to breastfeed your twins?

      • Reply Chrystal April 16, 2010 at 6:47 pm

        @Daphne, yeah I think it’s much much much easier if you directly latch and it definitely beats bringing out milk bottles, hot water & powder.

        Yes I’m going to breastfeed my twins. Gonna be a nightmare I think!

        • Reply Daphne April 16, 2010 at 9:32 pm

          @Chrystal, haha, that’s what two breasts are for. One for each side.

  • Reply MieVee @ April 15, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    You’ve done well overcoming the many obstacles! :) I’m enjoying the next few months of breastfeeding my 14-month old as he would be weaned off soon. Direct breastfeeding hurt in the first week because mummy and baby need to learn the perfect latch-on. Once that’s mastered, breastfeeding does not hurt. Anyway, breastfeeding is extremely convenient especially when travelling — anytime, anywhere, no equipment needed. :)
    .-= MieVee @´s last blog ..Breastfeeding: Top 8 Mistakes to Avoid =-.

    • Reply Daphne April 16, 2010 at 3:36 pm

      @MieVee @, totally agree! I was struggling to teach Kirsten to latch on and I finally gave up after 3 weeks. Even the lactation consultant had some difficulty getting her to latch on and when I tried it alone at home, it was possibly worse.

  • Reply sunflower April 26, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Consider twice if you want to direct. I find so difficult to wean off my child now!
    .-= sunflower´s last blog ..Mandarin PlayClub Term 2: Lesson 6 =-.

    • Reply Daphne April 27, 2010 at 10:28 am

      @sunflower, I thought it’ll be pretty easy to wean them off direct feeding, seems like that’s not always the case!

  • Reply hokidoki March 5, 2012 at 3:52 am

    just discovered your blog so I am having a mother-inc marathon while pumping. My two-month old is very “ce kong”, so he’s always freaked out if he can’t latch on properly, resulting in me spending the next hour calming him down and wiping that fat tears. For my own and his sanity, I decided to pump exclusively. Am thinking to wean him off in a few weeks when I go back to work but i feel guilty. So, he might be getting half and half, half formula and half breast milk (as much as I can pump out). Love your blog and congrats on your third one, you’ve got to repeat the whole process all over again, hopefully this time you can breastfeed direct.

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