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.