Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Notes on Breastfeeding
When you are pregnant, you are filled with hopes and dreams. You sit lazily staring off into the sunlight, and imagine your relationship with your new bouncing bundle of joy. You have read all the information you can possibly absorb about all things baby related, especially the first bonding moment- breastfeeding. You imagine it just how the books tell you- you and your little cherub will gaze lovingly into each others eyes while he suckles oh-so-contentedly off your ample breasts. Such love, such tenderness.
Fast forward five months.
My child is wailing like a pint-sized banshee. Is he wet? No. Hungry? I don't think so. Cold? Nope. Perhaps if I put him in my lap, he will calm down. Uh uh. What to do? I know- instead of finding creative ways to entertain my baby and stimulate his imagination, I think I'll pop a boob in his mouth and hop on my laptop! Genius! So I ask my baby if he wants the booby (hopefully that won't be his first word) and he gives me a gummy little grin and starts to open and close his mouth like a little fish in preperation for his feast. All is good. Until... it turns out he IS hungry again. And he isn't getting enough milk out, because he just ate an hour before. So what does my little cherub do? He bitch slaps me in the boob. Yep, he's totally like "Where's my milk? I said GIVE ME MY MILK, BIOTCH!"
This seems to be somewhat effective for a moment, until he starts squirming again. So he slaps again, but now he's got a new trick. I have no idea what it has to do with the flow of the milk, but he's discovered (for the first time out of utero, anyway) how to effectively kick mommy and push off her internal organs. So now he has one really strong foot implanted in my abdomen, one on my throat (my baby is quite flexible, and remember... he got steriod shots in the womb), and he has his little talon-like claws out trying to pull on the other nipple (are you enjoying this visual yet?). Like a good mother, I persevere and focus my attention elsewhere. And then, HE BITES MY NIPPLE! You'd think it wouldn't be so bad what with the lack of teeth and all, but I swear this child has the jaws of death. For one tiny flash in time, my subconscious battles between two primal instincts: Maternal instinct, which says to nurture and protect your baby, and Survival instinct, which says to remove whatever is causing you severe bodily harm as forcibly and quickly as possible from your body, and get it far far away from you. Luckily, maternal instinct wins out. Before I've even had time to process this, I let out a loud scream, startling the baby. His death grip relaxes and his little limbs flail in the air, because I've scared him.
And then, he looks up at mommy with a wicked little milky grin, and it's all worthwhile.
Ah, the womanly art of breastfeeding.