Saturday, August 15, 2015

My Milk-makers

Pumping is by far, one of the oddest things I've ever done to myself.  It's not glamorous.  It's not peaceful.  It's not comfortable.  It's not convenient.  It is mandatory if I want to keep feeding my child.  Which I do.  More than many things I've wanted in this world, I want to do that.

Breastfeeding is the purest human connection I have ever experienced.  I didn't know something so simple could be so fulfilling.  And I say simple in that it is just the two of us, him taking what he needs and me giving it.  I am honored to be his mother and to have the ability to feed him on demand.  When he relaxes into the latch, his hand holding on the a piece of my clothing, his eyes open but unfocused, I melt.  His body turned into mine, I make myself tune-in to that peace.

 Everything else surrounding the act is not so easy.  The latch, and then the unlatch and latch again (ouch), the angle, the frequency of it, the pain, the test in patience, the pumping.  Oh the pumping.  What did women do before those pumps?  Such a relief when they do their job, but so bizarre to watch. A few nights ago my hubby and I had our first date since our son was born (only 3 weeks ago!) and we went to a ball game.  I fed before we left and 5+ hours later we're home and I had my first experience of what I have dubbed "concrete tits."  Oh the solid, huge rocks my boobs became!  It was unreal.  I had been waiting for that, hadn't happened yet since I've been home and feed on demand.  Yes, they were big but lord, if anyone or anything touches them, so help me, I will punch you.

Just the fact that our bodies can make milk is so weird.  Beautiful and wonderful, bla bla bla.  It's weird and so cool.  Another thing we have no control over (see this post  for reference)  Yet it's absolutely mind-blowing to know that our bodies have the ability to care for our young.  So primal.

I'm nervous to go back to work and pump.  (I'm nervous for several reasons but this post is all about boobs.)  I work for a company that spends much of it's time traveling from venue to venue in a big white van.  Am I just supposed to sit in the back in the installed jump-seat with all our equipment and fabric and ladders and pump?  How awkward will that be?!  Or do I sit out the last 15-20 minutes of a set-up to go into a bathroom and take care of all my business?  I am lucky I work for a company that is flexible and caring but neither of us have been down this working/pumping road before.

Ahh the trials and tribulations of a breastfeeding mama.

Adding this photo so you all can see what was happening while I wrote this post.  Lately, throughout the day he'll only sleep if on me.  Sweet.  And a bit cumbersome.  But that is a post for another time.  Also, note the picture in the frame, our first photo after he was born, I swear I did not time that!

Now, excuse me, I need to go pump.  Because I don't want to wake the sleeping babe.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

That Day I Cried For All The Reasons

I am 16 days postpartum and I have a vague idea of what I'm doing.

Who am I kidding? I tell myself that so that when I start to lose my shit (see: when my kid starts to lose his shit) and I make choices to calm him and myself the same way I shoot darts; slight focus, no target and SHOOT! and see where I land, I can feel a little bit at peace with the knowledge that "I've read the books, I've got an idea what to do."

Actually, I haven't a fucking clue. And my kid can't tell me. And sometimes I curse anything that comes in my line of vision. You! Cat! This is your fault! Either refill my water or move you and your long fluffy tail outta my space!

And then he latches, finally. And he looks at me with his ever-changing eye color and his little hand resting on my big overly-full boob, and my heart explodes all over again. Oh yeah, you. You little tiny precious vulnerable perfect thing, my love for you is ungodly ridiculous, you are worth it all.

One might say I'm hormonal. One might. Hell, I'll shout it from the damn roof, my emotions are all over the place. Take today for example, Dad had a lunch meeting, I hadn't showered yet, the bonus kids were both doing their own thing and my sweet new baby is wailing is head off. Like, full-on back arched, neck all veiny, red faced and just M.A.D. mad. And all I can do is stand and rock him and offer the boob and then not get furious when he falls asleep 3 minutes into eating. Kid, don't you know I have things to do? Like wash my armpit that you are so close to, doesn't that smell bother you?! Clearly not. Sleeping like an angel, you little devil.

And that is when I cry. For the next hour and half, wiping my snotty nose on his burp cloth because he is quiet right now and I don't want to move to get a kleenix for fear that he'll wake up. So the tears mostly-silently drip down my face and I try to figure out what is really bothering me.

And then I cry more because all the reasons that come to my mind are so silly and small; Dad is at a meeting which he kindly asked if he could go and I agreed, because someone I know said she'd come over and clean my bathroom 3 times and hasn't shown-up when in actuality it is my messy bathroom, my kid won't stop crying which is fine he's a baby it's his job, I really want a big sugary chocolaty coffee drink yet I know that isn't the smartest choice, I want to stand in a hot shower and not be bothered, I want to read my book while my sweet babe sleeps. All of these are first world problems and in my pre-mama life I would've told myself to grow a pair and move on.

But now? But now. I am trying to embrace each crazy, small, seemingly dumb thought, face it, give it it's moment to take over, and I am hoping that by doing so I won't head down that oh-so-scary tunnel of depression. Greet it head-on, stare it down and embrace every tear and ridiculous thought, remembering that just like going through labor, nothing lasts forever.

Today was one day. One day in the chaos of my new mama life. Here I am. Here I'll chronical my woes and my successes and here I hope that one other mama will understand.