36 days down, 329 to go!
Dear 36 D,
I miss you. Every morning when I get dressed I desperately search for you and you are nowhere to be found. All that is left is a bunch of flappy, saggy skin with no resemblance of any shape. It is an ugly sight. An anything but feminine and sexy sight. A reminder that I’m done nursing and having kids sight. And it makes me start the day really sad. Even my super duper lift up bra doesn’t lift my spirits, or anything for that matter, since there is nothing to lift! But then I remember what I have gained in your loss. A much more relaxed, more available, more loving me. So I’d say the trade off is worth it, wouldn’t you? I know my kids would.
It’s been real,
The Orange Rhino
Oh my boobs. My blessed wonderful boobs. My boobs that weren’t designed for breastfeeding, but that were designed for exclusive breastpumping. Yup, I pumped for my four boys. I attached myself to the boob-sucker and mooed like a cow for a total of 26 months for 75+ minutes a day. 75 not so pleasant minutes of feeling guilty that I wasn’t breastfeeding and feeling irritated by the sound of a breast pump…
Errr, er. Errr, er. Errr, er. Errr, er.
The sound drove me batty. I mean really, you would think that Medela would have created some flap to cover the pump to soften the noise. But no, they seem to think it necessary for us ladies, who are already suffering from our tender breasts being sucked alive to also suffer through one of the most obnoxious sounds EVER. And furthermore, where is the label on the breast pump that reads:
WARNING if you use this repeatedly, your breasts will actually shrink in size and will lose any and all form of perkiness that they once had, leaving you feeling less feminine, something you didn’t realize you cared about? And where is the label that says:
WARNING even if you hate using this machine, you will miss it when you no longer need it.
I should have looked for that Warning label more. Because then maybe I would have found the resilience to pump longer. Because I do miss the blessed machine just as much as I miss my boobs.
Do I miss the sound? Heck no. Do I miss having one more thing to do every day? Heck no. Do I miss having to try and parent while connected to a tube that was connected to a machine that was connected to a wall? DOUBLE HECK NO.
But do I miss the pump because I discovered that for me, the milk I did make, even if from a pump, symbolized my last physical connection with my son, and to his fleeting babyhood, two of the many truly sacred and powerful pieces of mommyhood?
Because in my heart of hearts, I know that our 4th is our last. And no matter how much I complained about what a pain in the ass pumping was, or how much I complain about how hard the sleepless babyhood days can be I just can’t imagine not experiencing either again. I just can’t.
And so I held on to pumping as long as I could.
But, I had to stop. I had to stop so that I could be a better mom.
I know that sounds a*s backwards – giving breast milk is supposed to make me a better mom and all. But it wasn’t. It was making me a worse mom. All the time constraints around breast pumping, all the pain from constant clogged ducts, all while having 4 kids who needed me, stressed me out. A LOT. And when I am stressed out I tend to Yell. A LOT.
As a matter of fact, the day I had my “I yell too much Epiphany” I was attached to the boob sucker. I can blame a lot of my yelling B.C. on the pump. Why? Because when attached, not only could I not give my kids my total attention, but I was also agitated by the sound and really impatient and irritable (really it takes this long to make 6 ounces? We’ve got stuff to do!) These things combined lead to the same thing every time. Yelling. Repeated 4 times a day. Do the math. That’s a lot of yelling.
And so I stopped pumping for the final time in my life.
IT WAS HARD letting go of the connection to my son and to my child bearing years. But it was even harder constantly feeling crappy about how much I yelled at the ones I love. It is no coincidence that 10 days after I stopped pumping, I celebrated 10 days of not yelling 10 days of loving more. Because in removing this stressor from my life, I became more relaxed and more available for my kids. And subsequently, I started yelling less and loving more.
I might have traded in my beautiful size 36D boobs for 36 -AAA, and I might have been forced to accept that I will not be making breast milk again, that I will not be having any more kids again much sooner than I was ready for, but I have gained a more peaceful and loving connection with my boys. And that is way more beautiful and bountiful than a size 36D.