Friday, February 22, 2008

Thanks for the mammaries


Boobs. Jugs. Tits. Ta-tas. Hooters. Funbags. My personal favorite? If you've seen the original Carrie, you'll recognize the reference - dirty pillows.

I can see your dirty pillows. Everyone will.
Breasts, mama. They're called breasts, and every woman has them.
They're all gonna laugh at you!

But I digress.

I have boobs on the brain as of late because...well, I don't think mine plan on stepping up to the plate (or cup, if you will) for providing sustenance - liquid gold, as it is commonly called - once Gumdrop arrives.

I was able to nurse my son for 3 months, although not exclusively. My intention from the start was to be at his side (or he at mine, I guess) every time he needed feeding, and for my body to provide the goods. I delivered him via c-section, and supposedly women who have c-sections find it harder to nurse. Something with the unnatural delivery of the placenta. I also needed to inject myself with a blood thinner for weeks and weeks while pregnant and after delivery, and according to my second lactation consultant (Freaky Freda), blood thinners can hinder the body's natural production of milk. So when my son lost a pound in the hospital because he wasn't getting enough to eat, I should've known from there that something was going to go amiss. It broke my heart to feed him formula - mommy guilt had already set in, and I was, after all, failing him and I felt like I was doing him a huge disservice.

The nurses couldn't figure out why he wasn't getting enough milk. One nurse told me I had flat nipples. Nope - no flatness there! These babies pop out like a jack-in-the-box monkey the second they get cold. Granted, they're not porn star nipples, but they do just fine. The first lactation consultant I saw (2 days after giving birth) blamed my Boppy pillow and told me to throw it out. Sure - let's blame the $39.99 piece of softness for my inability to adequately feed my child. No wonder you're a lactation consultant - you're a genius! She asked questions like "Did your breasts get bigger during your pregnancy?" Yes. I went from a 36B to a 38C. "Did you begin to see veins running down into your breasts?" Yep. Check. Creeped me out, too. "Did your areolas get darker?" Like the girls from The Hills in Cabo. They sure did. She was baffled and gave me the name of 3 other consultants.

I've never tried harder at anything in my life than I did to build up my milk supply. I rented hospital grade pumps to try to stimulate my baby's natural suckling and watched as my nipples were stretched out to lengths that I never imagined possible. When I wasn't satisfied with that pump and the amount of milk I was getting, I bought a top of the line pump, only to find that it didn't do much of anything other than mock me with the "whir whir" of its motor as it attempted to suck from me that which was necessary for my son's survival. I took fenugreek until my sweat and urine and deep thoughts smelled like maple syrup. I drank awful amounts of fennel tea. I mixed brewer's yeast into yogurt and ate it while gagging. Two lactation consultants and an entire La Leche League later - my milk dried up, just like that. Shortly thereafter, I was diagnosed with thyroid disease and was told that this was an explanation for my inability to produce adequate milk. I was prescribed levothyroxine and was told that I'd be taking it for the rest of my life. Jazzy!

So when this pregnancy was confirmed, I did some research and found that it's safe to take when pregnant and while breastfeeding, and that it would likely allow me to be successful at nourishing my baby-to-be because my hormones will be back on track. Sweet! Of course, it'll probably be discovered twenty years from now that it causes organ ooze and dysphasia, but hey - at least I should be able to nurse, right?

I'm thinkin' no. The girls? Well, they're not really any bigger. The veins? Can't seem 'em. Darker areolas? Not this time. Damn it. At this point last time, I could squeeze Burt and Harry (named them when I was 9) in just a certain way and make them drip. Not this time. This time it just hurts. I don't know if there's anything I can do to improve my chances of producing anything. I'm afraid if I Google the topic then I'll come across crazy rituals that involve drinking bat's blood, and I'll be so desperate to be successful that I'll try it.

I'm not knocking formula. As long as you feed your baby anything then you're doing your job. It just wasn't the route my husband and I wanted to take, and instead of enjoying the experience of feeding my son, I felt pangs of guilt with each and every suck he took of the synthetically produced garbage. It's damn expensive, and cleaning bottles is a pain. I know that I did what I could with him and I was hoping for at least the chance to be able to do the same with his sister. Perhaps the Boobie Gods and Goddesses will read my blog today, take pity on me, and bless me with some functioning jugs that will put Dolly Parton's to shame.

1 comment:

Matter Of Fact Mommy said...

i'm reading way back on your blog because i love the way you write - funny and engaging and i just love it... (btw, thanks for allowing me comment without your approval. ;)

anyhoo, i must say that i am very sorry for you that you were unable to breastfeed your son for very long, if at all. i also had the same problem with my son. he was a bit preemie - only weighing 5lbs when born - and had no interest in my boobs whatsoever. i tried for 3 weeks. my daughter was also a bit preemie - weighing just over 5lbs - but she latched on immediately and i was able to breastfeed her (with some formula intervention here and there to make the weaning process easier) for 5mos. at 5mos, I WAS DONE. i wanted to be able to have more than 1 glass of wine. i wanted to smoke. i wanted to drink lots of caffeinated beverages.

what i'm trying to say is this--

i've done both. if you're looking for ease, then bottle-feeding it is. (even with all the fucking bottle-washing!) my husband didn't bond with our daughter at all during the amoeba stage (1-6mos) because i was the one waking up every 3hrs to feed her. and, to pump just for the night feedings? shit, who has time for that?! and then you just wake up in a pool of breastmilk anyway!

oh, and don't get me started on those fucking NAZI lactation nurses! i HATE those bitches. not that there's any room for modesty after having just been on a table with people staring at your crotch for 18hrs... i, too was told that i had flat nipples! they gave me some plastic shit to put on them too. bullshit.

sorry for the long comment, but i obviously have a lot to say about this subject...