Thursday, May 19, 2011

No (more) boob for you

In playgroup yesterday the other mommies and I let each other in on a deep, dark secret. We. Are. So. Over. Breastfeeding. At first we danced around it and then, sensing a unified front, we collectively admitted what a chore it’s become. Now that our kids are all about seven or eight months, it seems as though we might be on the downward slope. Here in San Francisco, not giving your baby nature’s most perfect food is even worse than buying a purebred dog, or owning more than one car, if you can imagine such horrors. Please note that my husband and I are guilty of both. It’s amazing our tax dollars are even accepted.

I had initially planned to BF for a year based on all the findings that kids who suck down the liquid gold for at least that are more likely to publish a novel by age 30, bring about world peace, and generally be better-looking and have more friends. Feeding the wee one is essentially my job during this non-working period of my life. If I don’t perform my primary task of motherhood, would I still be good mom? Why would I then be any better than a bottle-feeding nanny? Of course, I realize that I am more than my boobs, but surely they are the main reason that my babe loves me more than anything else on planet Earth right now (even more than paper and he loves him some paper to rip and eat).

Many people tout the convenience of breastfeeding. After all, you’re already toting those puppies around all day. But, it can be a bit annoying to navigate BF’ing in public, unless you’re one of those folks who truly don’t mind whipping it out anytime, anywhere. I can safely admit that, while I fully support a mama’s right to feed her youngin, I am just not coordinated enough to nurse while wandering the aisles at Whole Foods. Enter breast pump, stage right. Anyone who has ever come in contact with this contraption will agree that something’s just not right about fitting your girl parts into a machine that literally pulls the milk right out of them. If you’re giving your kid more than one bottle a day, you have to make up for those feedings by milking yourself. The worst is having to pump right before heading to sleep so that I don’t wake up completely engorged. While I say a prayer every night thanking my baby for sleeping straight through the night so I don’t have to wake up and feed him, having to fill the bottles is not my idea of a relaxing pre-sleep activity. In fact, I’m surprised I haven’t yet had nightmares about being sucked to death.

One of my main concerns with continuing to BF is that I’m starting to feel a little selfish about my girls. I want them back. And so does my husband. It’s hard to feel ownership over your body parts when they are being controlled by an 18 pound writhing, screaming little being. I’ve become very hostile toward my husband even looking at my breasts these days. I’m fairly certain he hasn’t touched them in the past year. Memories of enjoying the bosoms prior to being pregnant have been so repressed that I am beginning to wonder if they existed at all. People do have use for these things, right? Not to mention, I was already doing quite well filling out a bikini before, I didn’t need any help from the full ducts I’m now carrying around. I may be one of the few people looking forward to the promised decrease in size once nursing is done. Of course, with my luck I’ll get pregnant immediately after weaning and the fun will begin anew. It’s like I’ve donated my body to science.

Fret not, I will persevere and soldier on to fight the good fight (though I draw the line at biting). I know I will miss this special bonding time with my son and the ridiculous smiles he gives me like he can’t believe he gets to drink this stuff every day. Also, it is free. I never could pass up a bargain. I just hope he thanks me someday in his acceptance speech.

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