And so, life continues. I went to a LLL meeting on Tuesday and I was struck by a few things:
1. I never thought I’d see the day where sitting around with about 10 other breastfeeding mothers, a couple of squirming toddlers and a whole bunch of militant literature about taking back your breasts and whatnot would be my idea of “fun.” Live and learn, my pretties…. live and learn.
2. Milk blisters are not the worst thing that could happen to a breastfeeding mother. Our leader cheerfully confessed to having had about 15 cases of mastitis, lopsided breasts, engorgement more times than you can shake a stick at it, and all sorts of other discomforts (not limited to the 2 year old nursing at her breast as she spoke). Of course in my opinion, the worst thing that could happen to a breastfeeding mother is to have to deal with all those things in either silence or ignorance or both. Which is why I ended up going to the meeting in the first place (why, you ask… I refer thee to sentence #1 up above. It hurts as if someone were shoving a tapestry needle into your breast. Constantly.)
3. My baby is super cute and 10,000 Hawaiian aunties can’t be wrong! I of course am deeply biased about Herr Meow and his cooing– he now has added “AH-gyoo,” “AH-gü,” and “uh-GOO!” to his original vocabulary of “NYAH!” (<–hunger pangs) and "SHRIEK!!!!!!!!!" (<–PLEASE BURP ME, YOU GOOD-FOR-NOTHING HORRID LUMPS OF LARD! OH I DIE HORATIO!!!!!!! IT BUUUUUUUURNS!!!!!!!!!!!!). However, the times we've gone out and his cute feet are poking out of the sling as he takes his 80th siesta of the day, we get an onslaught of people informing me how cute SHE is (alternately, we also get another onslaught of people telling me how handsome HE is, but my blog is called "Zen SARCASM" so suck it). At the meeting, a lady pointed her toddler toward my kid (after gushing about how cute Herr Meow was) and said, "See honey? That's what's going to come out of mommy! He's about 10 lbs! That's what'll come out of me!"
I think the child had a mixture of horrified delight on his face, but he was quite a good sport, really. For a three year old anyway. I am not sure what expresssion my face was scrunching itself up into, but the kid had me beat.
4. Out of the actual lactating mothers at the meeting, all of them except for me had been exposed to constant breastfeeding and examples thereof from close family and friends. Now, if anyone reading this is interested in a little bit of back story, formula is one of the many things that we got from the technological advances of World War II because of the necessity of mothers to leave their babies and get jobs as their husbands went off to the war to get killed and whatnot. So this generation abandoned the breastfeeding tradition and turned out to work. This was further embraced by the protofeminists of the era and eufeminists (if you will) of the 1970s. Suddenly formula and bottles became THE ONLY way to feed a kid and since it was man-made, was touted as the food of the future and better than some nasty ass human secretion (therefore being the oxymoronic statement of the century– because somehow COW SECRETIONS are better?).
And so, we forgot how to breastfeed. Period. It’s très natural, I grant you, but it is HARD AS HELL. Have I already emphasized that one? BREASTFEEDING IS HARD AND IT CAN HURT ESPECIALLY IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND YOU JUST HAD A BABY AND YOU ARE COMPLETELY FREAKED OUT AND THE KID IS LOSING WEIGHT –WHICH IT SHOULD BUT YOU DON’T CARE BECAUSE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE STARVING YOUR BABY AND KILLING SINGLE-HANDEDLY THE THING THAT GAVE YOU BAD HIP PAIN AND HORRID GAS AND MADE YOU EAT BEETS AND LIKE THEM AND UPON WHOM YOU’D PINNED ALL YOUR HOPES AND DESIRES AND GODDAMMIT HAND ME THE MOTHERFUCKING BOTTLE OF FORMULA BECAUSE I CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE.
I’m so sorry for cursing. I really am, but I cannot overemphasize how close I’ve been to just switching and saying TO HELL WITH BREASTFEEDING BECAUSE IT SUCKS.
But here I am, lactating along.