Here’s the thing, I am all for breastfeeding. I nursed Little Miss exclusively for six months and she was completely done after a two month weaning process. I have nursed Mr. Man longer because he is a different child, and he needed it. But I am done. I am way past done.
I am not one of those moms who see breastfeeding as an amazing bonding experience. Don’t get me wrong, they are so cute all cuddled up and you are giving them nourishment that is natural for them, but I bond with my kids all day long. I bond with them when we are playing, or when they come over for a hug. We bonded when I cuddled them to sleep and when I comfort them when they cry. Yes there is some bonding that happens when you nurse your child, but it isn’t the be all end all. Our finish line on this one is in sight and I will be ready and happy to have completed the journey. I will look back on it fondly, but I sure as hell won’t miss it.
I thought I would provide you with the ten things I won’t miss one single bit.
Stupid, terrible things. They always make your boobs look misshapen. You can never find one that is the perfect fit. They get worn out and stained from early on lanolin use. And when a nursing bra strap sticks out of your shirt, the tell tale clip is a dead give away that you are a mom packing milk.
I have flat nipples. It’s amazing the things you learn about yourself when you have kids. Who knew? They seemed normal to me, but they simply aren’t pokey enough for a baby to latch on to, so I had to rely on nipple shields with both kids. They always get lost (why on earth are they clear?), you have to clean them, which adds another step to the process, they make nursing under a cover all the more difficult, they leak so you get milk all over your stomach. Basically they are high maintenance yet necessary little things.
Sweaty nursing covers
With Little Miss, I was timid and preferred to sit in a private room or in my car when she needed to eat. It was inconvenient but I was shy. With Mr. Man I nursed pretty much everywhere, so long as I had my cover. At a table in a restaurant, on a train to New York, during a parade. I have nothing against people who breastfeed without a cover, but it is just not for me. I don’t want a nip slip and especially with the blasted nipple shield, but the covers have their drawbacks. My kids are sweaty and always looked like they had just run a marathon by the time they were done eating.
Big sister bathroom breaks during nursing
When Mr. Man was first born, Little Miss was not yet three and very new to her big girl, potty-trained status. There were many times where I would heft Mr. Man up, carry him to the bathroom, still latched on, and help Little Miss with my free hand. No I did not feel like super mom. I felt like a lunatic.
Watching the clock
I get so tired of the routine of feedings. When you are breastfeeding, your life works in a two to three hour segments. You go grocery shopping immediately after a feeding. You schedule doctor’s appointments around when you will be able to nurse. Because you can’t just pop a bottle in the baby’s mouth as you push them in a stroller, you need to allot time to sit and do nothing while they eat.
I can go braless at this point at night, but it still isn’t totally comfortable, and it was an impossibility in the beginning unless you wanted to wake up in a puddle of milk.
Mr. Man was a really bad nurser from about three to seven months. He hated, and still does not prefer, my left boob and it was very often not emptied all the way, hence many, many clogged ducts. They are so uncomfortable and I hope, being that this is my intended last child, to never experience them again.
Isn’t it fun feeling like a cow in a dairy barn? I had a really junky pump with Little Miss because I couldn’t afford anything better, but I got the BMW of pumps with Mr. Man thanks to our insurance. It was easier, but still awful. And most of the milk I pumped went unused since I had been eating dairy and found out afterwards that it was making him sick. And then he refused to take bottles. So 90% of my pumping was really for no reason at all. Farewell pump!
Because Mr. Man was so difficult, I couldn’t go back to my part time job. My husband and I went to a wedding and had to leave early because Mr. Man wouldn’t take a bottle and was screaming his head off. And we didn’t get any cake. I couldn’t go anywhere for longer than three hours unless I wanted to burden someone with my screaming child.
Talking about breastfeeding
Breastfeeding has a way of becoming a central feature in your life. You talk about it. You think about it. You debate about it. You become an advocate even while accepting everyone’s choices and abilities. You become a poster child for breastfeeding. I don’t want to do any of those things. I am just feeding my child in the way that works for me, personally. It has been 12 months and Mr. Man has grown beautifully, but it is time to end this stage of my life and move on to the next. And what stage would that be, you ask? That, of course, would be the stage of the floppy, pancake boobs.