Looks like the breastfeeding controversy has flared up again, or maybe it never really goes away? Seems like everyone was shouting their opinion a couple years ago when I was doing it, then I quit hearing about it for awhile. Anyway, it’s got me thinking about my own, sort of tortuous relationship with the boob juice.
I’m not shy about saying I hated breast feeding (and being pregnant, but that’s another topic), but I never really tell people why I hated it. A lot of the problem was how painful it was. I knew it would hurt, everyone tells you it will hurt, but much like how you can never really be prepared for what the lack of sleep feels like, you can’t prepare yourself for what it feels like to have someone sucking as hard as they can on your cracked, bloody nipples every other hour for weeks on end. I love my girl to death, but she’s been a stinker since birth. Maybe she was starving, maybe she loves to see me cry, who knows. Either way, her suction was so strong she brought milk and blood out of me for almost three months, even the lactation consultants were taken aback by it. She did jump from the 10% in height/weight to the 98% within two months, so I guess maybe she really was just hungry and making me cry was just an unfortunate side effect…
Things got better at threeish months when I developed nipples of steel, then she sprouted teeth and started biting me. Baby teeth are like little serrated steak knives, she was able to saw through my impressive callouses and draw blood again. It sucked, but I powered through for a couple more months. We did supplement with formula here and there if we were traveling or to let my wife feed her once in a while, and by six months we were supplementing up to half of her feedings with formula mostly because I didn’t pump like I should when I went back to work. Then one day she bit me hard and pulled back, I thought she was going to bite my nipple off. I said, Fuck this shit, I’m done. It was formula from then on out, and I learned that putting my needs before Ali’s is ok sometimes.
But you know what? Despite our less than perfect breastfeeding experience I had a moment where I got really sad that I won’t be able to do it with our next kid. I even briefly entertained the idea of doing the supplemental nursing system thing, but it’s too weird for me. Plus I don’t think a dcs caseworker would be ok with me having a foster baby sucking on my boobs, I’m sure there’s laws against it or something.