Boobs

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.  

 My little booby monster was always rooting around. 

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13 Responses to Boobs

  1. Breastfeeding is so complicated, personally and socially. I used a SNS for a while before I found a bottle Wallace could take. I could see if you were doing an at birth adoption, that it wouldn’t be a problem to use a SNS. Or, if the baby had been breastfed and wouldn’t or couldn’t take a bottle, that you’d be willing to use a SNS could be good. Seems like a very slim chance of that happening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kayrosey says:

      I can’t imagine that the kind of person that loses custody of their infant is the kind of person who would do the hard work it takes to breastfeed, but I could be wrong. Lord knows I’ve been wrong about people before 🙂

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      • I had doctors report me to CPS twice in part to my breastfeeding. I was already supplementing with donor mik by the first time (and he met their weight gain goal for that week$ but it was a very real fear the second time that they would take him and then force me to prove myself. That said, I probably wouldn’t have had any say in how he was fed. That was such a horrible time.

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      • kayrosey says:

        What was that all about? Was he losing too much weight?

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      • He wasn’t gaining enough. Tongue and lip ties revised at 10 and 12 weeks. Probably effects from the pitocin delaying my milk. Silent reflux no one would diagnose or treat. Low muscle tone I didn’t have a name for until he was a year old. I also had an IBCLC drop us because it took me too long to find a new doctor after the first one refused to help with the ties and told me to “just pump,” which I physically couldn’t. The number of doctors actually knowledgeable about breastfeeding in my county could be counted on one hand, I could only find one of them and couldn’t get in there because we were on Medicaid. I was villianized for breastfeeding, being single, being gay, being poor, and some medical choices I have made. So, though he wasn’t removed from my care and all allegations were eventually dropped, I would have been that mom fighting tooth and nail to breastfeed. The system is screwed up.

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      • kayrosey says:

        I didn’t know you two had such a rough start. I’m glad it all worked out in the end!
        Yes, the system can be really weird on what is enforced. My sister had a series of unfortunate events that led to her daughter being removed. Luckily I was in a position to take her, so I kept my niece for about a year.

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  2. DeCaf says:

    For me, that’s one of the advantage of doing foster-adopting, is no pressure to breastfeed (I don’t think poorly of women who breastfeed or anything like that, it just has no appeal to me). I think most places it’s plain old illegal (any unnecessary risk of disease transmission is considered too much to the system), if not, the biological parents would need to sign off on it.

    If you’re on tumblr I can give you a ton of names of people who do foster care if you want.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kayrosey says:

      I’m not on tumblr, but I might ask at some point when we are further along 🙂
      Yes, if I remember right I have to get consent from bio parent for any breastmilk stuff, which isn’t going to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lindsay says:

    Good lord! Evelyn has bit me exactly once in our nursing relationship and she cried when she did it cuz I yelped. I can be sure that I would have thrown in the towel if she’d done it more often.

    Breastfeeding is equally beautiful, painful and exhausting. And each breastfeeding relationship is as unique as the children and moms who do it. I never, ever judge a mama who chooses not to nurse or stops after a while. It is hard to give so much of ourselves every day. Sometimes bodies don’t cooperate. Sometimes babies don’t. But what matters is whether or not the baby is fed. Not HOW.

    Liked by 2 people

    • kayrosey says:

      I had moments after stopping where I wished I would have held out longer, but once you stop there’s no going back. The older she gets, all that baby stuff seems much less important than I used to think, and those “mommy wars” just seem ridiculous. Who the hell cares what you feed your baby, you should be drinking lots of wine to fortify yourself against the terrifying toddler years!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Caitlin says:

    You’re correct – no transmitting of bodily fluids to foster children allowed. Silly, maybe.
    I’m always glad to hear about moms who said “DONE.” when they wanted to. I honor any woman’s preference, but I’ll never understand those who put themselves through immense pain and irritation instead of using formula. Admire, yes, but understand? No.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kayrosey says:

      I think a lot of other hormones, emotions, whatever, get wrapped up in breastfeeding for people which makes it hard. For Ali and I it was always just about food, there was little to no comfort nursing going on so it didn’t really phase her when we stopped.

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  5. Breastfeeding is such a personal thing and it’s so fucked up when people get all judgey. They have no idea what other people’s struggles are. Thanks for being so honest about it. And s far as the foster parent thing goes, it is ok to nurse a foster child provided that the biological parent says it ok. We looked into it…but fat chance at getting them to say ok!

    Liked by 1 person

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