Monday, 26 March 2012

The End of an Era

Previous to giving birth, I had made the decision that I was going to breastfeed for 6 months at the very least. As a nurse, especially, I was determined to do this and would expect nothing less of myself. This was the best thing for my baby and there were no other options for myself or for her. I was committed and all about it, and thankfully so was Avery. 

We were a great team. I had a milk supply that could have kept Lottie's going in white Russians for an entire Friday night, and Avery was a ferociously hungry little bugger who was packing on the pounds as fast as Kirstie Alley did immediately after appearing on Oprah in a bikini. 

I had no issues with sore nipples, was never really engorged, and basically had a great run of it. By 6 months I had already decided that I would keep it going for the full year. The nutritional need was gone as she was on solids at that time, but I wanted the bonding, the closeness, and the mommy/baby time to continue. When I would breastfeed, it was like the love I felt for her was a tangible thing. I physically felt it, and I wasn't ready to let go of that yet. 

You wanna know what ruins a Kodak moment of straight up bonding though? Eight effing teeth, that's what. 

Avery had given me a few nips, pardon the pun, when she had a couple of bottom teeth, but it was kind of one of those things where I would jump and wince, but that was the end of it. Nothing too bad, nothing extended, and after a couple of times she sort of just gave it up. 

She has recently decided, though, to take up her old hobby again, only now with four times the chompers. The vast majority of the time now, breastfeeding my bouncing baby girl can be likened to breastfeeding a great white shark. 

I am confident that David Attenborough could do a full series on breastfeeding this child for Planet Earth. 

"The tiny mammal begins to flail it's arms and whimper dramatically. Note the rooting movements made by the predator's mouth. This is how she lures her prey, a technique that has been used by this species for centuries. 

She latches on silently and locks eyes with her prey. This particular tribe is quite bold, and this signals a trance-like state of concentration. It is clear though, that they prey has been secured, and the predator is merely waiting until the right moment to pounce. 

The predator continues to feed, simply drawing it's prey in, until suddenly, she attacks. 

The prey resists the urge to smack it's predator and opts for a loud scream instead. By this time though, the predator is lying back, comfortable and smiling, gloating in it's hunting prowess." 

Clearly my breastfeeding experience is no longer smooth or enjoyable. This paired with the fact that Brad and I are taking off to New Orleans for six days in May could mean only one thing... it was time to cut off the boob. 

This probably sounds pretty simple. Avery was already used to a bottle because Brad and I had been taking turns putting her to bed with pumped milk. Brad bought some formula and we tried her with it, and she sucked that back like it was liquid gold in a Playtex drop-in. The weaning process was going great... so I thought. 

I decided that I was only going to breastfeed in the morning. Avery usually woke up around 5 or so and we would take her in our bed and I would feed her until she went back to sleep. My body decided that it didn't like this idea. 

Day one was horrendous. I was bursting out of my DD bra and had to switch to two sports bras so that I could reel it in a little. I got in the bath that evening and could barely read my book over my  massively engorged jugs. No joke, even when lying down, those puppies did not move. 

By the next morning after Avery had had a little snack and given me some relief, things were looking a little better, but still not out of the radius of Closeted Porn Star. Ashley and I went to a movie that night and it took a black t-shirt, cardigan and scarf to get me out of the house without drawing attention to my top shelf. While in the snack lineup I had a terrible fear that someone was going to come over and just straight up motorboat me. I felt as though I would have been better off if I had just worn thigh high fishnets and leather boots and made and outfit out of my new appendages. Might as well just go with it, right? 

By day three my body had finally gotten the picture. I had normal sized boobs again (normal for me anyway) and everything seemed to be running smoothly, until this morning. 

Before I share this portion of the program, let me first state that I started back on my old birth control pill last Wednesday which is a huge contributing factor to this situation. Still though, this morning when my hungry little monkey went for the boob, there was nothing, and I was devastated. 

I didn't think it was going to go so fast, and if I knew that yesterday morning was going to be the last time I would have that time with Avery, I would have cherished it a little more. On one hand, I'm glad to be done with the blocked ducts, leaking through my shirts, pumping and dumping after a night out, and I'm glad I won't have to be rushing back to our hotel in New Orleans to pump throughout the day, but still. My little girl doesn't need me for that anymore and I'm sad that it's over. 

It wasn't that long ago when I was sat up, alone in the hospital room on the night after she was born, clumsily trying to maneuver her into a position that was comfortable to both of us so that I could try to nourish this little stranger that I gave birth to mere hours before. Now, here I am, almost 9 months later and cocktail hour is finally over. 

It was a good run. Not sure how I feel about what I'm left with, but Brad is the only one who has to worry about that now, isn't he? All the same though, I think my dream of becoming a stripper at Sirens has come to a bitter end. Sad times. 

...blow the horn. 

No comments: