The Pregonaut

A non-breeder's journey into the unknown

A chat about bewbs July 15, 2010

Filed under: Space Detritus — anditron @ 10:00 am

Is she done yet?

I’m pretty surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed breastfeeding my daughter. It’s not to say I didn’t expect to like it but before birth I thought of it as something very clinical. I thought of it as business; my job and responsibility to do for her to be a healthy baby. I also thought I’d be done either once she got teeth or at 1 year. And then I did it, and that slowly changed.

At first it was work and stress, trying to make sure she latched on right. Worrying if she was getting enough and oh god, how can she breathe! It’s funny to think of now, how hard I found it back at the beginning. Mainly because she was so lightweight then! Oh, she was so easy to move about into whatever position I needed her to be back then when she was a mere 10, 12 even 15 lbs.

Then this thing about breastfeeding came about – we found the sweet-spot to it; that place where I knew what she needed from me and we had nothing in the plans to do. We’d sit in the glider, her nursing, me exhausted, the house silent. And when she was done and had fallen back asleep, I’d sit with her nestled on my breast for her entire nap, sometimes (often) dozing off myself. Sure, I got nothing done; the house stayed messy, the laundry stayed dirty, but I didn’t care. It was possibly the most clear-headed, in-the-moment experience I have ever had. That sweet-spot lasted until I had to go back to work.

Now I do love breastfeeding, but it’s changing again. She’s on her second tooth and while it doesn’t hurt (yet?). It’s rare that we get that time to just sit and be quiet together. Really, the only quiet time we get is when she wakes up in the middle of the night for a feeding and then I’m so zonked out I can barely keep my eyes open which terrifies me no end because I don’t want her to roll out of my arms and get hurt. (Like she did that first week she was home and I nearly dropped her on her head but super-mom reflexes somehow shot into effect, and one arm swooped down, caught her as her head was about to hit and brought her back up narrowly missing the sharp corner of an end table.) It’s much harder now. Trying to fit in enough time to pump two or three times a day while at work; only getting to personally feed her two maybe three times a day. I long for that time when it was she and I all day together completely synchronized with each other. Back when I could easily tell the difference between most of her cries.

But even though I enjoy breastfeeding her, I have to admit, in some ways, I’m also really tired of it. I know… scandalous! But it’s true. I’m losing so many of the personal benefits and missing some important parts from pre-baby. Sometimes I’m tired of the battle…

Like losing weight… Breastfeeding is no longer reducing my weight. Exactly 6 months from having the bot, I’ve plateaued at 169-170, which is great when you know that I’ve come from 212, but sad when my goal weight is 140. I need to diet. I’m healthy, riding 15 miles (40 mins) a day but I’m not losing any more. None of my clothes fit right and I’m tired of being in laundry limbo. I don’t want to spend good money on new clothes when I know I will lose the weight, it’s just a matter of when. I’m motivated, I want to workout (with what time) and cut back on my food intake, but with breastfeeding I’m afraid of any diet and workout because it affects the Bot as much as myself.

And my period came back. OH, how I HATE having my period back! I blame the change in daily feedings. The Bot is a snacker so she would eat for short 10 minute bursts every hour or two. (How is she such a super chubby baby – She must have been extremely efficient.) Since working I’m lucky if I get to pump twice during the whole day – a time period when I was feeding probably four times at least. Last month I realized I was getting pretty emo and decided to take my happy pill (more on that in another post). The next day I had that full on crampy feeling and there it was. Without being TMI here, I’ve never cared one way or another about having my period. It was something I accepted and moved on with, but after 15 months without one… having it back makes me want to get my tubes tied. (Does that do the trick because I refuse to do birth control pills, injections, implants or anything of that sort.)

I need caffeine! Honestly, I probably drank too much caffeine through these 16 months, but I did try to keep it to a lower “approved” daily dose. (Any of you saying “oh no!” well, if you knew the Bot’s temperament, you’d make it a point to drink caffeine if it promised the same result.) However with work, the lack of caffeine is hurting me. I need my Redbull, I need to get my pre-baby brain back. I had no idea having a child would strip my brain so badly. I miss being able to think clearly, to not space out and lose track of what was said just minutes ago. I used to be a walking talking video recorder, I remembered everything like a newly released film, now I feel like someone dug my brain out of a drive in theatre’s projection booth that’s been abandoned for 30 years.

Simple logistics. This is the most frustrating part of my day. Because I get to pump so little at work I would love to pump at home. But currently I only have one pump. Carrying all of that stuff back and forth on my back on my bike ride to and from work everyday is not only hot and heavy work. It’s bad for my back (which has had issues in the past). This is solvable, yes, but only by sinking more money into another machine. It’s not the end of the world, I know. Luckily I can at least cut that cost down by searching Craigslist and buying used, which I’m planning on doing tomorrow in fact. But it’s been a hassle none-the-less and will continue to be until I find another one.

And the last thing… I hate my boobs. Seriously. I hate being a D cup. I was a very happy C cup girl, they were just enough! I dare say they were perfect. I never had boob issues (yes I know I’m lucky) until now! Shirts don’t fit right, they’re jiggly and leaky and I’m limited in what bras I can wear what with needing easy access. And the perpetual perky nipples! Please can I have just 10 minutes without my nipples being erect? There’s not a shirt I can wear that doesn’t seem to reveal a little too much there. *sigh*

Some times (like the other day) I kind of wonder how much longer I can continue to do it. It’s been 6 months, I’ve worked hard, ate well, tried to be healthy watched what I ate and drank. I keep thinking back to when do I get to be “Me!” (see the Quandry post) again already? I don’t need a lot of the old “Me!” just a little tiny bit. Just the bit that can fit into a shirt without the buttons popping, seeing my belly roll or my nipples bursting (both leaking and sticking out).

Then other times (oddly like that other day’s night) the Bot rolls over in her sleeper and wakes up. I wake up and she reaches out to me . I pick her up (oof) as she gives me her cute little “I’m hungry” duck-face. I let her latch on and I sit there with her in the dark and the silence, a kitty at each leg and a husband snuggled up to one side and I can’t help but find my resolve to keep going at least a year, if not more regardless of how many teeth come in.


4 Responses to “A chat about bewbs”

  1. Nico Says:

    I have been reading your blog since October. I stumbled upon it from a link of your fantastic Halloween costume. I had my little girl, Keira, on January 28th, a few weeks after you gave birth to your daughter. I just had to comment on your most recent post because I am having all of the same feelings that you are right now. Suprised that I enjoy breastfeeding, committed to trying to continue for a year, struggling with pumping at work and missing the closeness of being there for her every need during my maternity leave. On one hand I am glad to be back at work but on the other hand I miss her something awful. I have a friend who eventaully just nursed first thing in the morning and at bedtime and was able to maintain an adequate supply without pumping during the day. I am hoping that might work for me although I am sure that it’s different for every woman. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I have enjoyed your company along the journey.

    • anditron Says:

      Congrats on your daughter, and I’m glad you keep coming back. It’s tough! And it’s good to know I’m not alone in this. It’s amazing how alienating being a parent can seem sometimes. We might not all have the same struggles but we all do struggle with something. I’m preparing a post about working f/t and being a mom (you know in my spare 2 minutes here and there) keep an eye out for it and share your insights and struggles. 🙂

  2. I understand completely about not being in the nursing sweet spot and about wanting to diet. I have almost 150 pounds to loose after having 4 babies about 2 years apart each. That isnt why I chose to comment after finding your website after seeing your halloween costume a few months ago… I chose to comment to let you know that the only way to stop your period without birth control is to have your uterus removed. Having your tubes tied doesnt stop your period, it just stops the egg from traveling through your tubes to the uterus!

    Good luck on your Breast Feeding journey and I hope you find what works best for you and your little bot!

    • anditron Says:

      Welcome to the Pregonaut! If it would keep my period from coming back, I think I’d be willing to breastfeed until I was 45. As it is I guess I best just get used to it again eh?

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