I Felt Weird About Breastfeeding
This is about as close as you'll get to seeing a photo of me breastfeeding ODP, and it's surely the ONLY hospital photo of me you'll likely ever see. How women look like Beyonce after giving birth I will never understand. My hair air-dried after my contractions got so bad I figured I should shower before heading to the hospital. I remember trying to make myself look a little presentable and bending over the bathroom counter holding onto the blow-dryer like mmmm, this isn't gonna work out for me, is it?
Once we met ODP, the nurses immediately put him on my boob. I really had no choice. For years before I even got pregnant I'd tell people how I had such a mind-block around breastfeeding. On an intellectual level, I completely understood it's evolutionary purpose. But the whole concept was just SO bizarre to me. Another human. On my boobs. I just couldn't really get past it until I had to live it.
And live it we have. While I always thought wow, breastfeeding, what a trip, I also knew that I would give it a go as a first line of defense because it was 1. free and 2. gave my baby my immune system, which is totally top-notch. For 13 months, we've done boob time between 1-infinity times per day. At least that's how it felt at the beginning, the infinity. Breastfeeding sure does get in the way of living sometimes, hooooooey.
I am a person who has been very skittish about this whole breastfeeding idea, and also a person who has breastfed my baby for 13 months. I have given him boob at bars, in airports, on airplanes, while sitting on my friends' couches, on boats, in backseats, and everywhere in between.
And I'm pretty sure we're done. I've been trying to give ODP his nightly bedtime boob lately and he's just not interested. He's not interested in pre-breakfast boob either. Those were our last two short sessions. ODP is much more interested in real food now, and I'm good with that. I'm glad to get my boobs back. Just like how I didn't think I'd feel SUCH OVERWHELMING GO ME feelings on his first birthday, I have fewer sad emotions about the end of this period than I thought I would. Not because I didn't really have happy feelings about doing it in the first place, but more so because it feels like his decision. His timeframe. Our timeframe. The right timeframe.
I enjoyed being able to nurture and feed our child by breastfeeding. I enjoyed our bonding through it. I enjoyed feeling like Karen Smith in the beginning, like I was this magical unicorn whose boobs could feel when he was going to be hungry. Raz would question me sometimes: "We just left home. He just ate. He doesn't need to eat." But my boobs would know. They always knew.
It's okay to feel weird about something and still want to give it a go. It's also okay to feed your baby however makes sense for you and your family. For us, breastfeeding was a good thing. A great thing. I still feel weird about boobs and about the whole concept of a human getting all his food and vitamins from them, but it's more of a cool weird thing in my head now, not just a weird weird thing. You know?
And now that I won't have to breastfeed anymore, my life is about to split wiiiiide open. 7 p.m. drinks anyone?!