Friday, September 9, 2011

Nursing: My Love/Hate Relationship

Now let me start by saying, I've always been a supporter of breastfeeding, but I certainly don't EVER judge those that have decided not to for one reason or another.  I am one of the lucky ones.  Although there were many parts of pregnancy, birth and recovery that were difficult and grueling for me (check out my SIF journey here), breastfeeding always came naturally and easily to me (thanks body for a tiny bit of sanity).  Both my babies latched on right away, my supply has been strong, pumping works for me, and I am not too modest to NIP (use a cover to nurse around others).

I am not, however, IN LOVE with breastfeeding.  I can certainly see its cheap benefits, but I also struggle daily with the negative aspects of being a lunatic working mom who still feeds her LO only breast milk. So if you have this constant tug-of-war with yourself over whether to continue, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  I frequently wish to throw my pump out the window of a moving car or jump up and down on it laughing crazily....but I still keep going.  It's a Jekyll & Hyde of sorts (although I never remember who's the bad one...Jekyll or Hyde???!!!) here they ying & yang...
1. Pumping!  I hate it with a passion!  I hate the sound it makes, the fact that I have to clean those damn flanges and bottles EVERY SINGLE DAMN NIGHT, I hate sneaking in to plug it in every night as my baby sleeps, I hate lugging it from home to work everyday, I hate that I can't be social during my shockingly short (read 20 minute) lunch everyday, feeling uncomfortable everytime I lift my shirt up at work praying a high schooler or janitor or fellow staff member won't ignore my sign and barge into my classroom to see me hooked to a machine like a cow) MOOOOOO!  I can't stand freezing one more bag of milk...I could go on and on!  PUMPING SUCKS!
2. Not owning my body!  I don't own myself.  I belong to Brynleigh.  Everything I do to my body affects her sustinence.  It's quite a burden to carry.
3. My inability to be far away for long.  I am a working mom, so I'm away from her attached to that God-awful machine 5 days a week from 6:45am - 3:30pm.  Therefore, on nights and weekend...I have no free time.  I can't justify messing up my supply after 5 months just to be at the gym longer, go to a movie, have a ladies night or travel by myself.  I know I could rely on my 700+oz of frozen breastmilk...I. just. can't. do. it.
4.  Pushing my body is a no no!  If I workout too hard, diet, or miss a meal (on accident of course) I feel like THE WORST PARENT EVER!  How selfish of me to mess with her livelihood, deprive her of nutrients, not give her the healthiest diet I possibly can. 
5.  Nursing bras are not flattering.  I don't care what anyone says...they are U.G.L.Y and not conducive to some of my wardrobe.  I'm soooooo bored of the 3 nursing bras I have, or one of the 3 nursing tanks.  B.O.R.E.D!  I'm also sooooo over my jugs!  Can I have my little boobs back please?
6.  NIP.  I'm not embarassed...but sometimes I just want to be alone on my couch, not in a gas station parking lot, grocery store lot, fitting room, at T's karate class, at my MILs, at a kids birthday party...on and on.....and on....
7.  Oh nipples...why do you have to be sooooo HUGE!  Seriously!  You're all National Geographic on me!  It prohibits me from wearing some of my most favorite pre-pg tops.  Even taping them down is damn near impossible.  And since nipping in front of my highschoolers is one of my fears (behind going into labor...oh wait...BEEN THERE...DONE THAT)...I'm not a fan of shirts that just MIGHT show the nips. 
8.  I know you'll all balk at me when I say this one.  You'll scold me for not encouraging my hubby to get up and feed her a bottle sometimes.  But I just couldn't justify pumping instead of feeding her, when I was right #8 is being the only one that could get up to feed her in the middle of the night = exhausted!!

But there are LOTS of positives to nursing your LOs.  I will go as long as I possibly can.  I am just venting because I can and (lets face it) this is my blog :)  :)  I know some of you can relate to your love/hate relationship, right?!

Here's the ying to my yang:
1. I feel so close to B when we nurse.  It is our quiet, private time. 
2. I feel proud that I can help my baby grow strong with only what I make in my own body.  Isn't biology amazing!!!!!! (coming from a biology teacher! :))
3.  It's damn cheap...especially when you can reuse your pump, parts, etc. 
4.  It's easy (after cracked nipples heal, engorgement calms down, the latch is perfected, and there is no biting occurring)!  I don't have to fuss with bottles or formula.  I have my udder cover in my purse at all times.  So we're ready to go ON DEMAND!  Can't beat that. 
5.  I hope to be able to donate some of my frozen stash once B is off the boob.  I have so much, I can't imagine her burning through all of it.  If it happens, I'll be bummed, but I'll be proud I worked so hard for that stash so she can still have mommy's milk after the "from the tap" dries up.
6.  I'm certainly glad I got to experience it, and have a positive experience amongst lots of difficult times.
7.  I'm a milk machine.  I don't know how these barely B's have become such udders, but it's okay by me...and B too :) 
8.  I do have a pretty nice rack! ;)  I better enjoying it while it lasts (and before they turn back into deflated, yet small, balloons). ::sigh::
Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding?!  Share and share alike!


  1. My lists would look just like yours! I love breastfeeding, but I am so ready to be done with it. Hoping to make it to the WHO's 2 year recommendation, though. Some might think that's crazy, but hey, it's what I want for us :)

  2. I relate to so much of this. I absolutely LOVE being able to provide for him, but it's getting tiring. And I am so jealous of your frozen stash. I had close to 100 oz when I started back to work, but Andrew won't eat it. I have to really stay on top of the pumping so he has something to eat the next day - very stressful. Even with all the stress I really hope to make it to a year.

    Oh, and I was cracking up at those cartoons :)

  3. I love the cartoons too! I am crazy but other than the bag and cleaning, I don't mind pumping. I have evn considered being an EPer since P has teeth so early. We will cross that bridge when she really starts biting me.

    Other than that - totally true list! Love it!!!


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