Adventures in breastfeeding

In a total turn of life events, I spend a lot of my days lately sitting with a baby at my breast. Yes, I talk about breasts now, like it's no big deal. A lifelong small chested girl, I haven't spent this much time thinking about breasts ever. Amazing how quickly that transitioned. No surprise. Or still somewhat of a surprise- I had been worried about breastfeeding prior to actually having done it. I know so many women who have had trouble breastfeeding and it's a really emotional process- feeling like your kid isn't getting enough to eat, feeling like your body isn't doing what it should, feeling like a failure at motherhood right out the gate. I had emotionally prepared myself for the possibility that Jamie wouldn't take to breastfeeding and was pre-emptively giving myself the 'forget those Breast is Best nazis, formula-fed babies turn out normal!' pep-talk. While I whole-heartedly still believe this and feel angry at mommy media that make bottle feeders feel less than, it hasn't yet been a problem for me.

Turn out, like his dad, he's a great eater. So, again, I spend a lot of my day breastfeeding. It has been an experience of fascination, love, some marginal discomfort (I had also emotionally prepared myself for some major discomfort in the form of cracking and bleeding, and thankfully haven't had issues outside of tenderness and occasional biting... yet), and I've been surprised out how much I enjoy it. I sometimes feel like I can feel oxytocin (the bonding hormone) flood my brain when he's eating, neurons all fired up on the love drug as I ogle my baby, and see my boobs, perhaps for the first time as something functional.

Three breastfeeding modes it turns out I love:

1. The angry face, furiously feeding like he's angry about it, or angry about something. He's not crying, but his eyebrows say 'don't mess with me man, I'm in the middle of something!' He looks like a muppet- the serious bald eagle one, totally ridiculous.
2. Distracted feeding, when he looks all around, or, once a bit milk-drunk, lolls about, not quite done eating, but not quite with it enough to get his mouth back to where it needs to be.There is often headbutting involved. Bizarre and entertaining.
3. Bonding time, when he looks straight at me like we're having an eye contact conversation. One hand either grabbing my neck or shirt collar, or dragging his fingers along my rib cage absent-mindedly. Sweetest feeling in the world.


Tom and Heather said...

You're a great mom already, Kami. This is an adorable post!

Kim Higueria said...

Yes! I totally remember the angry feeding face :) My youngest would make grumbling noises while angry-eating, like she was trying to air all of her grievances. "You took too long getting me, Mom, I don't like the new body wash you're using or the socks you put on me and my sister looked at me funny. I'm not going to stop eating, but I feel like you should know all of my complaints right now"

manho valentine said...

Thank you for sharing the story behind your inspiration for Enforcer's
Pride. That must have been a rewarding, yet difficult job you had.