Thursday, January 9, 2014

5 Mis-Adventures in Breastfeeding

From the moment I decided to breastfeed Harper, I began to devour all things breastfeeding: Books. Blogs. Groups. Classes. You name it, I was into it. I became a little obsessed and consequently slightly neurotic about perfection. This is a common tendency of mine, you'll come to know. Anyhow, in the midst of my perfection-seeking, I started to crack a little. Ok, a lot. I was putting an extreme amount of pressure on myself until one night (for those of you who still consider 3 AM night that is). It started with a soft chuckle, progressed to a medium giggle, and ended with me laughing hysterically into my pillow so as to not wake my sleeping baby. I laughed at myself. Since then, I've lightened up and laugh at my misadventures. Here are my top 5 Mis-Adventures in Breastfeeding.

1.) The Nip Slip: Around 6 months of age, Harper became a very distracted nursling. A fly could land on the wall and she'd suddenly pop off to check it out. One day, as I was nursing at a friend's house (we don't use a cover), her 15 year old daughter walked in and just like that she was off. I didn't realize it at first and then the look on her face said it all. It said, "Umm I'm totally looking at your nipple!" My face probably turned 50 shades of red once I realized my entire boob was hanging out. I'm a little more aware now, but nonetheless I laughed.

Harper at 8 months

2.) The Wardrobe Malfunction: Before long, it became apparent that nursing in public with my distracted girl left me with a few options. I could fight to keep a cover on her (I tried and failed). I could just walk around stores topless (hmm something tells me that wouldn't be allowed). Or I could just find a private place for now. I opted for finding a private place. So fast forward to one fine day at Target; I had just wrapped up a nursing session in my car. I was carrying Harper on my hip and getting lots of stares. I'm used to getting lots of smiles and "oohs and aws" because my gal is just so stinking cute, but these were stares, y'all. People were looking at me like I was half dressed! Finally, a mother of two in the diaper aisle looked down at my shirt and smiled at me. Ah-ha! I knew that smile. That smile that told me she'd been there. Imagine my horror when I look down to find that I hadn't layered myself back up after breastfeeding, so I had one fully clothed side and another with my bra just saying "hi" to everyone! Still, I had to laugh. I mean, what are you gonna do? Actually, you should probably think about that because this will likely happen to you in some fashion (pun intended).

Milkshake anyone?
Picture provided by Sugar and Cloth and the recipe can be found here.

3.) The Milkshake: I suffer from chronic clogged ducts and let me tell you, they can be a real son of a gun. I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy. With that said, I've found a few things that really work for me, and one of them is something I like to call....The Milkshake. This is where I bend over braless and give the ladies an aggressive shimmy. I sometimes can feel the clog coming on and decided to be proactive about the matter right then and there. So one morning I'm cleaning my daughters high-chair and have this matter to attend to. I put her in the chair and I'm just shimmying away when I hear my mothers voice behind me. She says, "What the hell are you doing?" Note to self: do your milkshake in your room when you aren't alone in the house.

4.) The Boob Bath: The first time I had a clogged duct, I'd gotten some wonderful advice from one of the ladies on my Facebook support group. She offered up the little nugget of using an Epsom Salt soak to get some relief. As magical as this is, I'll be honest and say that you'll feel like a complete idiot doing this. At 3AM one night, I'd had it with my clogged ducts and needed relief bad. So there I was, butt in the air, crouched on the floor and braless with both boobs dunked in the largest mixing bowl I could find. I was crying from how uncomfortable I was and then I just thought about the image of myself. And in that moment I just had to laugh. Don't worry, I thoroughly cleaned the mixing bowl before making cookies. 

5.) The Geyser: My boobs are crazy. Let me explain. My let down is super fast and I have oversupply, so if my sweet nursling isn't handling her business, then milk can literally go everywhere. Just ask my 3 year old niece. My breastfeeding is natural for her (her mama breastfeeds also) and she typically will stand close while I
feed Harper. One afternoon, I was babysitting her and she was leaning on the arm rest of the rocker I was feeding Harper in. I was watching TV and hadn't realized (again) that Harper had popped off. Then I heard my niece squealing, "Stop spraying me! Stop spraying me!" I'm not proud that I busted out laughing, but I did. She then narrowed her eyes and said, "It's NOT funny!" Well, okay then. I pulled myself together and cleaned her up. Then I promptly walked into my room and had another quick chuckle.

My niece, Leighton.
Photo provided  by Sarah Volner

The best advice I would've given my future breastfeeding self is to not take myself too seriously. I was always committed to staying the course, but I wasn't always enjoying it. Now I do. Why? Because I'm not holding myself to a perfect standard and am laughing about my mis-adventures.

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