I’m categorizing this blog under the Public Service category because somethings just need to be said, that no one said to me. And also because I feel the need to vent.
I’m a little bit peeved at the female race right now. Yes, women, you. Don’t point at yourself with your eyebrows raised in surprise like that. Yes, you. I’m feeling a bit uninformed, a bit left out in the cold, and a whole LOT OF shocked at the fact that nobody told me how painful weaning my baby from breast-feeding would be.
To my male readers: don’t check out quite yet, I have something for you too.
To the mothers out there: you told me how much pregnancy sucks, you told me how painful labor would be, you warned me of the pain of beginning breast-feeding, how badly it hurt when they latched on. You told me about the hard recovery from a c-section, the hormonal swings, the postpartum depression. But no one, I mean NO ONE mentioned how painful weaning would be.
I chose to breast feed because I believe in it. I believe in its goodness. I never expected to last 6 months, never mind last a year and onward. My little EK loves to nurse. She asks for it all the time. “muck”. It has been beneficial to her, to her health, to our bonding, etc., etc., etc. I could go on.
I must be honest, I felt a little weird nursing a toddler, even though deep down I knew I shouldn’t. But Western Society sexualizes the breast, rather than embracing its intended function and breast feeding a toddler or older is frowned upon. Dare I even say stigmatized.
I slowly began to wean the baby around 12 months. First we night weaned, then we began dropping a feeding here and there. Finally we were down to 2 feedings a day. I kept it like this for several weeks. And then the tantrums began. When I had to postpone her desire for “muck”, she got mad. She cried. She pouted. She hit whatever was closest, sometimes me.
This past Thursday, after a hitting episode, I just said. “no more, there’s no more milk”. I’ve stuck to it, but it’s a lie. It’s one big whopper of a lie, because let me tell you folks, there’s still milk. There’s a lot milk. And my bosoms are engorged! The pain is almost unbearable. They’re hard, and hot, and lumpy and leaky. Originally XS, they’ve expanded to a size XXX. It’s not fun.
To my male readers: I think I now know how it feels to have testicles. You know how you guys are always protecting yours? I get that now. If something comes near you; a ball, a small child, you instinctively put your hands up to guard your jewels. I get that now. Because they hurt. And especially when they get bumped. I get that. You have no idea how much I get that now. I cry out like a little girl. And feel like hitting back whoever or whatever has bumped them.
You have no idea how badly I want to allow my girl to nurse again to relieve the pain and discomfort, but I feel like I would really be taking 300 steps backward. She still asks for her “muck” but the fits have stopped and she seems to be happy with substitute nourishment and comfort. It’s not really her suffering from weaning. It’s me.
I think I did this the smart way. I weaned gradually. There was no “cold turkey” . And yet, I still have an overabundance of supply. I’ve pumped a little just to grant myself an ounce (pun intended) of relief. And now I have cabbage leaves in my bra as a home remedy to help drain and dry up. So guess what? Not only do I hurt, I am uncomfortable, I am downright grouchy, but now……I smell like slaw. All I lack is fried chicken. Just add that to my woes.
Which brings me to my advice. To all you young mothers or ladies thinking of becoming a mother or thinking of breast-feeding. Do it, it is a wonderful thing, don’t get me wrong, the benefits are astounding.
But for me it has not been a piece of cake to wean, I’m here to tell you.
Since no one else will.
<END OF PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT>
But can anyone bring me some fried chicken?