The 10 Unexpected Things I Won't Miss About Breastfeeding
Don't get me wrong — I love being able to breastfeed my baby. I'm well aware at how lucky I am that it came (somewhat) naturally to us and how fortunate I am to have support — from my husband, from friends, and co-workers — to keep it up even after returning to work. I also won't deny the incredible bond it's given me to my daughter. I cherish our time together and can guarantee that, when it ends, I'll be an emotional wreck. But I'll also be a teensy bit relieved. Here are just a few things I won't be sad to say farewell to when it comes time to hang up my milk makers (a term I won't miss, either).
Feeling Like a Cow
I don't always feel like a cow being milked, but every once in a while, like when my husband is taking too long on his Home Depot run and I'm stuck sitting in the car with a crying, hungry baby and decide to climb into the backseat, whip out a boob, and come at her with it from above, so I won't have to waste time unstrapping her . . . Yeah, that's when I felt like a cow.
My Breast Pump
The innumerable parts that I'm supposed to clean and sterilize after each use (but never do)? The hee-haw sound it makes when it's running? The fact that it's called "Pump in Style" but is perhaps the least stylish activity of my day? It's lucky I might plan to use it again someday because I have strong desires to take it out back and go all Office Space on it.
Not Being Able to Wear Dresses
Do you know what's most comfortable to wear after giving birth? A dress. You know what's the worst thing you can possibly wear when breastfeeding? Yep. I haven’t worn a dress and not regretted it in six months.
The Lack of Freezer Space
If I read one more recipe geared toward new moms that caps it off with the time-saving tip to "make extra and freeze what you don’t eat," I'm going to find out who wrote it, go to her kitchen, and shove all my frozen breast milk in her fridge. The limited space not taken up by my individually packaged four-ounce breast milk baggies is reserved for two things only: Ben & Jerry.
My Short Leash
When my baby began taking breast milk from the bottle, which meant she didn’t need to be glued to my boob every two hours, I thought I finally had some freedom back. My first night out with girlfriends was glorious, until about a half hour in. Because of the 40-minute commute to the restaurant, I was approaching full-on engorgement before we even ordered appetizers. I hate the idea of pumping and dumping, and the option of lugging my pump and a minicooler along with my chic "going-out" handbag was even less appealing, so I find I don’t get a lot of quality "me time" away from the house these days.
Stressing Out About Stress
Not only do I find myself stressing out about more stuff while breastfeeding, but because stress can affect milk supply, I now find myself stressing out about stressing out.
I won't be happy to part with my best excuse for a random mood swing, but I will be happy to say, "So long," to whatever mad science in my body that creates breast milk in exchange for making me feel weepy one minute, hostile the next, then exhausted, then starving, then melancholy, then starving, then overjoyed, then starving.
Unfortunately, I am not leak-proof. Occasionally, some of my milk doesn’t make its way into my baby's mouth, and it dries on my bra (more on that in a moment). Some days, the scent is not even noticeable. Other days, it's like someone poured rancid milk down my shirt — and it's inevitably those days when I'm out in public.
I wasn’t about to pay good money on "sexy" lace nursing bras (no one else finds that slightly creepy?), and I wasn’t about to put my actually sexy bras through all that wear and tear (and aforementioned milk leakage). This means I have been wearing nothing but bargain-bin — which, at $30 a pop, still isn’t much of a bargain — maternity bras that are so hideous, I feel they are at least partially responsible for most of my daughter’s spit-up.
My Big Boobs
To all my friends who've had big boobs their whole lives, who would complain about them and then have to hear me go on and on about how they need to shut up and be happy with what the good Lord gave them, I apologize. Normally a tidy B cup, I have big boobs while breastfeeding, and I can’t stand it. I’m incredibly self-conscious, constantly tug at my shirts to cover cleavage, and am convinced people look there first. Eyes up here, Mom.