Thursday, July 4, 2013

No More Nursing: Day Five

I feel a number of things about nursing and my journey with it. I've been wondering what caused my issues. When it came to the delayed milk, was it the lengthy exhausting induction? The C section? My uterine infection? The separation from Jack while I was in the hospital? Did my hives signal a bad reaction to breastfeeding?

I think I may have actually been doomed from the start. When I was pregnant, my breasts barely changed. Oh, at first they got tender, but my large A cup only went up to a mid-sized B. This is a minor increase. And what I've been discovering, from extensive reading, this can signal a forthcoming production problem. I never became engorged. When my milk arrived, it only trickled in. I thought it was the result of health issues. But the lack of breast changes may actually have been the issue all along. I can't know for sure, but it's another consideration, and one that gives me strange comfort.

My body just plain screwed me, is all. And it's not the first time. I had four ear infections in my first year of life, then tonsillitis. Double pneumonia in childhood, followed my two bouts of kidney stones in my teens. In my early 20s I was treated to appendicitis and I developed IBS. My body simply does not give a shit, so I sort of wasn't shocked my body wouldn't go into labour. I mean, I was, but I can believe it. I had a nagging feeling it wouldn't happen around 42 weeks.

But I never doubted my ability to breastfeed. Pfft. Stupid me. Lactivists will tell you low supply is rare, that any woman can do it.

But I call shenanigans. My eyes don't need glasses, my pancreas produces all the insulin I need, my blood clots and my kidneys don't require dialysis. However, these bodily woes exist because the human body is not infallible. Why then believe the breast is perfect? Oh, when it works, it is. The perfect baby food.

But here's the thing: nature gives zero fucks about you. It is indiscriminate, it does not care. It will weed out the population at random, with no rhyme or reason, no matter how decent a person someone is, how much they're needed or loved, or how hard they try.

I was born in 1982 with access to modern medicine, born of a C section, myself. My body has nearly died a couple times now, but thanks to modern medicine I was treated unceremoniously and easily.

I can't feed my baby. Thank God he was born in 2013, where he could be born safely and be fed something nutritious when his mother's milk didn't come. And as for me, and all my health issues I've had? Actually, I was breastfed. You can't breastfeed a baby to a life of good health. Like so much else, it's luck of the draw.

I'm enjoying my maternity leave a lot more now, and I'm really starting to bond with my son. I hadn't realized just how much of a barrier that pump put between us. I was prioritizing bottled breast milk over our relationship.


Jack's started to grab things and he's giggling. He's sitting up with assistance and he's able to entertain himself for a little while at a time. My son is so amazing. He's very bright and a great little baby. I'm so lucky to have him.


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