Thursday, December 29, 2005

Magic nipple power, deactivate!

Dear blogosphere, I have something really sad to tell you. My boobs hardly hurt AT ALL right now. And my right boob is barely even twice the size of my left one.

This lack of mammary discomfort has me in a state, because I have not nursed Nutmeg in more than 30 hours. During our past separations approaching this length, of which there have been two, I was, by this point, practically lowing with the need to be milked. But today, I don't think I'm going to have to dig that breast pump out of the storage room after all.

I think this is the end.

I'm a person who hates to hear a door close. It was all well and good when I talked about this separation from Nutmeg -- she and Epu are still back home, while I'm in SF working. I thought, well, maybe this is a convenient time to wean, despite the fact that Dr. Sears forbade me to "wean by abondment." After all, she'd be in her daddy's loving arms, she's going on 2, and I don't even know anyone with a kid her age who's still nursing.

But now that I'm looking at a closing door, I want to stop time and think about this. Wouldn't I rather nurse Nutmeg until she's 3? I can't stop thinking about one particular nursing scenario. Nutmeg's tired and overstimulated. We're all sitting around my parents' dining room table, finishing a meal. Nutmeg starts fussing and whining. I take her out of the high chair and pop her onto the old right boob. After two or three minutes of sucking, she emerges as a completely different child -- calm, happy, sociable. Her tiredness has vanished.

"That must be some good stuff!" my grandpa said at the time.

I could have had that magic nipple power for another year or so, but I chose to let it dry up. So yeah, I'm moping today, and not just over missing my little Nutjob.

Of course, I could dig out that breast pump right now and start pumping like crazy. Epu suggested that on the phone today. And suddenly, after hearing that, I felt much more philosophical about the whole thing. She is a big girl, after all, and woudln't it be nice to have a small window of my life when no one is feeding off of me?

Maybe instead of mooning at Nutmeg's pictures all over my desk at work, I should take a photo of my Ameda Pump in Style and hang that up on my cube wall. Then whenever I start to mourn the end of nursing, I could remind myself that I still have a choice. It's not much of a choice, though. Going the breast pump route, at this point, woudln't feel so much like opening the door back up. It would feel like closing the door, hard, with my hand in it. Again and again.


Kori said...

Oh man, does the pump suck, both literally and figuratively. Having a picture of a breast pump at my office would make me run away from my desk screaming at least three times a week. Screaming and mooing.

As for breastfeeding, this was a really good chapter in your mommy life, but you're an excellent writer, so I know that another great chapter will be right around the corner. Okay, cliche ended from someone who just finished a baby-imposed weaning that left me tearful. If I was a wreck at 4.5 months after a basically unsuccessful attempt at nursing my daughter, I can only imagine how difficult this could be for you. Hang in there, chica.

And rest assured, as magical as that boobie juice is, you will find new and amazing ways to soothe your child---I know this from experience. You find them because you have to. She can still jump on your lap when she's cranky, and minus the nipple time, you can cuddle and calm her, and she'll leave a totally revitalized child.

Big hugs. :)

Anonymous said...

Awww! I totally understand the mixed feelings here. I've been prepping myself to leave Elliott with Dave overnight for months, and then I totally bailed on the idea at the last minute (mostly because it would cost too much to go visit my sister, but I sure didn't try that hard to convince Dave that I should go!).

You know, your milk may very well not "dry up" at this point. I definitely wouldn't take the lack of engorgement as any sign. Engorgement can stop, but your supply may be the same, actually. If Nutmeg comes back home and nurses, you may very well continue lactating if you want to.

I've been working up to weaning when Elliott turns 2, and I know it's going to be tough on me. Of course, cutting his hair makes me cry, so I'm not the best judge here! I can't even imagine what will happen when he starts kindergarten.