So I'm on vacation at the beach when baby boy comes down with a bad ear infection. Stop the world, stop the partying! It's time for Melodramommy to enter back into the place she most dreads: (gasp!) Urgent Care. All was great and dandy in the waiting room: we sat on the furthest side of the room away from the possible germ carrying other patients, and after an HOUR wait, we were called into our own private room. Could life get any better? YES! The nurse gave us a toy truck for baby boy that he could keep. (I had to swipe it away when she wasn't looking so it could undergo proper sterilization methods back at home) and then she even gave him a cherry ice pop to suck on while waiting for the doctor. I was so impressed, with all sincerity, I was going to write a post about how AWESOME this place was, how maybe I was wrong about my take on Urgent Cares ... UNTIL the doctor walked in.
"So your baby is just over a year old?" She smirks at me.
"fifeteen months." I answer.
"AND, How long did you breastfeed him for?" Assuming that I breastfed him, and I did. But why the assumptions.
"Ten months." I answer, feeling ever so proud of that fact that I lasted that long, considering he got his teeth in at FOUR months.
THAT is when she says the UNBELIEVABLE! THE UNIMAGINABLE! THE, WHY-DON'T-YOU-SLAP-ME-IN-THE-FACE-SINCE-YOU'RE-BEING-JUST-AS-OFFENSIVE Response.
"Well, Mommy, it's too bad you couldn't have lasted nursing him 6 more weeks. It would have provided more health benefits for him and it probably would have helped him to not get this infection."
WHAT! WHAT! Did she really just say that to me. That's when I wanted to get my NY accent on and fire at her, "EXCUSE ME! I said, EXCUSE ME. ARE YOU TAWKING TO ME!"
At the moment, I chose to compose myself and contain my offense and just get her to care for my sick baby. That was a mistake that I will post more about later. But for now, in honor of all my nursing mom friends, who have either nursed before, are nursing now, or are yet to nurse AND when you encounter people like this doctor who are completely IGNORANT of the pain you when through and have ZERO appreciation or understanding the sacrifice it takes to offer this gift to a child .... THIS POST IS FOR YOU : ) And yes, I debated for a while now if I should post this confession because it describes pretty much everything a nursing mom goes through, but after the offensive encounter in the face of such ignorance, I feel it has to be shared.
CONFESSIONS OF A NURSAHOLIC
There's no doubt that nursing your baby is a wonderful and unique experience that has incredible health benefits for both baby and mommy. But let's face it, good things usually come at a cost. For all you nursing mothers out there who know exactly what I'm talking about, we can surely toast a bottle of bosom's milk to the melodramommy's journey in breastfeeding.
You attend your first nursing class and feel ever so ridiculous holding a scary Chucky-like hospital doll to your bosom in order to "practice" feeding positions.
Yet, in order to practice your nursing positions upon returning home from class, because you certainly don't own a scary Chucky hospital doll, you instead grab your 1980's Rainbow Bright doll that your well-meaning mother saved in her attic for over 25 years waiting to give it to you so you could pass it on to your child, and you practice, practice, practice.
The big day happens. Finally, baby is born. You pop baby on that booby only to discover you CAN'T remember the proper nursing position that you spent so much time practicing. And, it doesn’t even matter because you are enjoying one of the sweetest moments of your life.
In comes the requested lactation specialist who presses her cold hands on baby's face and your boob. Emphasis on cold. Her advice helps.
A day or a few days pass. Your milk comes in and you are suddenly an instant Victoria Secret Model. You welcome with enthusiasm this surgery-free enhancement--anything that will better balance and deter away from the sagging, still very prominent, NONpregnant belly. That is until you get home and realize that pretty much all of your tops are either too tight, too low, or too complicated for nursing.
Ice packs, warm presses, nursing covers, nipple shields, lalolin cream, nursing pads, nursing bra, nursing pillow, nursing pillow cover, gel pads, a breast pump, breast milk storage bags, and a nursing book. Thank God for baby showers!
Nipple shields! What type of name is that anyway! You can't figure out what to do with those and wonder if they are in fact some evolved medieval torture device.
Well, off to the stores to buy a nursing bra. Yes, you need to get re-fitted and upon doing so, you're astonished to discover how many cup sizes you've indeed blossomed. It’s like going through puberty all over again. Oh the sacrifices of a nursing mom. WAIT! There's actually a cup size for that letter of the alphabet.
Then it happens, maybe at first, maybe hours or days later, baby latches on WRONG. Your nails grip and nearly pop that boppy pillow, and you shriek so loud you startle baby. Baby cries. You both cry. With a deep breath you try to sooth baby and ask God to soothe you.
Discomfort. You establish new rules with hubby: there simply is NO sharing in babyland.
You pump your first eight ounces, shrug your shoulders, and realize, "So THIS is what it feels like to be a cow."
And then, you finally get into the swing of things. You're suddenly a nursing pro. You don't even need your nursing pillow, nursing pillow cover, the lanolin cream, or the gel pads. You can nurse with one hand. You can nurse walking around the house. You can even nurse in your sleep!
Baby is growing. Baby is happy. You're happy. You're losing weight. You definitely don't feel guilty eating that hot fudge sunday because you frequently remind yourself of the fact that nursing burns an extra 500 to 1,000 calories every day. So Super-size me! Life is good.
Baby has his first growth spurt. You think, yes, baby, you can nurse as much as you want as long as you continue to suck that fat off my thighs, my rear, my belly, etc.
Then one day, baby discovers the world around him and you. You're in the middle of nursing and a sound, be it the phone, the doorbell, daddy, the TV, OR no apparent reason at all and baby jerks off that boob to explore the world around him but forgets to detach himself! To say that is NOT a fun moment would be an understatement. You are NOT amused.
Another growth spurt. You nurse and nurse and nurse.
Then it happens. Daddy delights in spotting his son's first pearly whites, exclaiming, “isn’t this Awesome!” You respond: "NO, I am NOT excited about little "Chomper's" teeth growing in early any more than YOU would be skinny dipping in a lake full of piranhas!"
You are soon to discover your other child/children attempting to "nurse" her/their baby doll(s)---or in my case her stuffed cat! Funny, but sweet.
You become the ultimate at multi-tasking in that you finally manage to nurse baby hands free so that while nursing you simultaneously can be talking on the phone, yelling at toddler, sipping a glass of ice water with one hand, updating your facebook status with your other hand, and of course, using your big toe to reach the TV remote to change the channel.
Well, in spite of it all, that day comes when it is finally time to wean your little one, who now isn't so little anymore. You have that first sniff of a NONbreastmilk poopie and exhale thinking, WHAT THE HECK IS THAT! Then, it's the middle of the night when baby awakes hungry and your drag your bare feet on the cold floor across the house to the kitchen to heat up a bottle--they're dirty. You wash it. Your out of formula! No, not a trip to Walmart now! Perhaps, the grass is greener--or shall I say---the milk is sweeter on the other side of the teat!
And yet, when all is said and done, you find your heart forever savors that special bond created through all those tender moments; from those midnight warm soft touches, to the early morning snuggles under cotton sheets, you'll never forget that sweet smell on your little one's breath or the melodic sounds of his soft suckling. You retire the breast pump, give away your nursing cover, nursing pillow, and nursing pillow cover. And, while you're in the middle of burning all those horrid nursing bras, you realize breastfeeding wasn't just about feeding baby. It was a journey into perhaps the sweetest exchange of giving and receiving love.
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Posted by Laura