I absolutely LOVE being a mother. I pray to God my husband and I will be blessed with at least one more child, and I look forward to almost every step of going through that journey again. I don’t worry about being pregnant (I loved it the first time around), or about labor pains (I had a great delivery with my son). Sleepless nights don’t scare me, nor does the idea of mustering the energy to chase after another little hurricane. What makes me anxious and fills me with dread is the thought of breastfeeding again.
See, nobody told me how difficult breastfeeding could be! How could this topic have not come up?? I mean, I’d heard that some women have “challenges” breastfeeding, but I guess I’d never really gotten the full skinny. My mother had an easy breezy time of it and always spoke of the precious memories associated with nursing her children. I, on the other hand, did not breeze through this process with my son, Ford.
From day one we had complications, as I’ve since learned, so many mums and their babies do. Supply issues, latching problems, allergies — you name it, we battled it. And there were war wounds. I won’t delve into the gory details, but those who’ve struggled with this know the wounds of which I speak. After going through three lactation consultants, I was finally able to produce (mostly) enough milk to sustain him, only supplementing minimally with formula. Soy free, dairy free, smells like something died and stains all your clothes, formula I might add. Oh yeah, Ford also had soy and dairy allergies that we discovered when he was 4 weeks old and projectile vomited up to a metre out every time he finished nursing. Seriously. I measured the distance.
Discovering these allergies meant, as a breastfeeding mother, I gave up all soy and dairy products so they wouldn’t pass through my system. Cheese. Oh how I missed cheese. I got used to the dietary restrictions, however, I did not ever get used to the physical pain which came and went. My husband was convinced Ford’s first word was going to be an expletive that rhymes with duck, because I would involuntarily scream it more times than I can count when that precious little angel-faced nugget would chomp down with his jaws of death.
My left ta-ta produced far less than my right one, and even after renting a hospital grade pump and working her every chance I got, after about three months she decided she’d had enough. She gave up the ghost. Pretty soon my righty was a Jessica Rabbit-worthy stunner of a DD and my lefty had deflated down to barely a B cup. And let’s not forget, my work is on camera. I remember when I was filming a recurring role on NCIS, the wardrobe department had to tape lefty up and stuff my bra with enough padding to plug a hydrant just to try to get them to look even in my sexy, low-cut dress only to be seen by millions of viewers worldwide. Not stressful at all!
I eagerly anticipate the day when I can hold a new life in my arms, and I pray I am able to give him or her the liquid gold I was fortunate enough to be able to give Ford. While not an ideal situation, I do feel very blessed that I was able to give him as much milk as I did for as long as I did. But dang, somebody tell me that breastfeeding can be easier the second time around?! Please.