Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dem Boobs, Dem Boobs, Dem... Dry Boobs.

My boobs have been having an identity crisis lately.  It's a pretty significant one, I think.  The subject comes up daily, sometimes multiple times a day.  I try to avoid them, so that I can avoid that uncomfortable silence that inevitably follows their twin chorus of "Hi, we're your boobs, and we're having an identity crisis."  Seriously, how do I respond to that?

Complete avoidance is impossible, though.  Our interactions are something like this:

Me:  Hi boobs.  How are ya today?

Boobs: We're sad.  Look, we're looking down at the floor with our pointy nipple-eyes.  We're having an identity crisis.

Me:  Oh?  *uncomfortable silence*  Uhh... Umm... Why?  You're boobs.  Don't you generally do... boob things?  Like hang out?  I try not to put you in a bra, so you've got way more freedom than most of your other boob friends.

Boobs:  Yeah, we know.  And really - we appreciate that freedom.  Our problem is that we're dry.  

Me:  Oh, well I can fix that!  Here, have some nourishing lotion with vitamin E!

Boobs:  No, not like that.  See, we see you feed the baby, and we know that the milk you're giving him isn't from us.  Because, you know, we're dry.  This is the fault line for our shattering identity earthquake.  We mean, logically we know that you're giving him artificial milk because you're taking a couple of medications that you really can't go without right now, but we feel cheated.  We dried up suddenly and traumatically, and we're quite upset about it.

Me:  Oh.  Yeah, I can totally see that.  Oh look, brain and conscience are here!  Let's get them in on this discussion!

Brain:  Hey Boobs!  Lookin' good today, ladies!  You've got some super-hot circulatory action goin' on.  No worries, you can totally thank me later.

Boobs:  *stares*  Really, Brain?  Really?

Conscience:  So, I totally didn't mean to eavesdrop, Boobs, but I heard everything you said, and I'm right there with you.  I feel SO GUILTY about all of it, your drying up and Jackie taking meds and Brain just being brain... it makes me want to cry.  I even feel guilty about the fact that Leg went off and got herself broken, which is why you dried up to begin with!  It's totally ALL MY FAULT.

Brain:  Oh shit.  Look at what ya'll did.  Conscience is crying now.

Me:  Okay, hold it.  This is not going to turn into a three ring circus.  Brain, do you have anything useful to contribute?

Brain:  Well, that depends.  I do, out of deference for Boobs, go ahead and automatically make their pointy nipple-eyes hard every time the baby cries, as well as make them ache.  You know, 'cuz they're boobs.  That's what they're made for, amirite?

Me:  Right on.  You just keep on keepin' on.  Not like any of us could persuade you to do otherwise.  Conscience, is there any reasoning with you on this one?


Me:  *mutters*  Drama Queen.  *looks at Brain*  Can you take her out of here?  I'll deal with you guys later.

Boobs:  Now do you understand, though?  We're boobs.  We were put on your body primarily to nurse your offspring.  Sexual pleasure and looking awesome are just fringe benefits.  You let us do our job briefly, and then it was abruptly and traumatically taken away from us.  Now we're bereft.  What are we to do?

Me:  Oh.  Well, I... uh... *clears throat*  I'm really sorry.  I... I got nothin' else.  Can I offer you that nourishing lotion with vitamin E as a consolation prize?

And with that, my friends, my Boobs simply shake their heads sadly and wander away, until the next time I feed the baby.  Then the cycle starts all over again.

Logically, I know that relactation is not one of my most brilliant ideas.  Oh, I have no doubt that I could achieve it - and fairly easily, at that.  But what would it accomplish?  I would need to wean off of three different meds, and risk at best some very painful and at worst some very dangerous consequences.

Bug, I suspect, couldn't really care less.  There's still ample bonding and skin-to-skin during feedings.  Also, he's leading himself to solids, so it may be a non-issue here very shortly.  Health-wise, it's a non-issue completely.  

So where is the sense in all of this wistfulness and mourning over our lost breastfeeding relationship?  Why can't Boobs just suck it up, rub some dirt in it, and move on?  Why can't Conscience just get over her guilt?  Why can't Brain stop leading the mutiny on the bounty?

Because - breast is best.  For all parties involved.  People will try to placate us with "Well, at least you got *some* breastfeeding time in," but that won't help.  I don't disagree, and I *AM* thankful for the time we had.  But I would be a dirty liar if I said I didn't wish with every bottle of formula I make that it had been longer.  That we were still doing it today.

I learned to forgive myself with Kinder Major - she wasn't breastfed at all.  I will learn to forgive myself with Bug, too.  It's just going to take time.  Time, and a lot of "why relactating isn't a good idea" talks with Boobs.

Ladies, don't take your Boobs for granted.  And for those of you who haven't/can't/didn't (for whatever reason) breastfeed who are having similar talks with your Boobs... well, best of luck to you.  I hope you can make more headway with yours than I have with mine.


  1. It's a hard thing to deal with, I'm sure. I wasn't able to breastfeed Xander at all, which made me really sad. I think I cried every time I gave him a bottle of formula for like the first month. I hope you'll be able to make peace with it eventually.

  2. :( Huge hug hun. That was brilliantly written, though, and made me laugh out loud.

  3. This whole breastfeeding dilemma shows you what kind of mothers people are. I've found that the majority of my friends that have children who were upset over not being able to breastfeed for some reason turned out to be the best mothers... The others ended up kind of neglectful.

  4. Aaah, nothing quite like a blog about boobs.

    Tell your boobs it's okay, as long as the baby is fed and happy, no one cares where the milk comes from. Boobs are also good for distracting policemen.

  5. Where have you been all my life! You are brilliant. Boobs will get over it - it is just the conscience you need to deal with. Thank you so much for the laugh (and lesson) Consider yourself linked. xoxo

  6. This is the single best boob post I have ever read.
    You and your boobs rock!

  7. What I love about your blogs is that you are so honest about your life and what you're going through, but you really know how to add some humor to it all and you really make everyone laugh. Love your blogs, and I hope your boobs feel better! <3

  8. Oh man. My boobs and I have conversations all the time. Only mine usually sound like "Yo Boobs, you think you can stop with the lactating and the growth spurts followed by the shrinking that leads to the needing of 3 different cup sizes? You know the baby is 9 now right? As in years, not months. Lactating isn't necessary right now."

    Then my boobs point the finger at my pituitary gland and I take it up with it instead. (While politely asking Boobs to look a little more straight ahead than down.)

    Don't beat yourself up over it. I realize that's easier for me to say than for you to accomplish but part of parenting is dealing with the circumstances at hand rather than the ideal situation.


  9. I have never been in a convo like this lmao

  10. I mean I have pretty much been re-virginized over here and dry boobs now? really? what is next at 40..I hope sex is like riding a bike cuz its the sahara over here. The dating areana as a single Mom is awful and my boobs probably need some attention. dry flaky boobs at 40? I so did not sign up for this age boob thing. Suggestions? Itchy and scab on one oil?