Let us all agree that feeding babies is hard. It takes a lot of time, energy, and planning no matter how you do it. I am on the tail end of breastfeeding my second baby, and while I intentionally chose breastfeeding and am thankful that worked for me. I am about to wean, and while I feel a *tiny* bit of bittersweetness of leaving this piece of babyhood behind, I am mostly looking forward to the freedom of having my body belong only to me again. Here are the things I definitely won’t miss about breastfeeding.
Living my life in three hour increments.
When did the baby last eat? What time is nap? When will they wake up? What will I be doing then that I will need to stop to feed the baby? The constant calculations and planning around when the baby eats is exhausting. I am ready to take that piece of mothering off of my plate.
Upper back pain
The contortions I have to do to see the situation of getting a baby latched and eating several times a day have taken their toll on my back. Not to mention the tension in my shoulders when my baby is loudly demanding to eat and I am hurrying to shove a boob in their mouth. Monthly visits to the chiropractor have been a necessity.
Worrying about pumping if I am away
A silver lining of #pandemic is I didn’t have to do this often, but even so I HAATTEEEE pumping. It feels like double the work for the same amount of feeding. Keeping up with parts, tracking time, worrying about how many ounces, trying to find a place to be half topless while I milk myself like a cow. Yeah, not gonna miss that.
A squirmy wormy breastfeeding session
My first child was more the stereotype of a nursing baby. Calm in the crook of my arm, staring sweetly into each other’s eyes, sleepy snuggles that sometimes turned into a milk satiated nap. But this one. Nope. It’s like nursing an acrobat with a boob in its mouth. Twisting, turning, changing positions, latching and unlatching, swerving a head to look at something interesting. Nursing is anything but relaxing these days.
Flashing people in public
See above, squirmy nursing baby= unlatching which means surprise boob flashes wherever we happen to be. The park, family fourth of July party, a restaurant. The world has seen my boobs now more than a drunk girl on spring break trading flashes for beer.
My ratty ratty nursing bras
The penny pincher in me would not allow for buying new nursing bras when my old ones were worn out, stretched, milk stained. I would only need them for a few more months. I’ve been wearing the same three bras for close to a year now. They are exhausted, stretched out, and a murky color that used to be a color but is no longer. Not all that different from my boobs these days.
My limited wardrobe.
I’ll soon be freeee to wear whatever I want! Dresses without buttons! Fitted shirts! Layers! Necklaces! Bracelets! I can revive half my wardrobe that has hung neglected in our spare closet. Hello dresses, ready to twirl?
Being the only one who can feed the freaking baby
I already tend to be the person who thinks the only way to do something right is to do it myself and breastfeeding adds an extra layer of resentment for me. Curse my husband and his useless nipples. Even on the days I get to sleep in I still have to rouse myself to feed the baby before plopping back down to rest. Once we wean, it’s going to be a free for all. You feed the baby! And You feed the baby! Anyone but me can feed the baby!
I know for many breastfeeding is a magical way to share a connection with their baby. If that is your experience, great. But my journey has not been magical. It’s been a means to an end. This is the end. And I am freaking stoked.