I wasn’t going to blog. I was going to stay in my baby cave, where my responsibilities center on pumping and sanitizing nipples (not mine, Dr. Brown’s). I’m pumping because Christopher has declared a state of independence. He’s his own man, won’t be attached to anyone’s chest. Won’t be called a mama’s boy.
They tried to help me help him get a strong latch in the hospital. You know you’re in trouble when the nurse, after assuring you you’re doing “everything right,” finally drops the nice girl shtick and says, “I’m going to call the lactation consultant.” Seriously, she might as well have tattooed Epic Fail on my chest.
The LC, she was official. As soon as she stepped through the door, I tried to straighten myself up and look fresh, like I didn’t just push a live mammal out of my womb the day before. Like I wasn’t wearing a big girl diaper. Like I was Beyoncé and had the whole maternity ward to myself. I pulled my gown together and put on my, “Oh, what seems to be the matter, dear?” face. She didn’t buy it.
First, she tested my skills. Then she started with the scary stuff. Totally claimed that if I put my baby high up on my chest, he would actually wiggle down and toward my breast, like some sort of African-American garter snake. No thank you. That’s not impressive. That’s reptilian. And racist.
Anyhow, we kept trying, but the problem was his mouth was the size of mouse’s, and she wanted it to be the size of Shaq’s. When I told her my baby was neither Shaq nor a Barry U. PhD, she really got creative. Pulled out a plastic spoon—no joke, like lactation MacGyver. Like Hurry! Give me that Greek yogurt with the tiny wooden spoon. I’ll get a latch out of it before this whole breast blows! So she took the spoon, showed me how to express colostrum and feed it to my sleeping baby.
Oh, the possibilities…now I could nurse anywhere—from the condiment center of a Sbarro’s to the back table of a Cheesecake Factory. And then, she said this. And I didn’t know how to take it. She said, “Oh, wow, you have so much colostrum. Some women try and try for only a drop.”
Gulp. Thank you?
I mean that’s not really something my husband can brag about on the basketball court. He can’t drive to the hole and then be like, “Yeah! All day baby, just like my wife’s colostrum.”
It’s not something he can share during testimony time at church. Like, “I’d foremost like to give honor and glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for out of the desert, he hath brought forth colostrum exceedingly and abundantly.”
He can’t even take my calls during class because of it. Can’t say to his students, “Excuse me, I have to take this call. It could be my wife’s colostrum.”
Anyhow, this is totally a breast-half-empty take on things. The good news is, Eliot has taken a liking to my pump. She begs to push the power button. Only problem is, you know how there are two modes—one that mimics quick sucks and then one that has longer sucks? Well, sometimes instead of allowing me two minutes on level one, she switches to level two right away and sucks me halfway through the breastshield. She thinks this is funny. I think I should numb myself with ice before pumping. Give myself a homemade nip-idural. The other thing she’ll do is wait until my milk is really flowing and then turn the pump off. She thinks this is funny. She has no concept of engorgement, cabbage leaves, or mastitis.
Anyway, I wasn’t going to blog. Because now that I’m out of my cave, folks will think they can start knocking on my door for sugar or milk or flavored cigarettes. And I’m not ready to answer. Not just because I don’t smoke, but because I don’t want everyone putting a face to the name Charlottesville’s Colostrum Queen. I mean, it’s an honor and all, but it makes me blush. And when I blush, my milk starts to drip. And when my milk starts to drip, I have to wear those annoying breast pads. And when I have to stuff my nursing bra with glorified gauze, I suddenly remember that even though I live in my college town, “We’re not in a 20-year-old’s body anymore, Dorothy.”