Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Boobology 101

During my pregnancy the one thing that was important to me is that I had no expectations. I’m a Type A. I like plans and structure and control. But the one thing I heard about child birth and motherhood from talking to others is that sometimes things are out of your control. Ideally I wanted to give birth without an epidural. Ideally I wanted to breastfeed my baby. But most of all, I did not want to feel like a failure if either of these things were not possible, and so my mantra was “no expectations”.

I’m happy to say that so far I’ve been able to do both. As you know, there was no time for an epidural. Shit, there was no time for an IV! And Keaton learned to latch and breastfeed without much difficulty. Sure, he still gets frantic at times but overall the learning process for him was relatively quick.

My learning process, on the other hand, has taken a little longer. Who knew there was so much to learn about your boobs!

A list of things ma boobs have taught me, in no particular order:

1) The first time you find yourself engorged you’ll wonder what the hell God was thinking when he planned this.
2) Riding in a car while engorged will make you whimper like a little girl.
3) Seriously, who is in charge of the roads in this town – do you think you could do something about all the pot holes (see # 2 above).
4) While engorged you may find yourself digging through the freezer for anything, anything, you could put on your chest. A bag of hash browns might not work so well. Next time try peas or corn.
5) Watching your nipple being stretched to an ungodly length through a breast pump will make you cringe. But you’ll suck it up because, dude, walking is becoming uncomfortable (see # 1 and # 2 above).
6) The first time you pump your engorged breast may result in a euphoric experience. While on this high you may walk around the house with your bra hanging out the bottom of your sweatshirt. When you have company. (Sorry April & Josh!)
7) Leakage.
8) A whole lot of leakage.
9) Did you know you could leak through your bra, a t-shirt, AND a sweatshirt? That is THREE layers!!!
10) One package of 3 sets of reusable breast pads will not be enough.
11) Two packages (6 sets) isn’t really enough.
12) Neither is 4 nursing bras/tanks – because crap, you go through at least 2 a day.
13) When your baby cries your boobs will hurt.
14) Like really hurt. Like, Holy God I need to release this right this second, hurt.
15) Hearing a baby cry on tv may result in the same experience.
16) If your baby pulls off the nipple mid suck your milk will not necessarily know to shut off and it may spray your baby just like a water gun, soaking his face, neck, or onesie. Or all three.
17) When your baby is nursing on your left boob your right boob may get jealous and start to leak. A lot.
18) Like a lot. A lot.

With that I will leave you with a story that may or may not have happened to me.

It was a lovely Saturday night and a young couple with a new baby were settling in to watch a movie. The only problem was the girl had found her breasts were quite engorged. The engorgement was starting to cause some pain and she was afraid that concentrating on a movie under these circumstances might not be easy. Lucky for her she had purchased a great breast pump. After hooking up the pump and making herself cozy on the couch she decided the easiest way to do this would be to just take off all her clothes from the waist up, after all, it was only her and her husband home, there was no need to be discreet. Instead of hooking up two pumps she thought it would be just as easy to pump one breast at a time – while the other hung free, flapping in the wind.

After getting the left breast hooked up, the girl cranked the pump up to level 7 and sat back to enjoy a little tv. Errrch….errrch….errch….the pump went. Things started off good, great even, but at about the 3 minute mark something went wrong. Could it be that the pump was leaking? No. No the pump was fine. Did she spill a drink in her lap? No. No drink was spilled. What is going on then??

Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!! Her right boob, it sprung a leak!!! Breast milk was pouring out of it and running down her chest, down her stomach, and pooling on her lap. Dude! She yelled at her unexpecting husband, Help me!

The girl held onto the pump with one hand as it continued to work its magic on her left boob errrch…errrrch…errrrch…and stood up frantically looking for something, anything to stop the leakage from her right boob. He husband, thoroughly amused, whipped a receiving blanket across the room and she plugged the leak as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately it was not before her pants were soaked through to the skin and the couch was wet. And this, my friends, is how she learned of #17. And # 18.


amanda said...

Impressive! Was the C cup worth it??? Just kidding! I love your stories! Keep 'em coming!

Kim said...

Fabulous story! I love your honesty and humor about it! I have been there myself!

Aubrey said...

Oh, I'd forgotten all of these things. I was a big fan of the Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads. With Mags and Gabe I was able to use the reusable ones, but NOT Arlington. I also found that when I would start nursing on one side, I would have to place the arm on the opposite side over that other breast and add lots of pressure to slow down the leaking. It worked lots of the time. I also became a big believer in lanolin when I was so raw from the leaking and everything.

I also found children's books and music got me flowing. UGH! Did you see my cabbage leaf comment from yesterday? Were we just on the same page or what???

Rachel said...

Completely on the mark...glad you are taking it all in stride and with humor.

samantha jo campen said...

You're not kidding about the euphoric experience. After I would nurse or pump after being 'full' I would literally walk around for a bit feeling stoned.

Andrew Ryne said...

You're so funny - I hope you were atleast warned except noone understands until they are in that moment. Have you sprayed in the shower yet????

Sarah Patten said...

Kate. You summed it all up completely! I have experienced all that you mentioned. We weren't watching a movie when it happened, but serouisly I have leaked and still continue to leak when nursing. Lol. You are hillarious.

BJohnsons in the square said...

We are approaching 6 months of living Boobology day in and day out. So not sure if that means we are entering "107"? I never thought that seeing a woman topless would be so blasé. The neighbors probably think the same by now as well by now:) Warn Collin to protect himself the first time he has to dispose of liquid gold for any reason even if it's simply because the baby won't eat or knocks it over or for absolutely any reason... I'm still recovering from the beating I got after the first waste.

Kristin C. said...

Glad to know all of these lovey little Booby Factoids.

keep 'em coming.

Gail said...

Haha! Though I think I now know more about your boobs than I ever knew about my own...

Kate said...

Amanda - good point - it's all worth if for the C cup!

Aubrey - I got your comment about the cabbage leafs as I was typing this. I couldn't beleive it - are we psychic or what? By the way, I've been using the other hand pressure thing and that helps. Thanks!

Kelly - I sprayed in the shower yesterday!! I was so excited, I've heard about this but up until yesterday it hadn't happened. That was pretty cool. :)

Ryan - our neighbors have surely gotten a show too! We weren't quite ready for Keaton to arrive and the curtains weren't up yet when we got home from the hospital. Collin asked if I should turn the light off before walking around topless but dude, I was in pain, I do not care about a little neighbor show right now!