We are happy to welcome back Angela Mead as our guest blogger. Today, she is sharing her experience with breast feeding. Angi has written for us twice in the past in The Corporate Traveler's Wife and Girls' Night Out Every Night.
So I just spent the last twenty minutes in the steam shower massaging my left...tata. It's not what it sounds like, I swear. You see, I'm one of the millions of new moms out there who've fallen under the spell of "breast is best," and I'm trying in earnest to follow through on breast feeding my daughter who's now three months old. The problem is, my girls are a little, um, overzealous.
I'm not sure if you read my post last week, but in it I mentioned that my baby, Emerson, is a puker. I mean, she pukes up entire puddles of milk every day! You really have no idea until you witness it. In fact, I was visiting the pediatrician for weeks in tears, and twice Emerson puked in front of his nurses. They're all now convinced she's a shoo-in for the next "Exorcist" remake. This, I've discovered, is not because there is something wrong with her. Yes, let's all breathe a sigh of relief. But actually it's what's wrong with me, what I call my bionic boobs.
Unlike many women, I'm what you call an overproducer. From the start, I've made enough milk to supply a small country. As a result, it's like I'm packin' water guns loaded with breast milk 24/7. I can shoot a target a foot or more away. I'm not kidding. My husband can track where I've been over the course of the day by simply noting the spray pattern I leave behind everywhere I go - the bedspread, the remote control, the kitchen counter, a random bookcase - little powdery white specks splayed out on unsuspecting surfaces.
Unfortunately, Emerson is the victim here. The milk shoots down her throat like a fire hose, leaving her choking, gasping, burping, and later puking up the meal I've just served her with the very best intention. You must be thinking, Girl, get yourself to a lactation consultant! Duh! Been there, done that. I honestly think I've stumped the poor woman. I've tried everything from pumping to block feeding to wrapping my breasts in cabbage leaves (Have you heard that one?) in an attempt to calm down my milk supply, but nothing seems to be working.
I'm on the verge of quitting breast feeding. This makes me really sad because I know that, despite the blazing guns, Emerson finds comfort in nursing. She's nestled up against me, warm on a cold night or safe after a painful shot. And I do believe that I'm doing my best for her, yet I feel like I'm failing her. Watching my sweet baby heave up my milk at least once each day makes me sick to my stomach. My pediatrician had me convinced that this was normal newborn behavior, that some babies just have immature systems, but patterns started to emerge that helped me discover the real problem.
I can't tell you how many friends of mine, including my mother (now that was kind of weird), have said to me, "I wish I had had that problem." But I really don't think they do. Right now, for instance, I'm laying in bed with what feels like a normal boob on the right and a cinder block on the left. It's painful, it's wrapped in cabbage (just too hard to explain), and it's leaking through the third breast pad I've shoved in my bra today. And worst of all, at some point I've got to offer this thing up to my daughter to provide her the nutrients she needs to continue to thrive: grow, smile, cuddle, play - - - and it breaks my heart.