It used to be I couldn't see my feet because of my belly. Now I can't see them because of my boobs.
This whole breastfeeding thing? It apparently doesn't come naturally to me. Why this should be a surprise when I could neither get pregnant nor give birth without modern medicine, I don't know. But there it is. That's my big struggle right now.
It's not the milk production. Trust me, that is not the problem. It takes one look at all the milk stains all over whatever shirt I'm wearing these past two weeks to put that theory to rest. Gah, no one ever tells you in all this Breast is Best madness what an absolute mess you're going to make. Maybe not everyone. Maybe just me. But dude, just, everywhere. I can't hold my son without, say, Rightie saying, "Now? We're doing this now????" very clearly and wetly--through whatever kind of nursing pads, layers of tank tops, and maybe a jacket. And then Leftie joins in--such a follower. Wannabe. And there I am, with a sleeping son that I half pray sleeps longer and half pray wakes up soon so my poor rock hard boobs can finally get some relief, and two giant wet rorsarch tests blooming down the front of my shirt that smell faintly of sour milk.
I'm hot like that.
I'm told this is a blessing, and really, I'm sure it is, this over-abundance of milk. And I'll believe it, as soon as I can channel these powers for good. In the meantime, I can only leave the house in short fifteen minute bursts but only if I bring a spare shirt in case I suddenly need to put on an extra (dry) layer while in the middle of Target.
So, yeah, it's not the production. It's more the pain. I don't know if I have an extremely low pain tolerance (possible) or Howie has the power to suck dimples of a golf ball (possible) or both or something else entirely. All I know is that I don't feel comfortable breastfeeding in front of anyone because the grimaces I make and the whimpering that comes out of my throat while trying to line the whole thing up are mildly embarassing.
It's interesting, how breastfeeding is treated. Portland is a rough town for those who don't come to it like ducks to water. It's the town with the highest percentage of breast feeders, and it also hold the record for the longest average length of breastfeeding. There's a huge unspoken--and sometimes spoken--pressure to be part of the majority here. Don't get me wrong, I agree that breast milk is the best for my son, and I want him to have the best, but how many lactation consultants do I need to see before I am allowed to say the pain is too much? What if things don't get better after a month, as everyone has promised me (well, hoped for me)?
Things have started getting better on the pain front. Today was a good day. Yesterday, though--not so much. So we'll take it as it comes, and see what happens. I'd like to start not leaking through my breast pads, for a start--leaving the house for extended periods might help my sanity.