Lucas, with a serious case of gas
I’m a lactivist, but I’d never make another woman feel bad about her choice not to breastfeed her children. My pediatrician admitted that even with over 20 years experience, he cannot tell the difference between children who are breastfed and those who are not. And why would anyone want to make a new mother feel anything but resplendent? I don’t understand the moms bashing moms movement one bit. It’s a big flabby case of "I know you are, but what am I?" And while breastfeeding is overwhelmingly recommended as a benefit to children, and has also been linked to a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer for mom, people are still making a fuss against it if it’s happening in their face, coughing up lines about "overexposure" despite the specialty clothing, tanks, and shawls. "Get a room," they insist, and by "room" they mean "bathroom." I won’t touch a handle in a public bathroom, and you want me to FEED my children there? Now, who’s the sick one?
I still cannot get over "a friend" of mine–with whom I no longer speak, and no, not over this issue–who was completely disgusted by breastfeeding women. Not a mother herself, she had attended a luncheon and one woman, as she put it, "just whipped it out at the table! In a restaurant!" Big fucking deal, you priss. You dress in designer European shoes and covet anything Parisian, yet you’re an American when it comes to your body and your beliefs. "I mean, as natural as it might be," she continued, "so is taking a dump, but I wouldn’t do that at the table." Then she went back to consuming her French lentils. I hate people like this and wish them a lifetime of lipstick on their teeth. Woman can breastfeed without making a spectacle of themselves. You "set it and forget it" like a roaster. What’s the big fucking deal? Nursing twins, tandem, however isn’t the, um, most graceful thing in public, but it certainly won’t stop me if my children are hungry. I can’t fucking wait, actually, until someone dare give me a hard time about it. It’s not my fault they were raised in an uptight household where breastfeeding wasn’t the norm. *My mother didn’t breastfeed, but I still know there’s a place for evolution in our lives, room for primal needs. Everything in this world doesn’t need to be stamped with approval and anesthetized.
Fact: in most states, a mother can breastfeed her child wherever she is allowed to be, public or private. At a restaurant, in the lobby of The Pierre Hotel, in the Neiman Marcus shoe salon, on a bus, or in a boat, she can even breastfeed on a moat (though where’s a good moat when you need one?). To my dismay, I recently read that a woman and her family were removed from an airplane flight because she was breastfeeding. Not to mention Barbara Walter’s mentioning how uncomfortable it made her to sit beside a nursing mother on a flight. Thankfully, breastfeeding mothers are excluded from disorderly conduct laws in most states. "A mother may breastfeed her child in any public or private location where she is otherwise authorized to be, regardless of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during, or incidental to, the breastfeeding." Despite the law, we’re still some kind of puritanical society, up to our crotches in prude. Breasts aren’t just for lewd YouTube movies, and take it from me, the last thing anyone is thinking when they get a gander of my breastfeeding boobs is sex. If anything, they’re thinking, "get thee to an episode of Nip Tuck, stat." And it goes without saying that most breastfeeding mothers don’t try to be in your face with the goods. Nursing tanks, tops, and shawls aside, Americans are still packed with priss about titty, and it’s a pitty.
What’s happening lately?
I’ve been force-feeding them milk, like baby veal. While I had my fill of experienced lactation consultants while at St. David’s Hospital, I still need help. I’ve been pumping for over two months now, and I’m still having trouble. I’m bringing in a lactation consultant this weekend to hopefully shape things up. I’ve been using a breast shield, a thin piece of silicone placed over my nipple, to both protect my nipples, and because when I don’t wear it, Abigail gets mighty pissed. "Where’s your goddamn nipple?" she says. Yes, she’s way advanced. I stuff as much of my nipple as I can in there, and she continues to root, insisting that cannot be it. There has to be more. But with the nipple shield in place, she’s content, because it’s hard, like a bottle nipple, and she can feel it on the roof of her mouth. We’re both getting frustrated, but I’ve made it this far. I refuse to give up.