Sunday, September 14, 2014


When I first started hanging out seriously with Heather, I'd look at her out of the corner of my eye sometimes while we were watching TV, or shiver when we snuggled.  I couldn't believe that I got to be with this fantastic person and that she had picked me to do it.  I felt lucky to be with her and amazed that she wanted me around.

She's a f*cking catch, you guys.
But it's been nearly six years now.  You get used to even the most fabulous traits over time: "Yes, I love your smile, I love your dry humor, I think you're a sexy b*tch, and you're a very caring partner, but for Christ's sake can you stop using the good knives to open boxes?"  Heather's delight at my sweetness and wit, I suspect, is balanced by repulsion at my habit of drinking milk out of the carton.

It's just better that way.

Evie sleeping
The boob bible, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, sets a pretty high bar.  You want me not just to breastfeed, but to do it artfully?  Like it's supposed to be some kind of sacred, transcendent experience.  And, every now and again, it is.  I look down and see Evie just lost, mindless, absorbed in eating, as though nuzzling against me is a profound comfort in her confusing new life.  Sometimes she'll lay her hand on my breast as she nurses, with her long fingers all splayed out.  Or she'll doze off, resting her sweet face against me.

Sometimes, though...  Sometimes I feel like I'm nailed in place, sitting or lying motionless for upwards of 10 minutes, trying not to cough or speak in case it distracts her.   I can't reach for the remote or my phone if I didn't park one or the other next to me when I sat down.  Sometimes I'm half-sliding out of the bed while she nurses at night.  When my body is stiff and Evie is sucking ferociously, I'm overwhelmed with an impulse to tug her off, set her down, and run.  I have to ball up my fists to fight the urge.

The thing about spending years trying to get pregnant is, you feel like you need to soak up every second with your baby.  And when you've struggled with breastfeeding, each nursing session should be moving, a chance to bond with your little one.  Right?

I mean, that's the old party line: Treasure every moment.  It goes by so fast.  I agree-- it goes by fast.  But some moments are just mind-numbingly boring, or frustrating, or painful.  I don't have it in me to feel cozy about my exhausted nipples chafing against the softest fabrics.   My tailbone hurts from the times Evie could only sleep on my lap after nursing.  My lower back hurts from lifting Evie into and out of her bed for 2am, 4am, and 6am feedings; and from her godforsaken 16-pound car seat.

She clutched at my face, giggling as I pretended to eat her fingers... then screamed when I put her down to sleep.  Treasure every moment!

No comments:

Post a Comment