of breastfeeding for an extended period of time. An entire month of having a baby dangling off my chest seemed like an unfair monopolization of my time – and my nipples.
Fast forward to expression day. Not birth-day, ‘cause nothing really exciting happens booby-wise on THAT day - or for the next couple of days. But on E-day (“E” as in “expressing” as in “expressing milk”), my average-sized rack of mammary potential f-l-o-o-d-e-d, in an instant, into football-sized vessels containing enough liquid nutrition to cure all starvation of at least two villages, squirting thread-thin streams of milk in all directions at any given time far, far across a room and it HURT LIKE HELL. And here’s the kicker (yeah, that wasn’t it) – the only real relief was the steel-trap jaws of an infant, which also, lemme tell ya, didn’t tickle. I had props, ready within in reach of any possible seat in the house – props for gripping - before that baby latched on. “Latch” is the proper term and truly an accurate description.
Fast forward now, just one week later. It is the one and only miracle I have ever experienced in my life. Yes, that includes getting pregnant (I dare you to find someone who can honestly make the mental leap of how such bliss leads to a baby) and having the baby (why, oh why, hasn’t evolution streamlined that process). My miracle is that one glorious day when all pain ceased. Just like that; like a miracle. And it was so good I don’t need another miracle, ever. I became the breastfeeding champion. I have the pictures to prove it.
Fast forward again. Three and a half years later. No lie. I couldn’t fathom a month of
booby-duty and I became a veteran. I am not here to tell you about all the benefits of prolonged nursing. I am not here to say anything about nursing, really. I don’t care whether or not other women do it, how long they do it, or where they do it. It’s not my business and for shit-sure it ain’t yours. What I am here to talk about is how to make it stop.
By waiting to wean, my child and I could disconnect without trauma. No tears, no
screaming, no hitting, no pacifiers, and no thumb-sucking. That’s right – I said “no
pacifiers” and no “thumb-sucking.” Find another method to promise you that! Well, I can. And here’s how: a loving conversation over a cup of coffee and cigarettes. Decaf coffee, that is. I care. And after just a few tries, her little fingers flew across the lighter wheel with ease and no more burns! We laughed and laughed, passing that cigarette back and forth. The memory of that day still fondly comes up during dinner time conversation, “Remember the time . . . ?” Yes, (cough) yes I do.