Goodbye, breastfeeding

ashley jennett

I sat down to feed Sonny the other day and felt that wave of excitement that comes when you’re close to completing something you set out to do but also couldn’t wait to be over. That much defines my relationship with breastfeeding. And so I’m here today to write about the excitement with being close to done with breastfeeding before we’ve actually called it quits because we all know that if written after-the-fact, it ain’t nothin’ but a hormone induced slide down a slippery slope of sentimental memories of a bobble-headed baby that needed you, only you, desperately in a way that he will never need you again. So, you see, I’m writing this now so that my future self, who’s sure to be drowning in some sort of sea of anguish, has a reminder that it’s okay to move on and it’s okay to celebrate the newfound freedom that comes with not having a child attached to you, and only you, several times throughout the day (and for many, but thankfully not me, night).

Some I-can’t-wait-to-be-done-with-this ramblings:

I can’t wait to get rid of my nursing bras. They’re like glorified sports bras with snaps. For the past month I’ve been wearing an underwire and have been suffering the inconvenience of getting totally undressed to feed him simply so I can have the appearance of well-lifted bosoms.

I won’t miss the time suck that is pumping; especially at this stage in the game when I’m literally taking the same amount of time I was to pump 5oz but only now yielding 1-2oz for the mere purpose of keeping things afloat. All the while, skipping breaks and relying on fellow nurses to care for my patients in addition to their own patients. Oh and getting up extra early to pump before I even leave for work. Not to mention the cleaning and the storing and the lugging shit back-and-forth. I hate pumping. I want to burn everything right down to plastic little valves.

Smelling like maple syrup. Adios, fuck-u-greek.

That feeling that I’m being touched all. the . time. I truly am touched out and am ready to yearn to be touched again instead of shrieking inside every time someone reaches for me.

How about being able to wear a dress that doesn’t have buttons or a a neckline that can be pulled down? A shirt that I prefer tucked in that can, well, stay tucked in.

More even breasts. I mean, thanks leftie, I do appreciate the greater output but really, let’s be fair and practice equality.

“Sonny’s up, you gonna feed him?”. Nope, fucker, you’re turn.

And while I’m all about keeping to a schedule for my own benefit, I mean it’s the only time I get to work with one less distraction, and a substantial one at that, I can’t wait to not be tied to it the way breastfeeding ties me to it… to have to be there for each waking and each put down… no mas.

Date nights with my lovely husband, who I just teasingly called a ‘fucker’ because we love each other like that. But really, nights away, with no (less) guilt and dammit, maybe even a weekend getaway (mom, are you reading this? — my birthday is in July. Friendly reminder). I should also add that there is an inherent stress, in my opinion, put on a relationship when the mother is breastfeeding; it’s a true sacrifice for all involved.

Currently we’re down to just two feedings a day; morning and night. And I no longer feel the sadness that truthfully was tormenting me when I thought of calling it quits before. A reminder to myself to not be forceful in decisions that don’t require force. As we’ve steadily dropped to two feedings, I can feel my milk supply diminishing. The pump is of absolute no use and there are times sweet Sonny’s patience for my let-down gets the best of him and we both throw in the towel before any really gulping takes place. And so, the end is near. I know it, he knows it, and we’re all good with it. In fact, the only real reason I’m holding on at this point is because we’re in Maui and I’m hoping for a miracle on the plane ride back and hoping my magic mother goodness may just do the trick. With a little patience, anyway.

And then, I think* we’ll be done. For good.

And I’ll try not to be sad about it.

Childhood Unplugged

the stork & the beanstalk photograhy

A rather cool Memorial Day spent at my sister’s, celebrating her adorable baby bump and the end of the school year. The boys keeping her yard lush, if you know what I mean. Please join me in supporting the other photographers participating in the Childhood Unplugged movement by clicking here to see all our submissions. You can…

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Portrait Series | May

the stork & the beanstalk photograhythe stork & the beanstalk photograhyA portrait of my family once a month in 2016

Willy: Had to have his side of the bed cropped out of the shot because, well, #men. Also went to Austin for a 4 day long bachelor party which puts me in the worst mood and makes me want to punch the organizer of such in the face.

Hooper: Started wiping his butt after he peed. When I inquired why he was doing so he said, “because we had to leave earlier and I didn’t have time to wipe it real good”. We had left 6 hours prior.

Van: Asked me, while in a very public restroom, why grown ups have hair on their ‘peeps’. Which, to be honest, doesn’t make me skip a beat — it’s the matter-of-fact stuff in parenting, for me, that’s the easy stuff.

Sonny: Was more fussy than usual on Memorial Day when my mom pointed out that he seemed hungry and Willy and I looked at each other and realized we never fed him lunch.

Me: Dyed my hair for, get this, the first time ever. Minus squeezing lemon juice in my hair in high school.

Jimmie: Loves me more than anyone else. This past month more so than usual.