It’s 6:00am. And you don’t even mind that it’s 6:00am because 6:00am is better than 5:00am, and what’s more, your little bundle of joy is— at 6 months— an actual joy now, just as all those pastel-hued and deceptively tranquil Hallmark cards promised.
You’ve gotten through the delivery of said bundle (excruciating), the leaky boobs (mortifying), the round the clock feedings (maddening), the sleep deprivation (homicide-inducing), and the complete and utter panic over things about which you used to be able to think rationally… way back when… before the hormones took over and the #mombrain set in.
But it’s all been worth it, because there’s nothing better than that first smile of the morning. It’s so full of hope— the very picture of innocence— and you find yourself thinking, “This is it. This is joy of motherhood that everyone’s been talking about.”
But then you look down and realize your baby’s smile has nothing to do with you. Nope. Not one bit. Because your little bundle of joy has just discovered that he has (drumroll please…) a PENIS.
So I’ve made it for about 7 months without actually using the Lactation Room on campus, in part because I never got around to filing the paperwork, in part because I still don’t know where the damn thing is, and in part because when you’re carrying three bags already as it is, it’s easier to just pump in a closet before your classes begin (and then again in the car after they’re done).
But at the end of the semester I had to stay late on campus to attend a student concert, and I had to pump, and I couldn’t pump in my usual closet, so went to HR a full three days ahead of time and asked for the paperwork for the pump room.
Except no one knew what I meant by “pump room” (even though I had seen a room with that very designation printed on the door just outside the library) and I couldn’t remember any of the more workplace appropriate euphemisms for “my boobs are leaking” (i.e. “lactation”) so I stood there just suggesting related terminology— nursing? breastfeeding? BABY???— until someone figured out what I was talking about and hurried me into an office down the hall.
I received a form to fill out and a lukewarm assurance that my swipe card would now give me access to the official Lactation Room, and that said suite was located somewhere nearby in an adjoining wing.
To be continued…
A few weeks into our “breastfeeding journey,” some 9 or 10 months ago now, I find out there’s a form I need to fill out and file with my university’s HR department to gain access to the “Lactation Room” on campus.
I’m in a bit of a mood so I can’t help but wonder “What sort of fascist BS is this?” Unless of course the “Lactation Room” is super swanky with massage chairs, a swim up bar, and free artisanal coffee; then I am fine with filling out a form.
But somehow I doubt this.
Also? The form does not say where said “Lactation Room” is located so I guess when the day comes I’m just gonna have to keep my eyes peeled for another engorged looking professor and find some non-awkward way of saying, “Excuse me, can you take me to the place where we whip out the boobs?”
But it will be cool in the end because she’ll take me under her wing and teach me secret to creating a meaningful work/life balance and I’ll have a new BFF and our kids will marry each other someday and on their wedding day we’ll laugh and say how it all began when we were pumping breast milk in the Lactation Room.
There’s a reason you should never throw away your heart-shaped, eco-friendly, reusable bamboo nursing pads: because someday your kid will celebrate his first Valentine’s Day and you’ll want him to have a Valentine’s outfit, and you’ll need a quick way to cover up the penguin on his Christmas sweater…
Also you’ll want to sew them as opposed to glue them because this will allow you to remove and eventually destroy the evidence, or else your kid’s gonna make you pay for his therapy someday.
Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂
That feeling when you’re trying to fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans but they don’t quite share your enthusiasm…
It’s April, about 48 hours since our kid was born and admitted to the NICU, and I am finally feeling well enough to shuffle down the hall to the shower on my own.
I am going to enjoy this shower.
I might even wash my hair.
To ensure an optimal mood-boosting atmosphere, I balance my iPhone on the edge of the sink and set my playlist to shuffle. I’m greeted by the transcendent vocal talents of Jessie J., Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj.
If you know their 2014 hit Bang Bang, you’ll wonder why on earth it’s on my playlist. I don’t have a good answer.
If you don’t, just picture a lot of pink and leopard print and “hairography.” Plus Nicki Minaj arriving on a helicopter halfway through the song to lend Ariana Grande (America’s whitest rapper, who spends most of the music video rolling around on a bed in patent leather stilettos) some street cred.
The problem with Bang Bang is that it’s a bit infectious, and whenever I hear it, I can’t help but start bopping around. Now is no exception, even in all my postpartum, carefully-clutching-the-handicapped-safety-rail sexiness.
Then comes the line, “She’s got a booty like a Cadillac” and I can’t help but wonder: what does this mean? I mean, I get the double entendre of the “Bang Bang” motif that runs through the song (“Bang bang into the room/I know you want it/Bang bang all over you/I’ll let you have it”) but “a booty like a Cadillac?”
What exactly makes a booty Cadillac-like?
Is it big?
It is shiny?
Flanked by headlights?
I don’t know. I know only that my booty is likely the least Cadillac-like that it has ever been in my life.
In the early days of breastfeeding, establishing a “good latch” is kind of like refueling a spaceship in midair: it’s a team effort, and everything has to line up just so, at exactly the right moment, and if you get it right, you save the day and everyone cheers.
The only difference is that the spaceship in this scenario doesn’t understand basic physics and has tiny but surprisingly strong hands that do EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER to prevent the fuel from reaching its intended target.
The fuel itself is also a bit temperamental and cannot be trusted. Instead of flowing with a nice, steady pressure at the touch of a button, it leaks out in spurts and streams without any apparent rhyme or reason, and the fuel tank on the left gets jealous if the fuel tank on the right gets emptied first. It decides to join the party, and shouts, “Look, I have fuel too!” And then it demonstrates: clothing, bed sheets, and strategically placed burp cloths be damned.
The worst part is that with breastfeeding, no one actually cheers when a successful refueling takes place. And even though it might comprise a pivotal, climactic plot point in a blockbuster space odyssey, it’s just business as usual when the spaceship is a baby, and you’ve got to do it again in like 90 minutes anyway…
He slept for 5 hours! And then another 4!
We’re just a month in when it happens for the first time and I could shout from the rooftops but I tell myself to keep it cool because if I walk into Mom Group all “Heyyyyy bitches! Guess whose 4-week old only woke up ONCE during the night???” I’m probably going to incur some karmic retribution for bragging.
Plus I’ll look stupid and everyone will stare at me because I can’t actually pull off walking into a room and saying “Heyyyyy bitches!” to anyone, let alone Mom Group…