Goodbye, electric boob sucker. Goodbye.
Despite Luki making it look like our family belonged on the next season of SuperNanny at his doctor’s appointment last week, Ton Ton and I managed to talk over his screams and succeeded in asking the pediatrician a few pressing questions.
My husband wanted to know if it’s safe for the baby to swim in the ocean when we go on vacation in a couple of weeks; if it’s normal for our one-toothed nine month old to rip through the flesh of entire mangoes; and if, at some point his life, his son will ever say da-da. (Ton Ton seems to be a little bit jealous because the only word Luki has said thus far is MAMA and I rub it in every chance I get. However, I believe I have the right to gloat after the twelve hours of labor that culminated in a child who — according to all our friends — looks exactly like his father.)
I, on the other hand, only wanted to ask the doctor one thing:
Can I stop exposing my boobs at work?
To be fair, I must admit that I’ve been incredibly lucky with this whole breastfeeding thing. I have friends and I’ve read dozens of stories about women who, despite their best efforts, can’t produce enough milk to satisfy their babies. Fortunately, we did not have that problem. When Luki was a newborn, he used to drink so much breast milk that we had to make sure he had a designated driver every time he visited the boob bar. Drinking and driving is not something we advocate in this family!
I also want to clarify that I love breastfeeding. I think it’s awesome that my body can produce the perfect food for my child and, most importantly, that it doesn’t cost me a single penny. However, I absolutely hate having my breasts squeezed by an electric pump.
In this country, where maternity leave in non-existent, I had to return to work three months after Luki was born. Ever since then, I’ve been milking myself in the office.
It is an uncomfortable experience, to say the least. Even though I close my office door and put up a sign with a cute picture of a cow on it, my boss always needs to talk to me about something crucially important while I’m in the middle of lactating. If I don’t get a knock on my door, then the phone rings, or I receive an urgent email and then have to figure out how to respond without getting drops of milk on my keyboard. Needless to say, my office supplies don’t always emerge unscathed.
The whole thing’s exhausting.
So, you can imagine my excitement when the doctor gave the OK for me to stop pumping. Luki is eating solids like a champ, so it’s fine for me to just nurse him in the morning and in the late afternoon and evening after I come home from work.
I am thrilled about not having to work topless any longer, and yet… I’ve also come to the realization that this is the beginning of the end of my breastfeeding relationship. When Luki turns one, he’ll be able to drink cow’s milk and will no longer depend on me — or at least on my body — for his nourishment.
My baby is well on his way to toddlerhood and that notion is very disconcerting.
The only thing that comforts me is the fact that, at least for now, his vocabulary is limited to the greatest name I’ve ever been called:
Isn’t that right, Ton Ton?