We sit in the doctor’s office for yet another yearly check-up. As my eyes sweep the small examination room, I wonder if I will ever NOT think about how this room must have been built in 1982, what with its faux wood paneling.
“Mom,” my lanky eleven-year-old says. “Remember?”
Smiling, he then smacks his lips slowly, over and over.
My chest automatically tenses as I remember. I try to laugh, because one day I had found it funny enough to tell him. But here, in the same examination room I had visited so many times in the first weeks of his life, my body rejects laughter.
Much like my body had rejected my baby, my son, so many years before.
I know my son would rather I not reveal this to the world, but he kicked my a** when I tried to breastfeed him!
The lip smacking was the sound he used to make from his crib, usually within 30 minutes of his last feeding. My husband and I used to call him Jaws. How could someone who had just eaten be hungry again? How could someone who was eating all the time not be gaining weight? I fed him for up to 45 minutes a pop. It sounds ridiculous all these years later, but then, as someone who never breastfed before, I fed him that long. He wasn’t going to sleep in those 45 minutes, he was actively sucking.
How was I supposed to keep feeding him when my boobs, my nipples, were about to fall off from pain? I used to joke that I should just hack them off and hand them to the kid.
My pediatrician, the same one we still see every year, was kind, but puzzled. It took nearly a month to figure out why Jaws was Jaws.
The cause? I’ll try and sum it up simply. I guess my son had a physiologically small mouth. And I guess I have physiologically giant nipples (now he, my daughter, my husband, and everyone else I know wishes I hadn’t revealed THAT!). He would latch on, and I would let down, but the whole she-bang wasn’t working enough for me let down the fatty, weight-gaining hindmilk. We enrolled (I’m not kidding, I wish I was) in a type of breastfeeding boot camp with timed feedings, syringe feedings, pumping, etc.
This whole scenario was NOT in the “What to Expect” book!
Back to the present day, our pediatrician knows all about Jaws, too. When he starts smacking his lips, she looks at me horrified.
Our eyes catch, I’m still clutching my chest, and then I laugh. She laughs, too. She pronounces, just as every year before, that my nipples were the worst she’d ever seen in all her years of practice. And that’s something right? That I survived, that my son and I made it, and that despite his feeding start, he’s now so tall and handsome.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. The hosts are Finding Ninee, Kelly L McKenzie, Stephanie at Mommy, For Real and Anna at fitrunner.com. Today’s prompt was “I know my child would rather I not reveal this but…”
What would your child rather you not reveal? Or, how did breastfeeding go in your neck of the woods?