Booby Trapped

Monday, February 23, 2009

Nursing didn't come easy to me the first time around. Or the second. Here I am, round three and: Lo and behold, a minor miracle, it isn't as bad as before...! Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the whole practice or in line with the idea that breastfeeding is this whole wonderful bonding experience...but I'll take it. Basically I am glad that (TMI to follow this parenthetical) my breasts are not oozing blood this time around, so...

But still--no matter how much "easier" it is, relatively, than before, it is still mind-boggling to me how much time I will spend doing it. Most of you know the drill: For the next few months, I will nurse this little baby every 3 hours, for an average of 30 minutes at a time. Not to belabor the point but think about it--that means if I do one feeding at, say, noon; by the time I am done it is 12:30; by the time she is burped, diapered etc., is is likely closer to 1. Then--two hours later, at the most, it is time to do it again. And there is no rest for the weary: No recession is going to impact this 24-hour-a-day job.

I have friends who look back on nursing with pie-eyes and memories of hour after hour of blissfully gazing at their newborn, imagining who she will become, how she will grow up, what their lives will be like as she grows. For whatever reason that has never been me. Even this time around, with the knowledge that such behavior is possible, I can focus on those sorts of thoughts for a maximum--an absolute maximum--of about 32 seconds. That leaves approximately 29 minutes and 28 seconds each feeding that I have to figure out other things to think about.

So here are some of the Random Thoughts I Have Had in My First Week of Round-the-Clock Nursing:

-Why are the "most natural things in the world"--pregnancy, labor, childbirth, breastfeeding come to mind--the most painful?

-How odd is it that so many rites of passage are connected with our boobs. Getting them; puberty; getting a first bra; the first time they are touched; giving them to your husband; giving them to your baby.

-Where does the expression "booby trapped" come from? What does it mean??

-Who made up the words for all the colors? Like, did a caveman see fire and make up the word "red" or "blue"? How did the caveman come up with that?

-I wonder if panjiri really works?

-Poor Frieda Pinto's husband.

-Am I the only one who finds the word "tits" offensive? I don't even know why but hearing the word makes my hair stand up. (I know that if certain people are reading this they will now find a way to incorporate the word into every single conversation we ever have...just beware: I am coming up with an appropriate counter-strategy as we speak, or nurse as the case may be...)

-Am I the only one who thinks it counts as saving money when you add tons of stuff to your cart on then close your window without purchasing? (Note to husband: This is rhetorical, please allow me my delusional sources of pride).

-It really is different to be gazing down at a girl, as opposed to a boy. Sure it may be in my head, but what thoughts do we have to go on besides the ones in our head. Our heads are our worlds no?

-Three kids is hard.

-What's the difference between "sound editing" and "sound mixing"?

-What's that drug they gave me? Before the epidural? Fentenol? That was fun.

-Did D ever smell like popcorn? S smells sort of like popcorn right now.

-Thank you whoever invented Lanolin.

-...Who will she become?

-...How will she grow up?

-...What will our lives be like?
Ratna said...

Haha hang in there as you know you are doing the best thing you possibly can for your new baby!

Anonymous said...

Wow is that true about Frieda Pinto??? I bet it is exaggerated?

Shona said...

I actually asked the same question about sound mixing and editing last night. But I wasnt nursing. Thank god.

Anonymous said...


Hang in there - nursing round the clock is one big task. Take care of yourself, eat well, drink lots of fluids and rest when the baby rests (I know with 3 kids that may not be easy but try).

And girls rock! Just last night when my 5 year old was practicing her dance performance along with 15 other lovely girls I had the same thoughts. What will she be - oh she is so beautiful in that lehenga... she will soon grow up and we will be friends... all my memories of growing up as a young girl came by so fast.

She is growing up so fast now, I already worry about missing her when she grows up and moves to college etc! It is ironic the way things are - now that she is so much more independent time seems to be flying, yet as my 2 year old is always still clingy - time is proceeding sooo slowly.

Nurser said...

I actually was one of the people in my friend circle who really did enjoy nursind and im not going to lie i miss it! That sweet look they get at the end of a session, knowing i am providing for them. I loved it. Plus so convenient!!

J.D. said...

Hats off lady, three kids, nursing, writing a blog. Isn't easy but hang in there! I have 3 kids as well and what they say is true: The first 2 years are, um, not the easiest. But then you can't even imagine how amazing life is!! (Especially when the nursing is over!)

S.K.P. said...

Hahaha man I wish I had read this before I had my now 9 month old, I seriously thought something was wrong with me that I wasn't all glowing with pride or bonding or whatever with the nursing. I actually started to resent the little peanut. All is better now. But it was a tough couple months. "If I only knew then what I know now" I guess!

Anonymous said...

Right there with you on the "tits" issue. It just sounds like they are such lewd objects, at least to me. Also it's the context in which that particular word is used--usually in situations where women are being dehumanized, objectified and lots of other big words. End of the day there are many many things we can call our breasts and that particular one is not on my list.

Radman said...

I am better off not making a comment.

Nimisha said...

Oh jeez, I always think I "save money" when I refrain on something. My husband calls it "Nimisha Math"! But he does the same thing, he just doesn't admit it.

sarah said...

Deepa - Congratulations on the baby and keep up the great writing (I assume you are typing with one hand frequently).

Anonymous said...

I can remember when I mastered the one-handed pecking on the computer. Or, came close to mastering. Liberation! Keep writing please, love the blog!

Ina said...

NO WAY re: Frieda?!?!? Any thoughts on all the SM hoopla, Deepa??

Jasmine said...

I can completely relate to this. The mix of awe and wanting to pull your hair out while nursing. It's something that bonds all new moms I think, something that makes the experience universal. You never really forget it.

C.K. said...

ok i wish i was having thoughts as "complex"! haha. i am currently nursing m 3 month old (my first baby) and all i can focus on is the clock, and when i will be done! at first i felt guilty about not feeling that rush of bonding or whatever but i think i realize now that for me the bonding will come later and that i am doing this because i know it will be good for my baby.

Anonymous said...

I really liked nursing! I didn't expect to, I will admit--most of my friends said things very similar to you so maybe a good thing, I had very low expectations for it. It also helped that it came pretty naturally for me. But I definitely did feel the bonding that so many people talk about and I cried when I eventually weaned my little one so that I could return to work. I am not sure I will ever feel that close with her again.

katwa said...

-Fentanyl patch? an opioid :) sounds like fun
I hope panjiri works, I have never breastfed but I LOVE IT !! here is a recipe (btw manjula is awesome)

You are awesome too, keep it up :) good luck with the kids

Anonymous said...

I still remember my wife going crazy about her breast being glued to our son during the first few months he was born. But breast-feeding is good for the baby - she will be smarter thanks to you. ;)
Also, I think it's great you still have such a sense of humor (I'm sure you're exhausted with 2 older kids and the new one). This post had me laughing out loud multiple times.

Archana said...

Oh how I hate breastfeeding, but I'm nearing the 6 month mark and I know it's better for the baby... glad to hear it's easier the third time around! Keep up the good work, mommy!

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