Thursday, December 13, 2007

a memory

A little over four years ago the Sergeant and I met our sweet little niece for the first time. We lived in California when she was born and didn't move back to Michigan until she was about two and a half months old. This was just before we started the seemingly endless (and seemingly hopeless) task of trying to have a baby, and I was smitten by the little one. I think the Sergeant was, too.

On the drive home we were chatting about babies (well, I was chatting, the Sergeant was mostly listening, adding his two cents every now and then...) and I mentioned something about breastfeeding.

The Sergeant got very quiet, opened his mouth to speak a few times, and finally said, in a very careful tone, "Are you going to be able to breastfeed?"

I was confused. "Of course! Why wouldn't I?"

Even more carefully this time, "'re not...very...big."*

I sputtered a bit, then burst into laughter.

Finally I calmed down enough to explain to him that "size doesn't matter," that "I'm not producing milk now, but I'll make plenty of milk if we have a baby," and "I'll get bigger then."

The Sergeant was a little embarrassed and worried that he'd insulted me, which I assured him he hadn't. And then I laughed some more, because it really was funny.**

That story always makes me laugh. But something reminded me of it yesterday, and I laughed, and then I realized that I was wrong. I didn't make plenty of milk. I know it has nothing to do with my breast size, just some strangeness that made me unable to nurse for longer than three months. But still...without knowing it, in a sideways sort of way, I guess the Sergeant was right.

I don't feel guilty about not nursing anymore. I did for a long time, (when I wrote this post a month ago I was still feeling guilty) but looking at the Little Mister's bright eyes and smiling face I know I did the right thing when I gave him formula. I still feel a little sad sometimes, but I think that's normal, and okay. And when I see the excitement all over his chubby little face when I feed him plums or avocado, I know I don't have to worry about food anymore.

*He was not being rude, nor was he exaggerating. Pre-pregnancy I was quite small. "Nearly A." Since the Little Mister I'm a slightly happier "B." Happier not because of bigger breasts, I don't care a scrap about that. Happier because bra shopping is a lot easier when you're looking for size B instead of size "nearly A." :)

**To my dear, sweet Sergeant: I'm not making fun of you. Really. To me it was a silly question because I'd spent quite a bit of time with pregnant women and nursing mothers. Plus, being a woman, I knew a bit about how my body works, at least in theory. To you it was a serious question, because you don't go out of your way to have deep question-and-answer periods about breastfeeding. Well, you didn't until I got pregnant, anyway. :) I love you...


  1. oh the joys of pregnancy, getting bigger, lol. I guess that is one good lasting result of having a baby.

  2. Beware -- they lose that interest in avocado. It is very sad...

    I breastfed two kids, and my tatas got SMALLER afterwards. SMALLER. And saggy, too, I might add. Bra shopping is considerably more challenging nowadays.

  3. He he he. That is actually a very sweet story.
    And Emily, I'm right there with ya. Smaller and saggier. Humphf.

  4. That is a very cute story, and you tell it in such a loving way. Your hubster sounds so sweet.

    I was terrible at nursing both children. Not enough milk -- it is what it is.

    Heidi :)

  5. Cute story. I understand the problem with bra shopping. I have the exact same issue as you. After I stopped nursing my daughter, they went back to the same size. We'll see what happens this time.

  6. Bra shopping is just a stinker :)

  7. that is a funny story.

    and so glad you're over the guilt.

  8. What a cute story. Thanks for sharing. Kellan

  9. Well I was --ahem--quite small too pre-pregnancy and things didn't work out with nursing my first. I don't think size had anything to do with it either, but I remember thinking it might at the time. It's easier with the second one, who I went on to breastfeed until she was 21 months!

    I think The Sergeant's question was sweet!

  10. I was fairly small pre-pregnancy ("nearly B") but luckily was able to nurse 3 babies (the last two well past 18 months) with no trouble. The trouble came when I stopped nursing. "Nearly B" is just a dream now. *sigh* (And...damn! LOL.)

  11. Perhaps I'm incorrect, but everyone I knew with smaller breasts seemed to have an easier time breastfeeding than me. I was on the higher end of above average and couldn't do it either. I understand the guilt, but my kids have (so far) turned out Ok...

  12. I was a smallish average and had the same trouble. Sadly, I'm now smaller (and saggier) than ever. Still dealing with the guilt, myself.

  13. i ave the smallest little breasts and mine worked just fine!

    but i get your husband not knowing---i guess they don't teach those things to guys!

    Running on empty