And that got me to thinking about the fact that I will once again be breastfeeding a baby in 2010, almost TWENTY YEARS after I became a mama for the first time, to my sweet baby H, who is now 18 years old and a high school grad. I only nursed H for a few weeks, because I had no idea what I was doing and I got superbad medical advice on HOW to nurse my baby. But I did breastfeed him. I then nursed J between 1995 and 1999 (Yes, that’s four years. What can I say? The kid liked to nurse!), and E between 1998 and 2001. Then I breastfed C for 13 months between 2007 and 2008. And now I’ll be a breastfeeding mother again, for the last time.
That’s a whole lot of breastfeeding! It’s definitely been one of the most gratifying, enjoyable parts of motherhood for me. The only parts I did not enjoy were the few bouts with mastitis that I had over the years, nursing J while pregnant with E (HATED nursing while pregnant and probably wouldn’t do it again unless I were pregnant but also still had a nursling under 12 months of age), and the godawful experience of pumping as a full-time working mother, which I dealt with for the first time with C.
I have to admit that I am already truly dreading the pumping part of breastfeeding this time around. As I’ve blogged before, my extreme hatred of everything about pumping gave me a deeper understanding of how strongly felt some women’s dislike is for breastfeeding itself. I assume that the women who tell me that they just hated nursing sort of feel the way I feel about pumping. Pumping was a very humbling experience for me. I used a Medela Pump in Style last time, which many women find to work great, but I think that this time I will either cough up the $$$ for another brand of high-end consumer-grade pump, like the Avent Isis (have any of you tried this one?), or I may even rent a hospital grade pump like the Medela Lactina (have any of you used one of these as a working mom pump?). Maybe with a breastpump that I like better, it won’t be so bad. Maybe. I hope. I also now have a job with a more predictable schedule and an office of my own with a door that locks, which wil be a lot easier than trying to find time to leave a busy newsroom and go hide in some out of the way, freezing spot in the building to try to pump. So that will certainly be an improvement.
But even so, I am not looking forward to that part of working while mothering a baby. Maybe some of you can relate.