During my hiatus, quite a few developmental milestones went and happened. Bunlet started walking. (Oh my, it’s such a miracle!) He sprouted a number of teeth. He said his first word (book. Isn’t that brilliant?) And he went on a nursing strike that led to weaning.
It’s not the way I hoped it would go. I didn’t have much choice about weaning Bun Bun. I hoped I’d have some magic, perfect, romantic weaning experience with Bunlet, whatever the hell that would have looked like. Not so. He got sick and started teething and bit me and I yelped and he cried and that was about it. I couldn’t get him to nurse again. It was a bit heartbreaking. I was not ready. I felt like a failure, and guilty, etc. etc. etc.
On the other hand, if I’d never heard of nuring strikes, and if I hadn’t read those La Leche League websites that told me I was a useless piece of shit if I didn’t preserve through the strike, I might have just assumed he was ready. He’d already stopped taking his bottles during the day when I was at work. He seemed perfectly happy not nursing…
The Lady Professors talked about it over lunch. One of them is still nursing at 2 years and a few months but wants to stop soon, the other had to do formula due to insufficient supply, and then there’s me. We concluded that whatever choices you make, there will be a little bit of grieving in there somewhere. And whatever choices you make, you will feel judged by somebody.
Anyway, within a few days my breasts deflated like leaky water balloons.
I think I managed to have a reasonable body image pre-pregnancy, for an American woman. Obviously there were things I disliked about my body, but I’d managed to be okay with being small-breasted, which isn’t easy in this titcentric culture. Then my breasts went through a radical transformation, and for a while they looked like the fashion magazines tell me they should. I think I some part of me felt a new confidence because of it, that teenager who got shit for looking too boyish part.
Then…pfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffft. Size-wise, things are about the same as they used to be pre-babies. Texture-wise, not so much. They’re all…EMPTY. There’s nothing IN there. Droopy. The nipples are a bit cock-eyed, too.
It’s also hard to imagine that I could ever have FED BABIES from this body. Really? How did that work? It’s only been a few months but it seems incredibly distant and implausible.
On one level, of course I don’t care what my body looks like, post-pregnancy or post nursing. I got to have BABIES! I got to nurse them! I’m so grateful for that I’d take any old carcass nature wanted to hand out.
On another level, it’s hard enough to like your body when you’re constantly being told it’s not thin enough or strong enough or sexy enough, and when it changes in ways society tells you make you uglier, it’s hard not to feel…uglier.
I guess it’s the time of year for feeling bad about ourselves, huh? I’m not ___enough, I need to be more ____!
But it’s also the time of year for hunkering down and waiting until enough snow melts that we can even bear to think of going outside. Spring will come, I will come to terms with my new carcass. In the meantime, fuck it, Imma have a drink.