Liquid gold

Let's talk about boobs.

Sorry mom.

Well, really not so much about boobs as about breastfeeding.

Sorry dudes.

Now that I've given you fair warning, feel free to come back tomorrow for our regularly scheduled programing. Since it's Hunter's birthday week, you can expect a daily dose of adorableness.

OK back to boobs.

Since, clearly the internet is lacking in the boob department, so I thought it was high time to talk about them (don't worry, no pictures are included in this post).

I have got to tell you, breastfeeding is totally my jam.  If you are pregnant and have the choice (and you are up for it), I say give it a try.

Since I do love a good old fashioned pros & cons list, I've detailed one below:

  • It's free- hello, free food for my kid?  Sign me up. Can I keep this up until he's 18? (Just jokes, I won't be ending up on the cover of TIME magazine any time soon).
  • It's good for babies- all the research says it's the best thing, so it was worth it for me to give it a shot.  Luckily Hunter was great at it from the first minute and I was able to make enough milk for him....not everyone is so lucky.
  • Protection- I pass all my immunities over to the baby through my milk, plus it protects him from illnesses, allergies, possibly obesity and cancer. (More info on that than you ever wanted)
  • Calorie burn- I have NEVER dropped weight so fast.  I dropped all 33 pounds in the first 4 months and I didn't do anything more than feed Hunter and walk (I ran a few times, but nothing consistent).  It's like miracle weight-loss, literally sucking the weight away. 
  • Ease of use- I didn't have to plan ahead with bottles and warmers and cold packs. Since my boobs go everywhere I do (wouldn't it be weird if they didn't??), and Hunter got hungry while we were out, I would just find a quite place and nurse him. Easy peasy.
  • Bonding- I definitely felt like it bonded me and Hunter, but I am pretty sure we still would have bonded just the same if I was feeding him a bottle. It's all about the snuggling for me.
  • Up all night- it's not as if I would have been sleeping 12 hours anyway, but if I wasn't nursing, Chris could have taken a shift (or two) when Hunter was getting up every 2 hours at night before he was taking a bottle regularly.
  • Bonding- I felt like Chris didn't get the same amount of bonding time with Hunter as I did, because I had what he wanted and so he preferred to be nursed by me than bottle fed by Chris (especially in the first few months). 
  • Pumping- I could live without seeing my pump ever again.  Sitting in bathroom stalls, parking lots & conference rooms pumping my boobs multiple times a day is annoying and mind numbing- but it is a necessary evil if you decide to breastfeed and want to go anywhere without the baby in tow (like to work).
  • Pain- I have no idea what my pain tolerance is compared to other people, but I like to think I have a pretty high pain threshold- but gosh it hurt at first. Like scream-out-loud-and-stomp-your-feet-while-tears-well-up-in-your-eyes kind of pain.  Luckily that goes away after the first few weeks- although now that Hunter has some teeth, the pain is back in the form of biting (not cool little man).
  • Milk supply- At first I was making enough milk to feed a whole maternity ward, but once I went back to work it was a constant struggle to make enough milk to keep up with the demand. I have unsuccessfully been playing catch-up for months, which is exhausting.  I have to carve out over an hour and a half a day while I'm at work to pump, then I also have to remember to pump before I go to bed just to remind my body to make enough milk.
  • Leaking- For the first 5 months, if I was out and about and hadn't fed or pumped in a long time, I would start to leak through my shirt.  This part really sucks when you are in a business meeting (which happened TWICE- ugh so embarrassing).
  • Watching what I consume- Since everything I eat or drink eventually gets to little man, I am careful about spicy foods, acidic drinks and alcohol.  I'm essentially sharing my body for now, so I can't indulge in the same way I used too- only 1 margarita instead of 10. Plus, since Hunter has a sensitivity to dairy and eggs, I've had to cut those out of my diet for the last 4 months.  Cutting out dairy is ridiculously hard because it is in everything ever made AND I love it.  So I was really sad to see it go.  The upside of this one, is that no dairy = weight loss, which I fully intend to gain back in spades as soon as I stop nursing him and start my steady diet of cheese and ice cream that I've been dreaming about; so maybe that is actually a down side.
So, even though there are good points on both sides, I definitely think it is worth it for me and will probably breastfeed my future kid(s) if I can.

I'm not a breastfeeding freedom fighter or anything, but I definitely encourage any interested soon-to-be mamas to give it a shot.  Worst case, you try it and decide it's not for you. No harm in trying.

So with all that said, breast milk is a prized commodity at our house. I have spent hours pumping and freezing milk so Hunter will have enough while I'm at work. I started the pumping/freezing when he was only a week old and haven't stopped.

Well, all my hard work went to waste a few months ago when I found our freezer in the shed had lost power and everything inside had spoiled...probably hundreds of dollars of meat, crab, cookies, bread, pizza dough etc.  That royally sucked, but it was all replaceable- so not the end of the world.

What wasn't replaceable was the 100 ounces of frozen breastmilk.  That stuff is liquid gold, and priceless. End of the world starts now.

You know the saying "It's no use crying over spilled milk"? Well, the person who came up with that was obviously not talking about breast milk, because that stuff is worth crying over.

I nearly fell into a pile of teary eyed mush right there in front of the freezer, but I remembered that I had to actually go to work and couldn't spend my morning crying. Plus, that's an awkward conversation with your coworkers... in general I try to avoid any words relating to breasts while at work.

I was in such utter disbelief and so shocked that I didn't quite believe it had happened. I grabbed all the bags of milk hoping they somehow would still be cold (and salvageable).

They weren't.

They were warm, and what's worse, they smelled awful.

Apparently when meat, crab, milk and other assorted frozen items thaw and then sit in a warm freezer for many days, they start to smell.

If you are wondering if any of our quarter cow, Marty, was lost in the "Great Thaw of 2013", the answer is yes.

And you know what happens when meat thaws out?

It bleeds.

We had just a bit of Marty left over, but the bottom inch of the freezer was filled with standing blood.

It was like a mini slaughterhouse in our shed.  Blood all over, flies buzzing around...and the stench.

The smell was so awful, I can't actually describe it.  Thank your lucky stars that you don't have smell-o-internet.

That smell DOES. NOT. GO. AWAY.

Since I made the rookie mistake of picking up the milk bags, I had to live with the stench of rotten meat, seafood and milk on my hands all day long.

I washed them with every soap, citrus fruit and perfume I could find, and nothing would remove the stench.

It was a horrible reminder all day of my awful stroke of bad luck.

So,  because I had to go to work (and take my boobs with me) we had to immediately put Hunter on formula to get through the rest of the day.

We ended up having to try a few different brands of formula to supplement his feedings.  He got sick off of all of them.  Talk about a waste of money- $40 per can, only to use one scoop and find out he got sick from it.  This was BEFORE we knew he was allergic to dairy, and since most formula's have a dairy base, he had bad reactions to all of them.

So, rather than trying another round of dairy free formulas, I went back to breastfeeding and pumping around the clock to get enough milk for the little man, and I've been at it ever since.

Luckily, Hunter has upped his real-food intake so he's drinking less milk, which has helped us get to this point.

He finally reached the one year mark.

That was my goal all along.  If I could breastfeed him until he was one, he could transition onto regular milk (or in his case- soy or almond milk).

So, here we are.  A year later and I'm packing 'em in- my boobs that is.

We had a good run, but all good things must come to an end.

I'm throwing myself a dairy party and putting "Milkshake" by Kelis on repeat. Who's in?