I’m in a facebook group for breastfeeding moms called The Boobie Group. It’s Portland-area moms that have met through Mercy Hospital, Maine Med, BirthRoots, or cyberspace. All of us have babies around the 6-7 month age, and all of us started out breastfeeding. We share stories, we ask questions, we seek advice, and we ask for commiseration. I read The Boobie Group facebook page almost daily.
But here is my problem:
To find The Boobie Group (it’s a secret group), I have to type “BOOBIE” in the search bar at the top of facebook. And more than once, I have mistakenly typed “BOOBIE” not into the search bar, but into my own status update. You know, the one that asks you “What’s on your mind?” <BOOBIE> I have caught myself nearly every time (I think? I hope?!). But there will inevitably come a sleep-deprived day where my facebook will simply proclaim “BOOBIE” for all the word to see.
If you see this someday, feel free to raise your eyebrows or write a little joke on my wall. But it actually might not be far from the truth. I really am feeling pretty boobie these days. (think boobie as an adjective, not a noun).
It’s the end of summer, and I finally, officially have to go back to work. I was home with Charlotte for twelve amazing weeks, returned to school for a short bit, then had another glorious ten weeks off with her. [I am spoiled. Yes, I know.] And as I look back on what we’ve done for the past ten weeks, I realize how much fun we had, and how I thoroughly enjoyed it. But what do I have to show for it?
Not much meaning that we didn’t hike a lot of mountains, run a lot of miles, read a lot of books, or travel to a lot of places. I didn’t leave the country, the same book from January is still on my nightstand, and I don’t have a tan. I used to measure my summers by things accomplished and fun had with friends. What have I accomplished this summer?
I’ve changed an average of 9 diapers a day for ten weeks.
I’ve breastfed Charlotte an average of 8 times a day for ten weeks.
I’ve pumped three times a day–every damn day–for ten weeks.
The funny thing about feeding and diapering a baby is that once you do it…you have to do it again. And again. And again. There’s really no checking it off the list. I read another blog recently about the ‘treading water’ nature of mothering. Each day is busy and blurry. You may have done a lot, but you’re not anywhere different the next morning. aka, feeling boobie.
So tonight, on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, I’m sitting at my computer at 7pm in my pajamas. My hair is frizzy, my skin is pale, and I don’t even have a glass of wine within reach. I’m feeling pretty darn boobie. The milk that I’ve worked so hard to feed Charlotte with this summer? Gone through her system and out into hundreds of diapers…all of which have been picked up on the last ten Wednesdays by the garbage truck. My summer cannot be measured, because there is nothing tangible left over. We lived, eat, slept, and dreamed breastfeeding this summer (fred included–you cannot and will not successfully breastfeed without a supportive and willing partner).
I think, quite literally, all I have to show for it are the few pictures that remind me how much Charlotte has grown and learned in ten weeks:
I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining. But let’s be honest, I am. I’m just feeling pretty boobie about the fact that in a few days, I have to resume my day-care-drop-offs and pumping-at-work-madness. 4pm on a weekday will soon be my new happy hour 🙂