You roll over in the middle of the night and wonder why someone is jabbing something really sharp (not a knife, maybe a hot poker? Because it's painful, but kind of burn-y, not pointy) into the side of your right nursing device.
That is to say, your breast.
I tried to ignore it. Mainly because it was 2 in the morning. X had just visited (because, you know, at 13 months, why should he sleep all night?) and was back in his crib in Sawyer's room. I needed to sleep.
So when X was back in our room at 6:20, I was more awake and realized that holy mother of G-d I'm in pain.
It could only be one thing: clogged milk ducts.
If you're not wincing like a man who's listening to you talk about neutering your dog, then you've either not breast fed a child OR you've been lucky enough to have completely smooth sailing (I still love you regardless, I do!).
The rest of us? You know what I'm talking about. The lumps that feel like gravel in your breast. The sore, sore lumps that start under your armpit and move all the way down to ground zero.
I have been chasing X around like a crazy woman today trying to get him to nurse. Apparently he only has interest when it's a) completely inconvenient or b) the middle of the night or c) a AND b.
Oh, he humored me. He agreed to nurse. But he wasn't really into it, you know? He just didn't get the job done. In fact, he laughed at me. I was massaging the area while he nursed to try to unclog whatever is in there (is it like a hairball or what? How do these things even get clogged?) and he giggled. Reached up and smacked me in the nose. Pulled my hair.
And I'm all, "Look, pal. I've given up eating food for a year to nurse you. I've stayed home when I've wanted to go out because of your schedule. I've done EVERYTHING for you and now all I'm asking is that you suck like my Dyson vacuum and HELP YOUR MOTHER OUT!"
Yeah. That worked real well.
Earlier today I took Sage to dance class, where I hang out with the other mothers while the kids dance. I pointed out to my friend that one of my breasts was twice the size of the other. Because the milk is not coming out.
So I'm talking to the rest of the moms, telling them about my clogged ducts. Every one of them shuddered - because it's not a feeling you forget.
And as I'm going on about it I'm rubbing. I'm describing in great detail how much it hurts (rub rub) and how I hope (rub rub) it doesn't turn into (rub rub) mastitis.
The other women were completely unfazed. Because they totally related. Told me their stories of Milk Duct Hell and what they did to try to get rid of it before it turned into the dreaded mastitis.
I'm hard-pressed to think of any group more supportive then mothers. Yes, we can be horrible and competitive and judgmental. But when it comes down to it, motherhood is a universal experience.
We've all been there. The moms I know? They make me feel not so alone, that it's okay to grope myself in the hallway of a gym because they've got my back. And in this case, my front, too.
I'm just hoping I don't have a "Mastitis: I didn't die but I wanted to" story to tell.
Maybe I should go wake X up from his nap. He's got work to do
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