As I write this, I have a pack of frozen broccoli down my shirt and a generous glass of red wine on the table next to me.
This could only mean one thing:
Breastfeeding is officially over for Zack.
After five months, it’s just sort of run its course, especially as far as practicality goes for a full-time working mom in a profession that is anything but stress-free and anything but 9 to 5.
In the very beginning, the only time I allowed myself to fall apart with the cumbersome weight of a diagnosis in my perfect world, was alone with Zack in his nursery during our middle-of-the-night feedings. I would run my hand back and forth through his mohawk so many times that it still amazes me he has any hair left. I remember the first time I saw a teardrop land on his sucking cheek. I felt so silly, so weak. Then, just then, he looked up at me with those blue eyes and somehow everything was alright.
The moving up and down of his hands, clasping on to the corner of my pulled-up shirt, a zipper, a piece of hair. I stared at those fingers in absolute amazement for five months, imagining all of the things they would hold on to and reach out for. And oh my gosh, how it cracks me up when the boob comes out and he just lights up with a gigantic smile! Too, too funny.
I know I’m fortunate to have been given this opportunity and to be able to provide Zack with his Momma Milk as we’ve called it these past 20 weeks.
You see, those 20 or 40-minute clips of the closest cuddles you can get, meant so much to me. I try to do as many of his feedings as I can now, but it just seems so impersonal. I cherish the snuggles he shares with me now more so than ever before. But my heart is heavy. It’s the first of many, many moments where I know I need to be a good Momma, put on my best smile and let him go. Let him do his own thing, fight his own fight, make his own dreams come true.
Some women deal with Empty Nest Syndrome. I’m dealing with Empty Chest Syndrome. 🙂
The good news? I can eat spicy food. I can take an Advil. I can wear any sort of shirt or dress I choose without worrying about how I’ll get my boobs out. I can drink two glasses of wine if I wanted. I can be away from the house and a pump for as long as I want and not worry about a leak or a wardrobe malfunction.
It gives freedom. For both of us.
Sometimes, you just have to move on. But it doesn’t make it any easier. Yet, just as I never thought I’d be able to survive going back to work, I’ll find a way to make this work, too.It’s not so bad after all, I tell myself. And I’ll believe it pretty soon.
As soon as I get the frozen vegetables out from under my shirt.