36 weeks ago, our beautiful baby Boy 3 burst into our lives, a little unexpectedly and not without drama. He was born at 36 weeks, putting a halt to all our plans of a delivery at the birth centre. His daddy wasn’t even in our half of the country at the first signs of labour, but thanks to a heavy foot and a cocktail of Red Bull and chocolate, he made it down South in time for the birth!
All seemed well – the labour was quick (so much so he almost arrived in the corridor on the way to the delivery suite) and we held him immediately, chose a name and cried a little. I was ready to try to feed him straight away but he had other ideas and we didn’t even get to try. As a result of some piglet-type grunting noises while we were cuddling him (which I thought were cute at the time!) he was taken to the neo-natal unit, with concerns over his breathing.
To cut a long story short, he had a chest infection. Suspected pneumonia. He needed support with his breathing and was hence given fluids and nutrition through an IV line for the first couple of days. No breastfeeding possible.
My body didn’t seem to take this into account, and it started producing milk to feed the masses! So I started expressing the milk and taking it down to the neo-natal unit, so that it could be fed to our baby through a nose tube, when he was ready. The amount of milk I was delivering, versus the amount being injected into Boy 3’s tiny feeding tube, became a bit of a joke among the us and midwives, but I would rather have too much than not enough. I was desperate to try and breastfeed him, but he wasn’t able to be held at first, while he fought the infection.
On Day 3, one of the midwives asked me if I wanted to try and feed him, and that became the start of our 36-week breastfeeding journey together. As he latched on first time, for the first time, our tiny, poorly baby, and took a good feed, I knew that he would be OK.
And 36 weeks later here we are. Boy 3 is a big chubby bundle of joy. I was able to provide everything that he needed to grow into that beautiful chubby baby. He fed on demand. And he made it known when he demanded it! Some days it felt like he fed from me all day. But it was never a chore.
I have enjoyed being his comfort. I have enjoyed being the only one that could settle him. I have enjoyed having the monopoly on bedtime.
But all that ended today.
Today, Boy 3 had his last ever feed from me.
Today, the boob café shut down forever.
Today, I have hung a ‘Closed’ sign around my chest.
And I held back the tears…
Now it’s Daddy’s turn to put him to bed. It’s time for the boys to bond. And I get to go out for an early dinner with the girls, whenever I like!
I can now wear bras with underwire and without handy drop-down flaps or inserted breast pads. Or I can be really radical and not wear a bra. (Don’t worry – I will save this for the privacy of my own home.) I can now drink alcohol. In copious amounts if I want to. I can now wear dresses and not just tops that enable easy-access to my boobs. And I can now go out for an early dinner with the girls, whenever I like! (Ha – did I mention that already?!)
I will, of course, still spend the rest of my life providing for my baby boy, but in other ways, not involving my boobs!
Boy 3 was 36 weeks in and is now 36 weeks out.
And my boobs…
They are over and out!