so long and thanks for the mammaries

As you can imagine, it is a mother’s absolute worst nightmare to have her infant stay at the home of a professional photographer while she is gone at work all day.

This is my beautiful daughter getting a bath earlier in the week. As you can tell, she is totally deprived of attention at her Manny’s house.

Is it bad to be jealous of your infant daughter’s itinerary? (Lenten service, nap, lunch, Amish visits, music, nap, snack, baby exercises, nap, etc. etc.)

So, boobs. That’s what I came here to talk about.

Poor little Molly Mae has had a rough couple days, menu-wise anyway, since her mother was sliced and diced at Riverside hospital. Her food options this week have been formula or drug-laced breast milk. Both have been less than kind on her tummy. I pumped ahead of time, but with three days notice, we didn’t have the kind of back-up supply I would have prefered. I wish she was old enough for bacon cheeseburgers. You know, something easier on the digestive tract.

The good news is that I stopped taking pain pills a couple days ago and I think (hope!) she is adjusting to the new powdered menu option. If she is allergic, we are going to be in trouble. There were some hives today, but the theory is that her little skin might just be sensitive to the digestive juices in her tummy. She barfs a lot. Poor little Molly Mae.

The other good news is that I don’t have cancer (again!) and that I don’t have an infection. So there’s that.

I was in a drug-induced haze at the hospital when the doctor explained the details of my procedure to Seth and his mama, so I’m still not clear how big the evil thing was that they took out, what it was composed of, etc. etc. Remind me to ask when I go in for a follow-up.

I think it is problematic that although someone is a breast doctor, it does not guarantee they are a lactation specialist. You think this expertise would go hand in hand, but you would be wrong. The doctor I went to is very good at getting cancer out of boobs, but he does not necessarily care as deeply as you would think he should about severing milk ducts and the like. I didn’t have much time to research as I would have preferred, either.

That’s a long way of saying that my mystery incisions (are they glued?! disolvable stitches? masking tape? stay tuned!) LEAK breast milk all the day long, and yes, that it is as gross as you could imagine. I also have to pump the injured boob to prevent it from filling up and ripping out its own sutures. Or glue or whatever. This is as gross and as painful as you can imagine.

But I don’t have cancer, which is refreshing. Let’s stay positive, people!

When our water heater broke and a few more of our chickens were killed by something that snuck in the closed and locked coop door, (?) I was sure God had forsaken the residents of Bangs, Ohio. We got some better news as the week progressed.

Anyway, I have put together a  FAQ section about my breasts.

Every woman should do this.

1.) Are you still breastfeeding?

Well, kind of. Internet research confirmed that only 5 women in the world have continued to breastfeed after surgery. Their success stories usually end like this:

“The doctor told me that it was impossible to continue breastfeeding, but we are still going strong in our fourth year!”

It makes me feel kind of creepy to want to keep trying.

But four days post-op, the left boob is still making edible milk, although it is OBVIOUSLY nervous now that the right boob has been sidelined. It’s making about 3/4 of the milk it used to. Not quite all Molly needs. We are formula feeding her the rest. I’m not sure if Leftie will hold steady, step up to the plate or bow out gracefully.

I don’t think enough time has passed to figure that out yet.

2.) If you were a dairy cow, what would happen to you?

Seth said that if I was a dairy cow who was losing her supply due to injury, I would probably go into a separate holding pin until I healed because I would probably be on antibiotics for an infection. All my milk would be thrown away. My “problem teat” might dry up and be marked and I might go on to have my “good teats” milked the rest of my happy cow days. But if supply didn’t return for whatever reason, I would be slaughtered! Yipes!

3.) Is it awful?


4.) Are you ok?

I’m much better than I was Monday/Tuesday. I was in a lot of pain. I’m also much more OK with weaning after reading Creep-O stories about BREASTFEED OR DIEers who live on the Internet. But I’m still going to at least half-try to keep something going so Molly and I can keep our special bonding gig. Purchasing a $13-$17 can of food is frustrating to me. I know that is crazy. 

 Selfishly, I’m also going to half-try so I don’t have to heat up a bottle at night. Rolling Molly over and plopping her on my boob is something I can do in my sleep. I inevitably drop the bottle when I am feeding her from it at night. I would ask Seth to do it, but he turns into a monster if he wakes up to feed Molly, and I do not want to live with that poor, sleep-deprived monster. It eats people.

5.) Are you going to pull the lactation train into the station?

I’m not sure yet. Talk with me in four or ten months.

6.) What color is your boob?

Yellow and purple

7.) Is it all deformed and weird?

No. Although I’m not sure how this is possible, what with them removing half of it and all. Maybe it will get weird when the swelling goes down? I think I remember somebody telling me something about the breast tissue filling in the space.

8.) What color is the milk that comes out of the bad boob?

That is none of your damn business.

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  • mandy

    You are simply amazing. Seriously, I am in awe but I haven’t had any coffee, so I can’t process thoughts beyond this. But you rock and I am so glad you are still able to BF as much as you are and I am so glad you are feeling better. I can’t believe you are off pain meds already.

    Also, where are you finding formula for only $13-17 a can? I can’t find it for less than $20.