Tuesday, June 14, 2005


As promised, here is the first installment in my project plan of blogging topics, namely "How I actually came to own a pillow called 'My Brest Friend,' and how said pillow has made my life immeasurably easier."

The first thing I need to get off my chest (ironic, no?) is that I am simply not the sort of person who would purchase a product with the ridiculous and humiliating name of "My Brest Friend." Perhaps it's the marketing professional in me, or perhaps it's just that I don't like to reward the person or company who came up with such a name by giving them my hard-earned cash.

But as I've learned after having a child, you must lower your standards. For example: Four hours of continuous sleep? Heaven! Taking a shower every day? The ultimate indulgence. Remembering to eat lunch? A bonus.

So once Evan was born, I wondered how exactly the human race had sustained itself for centuries when breastfeeding is so damn hard. Really. Here's an illustration to give you an idea of the agony I endured. I honestly would go through childbirth ten more times (with an epidural, of course) before experiencing the pain of the first five weeks of nursing my son. I am talking extreme pain, and this from a person who I SWEAR is not a wimp. In fact, I've always prided myself on my high pain tolerance. However, I was popping the Darvocet they gave me in the hospital two at a time. When I went to refill my prescription, a note that said "High Dose Alert" popped up on the pharmacist's screen -- meaning they could tell that I had been taking the maximum dose because of how quickly I had returned for the refill! I'm pretty sure that was the low point.

So after a couple of weeks of cracking, bleeding, crying and picturing myself hooked on painkillers like Jack Osbourne and Rush Limbaugh, I finally consulted a lactation consultant. She took one look at me and pronounced my condition "severe nipple damage." That was another low point, yes. But this was the beautiful day that I met my new Brest Friend.

Yes, it's true. The MBF pillow, however silly the name, became my knight in shining armor. Just to give you an idea of the mechanics, you fasten the pillow around you, and it positions the baby perfectly and helps you avoid a "bad latch-on," as they say. One use and I was hooked. You strap it on and feel a little bit like a blackjack dealer. Actually, you could cover it with green felt and use it as a blackjack table for a Halloween costume. (So Martha Stewart of me.) Future Halloween costume or no, the MBF was worth every penny, and I will shout its praises from the rooftops forever and ever, amen.

So, what did I learn from my experience? First of all, the first few weeks of motherhood are simply about survival, because you have to throw quality of life out the window temporarily. (At least until the baby starts smiling at you and/or sleeping more than five hours at night.) It just goes to show you that it's never wise to say "I'll never..." when it comes to having children. You never know when you're gonna have to swallow your pride, suck it up and gird yourself, literally, with your Brest Friend.


undercover celebrity said...

Welcome back!
I must tell you that I find great comfort in your baby blogs. I have a sense that pre-your-baby we have similar feelings about having children. Definitely want them. Like them. Think they're adorable. But I want them to be logical and rational and not mess up my life too much. And, to be honest, I'm not exactly sure I'm prepared to handle the no-sleep, much-poop and spit up phase of life.

Anyway, hearing that you are making it through with flying colors -- as is evidenced by that little gem you call Evan. You are brining me much comfort.

...right up until you mentioned "severe nipple damage" the words make me cringe and my chest cave in a little.

Good luck with all that!

undercover celebrity said...

Also... welcome to the interview game... not sure how this will work into your blogging project plan, but best of luck to you.

Question 1
What’s the worst/most humiliating job you’ve ever had?

Question 2
Would you rather be 4-feet tall or 8-feet tall? Why?

Question 3
Shove. Marry. Push-off a cliff. (please place the following men into a category) Balky Bartokamus. Mork. Kramer.

Question 4
What did you want to be when you grew up?

Question 5
What was the meanest thing you did to your sister whilst still a child?

Poka Bean said...

seriously, my brest friend is the worst name of all time! but i'm glad you overcame the horrible naming of the device long enough to try it and figure out it was the key to easing your troubles. you've come along way, baby, and the bubby's got the cheeks to prove it.

Carolyn said...

I'm so proud of you for continuing on to breastfeed even after severe nipple damage. You are my hero. I had to stop after two weeks and then rely on pumping after that. I just couldn't deal with the pain and bleeding and watching my son spit up blood after breastfeeding. And I, like you, always prided myself on having a high threshold for pain. And while I know my son is happy and healthy now, I went through such mommy guilt. Women like you who push through the pain really amaze me.

karla said...

I can't tell you how often I have said the EXACT same thing--that I would go through pregnancy and childbirth again a hundred times before agreeing to go through breastfeeding again. I have a high tolerance for pain, so I was shocked at how painful it was, and how seemingly unable I was to endure it. I only made it one month. I hadn't heard of that goofy-named pillow, or I'd have given it a shot. Too bad.

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