There is nothing remotely fun or erotic about expressing milk.
I love my breasts. They have provided many, many hours of fun over the years. They were always on the generous side, so they looked good in curvy dresses and tops. When I first started working, I remember an older, female colleague sizing them up one day when I turned up in the office in a multicoloured minidress (I was still a student, in my defence), and saying “God, how do you get them to stay up like that?”
And sex? Well, my breasts were always pretty much my “start” buttons.
The girls are still one of my favourite bits, but now that Lola has come along it’s all a bit more confusing. They are abundant providers of milk. So I’m very pleased about that, and in awe at the whole thing. And I’m still having hours of fun… just in an entirely different way.
It’s lovely being with Lola, even in the wee small hours of the night. Sometime she attacks the boob like a ferocious little tiger, clamps on and sucks intently for thirty minutes, batting away all interlopers (me.. sometime Rufus) with her little hand. Other times she fools around, having a little snack then peering up at me with a huge shy smile before going in for another go. One time she flipped us the bird, I’m sure unintentionally.
But sex? I won’t let Rufus near them. It’s just weird, somehow. I think my mind can’t quite separate the two so I’m waiting till Lola’s done with them to see if I can reclaim them for myself.
And now I’m on the expressing track. I managed to avoid it, mostly, so far because Lola turns into a demon at the sight of a bottle, or even a dummy. So I just let her get on with the boob. And it’s true that if you are one of the lucky ones who hasn’t had too much trouble breastfeeding (and my heart goes out to you if you’re not) it’s just so, so, so much easier than messing about with bottles and formulas.
With my back-to-work deadline looming in a month, though, Lola needs to learn how to take a bottle for the times when I won’t be there. Since she started sleeping longer, my milk flow has slowed to a trickle, so this morning I strapped on the breast pump once again to see if I can rev it up and store up a decent supply for her.
I really do feel like an old cow sitting here with the machine going “mheeh, mheeh, mheeh”.
Nor am I that hopeful that Lola is ever going to really get the hang of the bottle. Every time we’ve tried it she screams, or fools about in a completely inept way with milk going everywhere but in her mouth. Also, I’m not sure if the milk will rev up again sufficiently. I don’t want to move her onto formula if I can avoid it; but stressing about it won’t help anyone.
The other day we gave her a couple of spoons of rice cereal mixed with breast milk, and some spoonfuls of apple juice, and she got on much better with a spoon than a teat. So Plan B is going to be a sippy cup of milk along with whatever solids we are trying to introduce. I can see how that will be a time-consuming process.
Anyway, breasts, I salute you. And one day, I’m hoping we will go back to the old ways.