For some reason pregnant people ask me for advice on newborns. I don’t know why because I hate newborns (I mean—I love my children more than life itself—they know this and exploit my weakness and try to kill me with sleep deprivation torture and boob infections.)
My advice is this and it sucks because it’s not advice: The weirdest thing about having a baby is not that a human lives in your house who didn’t exist last year, it’s BOOBS. Boobs rule your life.
NOW LET ME BE CLEAR: Your baby needs food to live and if that food is formula, PLEASE FEED YOUR BABY AND DON’T FEEL BAD ABOUT IT. OMG staaaaaaaap with the mom-shaming, boob tyrants (I’m looking at you, Le Leche League).
Either way, for the first week at least, your boobs rule your life.
You will feel your feelings in your boobs.
You will feel your baby’s feelings in your boobs.
You will feel the f*cking weather in your boobs.
Your boobs own you.
My boobs took ownership a few short years ago on March 22 at about 1 a.m. when a nurse put the girl baby on me and she bit me so hard my nipple folded in half (bad pronoun. The baby, not the nurse. Nurses don’t bite). It bruised that way, in a straight line, and then cracked and developed mastitis which tried to kill me a little bit. MOTHERHOOD IS A BEAUTIFUL MIRACLE LOL arrrrrgggggh.
Then everything got easier. I made enough milk, she drank enough milk. Breastfeeding became easy and convenient and I loved it. Not everyone feels this way, including Queen Victoria and she was the QUEEN! But I liked it. It went well.
The girl was easy to wean. At 17 months, she stopped asking and I stopped offering. She was a Le Leche League poster child. My body didn’t even go back to “normal” yet when my boobs (not my brain—most definitely not my brain) made me say to my husband, “I wouldn’t mind being pregnant.”
Here we are. My second child, the boy, is almost 20 months old. And it’s happening. He’s weaning.
On Monday night he nursed.
On Tuesday morning he asked for a waffle instead of Gaga.
Gaga is his name for my boobs. I don’t know why or how he came up with that name but everyone knows because, every time I picked him up from daycare in the last six months, he would jab his cute, stubby finger into my breast bone and yell, “Gaga!” until I either whipped it out or forced him, hysterical, into the car seat so we could Gaga in the privacy of our own home.
On Tuesday night my husband put him to bed and I tried to work up some emotion about the end of the era but I felt nothing but glee. I would be free! I could take ALL THE DRUGS (jk hugs not drugs)! I could drink all the alchomahalz (jk I can’t drink more than one unit or I fall asleep)! I can get a tattoo (maybe)! I can buy REAL BRAS (DEFINITELY)!
On Wednesday, at naptime, the boy remembered Gaga. “GAGA GAGA GAGA!” He screamed. But it was too late! Wasn’t it? My boobs began to question, threatening to break free from their sports-bra enclosure. I left him to scream and put the girl down for a nap. When I came back in he reached for me. I picked him up, feeling like I was going to crumble. I was going to do whatever he asked of me. And he let me hold him. He didn’t ask for anything at all. I put him down and he went right to sleep.
I sobbed. I blubbered. I was breathless, unable to utter a sentence. My husband insisted on video chatting with me from work. He praised me for being strong (he has selfish motives, of course, but also pure ones). I cried and cried and cried and ate chocolate to chase away the dementors and read some articles online that made me feel bad (LLL….I SEEEEE YOU) and some that made me feel better (Kelly Mom, way to go), and did some work, and…
It’s over. No more Gaga.
It was my boobs that were sad, not me. Lady Gaga was crying, not me. She was gonna miss being of use. She was going to miss being gloriously resplendent, unable to be contained by a simple underwire. She was going to miss spending time with that sweet little baby, who always held my hand as he fed. She didn’t want to deflate into withered old hag bags. It wasn’t me! IT WAS GAGA!
I was gripped by a crashing wave of loneliness. My husband told me I’d feel better soon. He agreed it was the hormones making me hysterical, not me. I’m FINE. I’m HAPPY.
Gaga was commander-in-chief. And it’s over. I’m in charge now.
Thank you Gaga.