Thursday, January 08, 2009

Plutonium

The other day I was speaking with a colleague whose wife recently had a baby. He was telling me how he was talking to his wife about the milk she had pumped and he said to her that she treats it like plutonium.

In the midst of this story I, apparently, gave him A Look much like his wife did....and he asked me to explain why the milk is so special. I stumbled over my words, fumbled for an explanation and finally ended with, "It just IS plutonium!"

I've been thinking about the conversation ever since...how do you explain it to someone else? Someone who doesn't know, or doesn't understand?


Nursing, and pumping, is so much. It is time....time away from my piles of things that have to be done. Time where I can't do anything BUT nurse, or pump. Time where I get to snuggle with Aliza and just be her and me, together- the way it was in the beginning.

It is also satisfaction....the satisfaction of knowing that not only did I nurture her for the nine months she developed, but that I am continuing to nurture her and feed her. The satisfaction of knowing that she is getting all of my good antibodies and immunities. The satisfaction of knowing that this is something that only I can do for her and that it is one of the best things I can do for her.

It is also sacrifice....I can't drink, at least not without feeling immense guilt. I still have to watch what I eat as some foods make her upset or gassy. And some foods are still off limits. I miss out on activities and conversations because I'm nursing. It feels like my body will never be the same afterwards. And when she wakes up in the middle of the night, I am the only one that can stumble out of bed and give her what she needs. Foregoing my own much needed rest. It is exhausting to do but also, oddly, calming.

It is both an amazing feeling and a royal pain in the neck. But I'm not sure that even this post does the feeling of nursing justice.
It might not be as rare as plutonium. Or even as expensive. But it just IS plutonium.

2 comments:

Kelli said...

LISA! I miss your blogging!

(I know, I'm being a demanding reader, but I just can't help it, dang it!)

Tina said...

Hey, that is NOT a good comparison. Plutonium is radioactive. It is a poison. Breast milk is whatever is the most opposite of plutonium. Maybe he meant platinum? Straighten him out, please!