Disclaimer: Not for the faint of heart. Or men. In fact, I don’t recommend reading this post at all. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I have finally completed the weaning process.
This was harder than I expected – not for Noah, but for me. The reality that he is most likely my last child and is too grown-up to be metaphorically (and not-so-metaphorically) attached to me is pretty hard to accept. After all, twenty-one months of giving him life-support of one sort or another is a hard habit to kick.
Nursing Noah was not always so enjoyable.
When he first decided to grow a pair (of teeth, that is), he wasn’t exactly the most sensitive of babies.
He especially enjoyed biting down, holding his grip with the veracity of a snapping turtle, and then yanking as hard as he possibly could, all while growling in a Paleolithic manner.
When he attained an upper and lower pair, The Situation was upgraded to Beyond Cruel and Unusual Punishment. There were times when I would ache for hours after nursing him due to his piercing sharpness, sheer determination, and sadistic mindset.
During these moments of intense pain and fear, my instincts would take over.
Meaning, of course, that I would find myself involuntarily composing a blog post in my head.
The blog post was always the same one: the story of what I knew was about to occur at any moment – the tearing of flesh.
This instinct alone carried me through many excruciating feedings by giving me something with which to entertain and distract my mind from the brutality at hand.
(Well, not at hand, per say.)
Now that breastfeeding is done and the possibility is a blessed impossibility, I decided to sit down and write out that blog post – a post that was mentally composed and recomposed perhaps more than any other piece I’ve ever written.
Second Disclaimer: QUIT READING NOW. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
(And let me clarify…the following is only what happened in my head during those tortuous moments. It IS fiction.)
It was like any other night. I was lovingly providing my baby with sustenance, nutritional superpowers, and the feeling of love and belonging.
He was reciprocating by treating me like I was in a torture camp in the backwoods of North Korea.
(Do they have woods in North Korea?)
Suck, swallow, bite, chomp, yank.
Suck, swallow, bite, chomp, yank.
Suck, swallow, bite, chomp, yank,
I heard the sound that no one should ever have to hear unless they bought chicken breasts with the skin on and have no way of removing it but with their bare hands.
I screamed louder than my “I just saw a roach” scream – which translates into approximately two times more resonant than The Dread Pirate Roberts screeched during his stay at Count Rugen’s Death Machine.
(In fact, I’m pretty sure that Miracle Max and his wife most definitely had their dinner interrupted by the sound of my wail. Not that they did anything about it, of course – they just complained about the noise level of the forest these days and went back to eating their chocolate-coated matzo ball soup.)
My scream shocked Noah enough to freeze him in place for a moment, and I (…and these are words that you never want to find yourself in the position to type…) dug around in his mouth and retrieved my nipple.
Chris came running in, roach spray in hand.
He quickly assessed the situation, noticed my spouting, bloody chest somewhat akin to the Black Knight’s flesh wound, and quickly dropped his can of husbandly defense.
It hit me at this point that I was still screaming, rhythmically and repeatedly.
This can’t be good for my lungs. Or bloodflow.
I calmed down and handed Chris my nipple.
“Prepare this for transportation.”
“What? Do you think it’s fixable?”
“I have no idea, but we should probably keep all accessories just in case.”
He ran out of the room – I presumed to find some ice. After all, that’s how they handle body parts on TV.
He called 911.
I called my Mom.
“Hey, Mom? I know it’s late, but can you come over, like right now, and stay with the kids for a little while?”
“Well, I need to go get my nipple put back on.”
I yelled at Chris to quit calling 911. We have to wait until Mom gets here anyway – we might as well drive ourselves.
Noah, meanwhile, was innocently staring up at me, with a “Thanks for the delicious snack, Mom!” look on his face. I wiped the blood off of his dimpled cheeks, plopped him in his crib, and told him to have a blast putting himself to bed. FROM NOW ON.
After what seemed like hours of applying pressure and waiting and driving and filling out paperwork and carrying around a body part on the rocks, we finally got put into an ER room. I sat and stared at Chris. He sat and stared at my chest.
The doctor strolled in and froze.
“What happened here?”
“Um. Well, my baby bit off my nipple.”
“Wow. That beats out the girl who came in here a few years ago at 3 AM after she impaled her hand while sleepwalking.”
“Awesome – because that was me, too.”
And that’s as far as I ever got.