Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Big Let Down

Wanda's first nursing "victim."

Picture this:  I'm sitting in our small church on a hot, mid-August Sunday morning.  My father-in-law, the preacher, is just getting started on his 45 minute lesson.  My husband and I are sitting in the third pew, just past the spit zone.  (You know...  Leave the front two pews empty in case the pastor throws in a tongue twister and accidentally sprays you.)  Our two-month old son is lying in my arms, sleeping peacefully.  The preacher brings his first point home with a shout and a big hand-clap and “Waaahhh!” our boy is awake!

We're a tight-knit church community.  And I've been at this long enough that I feel pretty comfortable nursing my baby right there in Row 3.  I throw a receiving blanket over my shoulder, blink away the drop of sweat threatening to block my vision in my right eye, and get ready to nurse my now-crying babe.  As my boy latches on (he was, basically, a professional latcher by about Day Three), he gives about three sucks.  And then, THEN, the big let down.

No, not in a bad way, not like, “Oh, what a let down.  That's awful.”  In a good way.  Except it's so good, it actually ends up being awful.  And messy.

As my baby, innocently trying to nourish himself, starts to choke on the milk coming down the faucet that he just turned on, full blast, the other side of my chest feels warm...  very warm.  And very wet.  I peak under the blanket.  I have soaked through one of my reusable nursing pads and have turned my green shirt a darker shade of green, but just around my right breast.

Now in full-on choking mode, my son is totally unlatched.  Unfortunately, he's now also blinded by the stream of milk that is steadily spraying onto his face (think “fire-hose”).  Don't worry; breastmilk is good for anything that ails you.  He has no chance of developing an eye infection after this!

I clean off my son, set him upright and gently pat his back until he stops gasping and catches his breath.  Still hungry, he goes for more.  The second let-down is much calmer and he gets his fill. 

Once he fills his pants, something that every fellow parishioner hears and giggles about, I gently excuse myself to change him.  If anyone notices that I have also changed my sweater when I come back, they don't say anything.  They've seen this baby and I dance this dance before.

Epilogue – I learned to harness that milk from #2 pretty early on.  I would throw a bottle over it and get about 1.5 to 2 oz while my babe took what he needed from #1.  I felt a little silly sitting on my couch like that, but who was around to laugh at me?  Just me, and I have no plans to tell anyone about it.

* * *

When Wanda's not pouring gallons of milk into her child's mouth, she enjoys baking, playing board games with anyone who will let her win, and blogging. She and her husband are starting the adventure of homeschooling in September 2013. You can read about her faith, fun, and failures over at Wanda Whoopie-Cushion


  1. My sister rocks! And yep, that would definitely have happened and her church family would have thought no less of her for it. They rock too!

  2. Giggle Snort!!! Yep.

    My funny story about church was when my oldest was when she was 18 months old. We were at the Christmas Eve service at our church and in that silent moment between the music ending and the pastor speaking she stood up on the chair, bounced off my breasts and shouted BOOBIES. (She was still nursing...)

  3. I'm impressed you had an extra shirt with you!

  4. Oh the joys :) I remember those days. But when I actually wanted to pump then .... nothing.

    1. Maybe you just needed a screaming infant nearby! I used to let down in the grocery store whenever I'd hear someone else's baby start to cry!

  5. Awesome story! You definitely learn to be prepared for those moments. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Wanda's one of my favorite guest bloggers! Thanks for stopping by, Joyanne, and for taking the time to comment.


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