I Thought I Was Done With Breastfeeding, But Puerto Rico Disagreed

You didn’t really think I’d showcase the full bikini selfie, did you? Nah son. You’ll have to take my word for it 🙂

I thought I was done with breastfeeding. No milk had come out for two weeks, and baby boy was two years old and on solids. YAY! My BFF had also gotten engaged and we were all packed and ready to head to Puerto Rico for a long weekend of celebration. 

Everything went as planned until I started drinking. And relaxing. And dancing. And eating.

Then suddenly? Waterworks down below.

My breasts swelled up three bra sizes. Milk leaked from every nook and cranny. When I got into the ocean my lactation went bonkers. The milk was just swirling away with the waves. I had to borrow a bikini top from a well endowed friend in order to keep it moving. No one had told me that a lil bit of vacation could bring milk back with the force of a hurricane. 

That said, my boobs looked stunning and I took lots of selfies because.. Well. Because I had to. This moment of D-ness would not soon come again to my usually B-sized boobs. 

My girlfriends laughed at me the whole weekend. The ones without kids were amazed at how the milk just flowed out. The ones with kids just chuckled. We went to the grocery store to find supplies. I had to get a pump because I. Had. To. Cabbage leaves were nowhere to be found. I even went to the grocery store for help. Still, for our four day trip, I wound up with probably 120 ounces of pumped milk. Crazy, right? I never pumped that much while I was at work! I was so mad!

When I got back home, the milk didn’t stop. Baby boy noticed. So, I continued to pump, and I mixed all that milk with his cereal and his oatmeal, and I even used it when he caught pink eye at daycare. [Yes, moms, breast milk really does reduce the longevity of pink eye. At least it did for my kid. Go figure.] I pumped and froze. And pumped some more. I didn’t have to pump at work because once I got home? That milk just poured out. I had never seen anything like that before. Finally the milk stopped when I got pregnant with my second child. 

Breastfeeding is a blessing, and for me, the journey is not yet done. Baby Boy #2 is just shy of one year old and he is going strong at the breast even as he also enjoys table food. Neither of my children have ever gotten an ear infection and whenever they got a rash? I just put breastmilk on it. Most rashes were gone within two days. My oldest watches me nurse his younger brother, and we often talk about he was a baby and he used to nurse but now he’s a big boy and breastmilk made him very big and strong. I like that I was able to normalize nursing for my eldest. He thinks nothing of it when he sees a woman’s nipple or chest. Hopefully that will continue even as he grows older. 

As 2017 approaches, I’m ready for Baby Boy #2 to wean, but I’m going to let him decide when he’s finished. Perhaps he is close, as he hates baby food but loves whatever is on my plate. I also plan on taking a girl’s trip in 2017, with the very same besties. But this time I’m bringing a pump and some storage bags. Just in case.

Adrienne Gibbs is a Chicago-based editor and writer. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook @adriennewrites. And if you are in Chicago, check out her local parenting blog, SouthsideParenting.