Breasts. Where to start. Well, why don’t I start at the beginning?
It is thought amongst people who do baby science that the process of being born is so traumatic it is immediately wiped from our very minds; lest we spend our entire time on this planet in a state of catatonic despair at the cinematic horror story replaying in our sullied minds.
If you’ve ever come back to the UK from a hot climate in the middle of winter, I imagine it’s a very similar feeling to stepping out of the plane after landing in Luton. (It’s a funny thing that you need a passport to enter the country you live in, but not one to actually come into the world in the first place. Or is that what the scan picture was intended for? I’m still learning…)
As with the moment I was born, I also have no recollection of being breast fed. I know I was breastfed because I asked my Mum and, although I haven’t researched this, I assume the human mind also wipes this from our memories. (Prior to a certain age, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish. Or nursing bra of lactation.)
After all, McDonald’s wouldn’t be the phenomenal success it is if we were to know that there is a much faster food readily available to us. (That said, my own Mum lives 2 hours away and the semi-detached drive offers little in the way of drive-thru accessibility.)
At some point in the childhood of a young boy, breasts become something to be giggled about. A school friend of mine, upon realising it gained laughs, wittily changed my surname from Booth to Boobs.
“Your name is Alistair Boobs!”
In those pre-teen years I didn’t have much of a comeback to that. I dare say, should it happen today – or indeed, with my own soon-to-be-birthed son – I would have an acerbic comeback prepared. Or a feeling of compassion as to why they felt the need to put me down in front of others.
When I was 12, as I say, there was no comeback.
However, when I entered my teens, boobs jumped from being a label to a poster.
For my Dad decided that for my birthday, he would get me a poster. A poster of a brunette woman, dressed only in the whitest lingerie, leaning out of a window in a ruined building in a hot, dusty, latin setting. The caption read: A Room With A View.
(The oddest thing about thinking back to this as a 40-year-old – and this pretty much sums up where I am heading with my breasts evolution – is that I sit here, retrospectively impressed at how white her lingerie was, and whether she used a bio or non-bio gel or powder.)
After my teenage years, breasts played a part in a series of anecdotes which would detract from the point of this scribbling if I were to list them; as well as bearing little resemblance to the engaged father-to-be I now proudly am.
Which brings me pointedly, as well as cleanly, to where I am in life now. And why breasts are at the forefront of my thoughts for very different reasons as I type.
From a breastfeeding baby, to a retortless schoolboy, then a daydreaming teen, through a 20-something haggling with a representative of HMRC about the definition of tax-deductible “entertaining”, to a man in his 30s who fell in love with the owner of his favourite pair, to a soon-to-be Dad; breasts have taken me from nourishment, to playground giggles, to shallow dating, arriving at eventual deep love and any-day-now fatherhood.
Breasts: Lactating on the laptop
As I sit typing away, I have a newfound respect for myself. A new outlook on boobs. (Not schoolboy me; actual breasts.)
Because last night during work, I Googled breasts. Not to gawp at like some schoolboy staring at his mate’s stolen Page 3 stash. Not even to find some ridiculously white lingerie that wouldn’t fade on a hot wash for my own, real hot raven-haired window leaner.
No. Last night I Googled breasts because I wanted to find out about breast pumps. At one point I had 7 tabs open, all with product reviews and comparisons about battery operated versus manual; dual-action versus single pump.
Mid-search a colleague walked into where I was. I didn’t close down my screen. I didn’t have to.
“What are you up to?” Gaz said.
“Looking at breasts…” I jadedly answered.
Gaz looked at me, awaiting either an explanation or an invitation.
“…to see which breast pumps are the best versus value for money.”
Gaz didn’t come to look.
Breasts: Teater’s Pet
Last week Frankton and I went to a course about breastfeeding. I didn’t giggle once. Nor did I think of anything other than, quite sensibly, how to help Frankton when it came to breastfeeding our own son.
I appreciate that not all Mums can wean from the breast.
“Not all Mums can wean from the breast”. That is how I talk these days. That is how I talk with other Dads or Dad-to-be’s too. There was a man sitting next to us. Shaven headed, tattooed – if you were the type to think stereotypically of an alpha bloke, this was him. He asked the most sensible, mature, caring questions. I nodded along.
What is more, I know for a fact that if I were in a pub with him and the other Dad in the room, the conversation would be the same. Not once would we utter the word “knockers”; we would undoubtedly question the estimation of the onset of lactation.
Breasts: Breastfeeding Is The Best Feeding…
… but I appreciate it isn’t always possible. So for all I am looking for breast pumps, I am also aware it may not be a case that Kerri can breastfeed. And what if not? Well, we shall feed our lad with formula and love him in the same way we would anyway. As does any parent who can or can’t.
This post isn’t really about that. (This post from You The Daddy is, and it’s brilliant.)
What this post is really about is asking this question…
If Frankton CAN breastfeed, surely it’s okay to try a little bit myself isn’t it?
After all, how is that any less odd than drinking from a cow or goat I have never met!?! Plus, as a Dad who doesn’t express milk from either of my nipples, it will be another bond I have to share with Soninho.
Which marvellously leads me onto this question…
If I could express from my nipples…
…which breast pump would you recommend I use?
(Also, where do you get posters from now Woolworths is closed?)
Al (AKA The Dad Boobs)