We had it all planned: We were scheduled to take the Bolt Bus from DC to New York, so that we could see a performance of the limited Off-Broadway run of dog & pony dc’s Beertown. I was one of the original co-creators of the play, which debuted here in DC in 2011. I loved being a part of the devising ensemble, I was proud of the work we did, and it’s been mind-boggling to see this show grow up and create a life for itself. I fully intend to be a one-hit-wonder, so in preparation of forever resting on my laurels, Andy had booked us a delightful, Valentinesy mini-break centered around Beertown at 59E59 Theatres.
Of note: Charlie hasn’t totally gotten used to having teeth, and as such gave me an pretty unpleasant (but otherwise non-dramatic) bite while nursing Monday night. Also of note: A confluence of events led me to go an 8-hour stretch without pumping or nursing during the day on Tuesday. As such: When my alarm went off Wednesday morning, instead of hopping in the shower and heading to my Bolt Bus, I was frantically trying to work out a plugged milk duct.
Nothing Charlie nor I was able to do remedied the fact that I was the sudden, proud owner of 1/3 of a rock-hard stripper-boob, so I called my OB as soon as their office opened. The receptionist put me through to the nurse right away, who listened to my woes and told me they could get me in at 1:00.
Me: “I actually have to be on a bus to New York in an hour. Can I still go? Will this get better on its own?”
Nurse: [To be read like, “Are you dumb?”], “I mean, if you went to New York you’d just end up having to go to urgent care as soon as you got there, so you might as well come in. I wouldn’t risk it with this sort of thing.”
Was I going to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a boob emergency?
Yes. Yes I was.
After my OB basically said “yikes, that’s bad” and called ahead to the Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington (conveniently located downstairs) to say I was on my way and to mark it urgent, I learned that lactation consultants are knowledgable, miraculous people. Miraculous people who charge $3/minute. At that point, though, it could have been $1,000,000/minute, and I would have offered to pay in magic beans or empty promises or whatever it was going to take. (They were seriously great though, and I will definitely be going back.)
The consultant sent me on my way armed with home remedy instructions, $22 worth of lecithin capsules, and instructions to be vigilant against infection. I was rapidly on my way to health, but it will be a while before I’m rapidly on my way to New York or any such grown-up adventure. I spent Valentine’s Day in bed (in a non-sexy way), emerging long enough to have a dinner of Chinese delivery with my husband, son, and father-in-law at the dining room table. It wasn’t romantic, but it was pretty tasty.
I have learned valuable lessons about the importance of finding time and space to pump. I’m very glad that I’ve been able to breastfeed my child; it was important to me to give that a go. But as I sit here, six days later, clinging to my ice pack, I look forward to July when I can responsibly give my child a jar of applesauce and call it a day.