Last week was Fuck You Week, Jezebel's first annual week of desperate emotional cleansing and unhinged psychic purging. But Friday took a turn for the awful and we didn't run our final entries. So we're doing that now.
What those lactivist cunts conveniently forget to tell people—in their ongoing campaign of castigating bottle-feeding mothers as unnatural and ignorant, masking their concern-trolling as "support"—is that breastfeeding, for many women, is an incredibly painful, almost traumatizing endeavor, that will leave two bloody, crusted-over scabs where their tits once were. It's awful. It really is. Don't believe me? Then let me tell you about the time my left nipple fell off.
My mother, a registered nurse, breastfed me, and I had been raised to believe that this was the reason that I had perfect attendance throughout most of grade school, why I performed so well on standardized testing, and why I'd never broken a bone. She was like a broken record, going on and on about it, taking credit for my good immune system, good reading comprehension, and good luck, for pretty much my entire life. But now, after I exclusively breastfed my own child, I understand that my mother wasn't so much telling me about the benefits of breastfeeding, but rather, telling herself, as a form of self-affirmation, to rationalize the complete loss of feeling in her nipples that she never ever regained.
That happens! Actually, when you're breastfeeding, you pray for it to happen as soon as possible. Any respite—even permanent nerve damage—from the piercing pain of a latch-on and the unrelenting soreness that follows is so welcomed. You know, having live explosives shoot out of your boobs doesn't feel as cool as it looks in the "Firework" video. Because that's what it's like: burning, stabbing, sharp, deep, wide, thick, soul-sucking pain that will cause your asshole to constrict so far up into your body that you fear you might choke on it.
Breastfeeding can fuck off, right now. I used to punch the arm of the couch, kick my feet, and scream, "Cocksucker motherfucker!" just to get through a feeding. And then, roughly two hours later, I would be presented with my child, by my husband or another family member, telling me it was time to do it all again. "Already!?" I would cry, before sobbing so hard from revisiting the pain that I couldn't even make noise, but just silently quake.
When one of my breasts developed a painful case of mastitis, I was told that the only way to cure it was to "keep her on the breast as much as possible." That was the last thing I wanted to hear.
Both of my tits were gross. They were so bloody and scabby that they looked like someone had stubbed cigarettes out on them, like it was some kind of gang initiation ritual, symbolizing my induction into Da Mutha Hood.
Of course, the worst came when I discovered, to my horror, that my left nipple became semi-detached from my areola. It was hanging on by a slim cord of flesh. My hands trembled as I moved my whole nipple up and down, like the head of a Pez dispenser. Panic-stricken, I asked my midwives what I should do. I was convinced I might need to be hospitalized. Again, I was told to "keep her on the breast as much as possible." Eventually, it healed, but I'm scarred—in more ways than one.