have milk, will travel: a contributor’s note

imgresI have yet to meet a woman who says, “Oh, yes, my experience breastfeeding was everything I hoped it would be and more.” Or, for that matter, a woman who says, “I am neutral on the topic.”

Relatively speaking, the time a mother spends nursing her child is short. But, relatively speaking, the time a mother spends nursing her child is intense.

In fact, my experience breastfeeding twins was the catalyst for my career as a writer. What started as a personal essay about the difficulties, disappointment, and disillusionment in breastfeeding, morphed into an entire manuscript about motherhood. The collection became my thesis, the essays began to get published, I decided I needed a blog, and now I’m onto my first novel.

So, I’m quite pleased to announce that this little essay, “The Price of a Boob’s Job,” is the concluding chapter in Rachel Epp Buller’s anthology, “Have Milk, Will Travel.”

The topic of breastfeeding seems to bring out a fight in many women, with strong opinions and emotional responses. Ms. Epp Buller decidedly gives us a break from the intensity with stories, essays, and poems on the lighter side. The book is funny. Because, anyone who’s sat eating dinner, naked from the waist up, in front of her father-in-law, or accidently sprayed milk all over the bathroom mirror, or realizes too late that she forgot to secure the tubing on her pump, knows that breastfeeding can be very funny.

I participated in the publication release events in the LA area last weekend and got a chance to meet Rachel and several other contributors for the first time since I submitted my essay three years ago. With events in Westlake Village, an affluent bedroom community outside of LA, and Hollywood, which is, well….Hollywood, I was struck by the completely different types of people attending the events. Female. Male. Black. White. Monolo Blahniks. Hot-Pink-Uggs. But we were all there, mostly cracking up, sometimes breathing deeply, sharing in the madness of a great equalizer: the lactating breast.

If you, or someone you know, is in the thick of it…grab a dark beer (just one! it’s good for let-down, dontchaknow?!?), sit down in a comfy chair, and get the book here.

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6 thoughts on “have milk, will travel: a contributor’s note

  1. and for the record, i think i miss breastfeeding. or am i just being nostalgic? i was sore sometimes, and i wanted to drink lots of wine sometimes and couldn’t. and i hated having to pump. but i loved the connection and that sense of closeness and knowing i was nurturing another human being. that was magical. and so many women i know weren’t able to or gave up, and i feel grateful to have had the experience. ok i need to shut up and read your essay.

    • Loved your comment – I miss it sometimes, too, Paige! One of my favorite pictures I ever took of my 2nd daughter was while she was nursing. It’s just a picture of our hands – every time she would nurse she would put one hand up by my neck, and with the other she would wrap her teeny, tiny little fingers around my thumb and hold on until she was done. Every time I see that picture of her whole hand wrapped around my one finger I feel a longing for the sweetness of a newborn baby and the bond that nursing can forge.

  2. What I’ve always wondered is Why Didn’t Someone Tell Us It Was SO Much Work? Pregnancy and labor get all the coverage (and sympathy). I planned to nurse, but was not at all prepared for the physical and psychological burden of it. Nursing was way harder than pregnancy with my first daughter. Of course, the opposite has been true with my second, but it’s probably due in part to all my body and mind learned about it the first time. The irony, of course, is that I’m pumping as I type this!

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