this drawing is called “mighty righty”. i drew it for a group show called “100 stories” at hosfelt gallery in NYC (april 11th to may 31st).
i’ve been breastfeeding elijah ever since he was born. i chose to feed one breast at a time. that means i would feed from the right breast at let’s say 2 am and the next feeding would be from the left one. nurses told me to feed from both sides about 10 mins per breast, and to always start with the breast that i finished with last time because better milk would come out from it. but it seemed to me that i might as well keep feeding him from one single breast from start to finish. that way, he’d get from thin milk to thick milk for sure. plus i wouldn’t have to interrupt him.
so that’s been my breastfeeding style. it was really interesting to see my breasts’ size change before and after feeding. before a feeding, both breasts would swell like a melon and get really hard. after the feeding, the one i used for feeding would turn soft and rather sad looking. and the other one would start shooting milk to release the pressure, so i had to press a towel over it.
i sometimes forgot which breast i used for the last feeding, especially in the middle of night when i was half asleep. my left breast coped fine with that, but my right one, oh boy. she would get really swollen and bumpy and her veins would stick out. if it went on too long my breast would look like biologically engineered cantaloupe with tumors.
and it would be very very painful — too full and too hard. i could pump some milk out, but i couldn’t empty as much milk with a breast pump or using my hands as elijah could with his powerful drinking.
so i must confess i had to poke elijah’s arm in the middle of night a couple of times, so he’d wake up and want to suck milk from my overfull right breast. luckily he won’t remember…