The Breastfeeding Hunger

It’s only 10 AM and I’ve already had four pieces of chocolate. I’ve always liked chocolate, but I’ve never been particularly tempted by it. That is, until I brought a baby home from the hospital and started feeding her with my boobs. Now I’m trying to figure out how I can add chocolate to everything I eat: chocolate in the mashed potatoes, chocolate in the fried chicken, chocolate in the green mushy peas. How can I add more chocolate to chocolate?

Everyone talks about hunger during pregnancy, myself included, and that hunger is typically one of cravings. These pregnant cravings are usually very specific. So specific, in fact, that you shouldn’t be surprised if your pregnant wife wakes you up at 3 AM asking for a Whopper from Burger King, an order of fries from McDonalds, and a Frosty from Wendy’s. It would behoove you to honor these cravings as if they were orders from God, because a Frosty from Wendy’s is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than a milkshake from McDonalds, and if you bring back a milkshake from McDonalds your baby will most likely grow up never knowing his father.

Jon had it easier than most men because my cravings were always for things we had stocked in the house. We bought bags of Nacho Cheese Doritos in bulk, and if I ever had a craving in the middle of the night he only had to go as far as the kitchen cabinet. There were moments, however, when the only thing I wanted to eat was whatever Jon had sitting on his plate, and even if he ordered the largest bag of fries on the fast food menu he was lucky to get even two of them from the plate to his mouth successfully.

No one really talks about hunger post-pregnancy, however, and I was completely unprepared for the bone crushing pangs of The Breastfeeding Hunger. I have never been this hungry in my life. This hunger is far more consuming than the pregnancy hunger because it’s not a hunger about specific cravings, although if the dog were covered in chocolate I would totally eat him. The Breastfeeding Hunger is more about the craving of all food. It is an equal opportunity hunger, a hunger that does not discriminate, a hunger that believes homosexuals should be allowed to marry.

I am hungry all the time. Once I finish breakfast I am thinking about my mid-morning snack and what it will feel like in my mouth. Toward the end of the day I get so hungry, so panicked in my hunger, that Jon knows better than to ask me what I want to eat. I DON’T WANT CHOICES! I WANT FOOD! Choices take time to sort through, and last time I checked time didn’t taste like anything or have any nutritional value. So I’ll usually just open the refrigerator and start eating. Sometimes I’ll forget to take off the plastic outer wrapping of whatever I’m eating, but that’s what the large intestine is for.

The other night Leta was sitting quite contentedly in her car seat, and we decided to use that opportunity to cook an actual meal on the actual stove with actual food that wasn’t packaged in a box. I prepared two full plates to carry to the dining room table — the place where childless people eat their meals, ahh memories! — but somewhere on the 10 foot journey from the kitchen countertop to the dining room I ate EVERYTHING on my plate. Jon looked on in abject horror as the meal we were going to have together suddenly turned into me looking longingly at the food on his plate. But what am I supposed to do? MY BOOBS ARE HUNGRY. BE HAPPY I’M NOT EATING THE STAINLESS STEEL UTENSILS.