An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

The inevitable post that gets placed squarely in the BOOBS category

So. Breastfeeding. You know what? I think I’m going to begin every post just like that from now on:


Just the “So” part, not the breastfeeding part, although I’m open to doing just that if that’s what you prefer. But something tells me you might be a little bit done with all the female talk, you know, considering that the word VAGINA currently appears on my homepage seven times, oops, now eight, EIGHT TIMES. And I really hate to admit this, but when my dad calls to tell me that he likes the pictures on my website, never the words involved, I know that he has had to get up from his computer after having read what is written here and physically shudder to try and get the gross off. And the image of that is so motivating!

Turns out that breastfeeding is much easier the second time around. And that’s really all I have to say about it, I’m not going to get all graphic about it, just that I’m really enjoying it. Except, there is one kind of annoying aspect about it, the fact that my milk comes in at really random times, just all of a sudden I’m standing there in the kitchen talking to Jon about the schedule of our day and BOOM, both boobs turn on and suddenly I’ve got two giant, round stains on my shirt. And he’s all, you know, that would be so sexy if it didn’t remind me of a cow.


It always comes in when I hear a crying baby, of course, and one night last week everything sort of fell into place where I could put Leta to bed. Most nights her bedtime coincides with one of Marlo’s meals, and Jon is left to handle Leta’s bedtime routine. So I’m all excited because she’s going to read me a book about a dragon! A DRAGON, Y’ALL. And there’s not even a mention of a princess anywhere in it! I was like, who are you and what have you done with my daughter?! Also, you might want to tell whoever took her that she’s a picky eater and don’t even THINK about letting her chicken nugget touch her French fry or that’ll be the worst hour of your life.

So I wrangle Leta into the bathroom to brush her hair and teeth when all of a sudden I hear a crying baby and HELLO GUSHING BREASTS. And it can’t be Marlo because she’s asleep, but I run to our bedroom anyway to see what’s going on and Jon’s sitting there on the bed going, what? What’s wrong? And I’m all DID YOU NOT JUST HEAR THAT? And he’s all, oh you mean the half cylon, half human baby that’s crying on this awesome episode of “Battlestar Galactica”? Dude, you’re not even gonna believe this but turns out STARBUCK IS A CYLON, DUUUUUDE! And I have a hard time not yanking off my wet shirt and throwing it at his head.

And then the other day I got to go do my favorite thing ever: ride in the car all by myself. I know, I know, SOMEONE STOP ME, but there’s something about the first six months of a baby’s life when you’re sort of physically stuck to them for, oh, twenty-four hours a day, and the freedom of being by myself in the car, of rolling down the windows, pulling back the sunroof and blasting Beyoncé so loud that the concrete in the driveway starts to crack, IT’S JUST SO THRILLING. And the rush is so strong that I want to call everyone I know and go, do you know what I get to do? DO YOU?! I GET TO GO TO THE GROCERY STORE! GO AHEAD. ENVY ME.

So I get there, and I’m walking through the aisles, except it’s not so much of a walk as it is a very fancy dance BECAUSE I AM BY MYSELF, and I’m tossing the orange juice into the cart, grabbing the SpongeBob-themed fruit snacks, and feeling like I might just grow wings and fly through the air. And then I think I might be forgetting something, do we need apples? Maybe some peanut butter? I can’t remember, so I pull out my phone to text Jon to ask him, and guys. I wish I could tell you that this story has a happy ending, but sadly, that is an impossibility. Because you want to know what happened? I mean, I’m shaking my head right now as I write this because I should have known better. Because this is what my phone looks like when I turn it on:

Fortunately for all the patrons browsing the produce section I had remembered to insert absorbent breast pads in my bra, because I could have spray painted the walls a slightly yellowish shade of white with the fire hose of liquid that dropped into my boobs so forcibly that I almost fell face-first on the floor.


  • Johnson’s Nursing Pads are the only things standing between me and milk-sprayed planet.

    I’ve got jet propulsion let-down.

    I feel you!

  • Gail

    *sappy muzak* Memories…light the corners of my mind…misty watercolor memories…..

    Of being that Moo cow. I breastfed TWINS and then two years later breastfed a singleton. Oh, the laughter, the memories, the thrill of dancing to Cost-co that this post brought back. And the wet spots, the soaked through breast pads that left bigger wet spots, the boobs that turned on from other peoples freakin’ cell phone ringtones, oh, yes, I remember it well.

    All my life I thought my Mom was exaggerating when she told me that her milk came in while in the shower and she stood at one end and it splashed off the far end wall and hit her in the face. Then, my milk came in and I called her and apologized for ever doubting her.

    As usual, thanks for the laugh!

  • dammit, I haven’t gotten that far into BSG – spoiler alert! *groans*

  • Natalie

    It’s so great to see you so happy and enjoying motherhood and life in general 🙂

  • After nursing my three, I got that let down feeling every time I held a baby for about two years. Just that ache, like my boobs were tryyyyying.

  • Bessie a.k.a. #39

    I read this post while nursing my son. I was laughing so hard he lost his grip and I sprayed him square in the eye…

  • Suz

    I was reading this about how happy you are to get into a car by yourself and I think I remember a post from after Leta was born about how you wanted to just get in a car and leave… and I’m so happy you’re having a great experience and that’s it’s everything you wanted it to be! I know that we don’t know each other, but just reading about you makes me so happy for you 🙂 I guess that’s the power of the interwebs or something…

    (I fully realize that I might be mis-remembering a post from after Leta was born, it coulda been somebody else, heck, it coulda just been a dream I had once about some random woman getting into a car to leave her child…I’m still happy for you nonetheless… so there…)

  • Despite the nursing pads, I think people could tell when my boobs filled up. Just by the look on my face. I would be all happy and smiley and then suddenly whomever I was talking to had to worry I was about to murder them.

  • Hahaha! I’ve been there! (Only I forgot the breast pads)

  • Nick from the UK

    Dear Dooce,

    Do you know what a spoiler alert is?
    I should think you do, if not, ask Jon.
    This post should have definately had one. I’m a bit miffed as I’ve managed to dodge the latest series info for this long and it’s a bugger that I get stung with it reading about breastfeeding of all things.

    luvs n hugs

    Nick xx

  • Angie

    My milk came in about 3 times while reading this post.
    Your to awesome!
    Glad i’m not the only moooing milk machine in the world.

  • Weird. I just did a post on my dinky little family blog a couple days ago entitled “So.” And started every paragraph with “so.” Why? Because the sky was blue. Who knows…. Great post (yours, I mean). I’ve recently weaned my little one from breastfeeding and surely don’t miss that hot/cold shiver when the milk drops. Sometimes would make my eyes water. But I do miss the sweet bonding time….

  • Bronwyn

    See, now we need a survey to see how many of us have a dominant boob.

    Righty here is a solid, overstuffed DD. Lefty’s a C.

    I’m lucky I can walk in a straight line.

  • Heather

    I was so “blessed” with milk that if I saw a puppy (not even kidding), my milk would let down. If I saw an emotional commercial (long-distance calling plan, anyone?), my milk would let down. Basically anything that provoked an “awww, that’s cute” or “aww, that’s sweet” response resulted in milk everywhere.

    And oh, man, I remember how exciting it was to go to the grocery store by myself. FREEEEEDOM!!!

  • Caitlin

    I have to tell you, I had no idea this happened. And also, gross.

    My captcha is talking about you: dissatisfied sealants.

  • Anonymous

    Yes! to the milk coming in at the wrong times and for the amazing feeling of freedom when finally leaving the little one in the early weeks! Well, maybe more like “I hear you” on the first part, it’s certainly not fun. Mine’s 15 weeks tomorrow, so finally things are starting to level out on both accounts.

  • torelm

    NOOOO – This is the summer of Battlestar for me and my husband – we have been plowing through the series after our two sons are in bed. I always read the last page in a book and I have worked really hard to not read anything about the series so that we could enjoy it together. No more spoilers!

  • Anonymous

    Great post, as always. But a //major// spoiler! Come on, seriously?! *groan*

  • You know, it’s not that hard to put an older kid to bed while breastfeeding the baby. Let’s put it this way: It can’t be too hard if _I_ can do it.

  • So I hear in Utah there is a place that makes Ice Cream out of breast milk. Maybe you could spray some into their reciepes for them. Hahahaha. Thanks for the laughs.

  • haha 🙂

    Does reading the word BABY make you gush? Or typing BABY? Or thinking BABY?

  • LOL. But also: EW.

    And also also! JON IS SO COOL! Although a little behind, considering BSG ended a few months ago… Tell him it GETS BETTER and the ending TOTALLY ROCKS!

  • Melissa

    I nursed my second child for over a year and HATED the feel of nursing pads, not to mention how bulky they looked under a t-shirt. Please, check out LilyPadz, they are awesome! Once your milk is established they are wonderful for avoiding spontaneous wet t-shirt contests!

  • NES

    ya, you are kinda blowing a critical part of the BSG storyline. Maybe you should give a heads up to readers to skip a couple lines in case they don’t want the plot blown if they are way behind.

    Really funny story otherwise!

  • Kristin

    I did NOT need to know that about BSG. I’m in Season 1, Episode 6. Grr!

  • Haha, I just read some of the comments and you have pissed off the nerds! They, like Jon, are LATE with their nerdiness, but it’s okay. Tell them Jon’s comment is deceiving/not quite accurate, because that’s true. They can take it on the authority of someone who actually finished watching the entire show. 🙂

  • Hee hee. mooo. What a 21st century problem. “My iphone made my breasts explode in the grocery store”

    rock on.

  • Beth

    Once again, you hit the nail on the head! I also am breastfeeding my second time around and I can’t believe how crazy my boobs are. With my first, I never had a problem with the letdown – even if she was the baby that was crying. But with my new daughter, oh man, if I even think about any baby that has ever roamed the planet my milk lets down. I don’t even have to be thinking about a baby, it could be any child in general – even my first who is almost 3 years old. They are out of control!

    Thank you Dooce, for allowing us all to talk freely about our boob problems.

  • ElizabethE

    Ugh. Why did you spill the beans about Starbuck?? For what it is worth, I think he might be wrong. I think they want you to THINK she is a cylon, but she isn’t.

  • Lisa

    You know what this post and all the comments just did to me? Gave me that tingly, letdown sensation. And my “baby” is 14 – weird! Congratulations to you & your family…your posts are a delight to read!

  • I’ve so been there. 8 months in and just the sound of another baby crying brings on the let-down. I’ve actually had that happen at work because I just thought about my son.

    The reusable pads are the best for those really big leakages. And thank the heavens for them!

    Also thanks for posting your birth story. I am determined to have a natural birth next time. Having my son cut out of me at 29 weeks because my placenta was separating was not the joyous birth experience I wanted. He’s still the most wonderful thing ever, but I would really like that baby high you were talking about. It’s just not the same when you don’t get to hold them for days.

  • I haven’t nursed in years [Nor will I ever nurse again. I’m old.], and that photo almost made me let down. You’re doing great!

  • I have nursed my daughter for nine months and NEVER felt let down or leaked. It’s so peculiar. I kept waiting for it to happen.

    I shall consider myself among the blessed! I am guessing all bets are off for the next kid, though.

  • I thought you were going to see the picture are cry right there in the produce section because you missed her….but no, milk explosion! I should have seen that one coming.

  • Starr

    Breastfeeding is so awesome! I could not even think about going without breast pads for at least the first six months I nursed both of my children. And the feeling of getting in the car without a child is WONDERFUL. Although, I would always have the feeling I was forgetting something. It is weird going somewhere without the diaper bag on one arm and baby on the other.

  • kathryn

    Thank you for not painting a horrible, scary picture of breastfeeding. I found the Johnson’s breast pads to be the best. I loved them so much that I have them still stashed away after I stopped nursing my first so I can use them with the second. Yes, I am that damn cheap!

  • Wait… Starbuck is a cylon? Shit. I really need to get though the rest of the DVDs. I hope she’s not a cylon. Finding out that Tyrol,Anders, Tigh, and Tory might be cylons was bad enough.

    oops. Did I say that out loud? Sorry.

    Oh, good luck with the lactating, too. 🙂

  • Uma

    I had just nursed my baby down and tucked her in for the night when I started reading this and saw Marlo’s picture. Guess what my boobs are doing? I should just pump and ship a few bottles to her.

  • Izzy

    I’m not really enjoying BSG so I’m not actually complaining too much, but I am complaining a little because I am watching it and I am almost at the end and, you know… SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS, WOMAN! I KNOW YOU GOT MILK ON ALL YOUR BLOUSES AND SHIT BUT STILL A WARNING WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE.

    I think there’s generally a window of time after something goes public during which it still requires a spoiler warning and we are definitely still in that window of time.

    On the other hand, maybe you’ve just saved me all those hours in front of the computer. So thanks for that.

  • Nora

    My daughter is over 12 months and I still wear those damn absorbent breast pads every day… I just recently stopped wearing a nursing bra to bed. Can’t wait to put the old milkers into retirement for good!

  • Megan

    My breasts are still purely decorative, but seeing that picture just about made them functional.

  • If I had a daughter, I’m not sure I could resist the temptation to ban all princess stories. Dragons are way more fun!

  • Kay

    That is the most adorable baby girl! This was so funny to me because of your “excitability” with going to the store. (Yeah, I said it!!!!!) Eyes burning yet? But my mom is the exact same when she “gets to go grocery shopping”. She stayed there a good 2 hours one day, and said it felt like a much needed vacation. (my little brother is 2)

  • That is an awesome end to the story though.

    I relate. And the picture is perfect.

    Disposable breast pads are an example of the application of modern technology to a vital product I never even knew existed until I googled around for things to buy in preparation for the birth. Turns out life was even suckier for women in the olden days than I ever knew.

  • Okay, I’m actually laughing out loud. I LOVE this post. I certainly relate. When I had my first baby I used to be up in the middle of the night feeling sorry for milk cows. I had milk spraying out of me!

    The worst part–whenever my dog howled, my milk came in like it was spraying from a fire hose! She was a poodle, a lot of howling, and a lot of changed wet shirts:)

  • Kelly

    “Dude, you’re not even gonna believe this but turns out STARBUCK IS A CYLON, DUUUUUDE!”

    i haven’t watched it on tivo yet! MOTHER FUCKING FUCK!

  • I remember that happening. Things settle down after a few months and then the milk doesn’t gush any more at random times. I always forgot to put the pads in, so I would often be walking around with several dried milk stains on my shirt before I could finally get home to change.

  • Totally with you on all this, esp. what a profound joy it is to drive in the car alone – I mean, must be…

  • I LOVE to drive in the car by myself. I got to do it just yesterday and it was such a blast. I blared the stereo, sang REALLY loudly, let the wind whip through my hair. Ok, there was no “whipping” in Atlanta in August what with the humidity and my hair’s desire to frizzzzz.

    I think your post made my boobs leak…

  • Any woman who has every nursed is nodding their heads in commiseration and thinking of their own un-duly timed gushers.

    I’m still chuckling about “YOU’RE A F*CKING OCTOPUS! WHY AREN’T YOU SWIMMING?!”

    Too good.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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