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.


  • KathyM

    Y’know, if I were still nursing and saw that particular picture, I think my milk would also let down! 🙂

  • LJM

    Wish you would have noted the Battlestar spoiler alert – man! Not that I wasn’t suspecting Starbuck, but still. Ah well. Enjoyed the post.

  • Anonymous

    My “yeah I am all alone” trip was to the Walgreens to pick up photos of our new little angel…which of course I opened and looked at right there in the store. Let down, all over the front of my t-shirt.
    It was raining out though so I was hoping the photo-lab guy had no idea.

  • a

    nice product placement.

  • lizandboys

    I STILL get that feeling when I run errands by myself and the boys are 5 and 9 years old!!

    I hated the disposable and cloth pads – I liked Lilypadz – odd but they worked well for the gallons of milk that leaked from me.

    The 2nd time was easier for me too…congrats again – you have a beautiful family

  • Lisa

    Hilarious yet beautiful all at the same time. You’re a rock star, Heather.

  • SO precious I can hardly stand it…that pic!!

  • A solo trip to the market is like being launched into space. (No baby on board feels sort of naked. In a good way.)

  • Cara

    Great post and the picture is adorable! I haven’t breastfed for 3 years now, but occasionally when hearing a baby cry in a story I’ve felt that distinct tingling that comes just before letdown. Crazy stuff!

  • The visual/aural baby stimuli never did it for me, but when I had let-down, it was the proverbial fire hydrant stream of milk. There was much choking, gagging, and coughing, and of course this was going on last summer, when you turned on the news and all you would hear is “waterboarding” day in and out.

    It took months for the girl to figure out how to control the flow, namely through CLAMPING DOWN when it started. (Mthrfkr that hurts!) I can only say it got worse for a while when she got teeth – nothing quite like peering down and seeing bite marks circling the nipple – but then she learned to clamp with her tongue instead of her jaws, or maybe the let-down lightened up, or possibly I got used to the pain.

  • Cran

    I used to push somewhat firmly on the nipple that was spraying wildly while the baby was working on the other side. Just as if you’re pushing an elevator button, but hold your finger there for a few minutes till the tingle goes away. If Marlo is as greedy as my babies were, she’ll appreciate the extra ounce or so that didn’t end up in a towel!

  • Great job Heather! So happy to hear that things are going so well! Enjoy that baby!

  • Oh how I love my trips to the grocery! Guess what I got to do the other day? I got to go out ALL BY MYSELF- with my camera to take pictures of things that don’t poop on my hand whilst being wiped. HOORAY!!

  • Kate R.

    Oh the pure joy of an empty car (even though I automatically check the backseat mirror and am startled every time I see the empty car seat.) I was just telling my friend today how excited I am to drive down to Sundance tonight by myself because I can listen to NPR and not have my nine month old complain because I stopped singing Old McDonald Had A Farm. Yes, I am that much of a nerd.

  • I’m so with you all the way with the ‘so’ thing. Generally I have to go back and edit them out because I start every paragraph that I don’t start with anyway with so.

    So, you go with yr fancy dancing though, take it to the grocery sto-ah, oh, oh.

    Sorry, got away from myself there. Seriously though, awesomely hilarious. Just awesomely hilarious.

  • Bobbie

    “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”

    Straight back in time fifteen years. Beach Boys, not Beyoncé, but still. Time travel. (And now she’s in Drivers Ed, where did the time go?)

  • You’ve got to love how milk comes in at the most inopportune times.

    I’m adding you to my daily reading. I’m quite fond of English degree holders, people who make a living without having to physically leave their homes, and funny people. You are all of the above.

  • That dimple is too great for words.

  • I get it…I have a 3 week old!

  • Amy

    Try this:

    As soon as you feel that tingle, firmly press your forearms or wrists against your boobs, applying pressure to the nipple until the sensation goes away.

    It works great, but you may get kicked out of the grocery store for groping yourself in public, thus ending your glorious alone time.

  • Helen

    I am right there with you on how much easier it is to breastfeed the 2nd time around. I didn’t even give my baby a bite of cereal until he was 6 months old. He was so healthy and chubby and it was so mind-boggling to realize that he got that way solely through my milk! How awesome is that?!?

    The milk “letdown” is an amazing miracle in itself. I learned to put my arms tightly across my boobs when I was out in public. Thank goodness for the warning “tingle” that it is about to be CHOW TIME! At home, I would often resort to washcloths and cut up maxi pads (the big thick saddle kind!). They work fine.

    Your I-phone pic of Marlo is adorable. You and Jon sure do make some good lookin’ babies!

  • Anonymous

    They are not just breast pads, in other words, they don’t just absorb the leak, they stop your breast from leaking to begin with. And they do not stick to your wet nipples and require painful peeling off, and they are washable, breathable, reusable and they stay put. I teach for 6 hours straight, without 2 10 minute breaks and if it were not for lillypads, I would have never managed.

  • Jo

    Black shirts. Always.

  • I eventually gave up on nursing pads and would stuff a folded over receiving blanket or prefold under my tanks.

  • Wait . . . seriously? That ACTUALLY HAPPENS?! I swear . . . the things people don’t bother telling you before you have kids.

  • MeganIngram

    So I managed to avoid finding out who the remaining cylons were on io9 and the OnionAVClub and every other SciFi blog I read and then one day I’m just happily reading my favorite mommyblogger’s newest post and BAM!

    How can I go through life knowing trucks like that are going to come barreling down the street just as I’m crossing it?

  • Is it bad when I read this and it makes we want to have another baby. I miss those days…as hard as they were.

  • I have no comment on the breastfeeding aspect. But, I AM concerned with how far behind Jon is on his Battlestar Gallactica. Dude, really!

    Oh, and do you pick out the Captcha? Mine spells out “anxious mother” Weird!

  • my favorite was getting out of a hot shower and spraying milk all the way across the bathroom. While I was breastfeeding both kiddos my husband and I were never intimate without my bra on for fear that he might get shot in the eye. HA!

  • Christi

    This made me laugh. My leak experience came as I was teaching 24 pregnant couples about childbirth. I didn’t notice I was leaking until I felt it trickle down by my waist and by that point, I had the two round wet circles. And NO ONE POINTED IT OUT TO ME PRIOR TO THAT!!! Hello! These women were probably going to be dealing with it in the very near future and no one said anything. Anyhow, it was a good transition into talking about breastfeeding.

    Thanks for all the laughs. I love how I can nod and smile while I read your blog!

  • Bec

    So this one time, about 12 weeks after I had my first baby, there I was standing in the kitchen…. beautiful hard wood floors, freshly mopped; when I heard “tic tic tic tic tic tic…..”. As I spun around to turn the water faucet off, because surely that was the source of the steady drip of water, I realized the water was not on. I bent over to look under the sink for the mysterious leak when I noticed my boobs…. steady and sure, leaking milk all over my freshly mopped floors. I was wearing those lovely nursing pads. That day I started using mini maxi pads in my bra. Never had to mop twice in a day after that… well, at least not until my son started experimenting with his “hose” when he was two!

    Cute story… totally relate!

  • Brandi

    Oh I am so envious of the car ride! Now with 4 it’s a treat to have just one along, and especially so if it’s one who can walk AND wipe his own rear end–although I’m not really that picky. I actually got to ski once when my first was nursing, and it may have been the last time oh, say, 8 years ago…but it was with my brother-in-law who during lunch said, ‘hey, there’s a baby’ and I turned to look without a thought and oh my oh my the letdown! And, of course, he was young and ignorant of such things I had to sit there and try to explain why my face had just contorted into an unrecognizable raisin. He loves to bring it up to this day.

  • Meg

    I love this. Breastfeeding my first was a disaster. By the time he was 2.5 months old he looked like a pale white version of the sallow faced, big bellied babies of the feed the starving babies of Africa commercials… I just wasn’t producing enough milk. My second son was the exact opposite. I could have won a squirting competition with the neighbor boy’s super soaker 1000. Anything would set them (I say them because these were not the boobs I or my husband knew before) off, even a whiny cry of a firetruck’s siren!

  • Buy some Lilly Padz.

    This will help with the sudden floods of breast milk. If you have ‘big’ boobs they can be difficult to stay on but work well when you wear them with a bra. No bunchy pads either.

    Thumbs up.

  • Anonymous4This

    #150… Ummm Leta has been the sole phone pic, wall pic, desk pic, etc. for her whole life… surely she can deal with, or learn to deal with, not being the center of attention, at least on the cell phone. Doesn’t Marlo deserve the same attention?

    As an after thought: Something tells me Leta, who can’t let a french fry touch her chicken nugget without having a total melt down, still runs things in the Armstrong house…..

  • Shannon

    I’m probably the 197th person, but I know that you can’t be sick of hearing it, to say that you have the most cutie-cute-cute baby ever. My kids are now old enough that I feel comfortable saying that.

    I still get a rush like I’m on crack when I get to do anything by myself. I’m so excited because in two weeks my youngest starts school. That’s three kids in school, none at home. It almost blows my mind!

  • hmrhiggy

    I think I can top this:
    I am a veterinary assistant and was assisting with a euthanasia. Sad, I know. We were right in the middle of the procedure when the man and woman began to sob. I started leaking all over the place. I of course had forgotten to put breast pads in. It was horrible. I felt terrible. But the bright side was that it was the comic relief that the people needed. Nothing like a leaky boob to put a smile on your face!

  • kimberly

    Too, too funny!!! Thank you for the great laughs today.

  • Tinkersdamn

    My son was 4 months old when my husband and I married… I had to double up nursing pads that day. And damned if he didn’t start crying in the middle of the ceremony. When I watched the video later there was a sudden a definite “nghh!” noise coming from my direction shortly after he started wailing.
    Argh, and my mom thought it would be a brilliant idea to take a photo of me before I was dressed, with the full corset, garters, stockings, etc… and there, bright as day, are my nursing pads showing thru the corset.

    And BOO! to the person who wondered if Leta would be jealous of the pic on your phone. Like we moms don’t feel torn enough about fair play. Moron.

  • Jen

    Oh my goodness, I think I felt MY milk try to come in after seeing that picture and my baby is five!

  • Meesha

    A friend of mine with twins calls those solo trips to the grocery store “Going to the spa.” That alone pushed my plans to start a family back two years at least.

  • Brenna

    I was a gusher too, so I had to write and tell you to go get Lily Pads. Go, Go now. Trust me they will save you countless moments of “SHIT, I forgot a spare shirt!”. They are these silicone pads that are contoured like a real breast, not flat like a pancake, and they use presure to prevent leaking. Yes! I said PREVENT, not soak up. They are very comfortable too, and you just wash and reuse!! You only need one pair, Perfect! Hope it helps.

  • I have never known anyone whose boobs leaked…well, maybe I have..but I didn’t know it. I’m not sure what that says about me. Either my friends don’t share or I don’t pay attention. All of this baby stuff is like someone explaining sci-fi to me. It confuses me and my eyes glaze over.

  • “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.”


  • Kristyn

    Back in December when my baby was only about 3 weeks old, my husband and I were watching our favorite Christmas movie. Die Hard. After a long gun fight between Bruce and Hans by boobs totally starting ringing and then leak city. Who knew semi automatic gunfire would trigger my milk to come in??

  • Dude! I don’t which is funnier – your post or all the BSGers losing their fucking minds. My God people, calm down! HAHAHAHAHA

  • JenElls

    I’m sooo glad you wrote about a solo grocery store trip being a highlight mom moment! I have a four month old babe boy with a left dimple– no kidding– and a trip to the grocery store or Target (if I’m lucky) feels like a day at the beach… before a day at the beach involved swim diapers, sand toys, spf 175, and a cooler of capri suns! Just thank you for your candidness. Your post made me relate and smile!

  • I really did love breastfeeding, though with my youngest 17 months now, I think I’m about ready to be done (I swear, she would happily nurse until she’s in her teens).

    But the letdown! I was never one to get sneaky spontaneous letdown, but it was surprisingly painful. And when I was full? I remember once, driving home from work with my husband, making him poke my rock-hard boobs so he could appreciate the amount of pain I was in!

  • I believe they call them “Pavlov’s Boobs.”

  • Kat Kirby

    I’m always sorry for those women who have leaky breasts. I breastfed all three of my kids and nary a leak did I have.

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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