mammo versus breastfeeding


I know it’s my choice. To start weaning now and get the mammo and MRI as soon as possible (which will be about a year or so from now) or nurse Giles as long as he needs/wants and delay the screenings? I hadn’t realized how long it takes to wean a baby. It’s a slow, gradual process. If I start now it may take months until he is completely weaned. And it’s at that point that the nine month clock starts. So much waiting.

There’s emotions. And hormones. Breastfeeding is such a hormonal thing. At the very thought of stopping I start to cry, and I run over to Greg and Giles on the couch, where Giles is happily taking a bottle. I cuddle against them, my eyes big puddles of tears, Giles looks up at me.

And then there are moments when I feel ready, and know that everything will be fine.

Except everything isn’t fine. I’m afraid of what will happen to healthcare, to women’s healthcare specifically, to the idea of pre-existing conditions. I’m worried for my body, for my mind, for my future second pregnancy that will happen sometime during the Trump administration.

So many things to worry about– both big picture and very personal. I don’t really know what I’m going to do. But I am going to do things, one tiny thing at a time. Ask for help, seek out other moms who can reassure me or give me mother-led-weaning tips. Get back into some kind of therapy. Talk to my husband a LOT. Walk. Do yoga. Snuggle my baby. Cook something new. Buy local produce/meat/cheese. Get my son his first library card. Read to him. Dance with him. Sing. Draw. Write. Take a hot shower. Say “I love you” a lot. Keep my own medical records. Slowly shorten nursing sessions. Check my breasts for lumps. Call my doctors and ask questions. Pay attention to my body.

And after a lot of months, after a year, after an undetermined amount of time, get a mammogram and a breast MRI and get prescribed Lorazapam for these procedures to help calm me down.


shana show

My best friend (since we were six years old), Shana, has a blog called The Shana Show. Her most recent post is here. I read it today and immediately thought: woah, I’ve been thinking those same things.

Right down to the details of medical world. I, too, had felt the relief of being in a doctor’s care, thinking they would magically make me better. That in a doctor’s office I would always be taken care of and that I could let go of worry. Now I know that doctors are just people doing a job. There is so much they don’t know. Some are kind and caring, some are irritated by your every question, some are in-between. Just like at a store, a gas station, or a restaurant. Doctors are not super-human, they are just human. Humans working at living just like the rest of us.

It warms my heart to know there is a doctor like Shana, who looks at each heart beat as the miracle it is. Who is an artist-doctor– looking at each patient and situation uniquely, adapting to be able to care for that person, specifically.

Shana and I both look for those little things, those small joys and amazing details of every day life. When we were kids we saw invisible friends everywhere, built castles for frogs, and wrote stories about leaves and clovers. We are still those two little girls, looking at our adult lives with that perspective of possibility. And I am so grateful she is my friend.

Speaking of small things: