By: Heather Somaini
I know you’re asking yourself what a picture of two babies floating aimlessly in a pool has to do with margaritas or more to the point, why margaritas are your friend. But trust me, they are.
Tere nursed the twins for about seven months. I use the term “nurse” loosely because she never really did nurse them. We had so many complications before the babies were born and then after that a couple weeks in, we abandoned nursing altogether and my wife pumped exclusively. The twins both ate formula with as much breast milk as Tere could produce. Tere always said she wanted to nurse for at least six months. I was happy to go along with whatever she wanted. Six months seemed like a great amount of time to me.
Around five months in, Tere started talking about scaling it back and wanting to stop at the six-month mark. I happily said I was in support of whatever she wanted to do. One night she was struggling with her decision to stop pumping and asking me my thoughts. I didn’t have many so that’s what I expressed. She finally said “Am I the only one around here that’s upset and sad about the end of breastfeeding?” I knew it was one of those moments where I should probably be thoughtful before I answered so I paused…and thought. I finally said “Yes!” Tere was devastated. I guess she thought I was wracked with conflict over this. The truth is, I only think the birth mother is the one that is attached to it. It was actually great for me that the babies took formula – it gave me all the opportunity I wanted to feed them.
So here was Tere, completely wrecked about her decision to stop nursing. And she just couldn’t do it. She tried and she tried but something inside her just wouldn’t let her stop. I’m sure she felt selfish, that wanting her body back as her own was not the selfless act that all mothers should naturally just do. So no matter how hard she tried, she just kept on pumping.
Without me really realizing it, an answer was just ahead of us. We went on vacation. It was just a short four days down in Mexico at a resort that Tere and I knew well. We had actually planned to go the year before but when Tere got pregnant, she didn’t want to leave the safety of our house and our doctors. So, I sweet-talked the resort manager to let us postpone our trip by a year if I booked a second room. We took my parents!
My parents came to Los Angeles a few days before and we all flew down together. It was a bit of a trek with seven-month-old twins but when we arrived, it was paradise. Off season and relatively empty – we had the place to ourselves. After checking in, I promptly corralled my family into the lobby lounge area and started perusing the drink menu. Soon I had the babies asleep in their strollers and all the grown-ups deciding what kind of margarita they wanted. When the waiter came we ordered some food and EVERY MARGARITA ON THE MENU. Yes, I’m serious. We were on a margarita tasting high. We must have looked like raging alcoholics.
Tere did not want to drink at all. She knew that she needed to pump later that evening and any alcohol would be transferred to her breast milk and then ultimately to the babies. After a bit of coaxing, she finally agreed to “pump and dump”. If you’re not sure what that is, it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The nursing mother pumps her breast milk like normal but then essentially throws it away or “dumps” it. Tere sampled every margarita we ordered.
The next day we spent at the pool. When the lunch order came around, my mom and I ordered a couple of our favorite margaritas from the night before. Tere hesitated but then decided to drink one anyway. She justified it by saying she was on vacation so it would be ok to “pump and dump” one more day. We drank margaritas pretty much every day while we were in Mexico and so did Tere. By the time we left to return home, she hadn’t pumped any breast milk for the babies and came to the decision to stop altogether. Suddenly, it was the easiest decision she ever made.
So there you have it my friends. If your wife is having a hard time bringing her nursing career to an end, just take her on vacation to a warm locale with great margaritas. She’ll feel much better about it very soon.