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When Breast Isn’t Best

I wanted – desperately – to breastfeed both of my children. Grace never latched on to my breast. Though I tried just after she was born, she refused. She would occassionally open her mouth for my breast, but wouldn’t suck. I’ve talked about Grace’s refusal to latch before. She never successfully breastfed. I didn’t know what else to do, so when the pediatrician and lactation consultant told me to give her formula, I did. Though I deeply regretted my failure to breastfeed Grace, I came to appreciate the formula. Formula made my baby gain weight. She quickly became healthy and … Read more

Grandma and Lefty

My Grandma rarely leaves the house without Lefty. Lefty is her prosthesis, her artificial left breast. Lefty joined our family 12 years ago, shortly after an aggressive malignant tumor necessitated a mastectomy. From those first days, Grandma has joked about Lefty’s heft (“Who knew I had such big knockers!”) and his mere presence in her life (“Where’d I leave that Lefty?”). My sister, mother, and I were there with Grandma when she came home from the hospital with drainage tubes and bloody dressings.  She was bruised and weak but undaunted. She was resolute; she would beat cancer. She has. There’s … Read more