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Friday, 31 October 2008

Let's Talk About Booby Traps

By Edna Henkee of Grandma Henke

Years ago, when we lived in Blanding and our fifth baby was still young enough to be nursing, I had an experience I have been reluctant to share because it is rather - personal.

We had just returned from a vacation and I had my sturdy, open suitcase sitting on the chest-high shelf of our bathroom where I generally changed and dressed my babies. The lid of this suitcase was edged with a piece of metal that slipped into the bottom of the suitcase to make it tight and secure.

I was preparing to get in the shower and was rummaging through this camouflaged weapon of destruction when suddenly the lid slammed shut on my - er - baby bottles. Well, it wasn't the baby bottles themselves so much as it was the baby bottle nipples, so to speak.

Oh the pain! Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT try this at home!

I can't adequately describe what an intense pain results when you slam your boobies in a suitcase. I had to quickly sit down on the toilet and put my head between my legs as I tried to catch my breath and keep from screaming bloody murder, which would have brought all four of my other children running into the bathroom.

When I opened my eyes I was dismayed to see a little puddle of my own blood forming on the floor.

"No!" I screamed in dismay as I quickly ripped open my cotton bathrobe expecting to see that I had decapitated my own bosoms. One side was painful but not bleeding; the other side was dripping a steady stream from both the top and the bottom but thank goodness it was still intact.

I didn't exactly know what to do. Our doctor was a family friend, belonged to our church. I knew if I called him, he would not be able to stitch it with a steady hand because he would be laughing too hard. I seriously doubt he'd faced such a situation before. I thought I could probably take care of it myself if I could just close the wounds with butterfly bandages.

I am sure you can quickly imagine that you can't get a butterfly bandage to stick to that particular piece of anatomy.

Holding a towel gently to my afflicted area, I dialed my husband at work. My first words to him were: "Don't say anything about this to anyone, but I need you to come home and help me." Then I whispered, "I shut my boobies in a suitcase and I can't get one of them to stop bleeding."

"What?" he asked, clearly thinking he had misunderstood what I'd said.

A little louder I said, "I shut my boobies in a suitcase and I need you to help me get a butterfly bandage on it."

"YOU SHUT YOUR BOOBIES IN A SUITCASE!" he practically shouted into the phone. So much for the whole world not hearing about it!

The little town of Blanding is one where you know everyone. Half of the people at Lynn's office were in our social and church groups. Of course, the word spread like wildfire. And it turns out he was not a bit of help. I admit, he almost choked trying not to laugh. I still refused to go to the clinic, but eventually the bleeding stopped.

They were both nasty wounds that got worse each following day for about a week. It was impossible to continue to nurse my baby so the milk continued to come in with no way that I would agree to, to get it out. With the swelling of the wounds and the swelling from the milk I would have given Dolly Parton a run for her money! But they were way too sore to use to any advantage.

As long as I'm talking about nursing - sort of - I have to tell you about Mom. She would never let us tell this story when she was alive, but rest her soul, it is just too good not to repeat now.

I don't recall which baby it was but she became so engorged with milk that the baby could no longer latch on and it was so painful she started to cry. Dad said, "I'll be right back," and he went out to the barn and picked up a few of the new German Shepherd puppies and carried them gingerly into her bedroom.

"No!" Mom said. "I could never do that!"

"Oh now, Dort," Dad answered, as he leaned over and attached a little puppy to each side. "Just relax."

Dad said it was a sight to behold. Those two little puppies with their paws working in and out as they drank their fill of mother's milk and their little tummies getting larger and larger.

Mother swore him to secrecy, but of course it was just too good a story to keep quiet about forever.

[EDITORIAL NOTE: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. Instructions are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


They say time heals all wounds. I'm so glad enough time has passed to allow you to share that story which is simply priceless. What an awful experience for you, but looking back on it, how very funny! And wouldn't you love to have a picture of your mom nursing the puppies. That would be worth a million dollars. Great story - you made my day!

I can barely believe it, but I remember being engorged and needing relief! I didn't have puppies at the time.....LOL

Oh the pain of the engorged boobs. I had to go to a funeral a few days after a baby was born and my boobs were swollen solid clear up to my neck. I was leaking and nothing fit. I stuffed a towl in my bra to absorb the extra, and wrapped a huge shawl around my chest and shoulders. It's was very embarrassing and I could have used a couple of puppies to mold me down to size. Ah--the good old days. Funny now, awful then.

You got off relatively easy. My wife caught one of hers in a huge three-ring binder once. It hurts me just thinking about it, and I don't have any.

Far from anyone's mind to be able to make up such a story. Life is full of surprises. Pain is pain, but when it's yours, that's another story.

The women here can relate more than we men, but if a man could describe the pain of zipping without tucking...!!!

Quite a story.

Thanks for the laugh Edna. I emailed this right away. Never was in your predicament altho it does sound like some mammograms I've had.

I am sure that the pain of your wounds were compounded by the pain of an impacted boob. I don't think puppies would have helped me. I was determined to nurse my daughter as I had my son so I kept trying even though she was unable to get any milk. I ended up with impacted breasts that were swollen clear under my armpits. Oh the agony!

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