from the book

Baby and I visited the pharmacy again, and I was uneasy. Dr. Cruella Bell's lack of knowledge on the subject made me wonder if this was such a good idea. The pharmacist handed over my white paper bag. "Is it OK to take this while I'm nursing?" I asked.

"Well, I don't know . . . it can get into the milk." My friendly local 60-year-old male pharmacist seemed interested in not discussing this. He didn't make eye contact.

"I think it's supposed to?" I pushed. "It's for thrush." As I spoke, I imagined Diflucanal warriors traveling through the dendroid ducts, slaying yeast beasts where they putrified my insides. They would clear out the channels through which pure, uninfected milk would finally flow, and Peter Jackson would make a movie about it.

"It can get into the milk, so you might want to check with your pediatrician." He raised his eyes to mine, as if daring me to try to him again.

"OK," I said. I spitefully swallowed the "thanks" that came naturally and clunked my way out with Baby's carrier banging into my thigh at every step. Thinking about my thigh reminded me that I was still despicably chubby. THAT'S adding insult to injury, I fumed silently. The postpartum woman, besieged by nine months of pregnancy, the ultimate assault of childbirth, and the terrorist attacks of breastfeeding, doesn't even get the pleasure of looking honorably gaunt and battle-worn. She looks like she's been sitting around gobbling up footlong corn dogs with a side of hot fudge.

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