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Mary placed the final plate on the dining table and examined the spread she’d made. There was everything a growing boy might need, and more. Probably too much more. Sighing happily, she called for her son, Adam, to come join her.
“Coming!” came his call from his room.
Mary sat herself down and started to spoon mashed potatoes, green beans and a pork chop on to her plate. The smells of her own cooking had her belly aching with hunger, so she dove in without waiting for her son. He’d probably be a few minutes anyways.
After the predicted few minutes, Adam made his appearance, eagerly sitting down and grabbing from dishes around the table. “This is too much, Mom,” he said.
“I know, but we can put the leftovers in the fridge. You can take it for lunch tomorrow.”
“I don’t have a microwave at school, you know that,” he replied, spooning mashed potatoes into his mouth.
“Well, we can have it for dinner tomorrow then.” Mary paused her eating to watch with immense satisfaction as Adam devoured his plate of food. She made it her life’s pursuit to ensure that he was never hungry, never wanting for food to fill his belly, and yet he never seemed to gain weight. He was thin, but muscular, always on the move. She hoped he never got a desk job, because he was sure to balloon up. His father had done so, to the point where he’d died from a heart attack sitting at work.
Once dinner was done, they worked together to clean up the dishes.
“You know, you won’t be able to eat like this when you go to college. You better appreciate it now,” she told him with a smile.
“I always appreciate your cooking, Mom. I’ll make sure to come home regularly to fill up.”
“Would it really be so bad if I went hungry for a day? I won’t die.”
“Sssh. You know how I am about that stuff. Even 18-year-old boys need to eat.”
Her son rolled his eyes at her, making her laugh. “I know, Mom. Believe me, I know.”
“Maybe it’s a ‘mom’ thing, but I can’t rest unless I know your belly is full. That’s why I always make too much food. Did you know that when I was breastfeeding you, I made so much milk you couldn’t drink it all? Your father said I was obsessed with making you fat.”
“You are obsessed with making me fat.” Adam paused and looked thoughtful for a second. “How could you make too much milk? I thought that was kind of self-regulating…” he said, his face open with curiosity.
“Yeah, it is, but I was so afraid that you’d go hungry if I was away or something, so I pumped extra and froze it just in case. But the frozen milk was never used, and it kept piling up. One day I saw there was a request for milk donors, and so I pulled some of my extra out of the freezer and donated it. When they called a week later to ask if I had any more, I emptied the freezer.”
“Wow, good job! You must have helped a lot of babies.”
“That’s what they told me, so I kept pumping more, and donating more. It got to be too much work to chase after you as a toddler, and pump milk, so I stopped pumping. I felt bad about not being able to donate anymore.”
“Well, at least you were able to help for a while, right?” he said, while putting away the last of the dishes.
“True. I also held out hope that your Dad and I might have another baby and I could start donating again, but that never panned out.”
A familiar silence filled the room, as mother and son remembered their lost husband and father.
Mary shook her head to clear the fog of memory and said, “In any case, that’s all in the past. For now, I just need to make sure my only baby is fed properly.”
Adam groaned and laughed simultaneously, throwing his drying towel at her. She caught it and put it away while Adam retired to his room.
A quiet evening of light TV and some reading led to bedtime. Mary headed to her room, passing by Adam’s door.
“Good night,” she said in passing.
“Hey, Mom, wait,” came his answer. He was sitting at his PC. He beckoned her over, so she went to see what he was looking at.
“Look at this. I was sure I’d heard about this before, so I googled it. Did you know that you can induce lactation, even if you’re not pregnant? And that it’s easier if you’ve breastfed before? If you wanted, you could start donating again.”
The return of the post-dinner topic threw Mary for a loop for a second before she caught up to her son’s thinking.
“You think I could produce milk again? In these old things?” Mary gestured to her chest vaguely.
“The website says you’re still perfectly capable of it. You don’t have to; it was just a thought.”
“Thank you for your thoughtfulness,” she said, kissing the top of his head. “I’m not sure I want to go back to padded bras and pumps at this stage of my life.”
“Okay. Well, good night, then.”
“You too, sleep tight.” Mary left his room and went to hers, amused at the thought of a 38-year-old woman producing milk.
As she changed for bed, she amended the thought to a ’38-year-old woman bodrum escort donating milk to new mothers and babies in need’. That didn’t seem so ridiculous. Stopping to check out her breasts in her bedroom mirror, she imagined them heavier, rounder, full of life-giving milk. Aching, leaking, constantly having to be emptied. It was both tempting and daunting. She finished dressing in a nightie and went to bed, the benefits and annoyances of donating milk warring in her head.
Over the next few days, Mary felt like everywhere she went, babies were everywhere. Many of them were quiet, some crying, but each one tugged at her heart strings. She knew that it was just her brain pointing out something she’d been thinking about, but that didn’t help. All she could wonder was if they were getting enough milk.
She found herself examining the mother’s chests, trying to judge if there was proof of breastfeeding, and only stopped when one mother at the grocery store caught her looking down her shirt. Mary had left the store right away, her face burning.
The next day Mary made an appointment with her doctor to discuss the health implications of induced lactation.
“I accept that it’s for a good cause, but it seems a bit abrupt. Are you sure there isn’t something else going on? I know Adam is leaving for college in less than a year. Is this maybe an attempt to fill an empty nest?”
Ellen Hanford had been Mary’s general practitioner for years and was a no-nonsense person. If she said something, it was worth paying attention.
After several seconds of contemplation, Mary said, “I thought about that. It could be a factor. I’m not trying to have another baby, but maybe I’m looking for… I don’t know, an outlet for my maternal urges, or something.” She laughed, but Ellen didn’t.
“Just like midlife crises, an empty nest can be a powerful motivator for people in your situation. I’d suggest giving it a good deal of thought before making any decisions, but otherwise I don’t see any reason why you can’t do it.”
Mary smiled in relief, and said, “I won’t jump into anything too fast. Maybe I’ll wait until Adam is gone for a bit before deciding, so I know it’s not related to him leaving.”
“That’s a great idea,” Ellen said. “I can prescribe drugs to help, but it’s possible to induce without, so do your research and let me know what you decide. Keep in mind that getting pregnant is the surest way to produce milk again.”
Mary couldn’t tell if she was joking or not.
“Yeah, that’s not happening,” she said with a smile and an eye roll.
Head swirling with a decision unmade, pros and cons weighing on her, Mary thanked Ellen and left. It felt like years since she’d had to make a choice like this. Caught between selfless giving of herself and the discomfort that accompanied it. Add in the wrinkle of this just being a response to her son leaving and the choice just got harder.
Mary’s preoccupation with the choice must have been evident, as Adam asked her about it that night.
“Are you okay?” he asked at dinner.
“Hm? Yeah, I’m fine. Why do you ask?” In fact, she’d been a million miles away contemplating her motivations behind donating milk.
“Normally you’ve asked me what I learned at school by now,” he said, wryly.
“Haha, very funny. Sometimes I save it for dessert.”
Adam smirked in response, and then raised an eyebrow to ask his first question again. “So?”
“Oh, it’s nothing. I’ve been giving some thought to your idea of donating milk. In fact I went to see Ellen today to see if it would work.”
“Oh yeah?” he asked. “What did she say?”
“She asked if I was doing this because you’re leaving soon.” Mary shrugged a shoulder, and continued. “I didn’t deny it was a possibility. I said I’d wait till after you left to decide.”
Silence washed over the dinner table as they both kept eating.
Adam eventually cleared his throat and said, “I actually looked into it more. It turned out to be really interesting. Not many research papers were done on induced lactation, but there was one meta-paper done on what’s out there. It showed that motivation and support were two key factors when adoptive mothers were inducing.”
Mary just stared at her son, chewing slowly. “So, as in, the mother’s desire to breastfeed her baby, and the people around her to help, produced better results?”
She said, “Motivation is not a factor. If I decide to do it, then I’m all in, but I hadn’t considered the support system that would be needed. I guess that puts the question to bed. Once you leave, there’s no one who is around enough to help.” Mary had no siblings, and her parents had passed away a few years ago.
The sudden removal of the decision she hadn’t even made yet was bitter-sweet. In fact, it soured Mary’s mood so fast that she lost her appetite. She put her fork down and pushed her plate away.
Adam saw her change in mood and said, “I’m happy to help however bodrum escort bayan I can, Mom. I won’t be going anywhere for months. I can help you now, and by the time I’m going you’ll be feeding hundreds of babies.”
Mary smiled at him, fighting off the wave of tears that threatened to burst forth. If she was pregnant she’d swear it was hormones, but as it was she had to blame her son for being so sweet.
“I’ll take your offer into consideration. I’ll admit that I’m leaning towards trying it. Thank you, Adam.”
He smiled and nodded; his mouth full of food. Food provided by her.
Walmart was a zoo. Mary was buying household essentials to stock up: shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. She made the trip once a month, and tended to just go up and down each aisle so she didn’t miss anything. One aisle that was normally skipped got her full attention: the baby aisle.
Half way down she stopped and perused a selection of breast pumps. Memories washed over her of when she pumped 17 years ago. The joy of imagining the hungry mouths her milk would fill came a distant second to the bonding she felt when feeding Adam from her breast, but it was better than nothing.
Mary’s drive home went by quickly, as she drew up plans to make use of the new breast pump in the back of the car. The routine involved daily pumping, which increased in frequency from a few times a day to every few hours. She’d already cleared it with her boss, who allowed her to use the maternal room when at work, so it was just a matter of maintaining the schedule.
At home, Adam helped her unload the bags of items, pausing when he came across the new pump.
“So you’re going to try it?” he asked, somewhat excitedly.
“Yeah. I figure if it works, I’ll do some good, and as you said, you’re here to help. Right?”
Mary smiled at his enthusiasm. “Great. I don’t expect to need any real help, but your positive vibes will make everything easier.”
“When are you going to start? Tonight?”
Mary took in her son’s bright eyes and flushed cheeks. “I suppose so, yes. I didn’t expect this level of excitement. You’re really into this, aren’t you?”
Adam seemed to take a big breath. “Um, sorry. It’s just… new for me, is all. The thought of you, um, helping other kids is, ah…how does the older generation say it? ‘Super cool’.”
Mary laughed and faked a punch at his arm. “How dare you call me an older generation. As for being ‘super cool’, it takes a while to start, and I’m not even sure if I can produce enough to donate yet, so let’s put a brake on the talk of me being a hero.”
“I didn’t say you were a he-” Adam broke off when he saw her expression. “Ah, I mean yes definitely a hero.”
Mother and son laughed together.
He said, “Tell you what, as my first act of support, I’ll put this stuff away and you go start the regime.”
“Thanks,” she said, and kissed his cheek as she walked by, pump package in hand.
In her room, Mary opened the pump and assembled it. It was smaller than the one she had had 17 years ago, but the design was very similar. Heart beating a bit faster, unsure how it was all going to go, she washed the parts in the bathroom and set herself up on her bed, sitting against her headboard.
Removing her shirt and bra, she took a minute to rub her breasts, massaging away the pressure points from her bra. She also hefted each one in her hands, feeling their weight and softness, trying to remember how they felt those years ago full of milk. The feel of her hands on her skin, stroking over her sensitive areas, sent thrills up to her neck. She breathed deeply, her nipples visibly hardening under her touch, her areola drawing tight into a bumpy ring. She traced a finger around one, delighting in the tingling waves that radiated out from her chest.
Knowing that the act of pumping was a lot less erotic than one would hope, she reluctantly broke the spell of her breasts and brought the silicon cones to cover each one. She laid her head back and triggered the on switch. There was pressure and a bit of pain, but also a Pavlovian wash of endorphins as the memories from 17 years ago flooded forth.
Five minutes later she turned the pump off, her breasts now aching. She carefully massaged her nipples and the tissue directly underneath them, stimulating them and soothing them. The discomfort produced by the pump was nothing next to her own desire to help others.
Three weeks later, Mary got home from work and unintentionally closed the front door hard. Well, maybe it was fully intentional. As she let the bag with the pump in it drop from her shoulder, the strap brushed against her breast and she winced. They were so tender now, any kind of touch except her lightest was too much.
Dragging the pump bag behind her, Mary made her way to the kitchen. Adam was there, eating as normal.
“Hey, Mom. How was work?” he said, before looking up. As soon as escort bodrum he did, his expression changed to concern. “Are you okay?”
Mary nodded. “Yeah, it’s just the frequent pumping is getting to me. I’m so sore, and NOTHING TO FUCKING SHOW FOR IT!”
Adam stopped chewing, and swallowed what looked like a painfully large bite. “Nothing? Well… maybe it’s time to visit Ellen for the drugs?”
“You know what?” she snapped. “Instead of solutioning, maybe it’d be more helpful if you sympathized for a few seconds, first.”
Her biting response caused him to widen his eyes.
Mary closed her mouth with a snap, realizing how harsh she sounded.
They stopped and looked at each other. She started, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be taking it out on you. It’s not been a fun 3 weeks.”
The look of alarm had calmed into confusion on her son’s face. “I’m sorry too.” He looked down at his cereal for a second and then said, “I was just trying to help. What’s solutioning?”
Mary walked to the kitchen table and slumped into a chair. She leaned back and said, “It’s a tendency for some people to come up with a solution when they hear an issue instead of just listening and empathizing and saying something like: ‘That sounds like a real pain, I’m sorry to hear it.'”
Adam got a look in his eye. “Are ‘some people’ also known as men?”
“Yes, smarty, but don’t worry about it. It’s a normal thing. I’ll tell you for future relationships, that generally when women complain about stuff, they’re looking for empathy, not a fix. Your Dad had to work at it a bit, but he got it. Sometimes he’d slip,” she finished with a smile.
“So, if I say: ‘That sucks about your lack of results. I can tell you’re frustrated.’ That’s a better response?”
“Much better.” Mary stood up and walked to her son, raising her arms for a hug, which he readily supplied.
“I think I just need some food in me, and I’ll feel better,” she said, midhug.
Adam didn’t reply for a bit before saying, “I’m trying to think of what to say that isn’t a solution to your hunger issue. ‘Being hungry is annoying?'”
Mary laughed in his ear, before pushing away from him. “You’ll get it. I’m going to get a quick snack before pumping again.”
“Is there anything I can do? After all that empathy, I feel a burning need to fix all your problems.”
“Smartass.” She sighed. “At this point I’m considering either giving up or buying a baby on the black market to suckle directly. The damn pump doesn’t seem to be working.”
Mary watched her son struggle and threw him a lifeline. “It’s okay, at this point a solution is welcome; your empathy quota has been reached.”
“I was going to say, I don’t have a baby, but, well, I could do it I guess.”
Lightning bolt. Tingling thunder wave throughout her body. “You could do… what? What are you suggesting?” She tried to keep her tone even, not show what she thought of the suggestion.
“Aaahhh, well, does it matter who does the suckling? Like, I dunno, does it have to be a baby?”
Her excitement made her bold. “You want to suck on my breasts for several minutes a day, several times a day?”
Adam got red in the face. “The way you say it makes it sound dirty. I’m just trying to help.”
“No, I didn’t mean to make it sound dirty. I was just laying out the size of the commitment you were suggesting. You see me disappear into my room once a day, but I have to pump every four hours for 10 minutes at this point, and it’s just going to get more frequent.”
“I know that.”
Mary thought for a bit, fighting to compartmentalize her excitement and approach the issue realistically. She said, “If you were to do that, it’d be once in the morning, then again after work, and then again before bed. I can pump once at work.” She arched her brow. “Does that sound like something you could do?”
“Of course. It’s not a big deal. It’s so you can donate milk, right? It’s a good cause.” Somehow Adam had gone even redder.
“Well. Let me think about it. I’m going to go eat. Thanks for your solutioning,” she said.
“No problem,” he croaked, turning to leave the kitchen. It sounded to Mary like he ran up the stairs to his room.
As she prepared and ate a quick snack, Mary let her thoughts roam free. One side of her rejoiced in the thought of being able to bond with Adam again like she did when he was a baby. To feel him feeding from her body, nourishing him, helping him grow. Another side of her recognized that it was probably inappropriate, no matter the intentions.
Yet another side, largely unrecognized by Mary, remembered what it was like when her husband, Ian, suckled at her engorged breasts when they had sex. His large mouth and active tongue drawing her milk from her while caressing her nipple. She tended to squirt milk when they had sex, and she had some of her best orgasms with his mouth latched onto her breast. Those memories didn’t fully surface, but helped compose the mosaic that was her reaction to the thought of her son helping her to lactate.
If she’d paid attention, Mary would have only been mildly shocked to realize that her nipples were hard, and the ache in her breasts had been replaced by a pleasurable, warm glow. As it was, she attributed the food to the improvement in her mood.
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