Nipple Wanted

“BRB,” I quickly typed into the Microsoft Teams app on my phone as I made my way to the inpatient wards, “I’m just going to look for a nipple!”

In my clinic, we rely on our Teams chat to update the goings-on of the day. The chat consists of clinicians and staff who are on-call for new and urgent consults for that particular day.

And, yes, I know what you’re thinking because I was also thinking the same thought as I was sprinting down the hallway with increasing speed: What kind of workplace requires someone to go searching for a replica nipular accessory.

Well, my job does, I suppose.

Without going into the nitty-gritty of what I do for work on a day-to-day basis, I can honestly assure you that the procurement of such nipple accoutrement is not at all part of my job description- per se.

But we had a hangry baby at the helm and its raging scream-cries were deafening the inhabitants of my clinic hallway. Evidently, his temporary caregivers (unrelated to him) did not bring his bottle with nipple attachment for the ready-to-feed formula. The only thing they had was the actual bottle of formula without any way for an infant of 6-weeks to drink it. I sprang into immediate action.

As I rounded the corner to one of the wards, I spotted a nurse who seemed to be between patients.

“Excuse me (I was panting quite a bit at this point from all the running), do you have any nipples?”

And as soon as those unfortunate words left my mouth, I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. The nurse was confused and unmoving. I was momentarily befuddled and completely awkward. Who asks a random stranger if they have nipples without any context?!

Well, me, I guess.

“Er… for a baby, I mean. I have a hungry baby in my clinic, and he doesn’t have any nipples to go with his ready-to-feed formula bottles.”

Bless her heart, the nurse knew exactly what I needed and where to get it. “No problem, does he need slow flow, medium, or fast flow?”

“I’m sorry, um, what now?” I swear I’d never been asked so many questions when requesting a nipple device. What the heck do you mean by flow and why does it even ma… Oh. Then it all came rushing back to me as she started explaining the significance of each nipple’s flow rate. Flooding me were memories of Charlotte, as an infant, transitioning bottle nipples to accommodate her food intake based on age. A rather important detail that I somehow blocked out of my life entirely.

“Oh, right! Um, I’ll take all the nipples! I don’t know what flow he takes with his milk. I swear, I have a kid myself and you probably wouldn’t even believe me, but I raised her from conception to the age of 4 (and a half, Charlotte would add)!” The nurse acknowledged my gentle humour with a forgiving chuckle, and I was on my way- nipples and all.

As I was recounting the dramatics of the day to co-workers who always appreciate a good laugh, I realized I had blocked it all out because I am in a new era of motherhood. No longer am I in the intense, worrying, and nerve-racking period (the oh-my-God-what-do-I-do-is-this-okay-will-this-negatively-affect-my-baby-long-term phase). Yes, with great pride, I realize I’ve graduated to the next level. I’m in the “they’ll survive” stage.

And that’s an amazing feeling.

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38 thoughts on “Nipple Wanted

  1. Congratulations, my fellow graduate. The “they’ll survive” phase is a great place to be because it means you can occasionally take a breath. My wife and I are in the period I’ll call “the soak it all in” phase. That’s when you remember all the challenging parts of being a parent yet take special pride in the fantastic adult you’ve raised.

    Our son turns 30 later this month, and he’s getting married in June. It’s been quite a ride, and the best is yet to come. Our future daughter-in-law is great. We’ll meet one set of parents (her mom and dad have both remarried) at Thanksgiving.

    Your nipple story made me think about some of my most embarrassing moments. That might even be blog-worthy material. I’m sure my wife will cringe, but I’ll try to leave her out of the humiliation. 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohh your phase sounds so lovely! 🙂 So happy for you that things are turning out well and you’ll have a new daughter-in-law in no time! Yes, I would love to hear about some more embarrassing stories, I love those!! Can’t wait! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Do you have any nipples?” LOL I can just imagine this. You’re right when you say “they will survive” and congratulations on achieving this parenthood milestone. Although, as the mom of two young adults, I have to admit it’s easier said than truly accepted. I still worry about my 19- and 22-year olds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Michelle! 🙂 I know worry will always have a home in my little brain there but for now, the little worries of “did they drink enough water, eat enough at lunch, are they too tired because they didn’t get enough sleep” are gone and replacing it is “there’s always tomorrow!”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I love this story. Of course you put the deets out of your mind once you were through the infant stage, a woman can only remember so much at one time. I know I’ve done the same thing as in asking someone something with zero context, then realizing I sound nutty. Nice nurse though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know. I always make lists and ppl think that means I have a great memory for some reason and I’m always like, no I make lists because I have a memory of an ant lol if I don’t write lists, it doesn’t get remembered/done/crossed off/attention!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hilarious. I’m so glad you came upon a nurse who knew what was up and what to do, after her initial shock, I mean. Great story, BB! And I’m glad you’re at the “she’ll survive” stage with Charlotte. That’s a great place to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my goodness, I LOVED this post. I think I snorted like a pig and everyone in the coffee shop was staring at me LOL! Oh how I’ve missed you and your blog my friend. Sorry for dropping off the face of the planet. We had an early frost hit on the farm and I’ve been working endlessly to get everything buttoned up for winter. Which may not sound like a lot but my bones have been KILLING me. I finally made time to write and I feel so much better for it. Looking forward to catching up

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Ha ha – this story reminded me of the law firm where I worked and we did breast implant litigation and all the attorneys who were on the “team” had various sizes of breast implants in their office (was it necessary – likely not, but it was a heckuva conversation piece and paperweight). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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