Now that I’m six weeks into this whole breastfeeding adventure, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on this weird, yet wonderful experience (but mostly weird).
(Disclaimer alert) Can we stop shaming people on how they choose to feed their babies? Pleaseandthankyou. Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on, MMMKAY?
Paul and I decided that we wanted to breastfeed Emma as soon as we found out that I was pregnant. I knew about the general benefits of breastfeeding for baby so we were going to give it our best shot. I also knew that I would be heading back to school eventually, so I wanted to be comfortable pumping as well. Cut to me sobbing in the hospital on day two, while trying to figure out how to feed my brand new tiny human.
Breastfeeding is hard. And very weird. And completely beautiful.
ONE // You start at the hospital and you have no idea what you are doing (no matter how much research you’ve done beforehand). Various lactation consultants and labor and delivery nurses try to show you how to hold the baby, what to look for, how to sit, which pillow to use, and how to get the perfect latch. But basically they break it down for you.
TWO // In those early days, you cannot always figure out what your baby wants. You assume she’s hungry, but in the beginning you never really know what the heck is going on. You try to comfort your baby the best way you can. Then eventually you want to rip your hair out and you constantly think about giving up.
THREE // Breastfeeding hurts. Your nipples become cracked and bleeding until you figure out that you need to slather them with nipple cream. Thank the Lord for that stuff. You are also hungry and thirsty ALL THE TIME. I mean it, if it is not nailed down, you are probably going to eat it. And if it is already on someone else’s plate, you will also probably eat it.
FOUR // You will need to respond to your baby at the drop of a hat. She will be happy, cooing, and smiling, then in a second, she will realize she’s hungry and look at you with distain that you did not whip it out fast enough. Then she’ll start screaming. And when she’s had her fill, you better get out of her way or she’ll start screaming again.
FIVE // But at the end of the day, you love your tiny human more than life itself. You know you are doing the best you can for your baby even if it doesn’t always feel like it. You celebrate each day as it gets a little easier, even if there are set backs. Breastfeeding is one of the hardest things to figure out at first, but once you both get the hang of it, it’s pretty dang awesome (even though you still don’t completely know what you’re doing). Victory dance!