September 3, 2011

The Beauty! The Horror!

When I thought about stuffing a large watermelon underneath my skin, I didn’t fear; I embraced the challenge.  Yes, pregnancy, cause my feel to swell and my body to take on new form!  Please, I would like to endure five blood draws and two sugar drinks in the name of glucose!  And you know what?  Throw in a side of  “I can’t bend over” to go with that.

When I thought about labor and delivery, I was like, “Bring it on!”  I somehow convinced my mind that my body knew what it was doing.  It was like knowing that you have to run a marathon and waiting for a referee to show up and blow a whistle in your ear at any moment!  There’s no stopping once you’ve started and at the end, you get the very best trophy.  How exciting!

Nope, daddy doesn't have the good stuff!

When I thought about breastfeeding, by golly, I didn’t want to think about it!  Maybe I’ve always had irrational feelings about my breasts because they are such an irrational size, but thinking about breastfeeding has always creeped me out.  I’ve always known it was the best option for baby, but trust me, I was not looking forward to it.  It was best if I blocked it out of my mind completely.

It turns out, my breastfeeding fears were immediately extinguished and replaced by the true terror of breastfeeding: the pain.  (It's not weird, it's too painful to be weird!)  Why didn’t I realize that it would hurt to have one of the most sensitive parts of my body treated like chewing gum for 30-45 minutes every two hours??  The books definitely left this part out when they emphasized that it only hurts if you have a bad latch.  (Liars!)

I saw a lactation consultant when Clara was less than 24 hours old.  I was determined to breastfeed, but there was no way I was going to suffer for days or weeks without some professional help.  Turns out, ol’ Clara could probably suck the paint off of walls if she wanted to!  In the crazy way that only mothers can understand, I was proud that my baby was such an efficient nurser.  I was bummed to learn, however, that my physical anatomy is slightly lacking and would thus hurt like heck for quite awhile.

So here I am, enduring the pain that is breastfeeding.  I am happy to say that my right side is totally cool with it now, though my left side still needs some convincing.  Luckily, Clara is all too happy to provide the persuasion. 

All this to say, I am so happy that I stuck with it.  Breastfeeding is now one of my favorite (and, let’s be honest, only) parts of the day now.  It feels amazing to provide perfect nutrition and comfort to my baby.  It is so sweet to see how much she enjoys nursing and there is nothing like a “milk drunk” baby.  The moments that I spend feeding Clara are so bonding for both of us.  She knows that I am here to take care of her and I know that she needs me.

I wouldn’t trade the opportunity to breastfeed for anything in the world.  After all, it’s pretty fun to nurse in the Nordstrom mother’s lounge.  (It makes up for not being able to afford anything in there!)

4:00 am milk coma.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! I started following you from Baby Center and also have an August 11 baby (1 week old tomorrow!). He is my second and breastfeeding both times around has been extremely painful for me. With my first it was a full 6 weeks of agony before it got better and now I'm working at it again with this one. Hang in there!! You can do it! I nursed my first for 14 months and couldn't be happier that I stuck it out. You will be so grateful!