Breastfeeding Sucks.

All month I have wanted to write a post about breastfeeding and my experience.  It felt right to compose something considering it is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and all. But I struggled to find something worth writing about. It’s crazy that something I spend a huge amount of time doing would fail to inspire a worthy thought.  But it struck me today, on the last day of August. Breastfeeding sucks.

No one tells you about how painful engorgement feels or how scary it is when the hospital tells you it is necessary to supplement with formula – even though you know in your heart it isn’t needed. No one talks about cracked nipples, sore necks, and endless night feedings.  And don’t even get me started on thrush and mastitis (the word alone sounds terrifying). No one talks about the people who won’t meet your eye contact because they are embarrassed (go on and stare at that three-quarter naked woman on tv though) or asshole hospital lactation consultants with horrible British accents.

I could go on and spout off all the statistics about the physical benefits of breastfeeding for baby- from preventing childhood obesity to increasing IQ- or physical benefits to mama – from preventing reproductive cancers to helping lose that baby weight.  But I won’t do any of that because those articles are easy to find and those statistics are meaningless. And, in reality, I think those benefits only play a tiny role in why most mamas continue to breastfeed despite all the negatives.

It’s the indescribable feeling when your baby looks up from your breast and makes eye contact. It melts all the frustration, all the pain, and all (okay only most) of the exhaustion away. It’s the gooey feeling you get when she suddenly stops sucking and breaks into a huge gummy smile – milk rolling down her chin and all. It’s the soul rocking, heart healing, unbelievable feeling knowing that, not only did your body create and grow this little squish, but continues to grow her on a daily basis.

Yes, breastfeeding sucks. It will probably make my boobs sag lower than my belly button and nipples turn into permanent thimbles but I will never look back and regret how satisfied my heart feels.  I will always cherish the time we were able to spend, just the two of us. (I will also never take for granted that it is quickest, most effective way to quiet a screaming monster.)

Some may say she is a momma’s baby – and she is – but every part of me knows that I am creating an independent, well-adjusted kid.

So, I repeat: Breastfeeding sucks. But to all the mommas – Rock on with your bad self.

 

 

Our Force Field

Last night I lay in bed looking at the little bassinette and listening to tiny snores.  I thought about when it would be time for Hammie to move into her own room.  The more I thought about it, the more anxious I became. Our room is like a safety force field. It sounds totally silly but I feel like a child – as long as I hide under the covers, monsters can’t find me.  As long as all four of us (can’t leave out pup) are in our bedroom, we are all safe.

I just can’t picture her laying in that huge crib and the bedroom seems so far away.  I know it’s irrational since Hammie’s nursery shares a wall with our bedroom but it feels like a country away. How can I expect my tiny, still too small for 3-6 month clothes, baby to survive so far away from me?

How can I survive with her so far away from me?

In the morning I woke up to my little heatbox smooshed up against my armpit. We had fallen asleep nursing, like we do most early mornings. She is always very warm but, the more I move away, the closer she creeps. She is such a snuggle bug. It is obvious that I do not sleep as well with her in bed but it feels so good. Some mornings she slowly stirs and wakes me from my light sleep.  I look down at that squishy face and she breaks into a huge smile. She is such a morning person. How can anyone wake up unhappy when that face is there to great you? How can I move that face to her own room?

As she begins to sleep through the night, I am starting to feel as though having her in our room is more of a security blanket for me… rather than her. Only big girls sleep in their own rooms. Not babies.  Not my tiny, itsy, bitsy baby.

*Sigh* I know, I know… she isn’t as itsy bitsy as I think. Soon she will be sitting on her own and moving on her own. I am just not ready for her to be doing all this on her own. I want to forever keep her safe and within our “safety force field“.  I want to protect her from bumping her head, falling off her bike, and the scary boogy monsters in her far away bedroom. I know I can’t. And I know I shouldn’t. We want her to be independent and strong and not a “tit baby” (Hubs’ words not mine).

For a little longer, I will hold on to the idea that Hammie is safe and sound – protected in our bedroom force field. But eventually, I will have to come to terms with the fact that my force field will always surround her. It just can’t protect her from life.  It can, however, protect her from ever feeling alone or unloved. It will always be the warm arms that pick her up when she falls.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star