One of the main reasons I created this blog was to share my honest, real experiences as a new mom. But mostly, I wanted to share all of the things I’ve learned so far that nobody really explicitly told me before having a baby. The goal here is not to pump out the generic: “oh my life is so hectic” just to have other women be like “how does she do it all?” The goal is to be real. So here we go.
The funny thing about motherhood is that while every single person on the face of the Earth, whether complete stranger or close family member, wants to give you advice, nobody ever really tells you anything that’s helpful.
People be like: “it goes by so fast” – “enjoy them while they’re at this stage” – “sleep when the baby sleeps” – and you’re like, “Um…thanks? Do I know you?”
What I really wish someone would have told me? Marla, when you first start to breastfeed, it will feel like Wolverine’s retractable claws are being forcibly extracted from your nipples. And so here I am, relaying that message to all new moms everywhere. Ladies, when a well-meaning friend tells you that “breastfeeding hurts at first,” just slap her across the face, grab her shoulders and say, “what is wrong with you?” Because not only would they be providing you with the grossest understatement, they are also setting you up for THE MOST unhappy surprise.
Not even kidding, Eric and I sat through a 2 HOUR LONG class on breastfeeding, with first time moms and veterans, and not one single person said, “oh BTW, breastfeeding is EXTREMELY PAINFUL.” Am I missing something here? Am I just extremely wimpy and everyone else has nipples made of steel? I can’t be the only one who feels this way. Right?
It wasn’t until a few days into this excruciating world that I met with a lactation consultant who described it as “trucks being pulled from your breast.” Thank you! Where were her accurate words when I needed them? Preach.
So this is the thing. Breastfeeding is not for the weak of spirit. Those first few postpartum days are ROUGH, as any new mom can attest to. When you’re breastfeeding during that time, it helps your uterus sink back down into its original spot, cause, yknow, science. And I would say that pretty much felt like the worst period pain you have ever experienced. Yeah, you’re remembering that time at your 9th grade field trip? Now remember it worse, and this time there’s a creature that needs you for like, survival, NBD.
But you know what? After a few weeks, you really start to get the hang out of it. It’s like, oh, the baby was nursing? I almost forgot. Wait, this is relaxing. Couch is so comfy. I’m gonna close my eyes now…And hey, 14 months later, I am still nursing and plan to let Harper self-wean. So although you may want to call it quits, just know it gets better.
My point here is not to scare anyone or to steer anyone in the other direction. Just the opposite actually. My point is tell it like it is. When you’re pregnant, some people will try to sugarcoat everything for you because you’re just this delicate flower (with gas?). But sometimes, you just need the truth. This would be that time. In summation, unless you have nipples of steel, breastfeeding hurts*.
*please see Wolverine analogy above.
What was your breastfeeding experience like as a first time mom? Did you have it as rough as me? Tell me I’m not alone!