Monday, November 25, 2013

Doing It Wrong

I'm a first time mom and for me it started even before Bugs was born.  It started when I was registering for my baby shower.

Picture this:

I'm walking through the aisles of a baby store with my scanner gun, ready to get down to some serious registering business.  I easily find all the big ticket items that I've researched for hours upon hours in the middle of the night, every night, since I didn't sleep for the majority of the 3rd trimester.  And I stumble, bewildered and befuddled by diapers, swaddle blankets, and bumper pads (am I supposed to use these things or NOT?!).  I finally arrive at what my husband once called "Boob City."  A literal WALL of breast pumps, flanges, nipple shields, breast pads, creams, ointments, bottles, breastfeeding covers and the like.  So I did what any normal first time mom would do: I googled it.

"What do I need for breastfeeding?" 

Here I am thinking that all you need for breastfeeding are breasts and a baby, right?

WRONG, they say!

Correct Answer:  Every. Single. Thing.  Get one of each (at least)!  Don't forget to get the most expensive ones too, or you might as well start shooting some cases of formula with that snazzy baby registry gun while you're at it.  Oh, and wait…. once she gets here, you probably won't make enough milk.  So you better get ready for a mother's milk tea party (with lactation cookies!). 

Note to self: stock the pantry with all the ingredients!  Where do you get brewer's yeast anyway?

So I shoot stuff.  I shoot it with confidence.  I will breastfeed.  I will have all the contraptions.  I will have every cream.  I will drink all the tea and eat all the cookies.  Only the best for my baby.  Only the best for my boobs.
And then Bugs is born... 

My mom is in the room.  She knows breastfeeding is in the plan and she tells me that Bugs should try to latch on right away.  I try and succeed.  I'm so excited.  I'm feeding my baby.  I'm a mom.

We get moved up to the postpartum room and a nurse tells me verbally assaults me about 58 different kinds of holds, tongue ties, lip ties, nipple confusion, bloody stools, dairy intolerance, soy intolerance, feeding schedules, and diaper counts. Then she moves on to cracked nipples, let-down, mastitis, clogged ducts, and engorgement.  All this sounds like the horriblest.  I'm told that when these things happen, I need to contact a doctor right away in order to diagnose and treat it so that I can keep up breastfeeding as long as I can.

Got it.  This is going to be an awful experience for me.  And for my baby. 
Good thing I heard "breast is best" so many times that I was going to give it a go anyway…because, let it be known, she made it sound absolutely GLORIOUS.

We get to go home.  Two days later, my milk comes in.  They warned me about this!

My boobs are hard as rocks, but they don't hurt...why?  They're supposed to hurt.  

Am I doing it wrong?
I milk myself in the shower so I can fit into my nursing bra again.  Hooray.

I put breast pads in my bra  They don't get wet…why? They're supposed to be wet.  

Am I doing it wrong?
I keep putting them in there anyway.

My nipples are red, but they don't crack…why?  They're supposed to crack.  

Am I doing it wrong?
I put the cream on anyway.

I try 4 of the 58 holds they told me about.  She eats in any direction…why?  They said she's supposed to favor one or two.  

Am I doing it wrong?
I keep trying the Kama Sutra of Breastfeeding anyway.

I never feel a let-down.  Never.  Not once…why?   I'm supposed to feel it.  

Am I doing it wrong?
I eat the lactation cookies.

I pull Bugs off mid-feeding to check for a milk spray or something to show me that she is actually eating.  I saw no spray.  Not even a dribble…why?  

Am I doing it wrong?
I drink the tea.

HELP ME!  What is happening?!?!

Here's what was happening.  I was breastfeeding my baby.  She was eating. 
I am still breastfeeding my baby.  She is still eating.

Sometimes you're prepared for everything to go the way it's "supposed to" or even go wrong.  And when it doesn't, it can absolutely drive you crazy and be pretty scary too.  When it's all new to you, how are you supposed to know if it's right or wrong?

From what I've been told,  I'm one of the "lucky ones."  I have an arsenal of breastfeeding crap that I will never use. 

Just like I thought, all I needed were breasts and a baby.

Sometimes, everything just goes right.

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