I know I lack focus at times and have much of an agenda I’ve promised but not yet fulfilled, i.e. cupcake reviews and silly childhood stories part 2 (both of which I fully intend to deliver once I a – conduct more thorough research and b – am in a better mood), but I’m currently experiencing a (literally and figuratively) painful juncture in this journey called motherhood that I found important to share.
For a new mother, perhaps one of the most vital parts of post-conception is trying to nurse her child both for the baby’s health and bonding purposes. I think back to the initial days in the hospital, when I was sternly “encouraged” to breastfeed my fresh new baby girl; post-surgery pains, lack of sleep, and feelings of anxiety notwithstanding. It was so difficult. I didn’t know how to properly hold this fragile person, let alone nourish her from this rock called my breast. On my 3rd morning in-hospital I was forced into a mandatory breastfeeding seminar. I had a Cesarean section and could barely even walk, and the thought of going anywhere in that eerie hospital without my husband in stride terrified me. It didn’t help that I was the last to arrive with Dani screaming her head off; two of three other babies sleeping and the third gurgling contentedly in his mother’s arms. The nurse asked me if she needed a changing and I was foggy and perplexed; how the fk was I supposed to know? She picked up my daughter and told me I needed to change her diaper, according to the bold blue stripe at the bottom. Feeling ashamed and inadequate, I told her I didn’t know how to (wasn’t I just laying in bed for three days with a catheter stuck up my hoo-ha, slurping up Jell-o and apple juice through a straw?).
Let’s just say, the first days of motherhood, especially when you’re stuck in the hospital 8 days longer than you had planned, are neither easy nor pretty.
This brings me to back to my present situation, one I wasn’t so blatantly prepared for. Sure, there is plenty of literature on how to properly massage your breasts for milk flow, that bleeding nipples and engorgement are commonplace, how and when to pump, yada yada, but I don’t recall reading much about weaning and the painful process it’s proven to be. One of many baby- and family-related plans of mine was to not nurse Dani for more than 12 months. She is now 18 months old. She was a great drinker from the start (once I got my stone chest broken in and flowing), and I must confess I quashed many a breakdown, crying fit and cranky mood with a simple feeding session. At first I used a special nursing pillow, then decided I wanted to be comfortable too and started nursing in bed. It was so easy to pick her up, lay down, and snooze together after she was full and content. But it was just five days ago, when her big baby teeth started to grind down and yank more frequently, and her squirming 22+ pound body kept kicking and rolling all over me making it hard to breathe, that I decided it was time.
One of the greatest pleasures of motherhood thus far was nursing Dani. She loved her milk and pretty much got it when she wanted it, if I was home. I thought that my 14-hour work days would dry up the supply, but around midnight every night she would wake up and feed. Of course I complied; I missed holding her after such a long day and she was so happy to do it. It was the one thing as a mother I could offer her that no daddy, grandparent, or godmother could. You can imagine what an emotional mess I’ve been for the past few days.
After several major crying spells in between now and getting home from Easter dinner Sunday, I think I’m starting to feel better. Dani broke my heart the second night, when she pointed to “our” spot on the bed and cried, pleading for me to lay with her. But it’s proven easy to distract her (with lots of iPhone games and a handy supply of little chocolate Easter eggs), and knowing she is happy and still running around all “loca” is very reassuring.
So here I sit, breasts throbbing and leaking through layers of cabbage and sports bra, drinking Sudafed (which quite a few mothers via Internet forums have insisted provides relief and dries out the breasts) to share my story with you.
I hope you’ve found it even a tiny bit informative, if not a semi-lengthy distraction from your boring office duties 🙂
Perhaps an upcoming post will be about the painstaking journey of navigating the web-hosting and blogging world. I have purchased the domain www.preferredfate.com which I plan to have up and running very shortly, once I get my hubby to take a look. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’d rather poke myself in both eyes than read instructions on how to manage online services. Guess I’ve got to get with the times sooner or later (preferably, much, MUCH later).
And I also have to do some cupcake research and dig into my childhood archives, I know, I know.