Can we talk nursing?
If that isn't the craziest phenomenon. I'll never forget the day after Amanda was born. I was still in the hospital and my mom was there with me. She kept asking if my "milk had come in" yet. Huh? "How do you know when your milk has 'come in'?" My mom just smiled and said, "Oh, you'll know." And she was right. I went into the hospital bathroom to take a shower and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Talk about a HOLY COW moment!! I was mortified at what I saw. All of a sudden, the term 'Jugs' made perfect sense. What else could you call them? I felt like I had 2 gallons of homogenized horror hanging from my chest. All I'd heard up until that moment was how 'natural' nursing was. Well there was nothing natural about THIS freak show.
Somehow I made it through the first week of breast feeding. It was excruciating most of the time. Not just where all the action was taking place, but inside. Did you know that every time the baby takes a swig, the uterus contracts? The same uterus that had just endured umpteen hours of labor?! How is that fair, I ask you?! You're not getting any sleep, your maternity clothes are too big, but your pre-prego clothes are too small ... and the cherry on top is that the "bonding moments" of nursing hurt like heck? And I'm not even going to share how 'fun' my appointment with the lactitionist was and the nifty 'cups' she gave me to wear in between feedings.
You know, before I had kids, I would see a mom nursing her baby in public, and I would think, "Ugh. How could anyone do that?" Um, yeah. Never say never. It's amazing how quickly I was willing to "whip it out" just to keep my kid quiet. No place was sacred. Women's Bible Study? Done. Dinner out with my husband's family? Done. On stage during a women's retreat sound check with mic in hand? Done and done.
Why did I bring all this up? I guess I've just been thinking about how different motherhood is than what I thought it would be. Nursing is just one aspect that surprised me.
So to all you moms out there who are going above and beyond to give your babies the best nourishment possible. Who have endured looks in public from people who didn't know any better. Who hook up to pumps so your baby can still have that liquid gold while you're at work (Yes, I did that too!) ... you'll never regret it. Way to go! If I could give you a chest bump, I totally would. Well, maybe after you've weened your little one. Yeah, then I'd for sure do it.
Oh ... here's a photo of me and Henry, a few hours after Amanda was born. This was after 20 hours of labor (4 hours of which was pushing) and before 'the milk had come in'.