to be fairly honest, i don’t think i put much thought into breastfeeding before i got knocked up, but once i was “with child” the issue seemed moot. i’m going to do it, no questions asked.
i never thought that maybe i wouldn’t be able to do it, or about how painful it can be. and how much of a failure a new mom can feel like when it doesn’t work right away. it’s something almost as natural as childbirth itself – a “skill” you think we would know inherently. but it’s not. and i learned the hard way.
that first night with dylan, in a cold, clinical hospital room, the boy passed out on the chair beside us, i was brought to tears by my inability to breastfeed properly, and to get this little girl to sleep. i was exhausted, still trying to regain the feeling in my legs, and utterly alone. i *almost* feel sorry for the nurse on duty, her eastern european accent thick and struggling for compassion but still sounding incredulous as she tried to console me while i sobbed.
since then, things have gotten better, but they’re not perfect. and i spend many nights resenting everyone and everything while this little person is latched to my chest. everyone says it’s worth it, don’t quit, but i have to be honest, i’m not down for this bonding process. i feel tethered and trapped, especially when she’s cluster feeding and i am literally back at it almost every hour. there’s this helplessness at not being able to get anything done, and at not knowing if all this work and all this pain (because no matter how well she latches she still futzes about and pulls, my nips need a break and don’t see an end in sight) is paying off – yeah, she poops like a machine but her poops aren’t the colour everyone says they should be, she doesn’t fall asleep immediately, and she’s not gaining as much as they would like. i attribute this to the foremilk / hind milk situation – she’s just not getting the fatty good stuff that gets her milk drunk.
i haven’t given up yet (although i bet my boobs would be thankful if i begged off them for awhile) and despite my complaints i will probably continue until she’s at least six months but… in the interests of honesty, i just think everyone should know. sometimes… breastfeeding sucks!