Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Postpartum Series: Breastfeeding

First off, I have to say how incredible you guys have been to us. I felt like we were welcomed back with a marching band and red carpet. I could have never imagined this in a million years. Thank you for supporting this blog and our little family. We are grateful for each one of you and look forward to sharing life together in this new season. 

I hoped to get this post out earlier, and plan to write more steadily moving forward, but my husband works a crazy demanding job and this week has been particularly rough, which always trickles pours more of everything on to my plate at home. Thanks for sticking with me.  

This is our first post in a series that will dive candidly into my postpartum experience. I've had a rough year with quite a few struggles—and plenty of really wonderful times, too—that I'd like to share here. I am praying these words will be a comfort to some of you as you prepare for babies, or maybe if you're still processing your own postpartum experience. 

Do you remember when I first confessed to you back when I was pregnant with Lola that I was terrified of the idea of breastfeeding? Just the thought of milk coming out of me and a foreign little person sucking at me made me want to crawl out of my skin. I knew I wanted to do it—it was the obvious choice—but I wasn't excited in the least.

That controversial post was met with new mother after seasoned mother telling me how wonderful nursing is, the euphoric hormones, the bond. I caught a glimpse of myself rocking my little girl in the dark of the night nursing and experiencing complete elation. I could buy into it, maybe even look forward to that part. But everything else freaked. me. out.

Flash forward to Lola's 2:15 a.m. birth. It was long, hard and exhausting—39 hours of active labor, including three hours of pushing. It wasn't anything out of the norm, a typical first birth, but still had me barely keeping it together by the time she was heaved onto my chest. Despite those first 15 minutes of her life outside of my body being the most euphoric 15 minutes of my entire life, I was delirious. My legs were in stirrups spread up high while I got stitched for well over an hour, my hips were in excruciating pain, and I hadn't slept more than a couple hours in days.

Lola immediately began rooting at my nipples, but I wouldn't let her get close enough to latch on. I'd imagine for some women this might be the highlight of motherhood for them. I still wasn't looking forward to it. I couldn't even fathom attempting nursing while in that current state of circumstances. That fateful first hour postpartum was so unexpected and nearly worse than the thick of labor in terms of physical and mental exhaustion. I told my doula 'no' and she obliged with the stipulation that we would try once I was done getting stitched...