In a previous post, I mentioned that beginning nursing was really difficult. But let’s be real. It sucked. And to be honest, sometimes it still sucks (yeah, teething, I’m looking at you…).
I know so many mothers who LOVE nursing. They found it beautiful. They bonded. They looked lovingly into their baby’s eyes. Then they cried when baby started to wean.
I will NOT cry (well, actually I probably will…but I cry about everything baby related. Just ask my husband…) because my nursing reality looks more like an MMA fight than a beautiful, bonding experience (unless you consider kicking, scratching, and screaming a bonding experience…).
My grievances thus far:
- Sucky sucky latch for the first two months (ha! Get it? Sucky? Cuz she didn’t?….but seriously. A Nipple Shield saved us)
- Short/inverted nipples (real breastfeeding talk y’all)
- PAIN-FUL LATCH (for months!)
- Slow letdown/under-supply (and baby screams at you because it’s just. too. slow.)
- The inability to nurse in public (Seriously…my daughter gets MAJOR stage fright when people are around)
- Forceful letdown/OVERsupply (it sounds great after dealing with a low supply right?? Wrong. Say goodbye to comfort nursing and nursing to sleep…and hello gagging every. time. she eats)
- STRONG left-side preference (I can’t look at myself in the mirror without laughing)
- Months of needing to bounce to nurse…
- Followed by months of needing to lay down to nurse (while infinitely better than bouncing, it makes nursing in public suuuuuper tricksy, as if it wasn’t already)
- Teething (those sore little gums want nothing to do with sucking…)
- D-MER (literally the worst. It’s a hormone-induced panic attack every time I have a letdown)
Ha. It sure looks like a lot. But just you ask any nursing mom if she’s dealt with these. I’m pretty sure the list might be longer. (Like that beast, Mastitis. Shudder.)
So…why am I still nursing if it sucks so much?
And also because I’m lucky I can. Regardless of what people say, breastfeeding isn’t always natural (maybe if you birthed a 4 month old it would be). Sometimes it doesn’t work. And sometimes babies go to heaven too soon after birth. And sometimes baby gets carried up before birth. No amount of breastfeeding struggles can compare to that.
I’m beyond blessed to have a healthy (chunky!) baby girl, and regardless of how much it sucks, it’s actually nourishing her. And I DO think it’s beautiful…just very hard sometimes. So I’ll keep at it for however long she wants it. And I’m already praying that next time around it won’t be like this.
But for real. It better be smooth sailing.