I was warned about breastfeeding. Despite countless friends and anonymous Internet people telling me that breastfeeding can be incredibly hard for some people, I tried to stay positive. I thought, perhaps naively, “Well, it obviously works for a lot of people — maybe I’ll be one of those people!” I thought maybe breastfeeding would come naturally to me, and that my kiddo and I would be able to easily enjoy a long, mutually fulfilling breastfeeding partnership. I mean, women have been figuring out since… well, since forever, right? How difficult could it possibly be?
Turns out, I was not one of those people for whom breastfeeding would come easily and naturally. Eventually we got the hang of it, but not at first. It took weeks for me and my little one to figure it all out, but thankfully we — me, the baby, the lactation consultant, and my partner, who constantly monitored my positioning and his latch — made it there. The months that followed were full of more latching, leaking, and wearing tank tops that snapped. I daydreamed about having my body look and feel like it did before, the way I was used to it looking and feeling, but as I hit each monthly milestone, both my son and I grew more and more accustomed to our routine. After so much effort to establish breastfeeding at the beginning, it felt like we were finally in it for the long haul. At home, in the car, in restaurant booths, on park benches — we had a good thing going. Well, “good” if you don’t count the blocked ducts, bouts of mastitis, and infected nipples. Almost everything else has been good, I swear! That said, there are a number of small annoyance that are simply a routine part of breastfeeding, and there were no getting around.
Dropping Your Phone Out of Reach
Oh, the agony and the ecstasy. Agony because your key to the outside world is gone, but ecstasy because it allows you to focus on your precious babe. (But real talk: Even in the presence of that magically little face, you’re going to get the shakes if you don’t get your phone back in your hand in the next 30 seconds.)
Realizing Your Baby Is Trying To Watch The TV And Feeling Guilty
During those first few weeks, our little was feeding upwards of six or seven times a day. That schedule meant that I had hours to spend sitting still for him every day. I could only read so many blogs, like so many Facebook posts, and stare at him for so long before I eventually gave in and started watching TV. I tried really hard you guys, I swear I did. (And then later, of course, I realized how silly I'd been to worry about this at all.)
Being Unable To Find The Nursing Pillow
Our house was torn apart multiple times. If the same thing happens to you, check the floor next to the couch first.
When Your Precious Babe Stops Feeding In Order To Spray You With A Bodily Fluid
Nice. Thanks. Love you, too, bud.
When Their Teeth Come In
Confession: Breastfeeding a teething child hasn’t been as bad as I feared. That said, it’s still been kinda bad.
Your Breasts Often End Up In Front Of People You’d Otherwise Prefer Not To Remove Your Breasts In Front Of
Although, the flip side to this one is that for months I had a polite way to excuse myself from pretty much any conversation I wanted to get out of, so it's not all bad.
When Your Little Falls Asleep On You And Traps You
Actually, I take it back. I kinda like this one.
Being Unable To Sleep On Your Stomach
So, let me get this straight: You mean to tell me that even though I’ve had the baby, I still can’t sleep on my stomach? This is not what I signed up for.
Blocked Ducts. Mastitis. Dear God.
There are no words for this pain.
Waking Up In A Puddle
I mean, hey, at least they’re working.
Images: NBC; moppet65535/Flickr; Giphy(10)