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10 Things Every Nursing Mom Feels After The First Time She's Able To Breastfeed

I had no idea how I would feel the moment I pushed my son into the world. I had no idea how I would feel when I held him for the first time. I definitely had no idea how I would feel after the first time I was able to breastfeed. In fact, let's just cut to the chase and say that, when it came to parenting, as a first-time mom I didn't know sh*t. I did my research and my reading and I asked my questions and I tried to be as up-to-date and informed as possible, but motherhood is one of those things you simply have to experience in order to truly comprehend and understand. Breastfeeding, of course, is no different.

I was one of those lucky people most breastfeeding mothers hate (and for good reason), in that I was able to breastfeed my son easily and only a few minutes after he was born. He latched on as if he had been breastfeeding in the womb, a champion and a pro, and I was somewhat shocked it was so easy and "natural" for us. (See, you hate me now, huh?) Now, that doesn't mean that I didn't have my fair share of difficult breastfeeding moments, because I did. However, I looked back at that first breastfeeding session with such fondness, because the feelings that followed made me feel like an empowered, badass, capable mother. (All feelings I definitely needed to feel, as I was also scared out of my freakin' mind.)

While it truly is impossible for you to adequately prepare for motherhood, I have learned that even the smallest amount of preparation can go a long way. So, with that in mind and because I feel like being a little nostalgic today, here's what I definitely felt after I was able to breastfeed my son. Motherhood really is an incredible experience, you guys.

Relief

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Whether you've been experiencing some trouble, or your baby latched on your first try, chances are you're going to be a bit relieved once everything goes according to plan.

I was lucky in that my son latched on and started eating almost directly after he was born. Still, I remember letting out this huge sigh of relief, thankful that I was, in fact, able to breastfeed. Phew.

Excitement

I mean, look at this cool thing my body is able to do, right after that other cool thing (bringing a human being into the world) my body just did! Whoa.

Yeah, I was pretty excited about the whole breastfeeding thing. So excited, in fact, that I flashed my boob to my poor, unsuspecting gay best friend to show him how awesome I was. He appreciated my excitement, because duh. Breastfeeding is cool.

Self-Love

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It was extremely difficult to hate my body — even when it was postpartum and I was having a hard time coming to terms with all the ways my body had changed — when it was doing something so extraordinary. After that first breastfeeding session, I stopped and patted myself on the proverbial back. I might be biased, sure, but I definitely deserved it.

Exhausted

Granted, I had breastfed right after I had finished a grueling 23 hour labor and delivery. So, I mean, feeling exhausted was to be expected. However, having talked to many a breastfeeding mother, the amount of energy a woman expels when breastfeeding adds to a pretty natural feeling of fatigue. Your body is literally burning an additional amount of calories in order to produce enough milk for your baby to thrive.

Encouraged

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As a new mother, I can't necessarily say I had all the faith in the world regarding my capabilities. As a matter of fact, I was pretty scared. I mean, I knew I wanted to be a mom and I could be a mom, but I was pretty damn petrified that I might screw up in some way, and my son would pay the price for it.

So, that first successful breastfeeding session was a boost of confidence. I felt like I really could do something right, and provide something my son needed. I carried that feeling with me through the rest of my postpartum journey with my newborn (and definitely when I started potty training my kid, because dear freakin' lord in heave that's so hard).

Optimistic

I can breastfeed, so the rest of this whole motherhood thing is going to be a breeze, right? You know what, don't answer that. That's my story and I am going to be sticking to it. Thank you.

Impatient

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After that first breastfeeding session, I got a little greedy. While my son drifted off into a milk-induced sleep, I wanted him to wake up and be hungry so we could do this whole thing all over again. I mean, I just breastfed, kid! I want to show off! Wake up, you lazy baby, you!

After a while, of course, this impatience wore off and I really didn't mind if my kid took his sweet time between feedings. But still, for a while there, all I wanted to do was breastfeed and stare at my kid.

Accomplished

I mean, if I do nothing all day I can still say I am hard at work, making food for my kid. Did I rest and recover from labor and delivery by laying on my couch and watching every episode of The Office on Netflix? Yes, but I was also making food and feeding my baby. Boom. Look at me, doing all the things.

Like A "Real Life" Mom

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It's silly, to be sure. I mean, I just pushed a human being out of my vagina. I was a mom, in every sense of the word. Still, being able to breastfeed made me feel like a "real" mom. Like I was "really" doing this mom thing. It doesn't make any sense (and under no circumstances does a mother need to be able to breastfeed in order to be a "real mother") but that's how my brain came to terms with my new reality: I was responsible for another human life. Forever.

A Little Too Cocky

Yeah, yeah. I'll admit it: I let that first breastfeeding session get to my head. I thought I had it all figured out, and I wouldn't have a single problem breastfeeding going forward.

Then, as a sexual assault survivor, I started experiencing triggers every time I breastfed my son. I developed a pretty nasty case of mastitis. I was shamed when I breastfed in public without a cover. I had more than my fair share of breastfeeding difficulties, but I always thought back on that first session I had with my son. It was picture perfect, just like him.