Like many aspects of motherhood, figuring out how to breastfeed a baby is equal parts miracle, yoga pose, and calculus equation. It's supposed to be natural and instinctive (and for some, it is) but my own experience was anything but. It took weeks of stress, lactation appointments, tears, and teetering on a constant ledge of almost giving up, before I finally got the "hang" of breastfeeding. I mean, some of the hoops I jumped through to make it happen felt about as unnatural as one gets. And based on what breastfeeding moms say to one another, I know I'm not alone in many of these experiences.
Of course, lightning doesn't always strike when it's expected to, so I want to give supportive and subtle head-tips to my non-breastfeeding brethren. I see you all, and your experiences are just as valid and important as the experiences of a breastfeeding mother. However, for the rest of us who managed to strike oil (or milk), there are some universal experiences that go along with it, including but not limited to: leaking, plugging, possible infections, a bit of shaming, and gritting our teeth as our tiny people clamp onto our nipples. However, once we come out the other side (much like pledging a sorority or tolerating a Trump visit to your town), you feel like you've accomplished something, and you're ready to share those experiences with other breastfeeding mothers.
Which is probably why there are certain sentences all breastfeeding mothers say to one another. Consider it a "secret code" of sorts, except it's not all that secret because we'll shout it from the rooftops in the name of much-needed solidarity. Honestly, we've earned it.