Let me start by saying this, nursing is hard! Not always, but at times it feels like this tiny, adorable human hates you for no reason. I mean hello, my body is MAKING WARM HOMEMADE MEALS, all I want is a little appreciation for that hard work. Sometimes Talula would be so hungry that she wouldn’t nurse… because she was too hungry. The irony is not lost on me and I wasn’t prepared for rejection from a person I made. However, there’s nothing more satisfying than when she would finally stay latched on and eat her fill of milk, even sweeter when she would toss a smile my way. If I could bottle up that feeling of sweet sweet relief then I’d be a damn bajillionaire.
*Lesson: You may not always feel appreciated, but you need to try and find ways to appreciate what you’re doing.
**Other Lesson: I appreciate you, you badass goddess who created life.
Oh and I learned that falling asleep while eating isn’t just for the wildly inebriated, it’s also for babies (the term “milk drunk” is making WAY more sense to me now, why was I so slow to pick up on that??). These beautiful little boob suckers won’t always stay awake while eating and you need to get creative to keep them awake. I’m talking stripping them down to a diaper, getting a damp cloth on their back, tickling their feet, making annoying noises… whatever works. Oh and the fun part? Those tricks won’t work when they’re older and falling asleep on the boob after fighting a nap all day. Instead, those same tricks will piss them off even more and make nursing an even bigger struggle in those moments. Get creative ladies and gents! Now that Talula is 10 months I find that she likes playing with drawstrings from a hood and it doesn’t distract her too much that she stops eating. Give it a try, maybe your child is secretly a cat too!
The sleepy baby crisis is strong in those first few weeks!! And honestly, nobody really told me about how OFTEN it would happen that baby would fall asleep with my nipple still in her little mouth. They told me about “milk drunk”, they just didn’t emphasize how it’ll happen before the meal time is over and several times in one feeding. Why is this not in the manual? Hahahahaha jk, there is no manual for these real-life tamagotchis. But I promise that I’m telling it to you straight: they will fall asleep and you’ll try to wake them, sometimes it’ll work and other times it won’t. They will not starve in that moment. Just try and soak in that itty-bitty baby cuddle. & take a selfie while you’re at it! Who cares if you think you look like what you imagined you at 70 would look like… take the damn picture and don’t put it on social media. Duh.
*The Lesson: Just gotta roll with the punches, even if that means holding your baby in front of an open refrigerator to wake them up enough to nurse (don’t you dare judge me).
*Other Lesson: Take more pictures with YOU in them.
But you know what else I learned from nursing? I really loved it despite the challenges, rejection, and exhaustion. I found that the bond we built and the cuddles I enjoyed overpowered all the other hard stuff. All the yummy good moments honestly make me easily forget about the really hard times when I would just sit in silent tears thinking “why won’t she eat?” or when I got so angry I punched a wall (I said NOT to judge) because I couldn’t stop her tears, or mine for that matter.
And if I wasn’t able to breastfeed, then what? Easy: I’d give formula because FED IS BEST and my baby was happy with a full belly, no matter what it was full with.
*Lesson: Were you even reading? FED. IS. BEST.
I love you, I support you, your body is an amazing vessel that deserves to be celebrated.