Monday, August 15, 2011

my body

Towards the end of my pregnancy I would tell Alex, "I can't wait to have my body back!" I wanted the kid out so I could feel normal again. Hah! Little did I know that my body would be less my own now that he's out than when he was in. I'm talking, of course, about breastfeeding. My body is constantly feeding this little boy. About every two to three hours we're at it again, and it's exhausting. I wasn't expecting breastfeeding to be quite so taxing. Honestly, the first week was hell. There were times that I cried my way through feedings. The pain, the constant demand on my body. I was really feeling the pressure that I was the only one who could feed my little boy. Others can cuddle him, change his diaper, rock him to sleep...but only I can feed him. The anxiety was almost too much for me. And the soreness...oh my!

Now my precious boy is ten days old and it's gotten a lot easier...we're finding our groove...but we have a ways to go before I feel completely comfortable. There are still times when I want to give up, but I won't, because I know breastfeeding is one of the greatest gifts I can give my son. If there are any other new moms out there struggling with breastfeeding I just want to share what's helped me so far:

1. Prayer. I pray all the time! Especially when I'm nursing because I don't want to have a negative attitude in the process. I don't want to be transferring any negative energy to my son and I don't want my tension or anxiety to affect my milk letting down. So I try to relax and pray for it to get easier.

2. Talking to friends. I have a few friends that have been breastfeeding their babies for a while now and it's been encouraging to get their advice. Us new mamas have to stick together and be there for each other.

3. Perspective. This won't last forever. My body and my baby need time to adjust to this "new normal." Eventually we will get the hang of it and it won't be so bad anymore. Hey, I might even begin to enjoy it more and more.

And here's a photo of Liam...because he is so darn cute.


Merari said...

Proud of you. Change is never easy, but like you said, change will soon become the new norm . Hang in there! <3

Megan Barley said...

thanks for sharing your tips. i'm sure i will use these whenever that time comes for me.

Michelle said...

I was fortunate to never experience pain when breastfeeding, but I completely understand the frustrations of being the only one who can feed your baby, the tiredness, and the stress of it all. Rest assured, it does get easier and easier, and in another few weeks you can pump and try giving him a bottle, and then you'll be freed up a bit more to go somewhere for more than 2 hours at a time!

What always helped me was to remember that I never get that day back. Once it's gone, it's gone forever. Yes, they're small, demanding, and exhausting, but instead of being frustrated that I was up AGAIN in the middle of the night, I'd try to savor the moment and remember that one day I'd wish Lane was that little and needy again. I think it helped.

I nursed Lane until 14 months and have no regrets at all about doing it. It was a wonderful, bonding experience, and honestly, when she was a bit older, completely and totally satisfying for me just as much as her. =)

Leslie said...

You can do it Kristel! It really does get easier. Just use the Lanolin for soreness and some of those cooling packs and if you don't know about using cabbage leaves I can fill you in on that one. It sounds wacky but I did it and it really worked. :) Love ya! You could put a million pics of Liam up and I would look at them all day long. He's so cute!