Archive for March, 2011

A visualization.

Imagine, if you will, lying face-down upon a wheeled apparatus that holds you so that the only parts of your body that touch the ground are your nipples. Then, imagine that you are pulled across town, nips dragging along the blacktop. When you arrive home, visualize yourself sitting down next to your Dyson (never loses suction!) and placing the hose attachment gently upon the end of your raw and bloodied breast, then turning it on for 20 minutes. Switch sides and repeat.

Do this every 2 hours for 4 weeks and you will have an idea of what breastfeeding felt like for me for the first month. It occurs to me that this was a contributing factor to my dark weeks as a new mom. They say that if breastfeeding hurts, you are doing something wrong. FALSE. I went to my first La Leche League meeting after having Ruby filled with rage and expecting an explanation and formal apology. The lady there looked at Ruby breastfeeding and declared it “fine.” OH, REALLY?? I haven’t been back there.

However, after four weeks of nightmares featuring my baby’s sweet sucking maw, I turned a corner. And I am still breastfeeding. I attribute my steadfastness in this to two factors: inertia and David. Poor David, because I hated him a little every time he said, “Let’s just try for one more week/day/feeding and see if it gets better”, after all, HE wasn’t the one living with the injustice of bleeding nipsies being piled on top of the horror show that was Childbirth. But he was right. It got better.

I do sometimes think I should be able to beat him with a stick for a few hours, in an attempt to even things out between us, pain-wise, but it would be such a small drop in such a cavernous bucket that I think I’ll just let it slide.


I wrote this with one hand

So, I’ve been a mom for seven weeks now, and am doing a great job, as evidenced by the fact that Ruby is not addicted to drugs, hasn’t joined a cult and isn’t sneaking sips of David’s bourbon while we aren’t looking. Despite these obvious signs of success, however, parenting is hard. Really hard. And we’re just now starting to recover from the shock of it.

The first week home from the hospital was maybe the worst week of my life. I feel bad saying that, but there you have it. I would just stare wordlessly at David and wonder why we ruined our carefree life and easy relationship. Was this a mistake? This is possibly the most frightening thought, as you are stuck with the baby forever, regardless of your conclusion. We spent most of the first month of Ruby’s life weakly trying to convince each other that having a baby had been a good idea, and that things would get better.

And then, things actually did start to get better. Eating and sleeping patterns began to emerge, and lo, we could take a sleeping baby grocery shopping instead of a starving, hysterical one. Breastfeeding went from excruciating to manageable, and Ruby, god bless her, started sleeping for 6 hour stretches at night.

With Ruby happily snoring on my shoulder, I’m optimistic about this whole endeavor. The arrival of spring feels symbolic–winter and all the dark feelings that went with it are ending, and we’re finally ready to celebrate our new life.


March 2011
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