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.

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1 Response to “A visualization.”


  1. 1 nakiru March 22, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I heart your honesty.

    My sisters have three children between them at this point. My one sister has done two fully natural births (30 and 7 hours, respectively) and my other sister had a rather horrific induction (a lot like yours, actually) which still resulted in a beautiful nephew.

    They both exclusively breastfeed. Every time I hear a judgy phrase from one of them about how much people who breastfeed love their children, I have this insane fear that when my time comes, I will be *that* sister, who gets a c-section, uses formula, and is secretly happy to escape back to work. I have had full control of my own breasts for nearly 30 years, and I’m not sure I’m going to want to give them over to a voracious and not-quite gentle infant. (I mean, I think I will, but what if I don’t?)

    I pray that your time with Ruby only gets sweeter and sweeter.
    And less painful.


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