Celebrate the Sacrifice!
…“Oh, and remember that you still can’t drink alcohol. Because it passes into your breastmilk.” The nurse had been giving me a breastfeeding crash course over the last several minutes. I was kind of in a haze. Sleep deprived, on pain meds, and really starting to feel my 4th degree tear. But this caught my attention.
“Excuse me?” I said. “What do you mean I can’t drink alcohol? I thought that was just for pregnancy.”
“Nope!” The nurse replied with a smile. “Your diet still affects your breast milk, which should come in in a couple of days. So, you need to limit caffeine and alcohol.”
Honestly, this was pretty devastating news (and also evidence that I had no idea what I was doing). It’s not that I needed a glass of wine. But so much in pregnancy had been about what I couldn’t have. No alcohol. No lunch meat. No sushi. Having the baby, in my mind, was supposed to be this passage of freedom. Being able to eat and drink what I wanted when I wanted. Finally having my body back. This is probably one of the reasons why motherhood was to traumatizing for me. Any one who has had a child would be very slow to describe it as a “passage of freedom”. My expectations were a little off.
But I really wanted to breastfeed and was committed. Luckily, Bethany latched well. My milk came in just fine. My breastfeeding journey had begun. Parts of it came naturally and parts were really hard. I was so blessed to never struggle with my milk supply, but at the same time I had really strong let downs, which made it difficult for Bethany to stay latched. I have this really vivid memory from when Bethany was about 10 days old. We decided to go to my parents’ lake house for the weekend. It was an easy drive and would be nice to have the extra hands to help out. I was in my room, trying to feed Bethany. She latched well, but then I had my let down. She pulled off and started screaming. And I was literally spraying her in the face with milk. Like my own personal super soaker. My mom walked in to find Bethany and I both losing our minds. Low point. Needless to say, we powered through, and after a few months we were in a pretty good rhythm. It had become our new normal. But in that I found that I had to sacrifice way more than I did in pregnancy. Thinking about the timing of every feeding. Waking up several times a night. Continuing to watch what I was eating. Feeding your baby, no matter how you do it, requires great sacrifice.
I read a statistic this past week that moms spend approximately 1,800 hours breastfeeding in the first year. But that statistic crosses over to every mom no matter how you feed your baby. I mean, you should probably add time to that for moms who are heating up bottles or pumping. It is seriously a full-time job. Something worth celebrating. Because in the sacrifice, we are given the opportunity to watch a tiny human grow and learn.
So, cheers to all you mamas feeding babies out there. It is not for the fainthearted.
To those of you who are breastfeeding- Happy World Breastfeeding Week! Our bodies are amazing, and it has been so fun hearing about different breastfeeding journeys.
To celebrate ALL of you mamas we are offering 40% off Knit until midnight on 8/19/19! So treat yourself! Use code WBW19 at checkout!