Frustration, defeat, and self-blame. This is how it goes for a lot of new moms. Although I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time, at 3 weeks postpartum, I was losing it. My baby would. not. latch. despite my plan to breastfeed. I watched a mama in a restaurant stick her baby under her shirt and, like it was nothing, latch on and enjoy his supper. This was at my birthday dinner. All I could do was sit there, trying to hold it together. My feelings were hurt by my newborn and postpartum hormones were raging. Why couldn’t we have that natural connection? I was having to pump to keep up my supply on top of bottle feeding her formula (which is great if that is your personal plan, but it wasn’t mine). Then at 3 weeks old, my little baby that called all the shots decided to latch. In that time, I had seen three lactation consultants, including one that told me it just wasn’t in the cards for us, read all the articles and books, talked to family members about their experiences, etc. The online searches provided me with two rationales: “you should give up because it’s just not happening for some babies,” or “you’re not doing good enough for your baby if you use formula.” I spent countless hours online reading horror stories about some moms and their negative experiences with breastfeeding.
Josie continues to be a healthy, happy kid and no Google search was telling me that. The postpartum brain doesn’t need that extra stress and worry. Instead, we need support and positivity. Our generation has the opportunity to create and hone a strong community of support. We should take advantage! Even those of us who are lucky enough to have the support of a partner, family, and friends would benefit from this type of community. I encourage conversation and recommendations about all topics found in this blog!
I have always been a helper. The best parts of my day include soothing Josie when she’s crying. I occasionally miss the days of working in customer service for that sheer feeling of helping someone achieve a goal, find the perfect home, etc. My life is, and will continue to be, dedicated to helping other people in as many ways as I can. Mix that with a need to create, craft, bake, organize, eat, workout every few days so I can continue to complete the prior task, and you get me.
So. If one new mama, mom to-be, wife, daddy, brother, or what have you, finds this blog to be helpful, then my job is done. Take a deep breath, cry if you need to, and consider connecting with someone online that is going through the same thing you are. And then put on your big girl pants, cuz damnit, you are strong and we will get through this.