Ok, I’m laughing right now. Yes, the title of my post sounds… mean? It’s not really but I’ll explain later.
I can’t stress enough the idea of being “plugged” in, specifically as a parent I’ve found during my last pregnancy how much better life as a parent can be when you’re in touch with other like minded parents. One of the first things I did upon finding out we were expecting was to download a pregnancy tracker app onto my phone. At first, I was just curious as to the progress of the growth of our little “bean”. Then I discovered the app linked me to a parenting group.
That February 2012 group changed my life. NO JOKE. I learned about modern cloth diapering, baby led weaning and a bunch of abbreviations including EBF (exclusively breast feeding). All of these stuck with me. Most importantly, EBF. I knew I would be lucky enough to stay at home with this baby, a luxury I didn’t have with my first. I knew I would be breast feeding but I didn’t know I could do it full time, 100% of the time. I had automatically assumed that when you breast feed its normal to supplement with formula.
My mother weaned me off at 13 months. This came after an incident at a law office where I walked over to her, said “Mama chi-che!!” and proceeded to pull her buttoned blouse open for all to see. The next day she put peanut butter on her nipple and convinced me it was “caca“, I never nursed again.
Apparently, weaning my sister was not as easy. I guess she was just more astute as an infant than I. When my mom did the peanut butter bit she looked at it confused, wiped it off with her hand and proceeded to latch on. It would take the bitter taste of mustard to convince her that the “chi-che” was no longer in service.
When I gave birth to my daughter, I knew I would be breastfeeding. Little did I know how hard the beginning would be. First, the whole process of nurses man-handling my breasts was uncomfortable to say the least. Then they hooked me up to a medical grade breast pump and I thought my nipples were going to fall off. The next two weeks were not any better. Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing and the bad latch was doing terrible things to my skin.
I reached out for help, I visited the lactation consultant and sought advice from a close friend who had breastfed. The thing that stuck with me was “IT WILL GET BETTER”.