17 November 2012


Our little Elsie is 3 1/2 weeks old. This past almost month has been amazing and amazingly stressful at the same time. I wont lie, quite a few tears have been shed. Breast feeding is no walk in the park. I read all the books thinking that I would know exactly what to do and that it wouldn't be any big deal. Well it is hard; and not just because I live in three hour increments between feedings. It is very uncomfortable... actually its straight painful. Toe curling, teeth clenching painful. And it doesn't help when I am complaining about how hard it has been, and you tell me how easy it was for you from the get go. That doesn't make me feel better, actually it kind of makes it worse. So I read more books, but no matter how much I learn I am not the only one learning... baby has to learn too. Sometimes she does wonderfully! But other times it is quite the struggle and for some reason she always chooses to be difficult at her 3am feeding. The combination of sleepiness, changing hormones, and sore boobies results in one emotional momma. Chase has been amazing at keeping me sane. His constant encouragement and appreciation has literally been the crutch holding me up. I cannot imagine doing it without him. I am also incredibly grateful for all the friends and family that have praised me for keeping at it and assuring that it does get easier and that it will be worth it. Thank you all so much.


Kristin said...

AH! Erika. We should live closer. Curse those walk in the park women. It's just insecurity that makes them say insensitive garbage like that. You're exactly right, baby has to learn too. And every baby is different. The NICU taught us a lot of tricks. Nash and Gray were both very different. Nash had a hard time staying awake. Gray couldn't figure out what to do with his tongue. A couple tricks I learned was to [when getting frustrated] talk to your baby like you're teaching her and that you have all the confidence in the world in HER. It removes your focus from you. I would say things like "Oh, you are just SO smart. Why don't we try to remember. It's tricky. It's a new thing." And I would let him practice on my pinky. Once he had a good thing going, I would switch out for my breast. It took some major figuring out for both of us, but I really feel like our babies can feel our emotions and they channel our energy. So when we talk calmly and confidently TO them and take deep breaths they will calm down too and feed off that confidence. I know the toe curling, teeth clenching pain all too well. It sucks and I'm really sorry. It does get better. Absolutely it does. Something that helps is to [after each feeding] squeeze some breastmilk out of each side and rub it all over the darker part of your breast and then let it air dry. Not the most glamorous experience but it was life saving for me. After just a few days of that, I was totally fine. It took my sister a little longer than a few days, but it helps. The other thing that helped me not hurt so bad was to pump a couple times so that my breasts got a break from the ineffective nursing of the boys. It upped my supply, they still got my breastmilk, just in a bottle. I don't know where you stand as far as bottle feeding goes, so don't stress. :) Mostly, please just remember that you are doing a fabulous job. You really really are. This is nothing to beat yourself up over. I promise. Elsie is perfect. And the love you both have for each other is so apparent. I'm so glad Chase is taking good care of you. :)

Hang in there.
Text/call me if you need someone to talk to. :)


Unknown said...

Erika, I totally know what you mean! Breastfeeding is so hard! I thought it would be such an easy natural thing. But it just barely started being normal for baby and I. It took about a month and a half for her to really get the hang of it. I felt so guilty. Just when i thought she was starting to get it something else would come up and mess it up. It's such an emotional personal thing that only mamas can understand. But keep going! It'll get better I promise and all the tears, sore boobs, and breakdowns will be worth it. You are doing a good job. :) your baby is so gorgeous, just like her mama.

Bree Ferrin

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