This past week, we hit a big milestone. Mackenzie turned six months old, and it marked six months of exclusive breastfeeding for us. Breastfeeding has been one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, and I’m so proud of us for making it this far! To celebrate, I thought I’d share six breastfeeding “milestones” that we encountered along the way.
1. The second night of nursing. Who knew I’d need to be gellin’?
Our second night in the hospital was RIDICULOUS! My daughter was feeding almost every forty-five minutes in what the nurse said was her attempt to get my milk to come in. My nipples were on fire, and being the genius that I am, I packed a huge ass box of disposable nursing pads and left my tube of lanolin in my bathroom drawer. Preggo brain at its finest there. The nurse was kind enough to bring me a tiny tube of lanolin and a pair of soothing gel pads that she said could be reused. Those gel pads were a life (or should I say nipple?) saver!
2. The hospital stay, also known as a lesson in knocking.
There’s nothing like having your baby attached to your boob, which is just hanging out, when your friends and/or family members come strolling casually through the door. Some days I felt like Olaf in Frozen…knock. Just knock. Do they know how to knock?
3. Engorgement: Hello, Dolly.
One of the things no one ever really mentioned to me was engorgement. My milk came in the second day we were home, and nothing was containing the melons at that point. They were busting out of every tank top and bra that I had. Plus, every time I looked in the mirror, I was reminded of the scene in Look Who’s Talking when John Travolta jokes about Kirstie Alley getting Dolly Parton’s figure back.
4. Learning to use the pump…and refraining from killing my husband.
The first time I had to use my breast pump, my daughter was almost six weeks old. I had been leery of the machine up to that point, but I dutifully hooked it up, attached the plastic funnels to myself, and turned it on. I’d expected it to be painful, but it really wasn’t that bad. What was bad? My husband poking his head in the bedroom, observing the pump and milk being expressed, and saying “Wow, that thing is really milking you!”
5. Back to work, and entering the dreaded pump room.
I’d heard horror stories about friends having to pump in what amounted to a janitors closet, so I was pretty nervous about the so-called nursing mom’s room at work. Turns out it was actually pretty cool! There were cubicals equipped with curtains to pull shut for privacy, and each cube had a small desk, an office chair, and a bigger cozy chair. Two thumbs up from this girl!
6. Feeling the love.
My absolute favorite thing about nursing has been being able to count on that special time every single day, where it’s just me and my daughter. We curl up, she latches on, and we just relax. These past six months have been an amazing roller coaster ride, and I can’t wait to see what these next six months bring!