Picasso Maternite, 1963
Since Baby P has come into the world I have had my breasts out far more and with many more people than I ever cared to share them with. I mean, a lot.
Firstly because breast feeding is so time consuming in the beginning. Baby P and I did not have a solid introduction unfortunately. He had trouble latching on, amongst other things. Those first couple of weeks were filled with him crying because he was hungry followed by me crying because it hurt so bad. It felt like razor blades stabbing my breasts. Uggghh. I shudder just remembering it. Every time he nursed, it took a long time so needless to say, those boobs were out!
Even though our nursing sessions are going much smoother now there is such a learning curve with the whole thing. Now, while I was pregnant I read every book under the sun, like a good first time mommy. I read blogs, forums, and talked to other moms. I was pumped and prepared for my birth. However, I was terrified of breast feeding. In retrospect, I wonder if my hesitation is what brought on this myriad of problems. But I digress.
The worst part was not the pain or insecurity. Oh no, that passed. It's the mastitis and abscess that developed in the past seven weeks. Yeah, that's the WORST part.
It began as a plugged duct and continued to morph into an infection until it basically looked like my breast was about to explode. Ew. I won't be posting any photos of THAT.
At seven weeks I had to get the abscess drained which was super painful and pretty gross. My midwife suggested we do some "self healing" as we called it. My other option was going to a breast surgeon or the ER and risk getting sliced open. No thanks.
In any case, all is getting better now as I am on my second round of antibiotics, healing and hopefully all this is behind us.
The challenge of breast feeding is not something most women talk about and I wish more would. Maybe new moms wouldn't be so discouraged if they knew, in the first place, how to prepare for this new experience.
Just know, if you can push past the first few painful weeks, it's a bond like no other. It's an amazing feeling knowing you can nourish your child. But just like many things in parenthood, it's a sacrifice, body and heart.