God bless it. This is the all about breastfeeding post. Because if you’re a new mom and breastfeeding, it is your life. This is hard work. Like, really hard. Way harder than tossing together the kid a PB&J. #Werk. Forget everything you once thought about what being a new mom would be like and imagine only being a big milk machine. It’s true. This is what happens. Nobody tells you! But it’s awesome. Because when your baby cries, he needs YOU. You have all the answers (and milk) to solve all the problems. It’s a very gratifying feeling.
Last week I decided to attend a local breastfeeding networking group. Although, breastfeeding had been going really well… I thought… No pain. Easy latch. Weight gain was great. All is well. I could actually ADVISE new mom’s I bet!
I took the elevator to the group with one of those easy-going, baby-wearing types. You know what I’m talking about. Those baby wearing veterans. God, I so badly want to pull off baby wearing. Me, trying to make friends, said “oh, you’re one of those annoying people that pull off wearing a baby like it’s super easy.” She wasn’t amused and didn’t at all get my humor. Oops.
I entered the group and everyone was in line with their sweet little babes to get them weighed. Kent was asleep in his car seat so I chose to not have him weighed, as I feared waking him up would be similar to waking up your college ex-boyfriend that drank too much whisky and loved to pick fights. (no, just me?… ok…) So I opted out.
I looked around at all these newborn babies. Mostly around the ages of 1-7 months. They were either eating, getting their diaper changed, sleeping, or laying on their back on a soft blanket staring up at the lights that beamed down on their beautiful newborn faces. My baby, on the other hand, had been screaming his bloody head off all morning. I decided to go to this group because it got me out of the damn house. I was ABOUT.TO.LOSE.IT.
The group got started and as each person shared about a recent struggle with breastfeeding, I became more aware that my experience was very different than theirs. One girl started crying because she has to go back to work in 2 months. 2 MONTHS! That’s a long time in my opinion! I have two weeks and I am counting down the hours because my baby… my baby… is A LOT of work. I wish I felt like her. I wish I felt sad. But I don’t. I feel like my baby doesn’t like me and is always sad and I need to go to work where I can accomplish something.
So, now I’ve got a bunch of well behaved babies surrounding me, girls that are good at baby-wearing and sad to go to work soon… ya know, normal mom complaints. And I’m feeling very isolated.
“Mallory, what’s new with you and Kent?” Ok. It’s my turn. Do I just tell her everything is peachy? Or do I tell her how much I wish I was sad I was going to work soon. How much I wish I could put my baby on the floor and know he would be content. How much I wish attempting to wear him wouldn’t look like World War 3!
So, I did what any other exhausted, confused, and out-of-ideas person would do… I told the truth. Thankfully. He’s colic. He cries all the time. And when he’s not crying, he’s fussy. He doesn’t sleep very long. I’m tired. He has a lot of gas issues. His diapers are explosive…
And the lactation consultant stopped me, “You have a milk imbalance” she says. WHAT THE MOTHER F-ING, WHAT? There’s something wrong with my milk? This isn’t normal?
Ok, long story short this very fussy baby is only fussy because he’s HUNGRY. Apparently I have a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. In short, he wasn’t getting enough fat in the milk and as a result, was starving! Although he gained weighed very rapidly because he ate so often of the high calorie foremilk, he never stayed full very long.
I started doing exclusive pumping. He only drinks from a bottle now and within 24 hours… I had a new baby. A happy baby! He smiles. He coo’s. He RELAXES. He’s awesome.
Thank you genius lactation consultant… you brilliant little gem… my life has changed. And now I’m crying because I have to go back to work in a week. Crying about this has been everything I’ve ever wanted.
This is Kent this week at the group. Relaxing on the floor. Relaxing. Yeah, baby!
I love you, Kent! And now I want to quit my job and be with you every day like all the other moms!