breastfeedingQuick link: When Breastfeeding was Gross

I didn’t know a lot about breastfeeding when I had my first two kids (twins). That’s an understatement. I didn’t know anything about breastfeeding except that I was made to do and I was supposed to do it. I had no idea it would be hard, disgusting, painful, or nearly impossible. I had no idea that just because I thought I was ‘supposed’ to do it didn’t mean I had to do it, didn’t mean I was a failure when I quit doing it. Now I know about the breastfeeding super power but then? I was utterly overwhelmed and unprepared.

Here’s an excerpt from this piece at Brain Child (and yeah, I did have braces when I was married, pregnant, and 21-years old. I looked like I was 14. My doctor thought I was in high school. Maybe. Could have been junior high.)

When I gave birth the first time I was barely twenty-two years old and my braces had been removed just a few months earlier. My husband and I lived in a one-bedroom apartment in a downtown, low-income high rise with primarily east African neighbors. I didn’t know how to change a diaper and wasn’t sure I liked babies all that much but here came twins, ready or not, one boy and one girl.

They terrified me.

After they were born, I knew I was strong. I had given birth both vaginally and by c-section inside of a single hour, an experience I now call a vagi-section and one I don’t recommend. But I doubted I was strong enough for this: two tiny, perfect, utterly dependent human beings, now my responsibility.

Did I mention that they terrified me? They cried. They peed. They slept (sometimes and not at the same times). They needed me in ways I had never been needed before. They even needed my actual body and attached quite voraciously to my breasts.

I thought this was gross.

Click here to read the rest of When Breastfeeding was Gross and to see a sweet picture of Lu and I sleeping. Cuz that’s what moms with newborns do.

*image via Flickr