We’re Still Happy – Thursday January 5th

Hazel is three weeks old now, and I can hardly remember what life what like before she arrived.  The rumors were true: this isn’t easy.  But what they don’t tell you is that the moments you spend staring at your beautiful daughter erase the dread of sleepless nights and chewed nipples.  I can’t believe I could be so in love with such a demanding little creature who doesn’t even acknowledge me yet.  She’s just as happy snoozing in the arms of a stranger, and yet I would happily throw myself in the jaws of a lion to save her from having to do something unpleasant.  I am already considering allowing her to never bath again after yesterday’s revelation that she despises baths in the tub.  She could be one of those monks who celebrates god by not washing themselves.  Or an artist.

In breastfeeding news, I buckled down and called a lactation consultant.  I felt better after talking to her on the phone, and that day Hazel and I finally seemed to figure out how to get through a whole meal.  The lactation consultant arrived the next day and was a surprising contradiction of make-up-less hippy who dripped with diamond jewelry.  I didn’t expect the diamonds, and was wary of the hippiness.  Because I have a mental problem, I didn’t bother to ask how much her fee was and $325 later she assured me that breastfeeding is just hard.  I was doing it right, it just sucks.  Those are my words, not hers.  Her words were much more earthy and encouraging, but I read between the lines.  I don’t know how I missed hearing how hard this was.  I had images of myself nursing my daughter Madonna-like, both of us basking in the joy of being together, our hair thick and skin dewy.  The reality is much more doggedly tired, sweaty and staring blankly at a television alternating between HGTV and True Crime Stories.

I don’t actually care though.  I’m going to stick with it as long as my boobs and milk supply can handle it.  I don’t want to beat a dead horse with this analogy, but nothing yet has been harder for me to get through physically than being awake during my c-section.  Besides reliving the memory of Tommy Jr’s birth, the actual procedure was really painful and scary.  If I can do that for Hazel, I can can breastfeed.

Things are starting to feel more routine now.  I didn’t have very many expectations of motherhood, I just wanted Hazel to arrive here safely.  Now that she’s here, I’m surprised and overjoyed everyday at how much I love her and how easy it is for me to mother her.  I’m surprised everyday that I don’t miss my old life more.  I don’t know what happens next, but today was another wonderful day.

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  1. Becky says:

    You may already be doing this, but putting lanolin between nursing sessions helps heal the area and makes it hurt a bit less. http://www.alivepluspharmacy.com/productinfo/Medela_PureLan_100_Nipple_Cream_7g?aid=BNG

  2. Becky says:

    You may already be doing this, but putting lanolin between nursing sessions helps heal the area and makes it hurt a bit less.

  3. Leslie Ann says:

    Hip hip hooray!!! Sounds great and LOVE the picture!!! Did she tell you to rub some drops of milk on your nipple area after nursing and let your breast air-dry?

  4. SuchAGoodEgg says:

    This is a VERY belated congratulations!!!! I am over the moon for you. I am a longtime reader who loves your writing…it has been beautiful reading your words as you work through so many complicated emotions, you always do it with grace. Hazel is absolutely beautiful and you are doing awesome!!! Lots of love. xoxo

  5. Kristen says:

    Glad to hear you so happy! Your daughter is so beautiful…
    Sorry breastfeeding has been so difficult…hoping it gets easier for you…

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