First off… When things are going well they really are good. A few days ago, I felt like a fabulous mama and a great wife. I was getting dressed every day, going places, taking Boots (one of Reds millions of nicknames) to the park… Making dinner… I was “in the swing-ish” of things.
Happy baby… Happy mommy…happy husband…but, then on Saturday I felt the familiar breast pain, the exhaustion, the on set of chills and fever, and before too long I was slammed with round two of mastitis.
And you know? This is HARD! I had an easy pregnancy, a quick birth…I thought it was smooth sailing. Pre baby, I’d never spent a night in the hospital, never gone to the ER, never even gone to the doctor for anything outside of routine check up. Now? I’m like a freaking frequent flyer there. “Oh hey! Yes, yes it’s me again. Oh you know, just casually INFECTED and weeping. Again. Because that’s how we apparently roll here. Am I calling at 2:30 am? Why yes it seems I am.”
The thing is, I feel like women need to talk more about OUR trials. I mean, everyone told me ” the sleep deprivation, the crying, no time,” ect, but no one said, “oh and your boobs may become inflamed and your fever may spike to 104 and your nipples may get covered in blisters and you may be so blocked up your skin cracks–just a heads up!” Which made me feel so alone as I wept yesterday over my precious sons soft blonde head while he nursed and it felt like daggers being stabbed into me (I exaggerate but only just.) Until I talked with my sweet sister who drove up to me with her little one while I stumbled about in a terrified haze (is my baby starving?? Do I have enough milk coming out??) of sickness and exhaustion alone because paternity leave is over folks and school is starting and boy do we miss dad!
She reminded me that everyone has something. We just don’t talk about it. I can be as guilty of it, cause when things have been good they’ve been so good. And I don’t want to sound like a failure mom around other moms because Red and I sometimes struggle with nursing, and because I had to crack open the formula to supplement him when I was totally blocked, and because I have spent multiple sick, hospital bound, frantic days sobbing hysterically that I wouldn’t be able to feed my angel boy. I want to sound happy and together as I watch them easily nurse their babies on their perfectly normal nipples (how many times can I say nipples in a post? A lot. I do not have perfectly normal ones.)
But you know? It’s ok. I’m not a failure mom or a failure wife and this too shall pass. Hopefully. And we will get through and recover and if I can’t wean Red off the darn nipple shield until he’s two months old the world will not end nor will the nipple police arrest me.
And that face. Those hands. His joy in the sensation of the outdoors and the grass and the breeze on his toes. The way he quiets down to hear his daddy’s voice when Nick comes home. The little half smile he gives us and his mischievous grin when he farts on me while I change him. The way he gazes at me for a moment when he nurses (even when I’m braced for the pain that comes with this illness) with his big almond shaped eyes–a perfect cross of my husbands and mine–his little mouth in an “oh” of baby adoration…it’s worth it. Obviously I’m welling up now.
And someday I’ll look at that photo of he and his cousin and marvel that they were ever young, that they were ever held in my arms. That they ever needed me, and nuzzled their soft heads into my shoulder, and clung to me with their strong baby hands. And I’ll miss every one of these days.
So. There it is. Too many words, too much info on my boooooobs but it’s the honest truth. Any truths to share?