On April 21st, my life changed forever. I gave birth at 11:01 am to the most beautiful baby boy I have ever seen. My contractions started at about 9 pm the night before and the labor went a lot better than I had imagined it. My son Aiden Kyle Picon was finally here weighing in at 7 pounds 3 ounces. The nurse placed him skin-to-skin on my chest and he immediately made his way over to my breast and latched on! I thought to myself “wow, this is going to be easier than I thought”… boy was I wrong!
After settling into my room at the hospital, they brought Aiden to me and I immediately could see that he was hungry. I squeezed some colostrum out and brought my nipple to his lips and again he latched on. I’d read all the books and done all the research. I lined him up “nose to nipple” and made sure that he took not just the nipple but my entire areola into his mouth. He sucked and I even heard him swallow a few times. I was so excited and my nurse was even impressed! Aiden went to sleep after that and we had some pretty awesome feedings throughout the rest of that day.
I’d decided that he would go to the nursery for my first night in the hospital so that I could rest. I tore pretty bad and had terrible hemorrhoids from the delivery. They were slowly becoming more problematic and swelling up throughout that day. Aiden was taken to the nursery and would be brought to me for feedings.
At around 2:30 am he was brought in and the next few hours were some of the most difficult and frustrating of my life. Since I had just given birth, my milk had not come in and it seemed to me that though Aiden was getting the colostrum that he needed, was looking for “volume” and he became incredibly frustrated. To top it all off, I was in so much pain and it was excruciating to sit up on my bottom. Both Aiden and I were frustrated and both of us cried that night. We nursed and nursed, and nursed until about 8 am.
Now, at this point in the story I need to give a “shout out” to my amazing husband who stood up with me all night helping put Aiden in position to breastfeed. The truth is had it not been for him, I would have probably just given up. The next day I overheard him telling someone that “we” were tired from breastfeeding all night. I love that man!
I’d read so many books on breastfeeding and I knew that although I wouldn’t have a lot of colostrum, it was rich in nutrients for my baby and would be all he would need. I read that and I believed that but when I saw my baby boy cry out of frustration I couldn’t help but feel like he was hungry and I just wasn’t coming through for him.
After nearly 6 hours of trying to feed my son, being in terrible pain, all three of us very sleep deprived, and sore bleeding nipples… I gave up! I told the nurse to please take him and give him a bottle so that I could sleep. I cried myself to sleep that morning partially from all my physical pain but mostly because I felt like a failure.
Thinking back to that first night, I realize now that I learned a valuable lesson about being a good mother… I have to take care of myself so that I can take care of my son. At the time, I felt so selfish because I needed rest and I needed to recover but now I feel like it was the right thing. It actually took over a week for the pain to subside and so my recovery process took my breastfeeding journey in a direction that I had not planned for.