Henry was the product of an emergency caesarean section, after which I spent some time in ICU getting some checks done – so I couldn’t feed him straight away. By the time the midwife brought him to me he was already around an hour old, and to a newborn baby thats like me or you not having eaten in..well.. our whole life. So needless to say he was RAVENOUS. There was no time to wait for that magical moment where your baby is meant to nuzzle around your chest, have a leisurely suck and then fall asleep. Not even close. Henry came at me like a writhing, screaming banshee the colour of a beetroot. The midwife basically threw him onto my boob, with a joking comment “I think he might be hungry” – and told me she would be back to collect him in a while. Henry frantically started rooting around my breast like a deranged parahna and we caught eyes for a moment with a kind of ‘do you know what you’re doing here?’ look. Turns out neither of us had any idea because almost immediately my right nipple was partially amputated.
Because of this initial battle scar, as time went on I became my own worst enemy, favouring my left side to feed at the expense of the milk supply on my right. I distinctly remember sitting on my lounge two weeks post-partum with Henry screaming the house down because he was so hungry, and me crying hysterically because my boobs were so sore that I couldn’t think of anything worse than feeding. I began to dread feeding because I could imagine the pain of the baby latching on before it even started. It took countless tubes of nipple creams, $489,99 worth of fancy boob spa hydration discs, and a lot of tears before I finally got to a point where I could feed comfortably. So if you are struggling with feeding, don’t be turned off by the stepford-feeding-mums in the parents room at Westfield just ‘popping’ their babies on and off the boob with no crying or breast milk spraying at the walls. One day you will get there, and if not that’s OK too.