Seriously. It sucks. I hate it. I would rather labor and birth the baby 3 more times than breastfeed. It's a million times harder than natural childbirth. It sucks. I haven't slept more than two hours at a time in over 2 weeks. And you know what really has me miffed? No one told me. No one told me how bad it was going to suck. Maybe everyone is just scared that the truth will put people off of breastfeeding. I have to admit, that thought did cross my mind. But I have more faith in you than that. I know that you will realize as much as it sucks, it is still completely worth it. That a little suckiness on the front end is nothing compared to the ease and convenience and enjoyment down the road. But right now, I'm still in sucky-McFuck-this-land. (*Note, if swearing offends you, don't read this post. I'm sorry, but go put your nipple up against a door jam and slam the door a couple of times and tell me you don't let a couple choice words eek out.) So here are things no one told me, but I am telling you, so that you can be prepared.
No one told me that "nipple soreness" was code for blistered, bleeding nipples that make you want to claw your eyes out. A stubbed toe gets sore. Nursing nipples is a whole other circle of hell.
No one told me that my baby would suddenly become a black belt in judo when it was time to latch on and that it would take three people to position him just enough for me to cram my nipple into his mouth. Or that he was given a bear trap for a jaw that clamps shut as soon as the tip of my nipple crosses his lips. Or that engorgement feels like someone filled your boobs with hot gravel. Or that someone with no teeth could somehow manage to take a chunk of skin off.
No one told me that all newborns do is eat, which sucks because it hurts like hell, and sleep, which sucks because you spend the entire time dreading when they will wake up and want to eat again. No one told me I wouldn't even enjoy my baby at first because right now he's just a little bundle of pain and suffering. Or that walking out into traffic actually seems like a good idea at 1:30 a.m. when you have been nursing for an hour and a half straight.
No one told me that nursing in public for the first time would result in my infant suddenly forgetting what a nipple is for and a particularly forceful letdown that culminated in my hosing Perrin in the face and soaking my shirt while some $5 haircut place lady comes over to quiz me on his birth stats. Or that I would give up on going anywhere or doing anything because it's just to much work to put on a shirt (not to mention painful).
No one told me that even when he does finally fall asleep, you are still trapped because there is no way you are going to move him now. He might wake up ...and then eat. You can't take that chance. So you spend 22 hours of your day with a infant on you who's body temperature is somewhere between lava and a supernova (just to guesstimate).
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe no one told me these things because no one else experienced them. Maybe it's just me. Perhaps you wake up in the morning after a restful night, pop a baby on your boob and suddenly woodland animals are singing at your window sill like you're some goddamn lactating Snow White. But I doubt it. You know what I think really happens? I think everyone just forgets the suckiness, because you know what people did tell me?
They told me how amazing it was to be able to provide for their baby. To give them the absolute best. They told me all of their funny stories about nursing and their awkward moments. About how it was hard (understatement of the century) but so, so worth it. About the emotions of weaning and how much they missed that relationship. So even though it sucks right now, I know soon I won't even remember. I'll be too busy relishing in the fact that I can leave the house with just a spare diaper. Or cure any tantrum or boo boo. Or feed my baby without waking up at night (I'm really looking forward to that part). I'm thankful my body can produce what my baby needs and I don't have to pay for donor milk, and I'm in awe that my body can not only grow a person but sustain him topside. So yeah, breastfeeding sucks. For now. But I have feeling it will be worth it. Unless of course that is another big lie that everyone has told me...in which case heads will roll.