10 April 2008

Pain and prejudice

For the first time, on my fourth baby, nursing has gone almost like the books say. A few rough weeks and none of the horrible, nasty things that shouldn't happen. I am so, so thankful.

Also for the first time, I've had virtually no visits to the postpartum dark side. This decreased markedly after Baby 1, who brought with her some bad and scary times. But it was still there to a notable extent with Babies 2 and 3, and there were also notable nursing difficulties with them (although, again, nothing like Baby 1). I was still farther from rational than I am under normal circumstances this time around, but I don't think my husband was as scared to come home as he has been with previous babies.

I can't help wondering if there's a connection here. The nursing probs didn't cause the other probs, but I do think they exacerbated them. Pain is a big deal, and constant pain changes your outlook on life. I don't like not liking nursing, but I have had so much difficulty with it that I struggle to think of it without dread and resentment and wishing the broad and easy road of Enfamil were an option. I'm so glad that I'm finally having a bearable go of it, and so grateful for the peace of mind and spirit that have accompanied it. So put both nursing and neurosis down as something that has improved significantly with more babies for at least for one person.


William Weedon said...

So happy to hear it has gone better this time round. I think it is very closely related to post-partum, actually. Kudos to you for persisting with it, Rebekah. I am ashamed of myself not to have seen Peter Benjamin Athanasius yet; I would dearly love to hold and rock for a while. That to me is the nearest we come to paradise - a baby who has been breast fed (and that sweet smell they have!) and just rocking away and singing to them hymns - "A stable lamp is lighted" and "Savior of the Nations" and "The Angel Gabriel" - they have to be Christmas, don't ask me why!

One day soon, perhaps!

Rebekah said...

You know where to find us. :)

Reb. Mary said...

So very glad to hear this!

You're still my hero for persevering with Baby One--wow. Every time I hear some of the lame excuses people give for NOT EVEN TRYING breastfeeding, or giving up after two days, I want to tell them your story!

#3 is definitely the easiest nursing yet for me. Too soon to render a definitive verdict on the emotional stability (lack thereof). But I haven't yet spent an entire day (or week) in completely unreasonable tears, so we'll be hopeful here. Things sometimes seem dark, but not always completely bleak and bottomless!

Gauntlets said...

I am so, so, so glad you're not (as) miserable this go around. I'm with Reb. Mary: You're my hero for persisting with Baby One. I have the occasional bout of boutedness and want to bloody die a quick death under falling deathliness--anything but the little mouth with it's never-ending koi-like mooming . . .

But that's neither here nor there.

I think the general malaise clears up immensely once sleeping through the night sets in. If anyone sleeps through the night, please let me know if this is the case. I think we on this blog have not slept through the night for close to 15 years. Collectively.

Reb. Mary said...

Gauntlets: "never-ending koi-like mooming"--ha!! ha ha!!
I keep forgetting to tell you that in terms of images to get through the day, this one's sure a winner.