Breastfeeding my new baby was on the forefront of my mind during my entire pregnancy. I shed literal blood, sweat, and tears trying to get Bunny (my first born) to nurse, so I was preparing myself for a similar experience with my second baby.
“Breastfeeding,” they say, “shouldn’t hurt,” but even when Bunny and I were doing it correctly the first time, according to the lactation consultants we saw, it was still really uncomfortable. It was so painful that I remember shielding my breasts in the shower as the water poured down on them. I had tears streaming down my face, blending in with the water, because I thought I’d never be able to have a relaxing shower again. Eventually the pain from breastfeeding went away, but it took a tremendous amount of effort and will power to get to that point.
So when it didn’t hurt—at all—the first time BunBun latched on almost immediately after she was born, I thought it was just a fluke. During that first feeding I could even feel and see her drinking; I figured the pain would come later. But later came and went, and the pain and soreness never arrived. Before she was born I stocked up on my favorite nipple cream, but it’s been sitting—on opened—on my dresser.
With Bunny I had a low supply and she had a shallow suck, or at least that’s what I was told. I took pills, I used a funky supplemental nursing system, and I pumped constantly to get my supply up. My boobs were literally out for at least more than half of the day. With BunBun I actually started out with an oversupply, and even now, four months later, I sometimes have too much milk for her and it spills out of her little mouth. When I was struggling the first time and I heard about moms having too much milk for their little ones I used to pray for just a little extra milk for my baby so I wouldn’t have to supplement. I used to pump, and pump, and pump for what seemed like forever only to get an ounce or two of milk. Now I get almost a bottle full in under 10 minutes. Her nursing sessions are like little sprints—she’s got that “milk drunk” thing going on after just 10 minutes total.