I was never very good at pregnancy. Sure, I guess it all turned out all right. The pregnancies always achieved the desired results -- a baby. But, I never really felt at home housing a child. My own mother claims that she always loved being pregnant -- that she never felt better. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah old woman -- time and quite possibly the hell I put you through in my adolescence has crippled your mind. Pregnancy sucks. Especially the second and third time around when you have other children who depend on you to actively participate in life rather than mold your body into the couch and take up permanent residence there for 9 months. They expect you to feed them, bathe them and all of that other mummy BS.
I have, however, been good at breastfeeding. I can't say that it's always come easy, but I felt proud that I breastfed my two girls for over a year. I firmly believed that breast milk was the only suitable nutrition for my children and I likened formula to pet food --I could not fathom feeding my baby out of a can. I thought women who complained of supply problems, latching issues or any other sort of breastfeeding hurdle were simply not committed to the cause. Of course, publicly, I would never say these things. In the many titillating (pun intended) conversations I've had with friends regarding feeding their young, I've always recited a politically correct mantra that went something like, "You just have to do what works for you. Every mother and baby is different." Really I wanted to call them out as lazy or a selfish-quitter.
Then I had Jack.
Jack is my third child and my first son. While pregnant with Jack, I was anxious about adjusting our lives to accomodate a third child. I worried about how the girls would handle a new baby. I stressed about finances and readying the nursery. Pretty common concerns of an expecting mother. I never panicked about breastfeeding. Why would I? I planned to nurse my third just as I had the previous two.
When Jack was born he latched on soon after birth and we were in baby-mummy bonding bliss. He was a great eater. My milk came in quickly and all was well in Boobville. Then it all fell apart.
When Jack was about 2 or 3 weeks old, he started screeching in pain a few minutes after he began to nurse. He would go red in the face and hold his breath. His cries were heartbreaking, and I had no idea what was wrong with him. He would wail, and when I was finally able to calm him, he would refuse to breastfeed. No matter how many times I offered, he wouldn't latch on. My husband finally convinced me to pump and give him a bottle which he took it with no problem. I made plans to take Jack to the doctor to find out what was wrong.