Am I worried about how much pain I'll endure during labor? Not really.
Am I concerned about not getting enough sleep after the baby is born? No, I expect it.
Am I fearful of dropping the baby when walking down steps? A little.
Am I overwhelmed by the breastfeeding process? You betcha I am!
I've always wanted to breastfeed. In fact, the only time I ever entertained the idea of not breastfeeding was when I was deciding whether or not to go through with the breast reduction. Luckily, I did go through with this surgery & the surgery was a success, and I'll only know if all my milk-parts were left in-tact upon delivery. I am remaining optimistic that I will indeed be able to breastfeed.
That being said, in sharing my hopes of breastfeeding with friends and family, I've come to the conclusion that although nursing is a 'natural' feat, it isn't a sure-thing, nor is it guaranteed to happen naturally. Which, quite frankly, is scaring the shit out of me.
Here are just a couple remarks on nursing that I've heard lately:
- "I can remember my milk coming out looking like tomato soup because my cracked nipples were bleeding."
- "Breastfeeding felt like my nipples were being raked across a gravel road or sandpaper."
- "I can remember just crying because it hurt so badly."
And if those comments aren't enough to freak any newbie baby mama out, I ran into a random stranger at the bank yesterday who also happened to be a lactation consultant (it's funny, and actually kinda cool to get approached by so many random strangers when you're pregnant)! Anyhow, after basic conversation about my due date, the baby's gender, etc - she asked me if I was 1. going to breastfeed and 2. doing anything to toughen up my nipples...like scrubbing with a loofah, a toothbrush or sandpaper. WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? She quickly added those were things I DID NOT want to do, but either way, the visuals turned my stomach, and quite horrified if people would actually do this.
I know that if breastfeeding doesn't work out for my baby cub and I there are other alternatives. I can pump and feed her with a bottle or go straight to formula. I guess only time will tell.
In the meantime, I'd prefer to not hear any more horror stories on the subject. If anyone must tell me a story, make it a pleasant one, and lie if you have to. Lord knows, these girls of mine have been through enough already!