the first week

I’ve had a long week, which is what happens when you have a baby. It lengthens your week infinitely. Anyone can groan about their Access database mishaps or how the barista added foam when you explicitly asked for no foam, but for the next few days, weeks, months, I can say, “I’ll see your slow-loading episode of Family Guy and raise you ONE BABY.” Or, “Dear Sir, I see you are grumpy because the guy at McDonalds did not include any honey mustard sauce with your chicken nuggets even though you leaned into the Order Here speaker extra close and enunciated ‘HUH-NEE MUS-TURD,’ but did you know I HAD A BABY?!”

Right after I gave birth, I had extremely low blood pressure (80/40 or something crazy low like that), to the point that I pretty much passed out and had to hand TJ over to Mike so I could throw up. Twice. I remember telling Mike to take him, “I have to throw up!” I mumbled, “But not from the sight of him!” Just to make it clear like someone recording if I was being a good mom from the beginning. Strike one, I guess. After getting more fluids and some meds to increase my blood pressure, I was somewhat back to normal and then we were wheeled out of the birthing suite.

We left the hospital the next night, less than 24 hours after we had checked in. And speaking of timing, it took more time to watch Avatar than it did for me to deliver TJ, if you count from the moment I was admitted to the moment he emerged. I wish they would add that to Avatar’s description so it’d read, “Nine-time Oscar Nominated Motion Picture but is longer than Mona’s whole delivery.” I can hope!

The cheeseburger and fries I ordered during my one-day stay tasted horrible. It was like someone stepped on it and then put it in a microwave, then tucked into a sobakawa pillow, slept on it for a full REM sleep cycle, turning it over a few times when it got too hot, then plated it with some wet soggy fries and ferried it to my room. If you deliver at Swedish, be ye not so stupid. Send your partner elsewhere to get food.

Throughout my pregnancy I watched 16 and Pregnant and wondered if this was really glamorizing pregnancy and now, after having two children, I can say IT DOES. For one, there is far too much time spent on lazy, bumbling boyfriends who care more about their souped-up cars than they do about having children or understanding what that takes. If MTV really wants to curb teenage pregnancy, have a special episode about what happens to a woman’s body post-partum. The sexy mesh panties! The maxi pads that have more room than a fold-out couch! The stitches! The pain when you pee! The bloody nipples! OH GOD DID I MENTION THERE WERE BREASTFEEDING INDUCED NIPPLE TRAUMA!

This is what I’ve been going through. Despite a two-push (long pushes!) delivery, the days that followed were terrible. I had to breastfeed on the hour to increase my supply, but I was having so much trouble. It hurt and nothing I read could tell me why it hurt other than to say, if it hurts, UR DOIN IT WRONG, STOOPID. On Saturday, my breasts were congested, my nipples were on fire and I couldn’t even remember what day Nathan was born. Who knew mothers were supposed to remember this information!

I cried big sloppy tears to Mike about how difficult it was for me, how hard this whole breastfeeding effort was. Of course, he felt bad, told me that he would do it for me if he could which sounds nice, but no. No man would do this because it feels like a clothespin on your nutsack. This is why I always pass on the nipple clamp games at swingers parties. Not fun! (Jokes, I don’t go to swingers parties. I host them-heeeyyyy! Chocolate chip cookies at midnight!)

So I called Betsy Hoffmeister, a lactation consultant. I explained my situation to her and she said she would be over, that she agreed what I was going through was an emergency. She came over right away and for the next two hours she diagnosed what was going on with me and TJ, primarily his tongue-tie and my EXTREME HOME NIPPLES. (Wouldn’t that be a crazy fun show? Extreme Home Nipples on Sunday nights? A crowd cheering, “Move that bra! Move that bra!” and Ty saying, “Welcome home, TJ’s mouth. Welcome home!”) Betsy was incredibly patient and worked with me on breathing exercises. I felt for the first time someone understood that what I was going through was genuinely painful but not impossible. That I could really make it through with help. And I felt hopeful which is hard to feel when your nipples look like you just breastfed the Queen in the movie Alien or stuck your boob in a garbage disposal and flipped the switch.

Pregnancy is hard. Delivery is hard. Babies, especially in the first week, are hard, but then I see this face and think, Oh okay, FINE, cute child. You’re worth it.



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    And I’m so glad you had a pro help you out. No one should try BFing alone. šŸ˜‰

  2. Ahhh Mona, I’d go on about how I hear breastfeeding is so good for your kid la la la, but you already know that so I’ll just say this: OUCH! THAT SOUNDS LIKE IT HURTS! DANG! OUCH! I hope it gets better and SOON!

  3. Yes, I JUST HAD A BABY trumps all. And yes, I really think the way to curb teenage pregnancy IS to make the girls wear those oh-so-sexy mesh panties AND clothespins on their nipples. One of the things I wasn’t prepared for when I had Rowan was the AFTERbirth. (Not the afterbirth, though that was frightening, too). They kind of gloss over that part in birthing classes, don’t they?

    In any case, even though you’ve had a tough week, and it comes across in your post, you’re still freaking hilarious, and I found myself chuckling out loud. Hang in there. At least when people say it will get better, you know it to be true. Just look at Nathan. šŸ™‚

  4. I love you and I love our new baby but truth be told, I was just being nice. NO WAY I’d go through all that torture!

  5. Just reading this made my nipples hurt but OH! LOOK! CUTE BABY!

  6. Sorry it’s been such a rough week, Mona. He’s so freaking adorable, though… šŸ™‚

  7. Rebecca (Bearca) says:

    He is really really cute. And I love how your sense of humor shines through every post, even the ones about NIPPLE TRAUMA. (I have been there, BTW, and it is AWFUL.)

  8. I remember being grateful that I was on heavy pain meds for the c-section because it hurt so much to breastfeed. It does get better though, I promise! You’re doing a great job, he’s adorable! Hope you get sleep soon!

  9. Oh, Mona, how is it that you can make nipple pain and mesh panties FUNNY? Especially in the first WEEK after having A BABY! You are amazing. Hope everything gets easier soon.

  10. CUTIE PIE!

    So so cute. I’m very glad that my running into you like a drunken ogre did no damage.

    Also, now my nipples hurt. Thanks for that.

  11. Oh gawd, so hilarious. I’m sorry for your pain, but I am glad we are going through this around the same time. Yes, breastfeeding hurts way more than I thought it would. Thankfully I never had bleeding. I am now pumping on one side because it just hurts too much. We had one HORRIBLE day after I ate raw onions and it must have really upset my baby because she cried ALL DAY and would not fall asleep for hours. I cried most of the day. But thankfully other than that I am just exhausted, sore, and will never be able to get anything done ever again; but it is all definitely worth it.

  12. Aw sis! I’m sorry you’re going through this. I had a really tough time after both of my kids were born. Physically and emotionally. Call me anytime. (I know I missed your call this weekend, I’m sorry. It’s been difficult to get Jakey to sleep at night lately. It’s about to get even harder because he’s turning three on Saturday and we all agreed he’d stop susuing when he turns three. I just hope he holds up his end of the bargain.)

  13. Your son is adorable! I had to learn to breastfeed on my own and I cried and winced in pain every single time my daughter latched on for the first two weeks. I can suggest lanolin as something that helps the cracked nipple pain. Despite all that pain, I look at my ultra healthy 15 month old (who is still breastfeeding..teeth and all lol) and realize that it was all worth it. If nothing else, I have a good guilt trip for her when she is older :oD

  14. Okay, I had some words about breastfeeding, but I forgot because, Damn. That is a cute baby.

  15. Right there with you only on week 3 of the breastfeeding PAIN–Cute baby! That is the only reason I keep latching him on (and on, and on and on) to the boob that feels like daggers of fire are shooting through the nipples…ah, the joy…

  16. Oh the nipple pain. I had it baaad with my first. It took us awhile to get the hang of breastfeeding. I had to pump alot! And then one day, boom. He got the hang of it, I got the hang of it and it was beautiful.
    And I can’t watch that 16 and Pregnant show. All those dumb boyfriends make me want to cut their bits off.

  17. Congrats to you, your hubby, Nathan (even if he might not feel so congratulatory seeing as he just began his lifetime of sibling rivalry) and even your garbage disposable destroyed nipples for that lovely little man in your life.

    Welcome to the party TJ.

    I hope you’re ready!

  18. Oh, he’s gorgeous!

    And yes, breastfeeding is hell.

  19. Congrats on your beautiful baby.

  20. Aww…adorable! Sorry to hear about all of the difficulty you’re experiencing. I had a lot of that, too. Things will get better in time. I promise!

  21. mymaganda says:

    Mona, he’s really cute! What does Nathan think of all the commotion that comes with bringing home a newborn?

  22. Having never had a baby I’ve never had the opportunity to breast feed, but a clothespin on a nut sack? IPES. You have my sympathy (and my admiration).

  23. Mona – so glad you called the LC! I hope things are going better now.

    Sorry to hear you had a bad burger at The Swede. All I ate there were burgers and spinach salads (no fries due to the damn gestational diabetes). And omelets with everything. I’d hate to think their burgers have slid downhill. What’ll I do next time??

  24. I’ve never had a baby, let alone breastfed, or had a clothes pin attached to my french novelist (Balzac), but your description was apt. I’ll have to ask the wife about her experience. At any rate, Congratulations. Such a lovely baby. Seems to have come into live with full expectation of the love he will receive.

  25. GORGEOUS!!! Just came across your blog, and what a fantastic post to start with. I want to smooch those sweet little cheeks! Would love to link to your site from mine. Let me know what you think. Congrats!!!

  26. Lisa- Your Sistah Friend says:

    Moni Love!

    He is so stinkin’ ADORABLE! That cute face! I’m getting baby fever! And yes, I think we’re going to try for a third, in this tiny house too… Just not yet….but within the next year.

    SO HAPPY for you, Mike and Nathan. Sorry about the dinner mishap/illness this weekend. I will get dinner over to you soon! I promise!

  27. Belated but no less heartfelt congratulations on your delivery. That baby is so darn cute if I wasn’t already lactating, I’d start. Good job mama. I hope the nursing becomes easier. Or he suddenly develops a softer but no less efficient latch.

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