My sister’s story isn’t mine to tell.
But that it’s eerily similar to mine, well, then I’m just telling my own story.
Babies are hard.
First babies are even harder.
They can be the most adorable soul sucking creatures on the planet in those first few weeks. My sister has worked in a veterinary hospital since high school. She currently has 5 animals, 2 dogs and 3 cats. She had 2 dogs and another cat who have passed away. On the phone with her late one night she sobbed “I’ve never done anything this hard with any of my animals before.” Which is saying a lot given she’s had to put three of them down after nursing them through various difficult illnesses. Given human babies are not animals, but if you’ve ever dealt with a sick and dying pet, you know the exhaustion on your heart can be similar to the exhaustion of the first few weeks with a new baby.
Especially if you’re having milk supply issues.
Babies are hard enough without having to worry how you’re going to feed them. After the first few nights of tearful exhaustion my mom and I intervened, bringing my sister up to my parent’s house so we could help her nurse and rest. At one point I left her sitting on the bed in the late afternoon sun, SNS tube hanging above her right shoulder, baby latched on as she read “Making More Milk” with intent on my Kindle.
That’s exactly where I was 10 months ago and it was the hardest month of my life. I hated seeing my own sister have to go through it.
Boobs are supposed to work. You’re supposed to have a baby, go through a few rough days and boom! Milk! Fed baby! Your biggest complaint is then supposed to be leaking and swollen breasts. Those were never my complaints. I only wished for boobs so full they felt as though they were going to explode. I only wished for that mystical feeling of let down when a baby near me cried.
I saw a pin the other day that read “Someday all this pain will make sense to you.”
As I left my sister and her new baby alone in the bedroom that day it began to make more sense as to why I went through the 8 grueling weeks of attempting to establish anything resembling a milk supply, so my sister didn’t have to suffer alone one year later. I realize I have helped other women with my story, but nothing will ever be quite the same as looking at my sister and saying “I GET IT.” and having her know I really did.