I remember the first night we brought the Little One home. I had nursed her just fine at the hospital, under the tutelage of the saintly-patient-postpartum nurses, but now that I was flying solo, nursing my baby made me feel like my nipples were on fire.
What to do?
Well, Google how to breastfeed, of course.
I don’t know how many articles I read or how many videos I watched, but I feel like I tried everything: from nipple cream to nipple shields, from changing nursing positions to changing nursing pillows. I was overwhelmed and frustrated and already felt like I was a failure, although I had only been a mom for less than a week.
I usually try to keep my social media light, but in the wee hours of morning, I vented on Facebook. And within hours, I received an outpouring of love in the form of comments, Facebook messages, emails and texts – including some from people I had not talked to in years.
All the messages were kind.
And they were all from women – who were also mommies.
In contrast to my last post about #thestruggleisreal, I wanted to highlight the incredible support I have witnessed since being a new mom. Just the other day, I posted on Facebook about forgetting my pumping materials at home, and within a few hours, I had at least two offers from friends who were willing to lend me their pump so I could have an extra set at work.
Look – the reality is that there are a lot of things about being a new mom that are absolutely terrible. But there are just about as many things about being a new mom that are wonderful. Besides the obvious (the Little One), one of my favorite things about being a new mom is how my connection with my friends who are moms are now deeper – and how I can instantly connect to women (who are moms) that I don’t know because of the sheer fact that we are mothers. I had no idea that this kind of sisterhood existed, but I am humbled to be a small part of it.