Early this morning I was actually asleep when our whole house, which is large and solid and LARGE, started to shake, the shower doors rattled and clattered, and then it was still. Phillip was all, "What was THAT?!" and I was just barely coherent enough to think, "Earthquake." Since it was only a few violent seconds and we'd been up all night with a gorgeous yet hungry baby, we immediately fell back asleep. Except then we started hearing sirens and helicopters and it occurred to us that the shaking was maybe not an earthquake.
Turns out there was a natural gas explosion in my neighborhood, a boom that was felt surprisingly far away according to the local news. A house burned to the ground, the neighboring houses were evacuated, and we've seen crews and utility trucks on every street. My husband also just informed me that he received an automated phone call this morning warning gas customers that crews were now inspecting neighboring houses and had already found three more leaks - so be careful! If you smell gas, get out! Good luck with that!
This totally made my day. Which had ALREADY been made, a little bit later in the morning, when I had a total mental meltdown over 1) all these NOISY PEOPLE IN MY HOUSE and 2) the horror that is Beginning Breastfeeding.
It's not like I expected it to feel GOOD, right? And I successfully breastfed two other kids; the second one was even a total piece of cake from day one. I remember it hurting in the beginning, but I also remember near immediate improvement. This time it feels worse with each feeding. I checked her latch with the lactation consultants before we left the hospital, just wanting to confirm my own opinion. (Was confirmed.) I felt confident that I knew what to do and how to position her and what the right latch looked and felt like. But even when I had all these things in place it was So. Incredibly. Painful. I expected to wince when she latched, but I was doing Labor Breathing and Labor Noises when she latched, and wincing and tensing and gasping with each suck. NOT OKAY.
I was feeding her in the living room because at that moment, Phillip and the kids were in the bedroom. But then everyone migrated to the living room and not only was the local news blaring the house fire drama, I had Jack singing at the top of his lungs in gibberish and Molly climbing on me and asking for something to eat and Phillip... Phillip was somewhere, I guess, but I was mad because he wanted to call into a work meeting at the exact hour we had to do preschool pick ups and lunches and HELLO I JUST GAVE BIRTH THREE DAYS AGO, I SHOULD BE SITTING ON SATIN PILLOWS AND DRINKING ORANGE DREAM MACHINES AND WEEEEEEEP.
I'd got up early because the explosion jolted me awake. I'd made the snacks/lunches, pulled out school clothes and got the kids washed and dressed, I fed them breakfast, I changed the baby and now I was feeding her and I wanted every single other person in the world to drop off a cliff somewhere. HORMONAL MUCH?
So I did what any other blogger would do and turned to Twitter. I only meant to vent, but it turns out people had advice. And usually, I won't lie, I hate advice. I'm sorry. I really only want you to say, "OMG THAT SUCKS" and volunteer to kick some shins or whatever. But Twitter, you were SO WONDERFUL. You reminded me about nipple shields and gel pads and lansinoh and things I KNEW but could not REMEMBER in the moment. You told me that nipple shields do not kill babies and that I need a breastfeeding break even in the first week and formula is not the devil's drink and I needed to hear all of these things. Phillip and I decided to pick up the license plates for the new car while the kids were in preschool and do you know what is very near the car dealership? The giant baby box store.
So I stood in the breastfeeding aisles for God knows how long and I spent a fortune on breastfeeding survival supplies. I came home, slapped on a shield, and fed my kid without wanting to overdose on the Percocet. My mood, it did a complete 180. I am now Optimistic and Halfway Confident and No Longer Cowering In Fear Of The Next Feeding. So thank you, good women of the internet. God help the next person who says some smartass "who CARES, what's it FOR" comment about Twitter in my presence.
And I just want to say... this is HARD WORK. This is REALLY REALLY HARD. First you have to push an entire human being out of your nether regions, then you are subjected to cramping and bleeding and soreness, THEN you are expected to feed your child with the one tender part of your body that WASN'T ravaged in the birth, all on little to no sleep. I mean, it's normal and Just Life and totally stuff that I am happy and proud to do as my baby's mother, but let's not forget that it is also HARD.
Did I tell you about how Phillip kept looking at his ear in the mirror at the hospital? While I was in labor? Because it sort of hurt and he couldn't tell WHY it hurt? And it was really bugging him? WHILE I WAS IN LABOR?
I will also tell you that he stopped that fairly quick and was an all around Expectant Dad Rock Star that night. Well, I will tell you that if I ever get around to posting the birth story. Um, tomorrowish? I know you are all on tenterhooks, (well, in my imagination you are), but you try telling a 3-day-old, "I can't feed you right now, I'm too busy telling the internet about your hellish entry into the world."