There are so many things that are shocking about being a new mom. The physical impact of birth; the tiny person who somehow commandeers an entire household; the immediate humbling as you realize you are in way over your head. One of the most significant challenges has been squaring expectations around breast feeding with the reality of life. First of all, I had no idea how time consuming feeding our little lady would be. I also didn’t expect to feel like I was doing a bad job as a mother when people would question if Rayna was hungry. When a grown person is hungry, it’s on them. When a 3 week old baby is hungry, someone either needs to get a bottle made up or a nursing mom better start taking care of business. I had always assumed that breast feeding would be a skill I could learn on the job, but certainly didn’t understand that it would be one of the main things that made me question if I was up to the job. Was I feeding her enough? Was she gaining weight? Was she unhappy because she was hungry? These questions weigh on me like an iron cape. For now, I have to give myself regular pep talks about how we are both doing our best. I am also fortunate to have other new mamas to compare notes with…and while this can be a double edge sword when it turns out other babies are doing better than my own, it has mostly been an incredible comfort.
So while I think Rayna’s skinny little arms, legs and neck are the completely adorable, I am excited for the day when she’s a plump little butterball who has CLEARLY been getting her fill.