Thursday, May 25, 2017

Road Trip


I'm worthless at work today. Oh, I'm getting little things here and there done, but I am excited for the weekend. One of my dearest High School friends and I are taking a road trip Southward, to visit our other very dear friend, and her new baby.

I'm excited for a number of reasons. These two women are like sisters to me. One was there for the birth of each of my oldest and youngest children, and made it a point to visit shortly after my youngest was born. So it's awesome that the two of us get to be there for one of our other best friends. 

I'm also excited because this is the first road trip I've taken completely independent of my family unit. My husband is amazing to me. I'm not made to feel guilty for a weekend with the girls, or travelling without him. Nor does he have any gripes about "being stuck" with the kids for the weekend. It's taken several years to re-condition myself to these foreign characteristics. I'm no longer looking to be ridiculed for being so selfish at a later date. Apparently, this is how most healthy couples operate. Who knew? I will definitely miss him and the children while I'm away. But I am looking forward to the break, particularly before I start a full time class load for my summer semester.

I'm also excited to bring my gifts to my friend and her new little one. We both share a passion for Sci-Fi/Fantasy, in particular Doctor Who. So I have a couple of things for the little one giving a nod to our shared fandom. But what I'm more excited about is the breast-feeding support kit I put together for her.

I remember breastfeeding was one of the worst pieces of being a new mom after my oldest was born. I had little in the way of support, and didn't do my homework either. I had no idea it would be physically painful to do, and I was so pissed at all the women in my life who didn't warn me that it hurts when you first start. Considering how sexualized breasts are in our society, it was slightly traumatic for me, given issues with previous sexual abuse.

Breastfeeding was supposed to be a beautiful bonding experience with my child, and instead it felt like a little vice attaching to a most tender area, and holding for dear life. I was not prepared for the sensation of engorgement either, or the sensation of let-down. All I knew was, I was trying to give my daughter the best, and I just had to grit my teeth every time she latched on, and suffer through it. It wasn't until later I learned the value of pure Lanolin, and good quality nursing pads. Add all of this on top of not immediately feeling bonded to my oldest at the moment of her birth, and suffering immense guilt for it, I was convinced there was something wrong with me, and that I was a terrible mother. I felt ashamed that I was not picking these things up as naturally as it seemed I was supposed to. And I was determined to stick with it and at least to learn to be a good mother. I look back and realize, I put such an immense amount of pressure on myself to be naturally maternal. I realize now, how much of those behaviors are learned versus instinctual.

So I tried to pull together some things I hope will make the experience more comfortable for my friend, including a book titled "Breastfeeding is a Bitch, But We Lovingly Do It Anyway." Just so she has a reference point for those issues that do arise with breastfeeding, and that those issues are normal, and say nothing about what kind of mother she is or will be.

I'm excited to hold a new little life in my arms, and welcome her to the world, and to congratulate my friend's husband on finally becoming a father.

It's going to be a great Memorial Day weekend.

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