You used to be my one and only. The only human who held my attention and dominated my thoughts. Now more than ever, I need you.
My body is tired and tainted. My nipples are dark, sore, and way too big. This whole breastfeeding thing has me all out of sorts.
Sometimes I wake up at night worried about my milk supply. So if you hear some rhythmic noises coming from my side of the bed in the middle of the night, it’s just me getting in an extra pumping session.
Sometimes I wake up hearing phantom cries and I need to look at the monitor to make sure our baby is still breathing.
I wish I could explain to you everything I am going through physically and mentally.
I wish that someone wrote a manual called: Breastfeeding tips for Dads, and every man was required to read it.
Well, instead I am writing this letter to you to help you understand.
The previous months leading up to these moments, we did our best to prepare. I always felt so happy when you would talk to my belly because it made me feel like you would really share in this parenting journey 50/50.
But here I am, with this floppy little thing connected to my breasts 24/7, and now you are scared to touch them.
I know you got frustrated when I asked you to get me a glass of water for the third time during the 1/3 of the movie we tried to watch before giving up.
I know you don’t understand why I get a new nursing tank delivered from Amazon every day or why my favorite color now seems to be black.
But I just need you to know that I am doing my best.
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Don’t let my new neurotic personality make you feel like you don’t know me. Every new mom has this version hidden inside of her waiting to come out and obsess over insignificant things.
I will probably be this way for a long time. I guess this is the new me.
I see you found my notebook where I log everything about our routine day. Yesterday, we breastfed 13 times for a total of 102 minutes.
I do a little happy dance every time I change a wet diaper, so make sure you let me know when you change one because I need to write that down too.
I am doing everything I can to use my God-given ability to make homemade milk for this little babe, but I still feel all the time like I am failing.
There are so many voices of advice and I don’t know who to listen to.
I have read so many blogs that give all sorts of breastfeeding tips. I wish I could just trust my own instincts but I have never done this before.
I’m sick to death of scrolling through Instagram. How are there so many perfect moms who weigh 100 pounds right after they delivery? I guess I missed the memo about drinking beet juice everyday or something.
Everyone keeps saying that breastfeeding is supposed to make you drop a million pounds a day, but I keep stuffing my face with lactation cookies to try to build up enough freezer stash for when I go back to work.
I absolutely refuse to get rid of my pre-pregancy clothes, even though at this rate, I may never fit into them again.
I am honestly scared that you don’t like the way I look naked.
I have been wearing the belly band 24/7. When I take it off to shower, my skin is so hot and zebra striped. It feels like my innards could fall out at any minute.
Everyone says this gets easier, but the other day I felt like our son was trying to saw off my nipple.
You came running down the stairs after I screamed and found tears running down my face. For the first time ever, I wished it was you sitting here shirtless and not me.
Yes, I know that there are women out there who would do anything to be in my shoes. But in this moment I just need to have my own version of a pity party because no one told me that breastfeeding would be this HARD.
The truth is, I need you to go above and beyond for me.
If you notice me without a drink, please hand me a glass of water or brew me some breastfeeding tea.
If you happened to wake in the middle of the night and hear our baby crying, will you please bring him to me?
Can you please massage my back before we go to bed? I know I am supposed to bring the baby to the breast but sometimes we just can’t get this latch right. My upper back aches so much.
Most importantly, will you still tell me everyday how beautiful I am, and deep down inside really mean it? My confidence is shot and I just need to know that you still love me.
I hope this isn’t too much to ask.
Your Very Tired Breastfeeding Wife
Need some help keeping track of things?
Thank you for this <3 It’s comforting to know others feel the same.
This is exactly how I feel right now…. love your letter.