So Paul and I really, really love to travel (are you rolling your eyes and saying, “thanks Captain obvious”?). It’s a defining characteristic for us individually and as a couple. It’s also something we talked a lot about around having children – even when we weren’t 100% sure if we’d end up having kids (well when I wasn’t sure – but more on that another day), whenever we were abroad we’d still talk about how amazing it would be to bring our future children to these places one day – showing them customs and corners of the world that we couldn’t even imagine growing up. Heck our pregnancy announcement photo featured backpacks and announced that we were welcoming a new travel buddy (yes I know, we are annoying but cute).
A pipe dream for us began to form a few years ago when friends of ours took their baby overseas for a month. For all that we had talked about wanting to show our future, hypothetical children the world it had never occurred to us that this was something you could do with a baby!🤯 Safe to say the blew our minds when we heard about their plans and just like that it was decided – if/when we had a kid, we’d take a month abroad.
I read something in the depths of a 3am feed that resonated with me hard. Breastfeeding is a new skill you’re learning and simultaneously teaching to someone who has never done it before. So why the heck are we expecting perfection out of this? And why don’t we spend more time talking about all things feeding?! I was lucky to have a supportive and informative support system to lean on and I still found myself with a thousand questions. As a result, I have done a TON of googling research over the past few months and have found some really helpful information along the way. I’m hoping this will save you from having to do your own 2am googling or last minute panic search!
So here’s the first post in our new Sh*t I wish I knew series – the lowdown on breastfeeding. Be warned – there is a lot of information in this post! My hope is that you’ll bookmark this and come back to it whenever you have a question or run into something new!
But isn’t it the most natural thing in the world? I mean, I heard it would be hard but I figured I’d just have to slap some Lanolin on cracked nipples and things would smooth themselves out (literally and figuratively). I was not prepared for just how hard it would become… because it started out so well.
After we found out I was pregnant there were a lot of beautiful, wonderful moments of celebration, reflection and trying to enjoy our last days just the two of us. And then there were several moments when it all hit us – “holy sh*t, I have to push a baby out of me!” It’s a less than glamourous realization that doesn’t tend to make it into the curated feed of all those #pregnancygoals posts on Instagram and it’s one that hit both Paul and I at very different points in our journey.
These moments – no matter how different they may look for everyone – are incredibly important. For us, they lead to some important #realtalk, great learning and amazing discoveries that really helped us to prepare for the events of the day. Let’s get real for a second – there’s nothing you can do to truly prepare you for what the moments leading to the arrival of this new little human will be like. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go into the experience with as many tools as possible so you can walk away feeling empowered.
As I mentioned in Monday’s post our birth began way off plan, but we were making the best of it. When we left off I had just gotten an epidural and was waiting for it to kick in, hoping to get a much needed rest.
This was the refrain Paul and I kept coming back to as we navigated the moments leading up to the birth of our son. The events of the day were already shaping us as parents and putting into practice what we knew would be required on this journey – an understanding that we can plan and prepare, but ultimately, this new adventure would require us to be flexible.