Three Weeks Since My Life Changed Forever

It has been 3 weeks since my life changed forever. I haven’t worked out at all. I haven’t counted a single calorie. I’ve just been trying to enjoy this special time.

Everyone keeps telling me to at least.

No one tells you to enjoy wearing what feels like a diaper for 2 weeks. They also don’t tell you to enjoy having chapped/chaffed/painful nipples. Breastfeeding was something I really wanted (still want) to do but holy hell is it painful.

I developed mastitis exactly one week after we checked out of the hospital. Since everyone kept saying that BF’ing is painful, I let Tommy nurse on a bad latch the first night for a prolonged period of time not knowing any better. My nipple ended up looking pretty bad and never healed fully because I thought it was supposed to hurt. It started to feel like shards of glass were penetrating my nipple every time he would latch on. Then I woke up with a fever, felt like I was coming down with the flu and my breast was very tender to touch. Hello, mastitis.

I went to the hospital. They gave me a prescription. I decided to pump on the side effected and exclusively feed Tommy on my right side. I froze what I did pump because the internet made me feel like a bad mom for giving him a bottle so soon. We can’t have nipple confusion (insert tired/sarcastic mom emoji). My right side is now noticeably larger since I didn’t pump as often as I should have on the left. Great…

After two weeks, I’m finally getting the hang of things and feeling really optimistic about breast feeding and this new mom thing. Breast feeding is no longer wince worthy on my right side. Tommy will nurse on both sides now but it is still painful at first on the left, but not shards of glass painful. I saw a lactation consultant who said his latch was good but may be a bit shallow. No tongue tie to report.

Tommy weighed almost 10 lbs at his 2 week appointment and I think he may have already gained another. He is always hungry but I know he getting what he needs.

We finally were able to get out of the house and go for a walk. And by finally I mean, mom found an hour long stretch where Tommy didn’t want to eat and it was pretty nice out. This might have been the best hour of the week as I finally brought my son to one of my favorite places in the city, one he has been to many times but just didn’t know it.

chicco tre

Some people have told me not to worry about work and just focus on the baby. Unfortunately, I work for myself. I don’t have a paid maternity leave. I technically could take a year off but I would make nothing and that would be a lot of pressure to put on Nick. While some of you may envy working for yourself, I envy your maternity leave policy. For those that do not have a maternity leave policy that is paid, I feel ya. Yesterday, all Tommy wanted to do was eat. He didn’t want a nap. He just wanted to be held and eat so that is exactly what I did. So, no work.

Today, he has been napping for 3 hours! I’ve gotten more work done today than I have in 3 weeks I think. But now I feel guilty that he isn’t napping on my chest where I know he prefers to be. He’ll be up in 5 minutes I bet and ready to eat like a baby Micheal Phelps for the next two hours.

So that is where I’ll be for probably the rest of the day enjoying the time where I can still hold him with one arm, kiss the soft spot on the top of his head as much as I want, cuddle and smell his sweet newborn scent. No matter how little sleep I get, the sweet snuggles always make me forget the painful latch, cluster feeding, and all.

Three Weeks Since My Life Changed Forever

| Motherhood | 30 Comments
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30 Comments

  • Kelly Miller
    Reply

    Baby due in 2 weeks and will also be a first time mom. I appreciate so so much your honestly and actual struggles! When i go through this i won’t feel alone. <3

  • Carolynn
    Reply

    I had my first baby 5 weeks ago. It’s been a life changing experience full of highs and lows. Breastfeeding is so hard. I visited with the lactation consultant too. My daughter, Madelyn, cluster feeds almost daily and always wants to be held. I love being with her but I need a break. I know it will get better eventually. Good luck to you!

  • Ashlee
    Reply

    My son was on a bottle and breast from the beginning. And I only breast fed for 6 weeks because 1) I didn’t produce enough and 2) I HATED it. Every mom and every baby are different. You do you! Your baby is loved and cared for and that’s all that matters! My son is now 2 1/2 and he’s healthy and developmentally he’s advanced, so you can’t go by the studies and hypes.. you just can’t.

  • Katy Widrick
    Reply

    First of all — no, first, second, third and beyond…you are AWESOME. This is so tough and you’re right that nobody really tells you about the hardest parts and if they do, you’re not really ready to listen and comprehend until you’re in the thick of it. (Like, why did none of my girlfriends warn me that the first post-baby poop would be one of the scariest things I faced!)

    Be kind to yourself. The days are long — SO LONG — but the years are short. And please don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help.

  • Briana
    Reply

    APNO Cream. Saved my life. It’s a prescription from your OB and stands for all purpose nipple ointment. yoire doing great with Tommy though! The pain will be forgotten soon enough 🙂

  • Nina
    Reply

    Katy is so right! The beginning is hard -- even though I expected it to be difficult, it was harder in a different way. The non-stop feeding is tough to get through, but it gets easier and easier every week. My baby is 6 months old now, but I still remember my aching butt from sitting/feeding so much at the beginning. You are doing great, and congrats on that 3-hour nap!!

  • Evelyn
    Reply

    I’m due in a couple of months, can’t wait for that mom diaper :-/ Everyone also says it’s all worth it, which I’m sure it is -- but I’m not going to lie, I’m still pretty darn anxious about taking care of a person other than myself and my husband -- one day at a time!

  • Danielle A.
    Reply

    Love reading your journey on becoming a mom. I have to and I’ll be excited to see how you find rhythm with business, fitness, and stickers otherhood. And let’s not forget your man too in the mix. It’ll be an encouragement to many I am sure. But the time does indeed go fasr, so do take your time!

  • Maggie
    Reply

    Oh I remember the pinchy ouchy feeling when my little guy first latched on for a while. Then later I got mastitis too. But the pain goes away and nursing through the mastitis or blocked ducts is the best thing you can do. Nursing in different holds helps clear the blocked ducts better too. Football hold, cradle hold, leaning right over him with him on his back… I did I all. And it’s all good now 🙂 hang in there mama. You’re doing awesome. And Tommy needs you so much right now. It’s his 4th trimester 🙂 I still work during naps and give him my full attention when he’s up! #bossbabe

  • Maryam
    Reply

    Hi Sarah, congrats on your baby! I just had my 4th a couple of weeks ago. Being a mum is super hard! I get the feeling of having to work with such a young baby, except mine is with my kids. I can’t just sit and nurse for hours at a time. I have found baby wearing has been such a gift this time around. I can do things, while breastfeeding at the same time. Or if bubs is being especially difficult and wants to sleep ON me, that can be done too! I really recommend you check it out. Its a Godsend for busy mummas.

  • Brooke Linden
    Reply

    Sarah! I have long been a believer that you are nothing less than a superhero and your honest mom-ing only bolsters that opinion! If it helps at ALL, my sister-in-law had very similar experiences breast feeding my niece (i.e., pain, uneveness, etc.) -- she is about two months old now, and things are much better for them both! She had some success with a nipple shield, though baby had some trouble learning to latch for the first little while -- maybe you could try that method?

    Like so many others on here, I SO appreciate your brutal honesty -- the truth/reality of motherhood, I think, is not often told. These posts help to remind my why i’m not ready for a baby yet, and how worth it it’s going to be when I am ready. In the mean time, you are a rockstar, and Little Fit is SO lucky ot have a superhero for a momma.

  • Andrea
    Reply

    I totally feel you on the working for yourself and the non paid maternity leave. I’m due at the end of the month and am training clients up until my due date mostly because I will be taking 2 months off which equals no income coming in on my end. So I get that and will be in the same boat for a few months adjusting to motherhood and figuring out how to manage running your own business and spending time with the new little one. Looking forwards to updates on how your doing that as well!

  • Ginnie
    Reply

    You are doing so well! Awesome work on managing to get out for a walk, the timing can be so tricky!
    I hope BF gets better and better for you. I felt like the 6 week mark was such a milestone to make it to and that things steadily improved from there! Remember that you are the best and most perfect mom for Tommy and he is so lucky to have you!

  • Jill B.
    Reply

    I don’t know if this will help, but I watched a YouTube video on the “deep latch technique.” Bf’ing hurt me for awhile, longer than I thought it was supposed to, so finally I started looking around. It made a really big difference and I was like “ok we can do this!” I hope you guys have turned a corner 🙂

  • Erin
    Reply

    Sounds like you’re doing great! I have 3 young children and I’ve felt your pain. Keep up the good work! You’ll never regret all you do for your son, especially the lack of sleep, painful breastfeeding, sacrifice of time and money. He’s worth it and so is your piece of mind! Love keeping up with you!

  • Cari Shoemate
    Reply

    Hey Sarah! Congrats on your little guy! Breastfeeding was the hardest part for me but it gets so much easier -- hang in there! I’m about to go through it all again in a few weeks with baby #2. Keep up the good work…you are doing great! Also, check out KellyMom.com for BF tips…that site helped me a ton!

  • meaganleanne
    Reply

    I stumbled across a few of your vids on my TV the other day and I was like, I’m pretty sure I follow her blog… I really enjoyed it and I definitely need to try out some more. Congrats on your little angel!

  • Monica M
    Reply

    I had my LO 7 weeks ago. This is my third child but I must inform that my prior was born 8 years ago. Things feel different than my last two. Or at least they seem that way. I’ve been BF since day one and boy has it been a challenge for me as well. I got super engorged the first week because unfortunately he was tongue tied and the pediatrician prolonged snipping him. He’s better now at latching but I’m just like you. He cluster feeds during the day and loves to nap on my chest. I am also self employed and haven’t been able to get any work done. I feel your pain ? sad to say everything has been falling on my husband. He has gotten a bottle here and there when I have to step out. I fear nipple confusion or him prefering a bottle so I try my hardest not to give him one. I have to pump at night because he doesnt take both breast like he does during the day which sux because pumping causes the breast to produce faster then if he nursed so I always end up uncomfortable in a few hours. I hear that things get better and I’m looking forward to those days. Hang in there mommy. Don’t give up. They grow up fast and if we blink we will miss it.

  • Chana
    Reply

    You are doing great! The fact that you get any work done in the first 6 weeks of his life is impressive. I too had a similarly hard time with nursing my first child (10+ years ago). Hang in there. If you get the right lactation support (it sounds like you have), it really does get not painful and much much easier. Nothing is like the first 6-12 weeks as a new mom. Nothing. And no one can prepare you for it. Relish the time. Try hard to nap once a day. When you reach the 6 week mark, you will hopefully see a small light at the end of the tunnel and that tunnel gets brighter and brighter until you reach 4 months and then you can sleep again, which changes everything! And in case no one told you, the first 12 wks can also be very stressful on your relationship with your partner. Yes, nothing bonds you like having a baby but that baby is on your boob all night — not his — and the lack of sleep just makes everything hard. Anyway, I can go on and on. As for work, you will have a whole new platform as a mom and I am sure it will bring you all sorts of new income. Good luck with everything and congrats! --From a Brooklyn mom of 3 and a fitness professional who admires your work.

  • L
    Reply

    Hi Sarah! Breast feeding is hard and it didn’t come naturally to me. you get caught up thinking that it should be bc it is “natural” and Women have been doing it since the beginning of time, but it took A good 6 weeks for me and my baby to finally get it right. I didn’t see a lactation consultant but I wish I would have in beginning. after all the pain and skin peeling and sore nipples and sleepless nights (wow such a long list) , I’m finally able to really enjoy breastfeeding. My baby is now 3 months old, and sleeping more through the night thank goodness! I had post partum depression too. And what helped me get through that was having a good support system, ppl to check up on you and help with baby. wishing you and your little one all the best! -from one new mom to another ..xoxoxoxoxxo

  • Sarah
    Reply

    Thank you for this! All of my friends seem to have had such easy babies and here I am feeling like I’m doing something-or all the things-wrong. I have a 9 week old baby and she only wants to sleep on me always and wakes up when I put her down. And she eats all the time also so getting back to things has been difficult. And I completely feel you on the maternity leave. I don’t work for myself but I work for a small company and I could have time off but unpaid. Needless to say I went back to work after a week and thankfully I can bring the baby with me. Ah motherhood, so wonderful and so scary at the same time.

  • Samantha
    Reply

    I’m a first time mom and had my little one on Christmas. I definitely know what you mean when you talk about breastfeeding -- it’s like a full time job in itself. My baby girl has a shallow latch so I’ve had pain this entire time, although I’ve almost made it 6 weeks. My next goal is 3 months. Every single day that I’ve sat on my ass all day makes me want to give it up. Every time my baby girl is awake and wants to be latched on makes me want to give it up. But then there are times -- like when she had her 1 month apt and was 9lb 9oz (weighed 7lb 12oz but dropped to 6lb 8oz before my milk came in) and I realize I did that. My body grew this girl and it’s still nourishing her. Then I want to keep going!

    Definitely life changes, though!

  • Presley @ Run Pretty
    Reply

    So sorry about the rough start with breastfeeding! And as far as bottles go, I purposely gave my first a pumped bottle at two weeks to allow some freedom up in my life. We had ZERO issues with nipple confusion (I think good bottles help), and I was able to run to the store/take a nap early on without worrying about how he would eat. I’m definitely giving this one a bottle in the next week or so, too. You gotta do what keeps you sane as well as what’s good for baby and don’t let anyone tell you different. People have so many daggum opinions…

    And if you want to complain about lack of sleep or any of that other fun stuff, I’m all ears. 😉

  • Claire
    Reply

    Great post. You probably know this (I didn’t) make sure you take good care of your pelvic floor. I didn’t know I had prolapse until my baby was 6 months (ob said everyone who has had a virginal birth has some and so didn’t mention it at 6 week checkup). Get a good womans health physio to do an internal before you do any exercise where you bare down or high impact exercise. Apologies if you know all this. I can’t believe I didn’t and want to make sure everyone else does!!

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