Before the due date of our child, our midwife sat down with us and asked us a lot of questions.
Do you want medication for pain?
Who is allowed in the room?
Will you be breastfeeding?
Do you want to cut the umbilical cord?
Do you want to take the placenta home?
Hmm? Some we had to think about.
For the labor and delivery, I was pretty chill; as long as the baby came out, I didn't have a preference on what method or what medication. I had a strong desire to breastfeed. Knowing it could be tough, I told Nate that if there was one thing I wanted tons of encouragement on, it was to keep breastfeeding.
Recently, I ate my words.
It wasn't just tough, it was full of pain. Although baby was thriving, the pain not only brought me to tears while nursing, it caused me to cringe when I held her in between nursing. It made me noticeably less enthusiastic throughout the days. I had tons of support: advice from friends and family, many medical consultations, and the sweet encouragement from my husband just as I requested.
Here's a picture I took to remember what fighting through the pain is like. It sucked. I can remember that without a picture.
One morning, I screamed out in pain as I held her. Then I heard the best words I've ever heard: "No more, no more."
So I stopped. Cold turkey. If you're wondering if it is like what you read on Google, it is. And cabbage leaves are indeed a miracle.
I'm now content in nourishing my child regardless of the method. I'm content with holding my child close regardless of the way she eats.
I set my expectations on a very specific path instead of setting them with an underlying goal. Changing that expectation has provided a multitude of smiles, tons of snuggles with the sweet little one, and only a few random 'what if I would have tried harder' thoughts.
I'd call that a win.
Best of luck to you if you need to alter your expectations.