First Lesson as a Mom

My first lesson of motherhood was the need to adapt.  This lesson started in the hospital, when I tried to breast feed my son.  Working with a La Leche coach, I tried every technique possible to get my son to latch on.  He refused.  In fact, he would push me away and scream, whenever I would try to breast feed him.  It was nothing short of ugly.  He was crying and by the end of the coaching session I was crying.  Nothing I did seemed to work.

He was five pounds and very hungry, needing to feed frequently.  Because he was crazed and weak from hunger, he did not have the strength to feed from the breast.  When it was clear that he was not going to latch on and he was continuing to lose weight, I had to make a choice.  I had to pump and feed him breast milk from a bottle, or give him formula.  I did not want to feed him formula, so I rented a pump from the hospital.

By changing the plan, I  was able to feed my son breast milk, while allowing him to gain the necessary weight to be healthy.  Once I stopped fighting and trying to make him latch on, he became very peaceful.  He would curl up in my arms and purr as he fed from his bottle.  Breastfeeding transformed from a battle to a bonding experience, because I let go of my expectations and listened to my son’s needs.

One thought on “First Lesson as a Mom

  1. Similar to you, I had to learn to adjust my expectations as one of my first lessons as a Mom. Thought I’d get pregnant easily — 5 years later and no pregnancy. Thought pregnancy itself would be doable — sick as a dog for 5 months. Thought breastfeeding would be “natural” — I only ever produced minor amounts of breast milk. Trying to meet those expectations made me feel badly about myself. So I had to learn to give those up and adjust those expectations — adapt like you said. I could then learn to embrace my reality and not what I “thought” motherhood should be!

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