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Challenge: Bringing Home Baby: What Do You Wish You’d Known?

Don't assemble your breastpump for the first time at 4AM

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That box sat in my living room for approximately six months during my pregnancy. That box was my breastpump. Like a pile of unopened bills, I would pass by it daily and think, "Maybe I should just take a peek so I can check this off my list..." But then I would get overwhelmed by the sheer thought of OPENING the box and swept it aside for another day. Well that day came ...in a ferocious tidal wave when my midwife told me at 4AM, "I think you should pump." Cue the hysterics. Why didn't I open the box and put this damn thing together when I had the luxury of time and a (somewhat) clear mind....(cue even more wailing.) 

You see, I was three days into being a new mom and noone ever REALLY told me how difficult it was to get your newborn to latch onto your grapefruit-sized breasts. My baby was not eating and I felt like I had been hammered with BREAST IS BEST hypnotic chanting and drank the Kool-Aid that my baby would not be able to finish high school if I (gasp) gave him ***formula...so I was desperate to get MY milk out of my body in whatever way I could.  I also didn't know this at the time but my milk-clogged breasts were on their merry way to getting full-blown mastitis. My middle-of-the-night phone call was an act of desperation and I wasn't expecting her advice to be: GO PUMP. 

I will spare you all the painful details of my husband, my mom, my screaming hungry infant and myself (who was also sobbing) huddled around the instructional manual trying to assemble the pump...but just know it is worse than whatever scene you are imagining. Three sleep-deprived adults  did not make for an A+ team of efficiency. In that moment, I really really wished I would've just taken a half hour and assembled my pump while I was pregnant. It would've saved me some tears in those early weeks. But I did learn something that night. I realized there was not a place to quickly watch short (read: under five minutes) and to-the-point instructional videos for all things new-mom related. So I made a How-To video to hopefully stave off some tears for other moms who find themselves alone with their screaming baby and their unopened breastpump. Happy pumping moms!

***This is an entirely different post but here's another thing I wish someone had said to me: Formula does not have horns and a red tail. It is not your fault if breastfeeding doesn't work out exactly how you envisioned and you are not a failure. Please repeat this 100 times and tattoo it on your forearm if necessary. 



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