WARNING: Men should stop reading here, unless you'd like a trip past the gates of Woman Town and onto Breastfeeding Lane. Yep, that's right. Go back to checking the NBA Scores or other manly computer pursuits. You can come back later.
When it came to breast feeding, I thought to myself, "How hard can it be? I mean, women have been doing it since the stone age. Like falling off a log, right?"
Without going into too many gory details, let me just say it was a tear fest. The supplement formula at the hospital smelled like canned green beans. My milk wouldn't come in. Jane's weight dropped. I cried and sat with my boobs out in front of my mother and mother-in-law like a deranged, immodest crazy woman.
Wait, did I say I wasn't going to share too many gory details? Whoopsie. Looks like that ship sailed. But at least I didn't do a blood-sweat-and-tears birth story right? That's a horror show for another day.
Anyway, the women around me rallied.
My mom and mother-in-law made a joint shopping trip and came home with the best breast pump ever. And honestly? The thought of the two of them traipsing through the store, comparing pumps and prices and telling passersby "We're co-grandmothers" was one of the only things that made me smile those first few days.
My sister-in-law Melissa called me several times and gave me lots of good advice.
And then Ashley came by the house.
I didn't really want visitors that night. I wanted to sit in my own pool of tears and watch endless reruns of The Golden Girls while holding my skinny baby girl.
But when Ashley came into the bedroom, I felt instantly better. She brought this adorable mini-baby sweater for Jane THAT SHE MADE. Is this NOT the most adorable gift ever? And she brought fantastic cookies. And a great book called So That's What They're For. But mostly she brought kind words. And advice. And her own adorable new bundle of joy.
If I've learned anything from the last month, it's the women in my life who save my bacon. Countless friends who leave me voice mails (because let's face it, when you're up to your elbows in newborn diapers and feedings and colic... phone time is the first thing to go by the wayside). A mom who I appreciate more than ever (I keep apologizing to her for all the crappy things I ever did as a teenager). And for a mother-in-law and sister-in-law so fabulous that the tag in-law should just disappear from those titles. And friends like Julia, Carrie, Ashley, Hannah, Kristi and a whole gaggle of gals who routinely encourage me by phone, email and visits.
I love you all, all you women who save my bacon.