As promised, here is the first installment in my project plan of blogging topics, namely "How I actually came to own a pillow called 'My Brest Friend,' and how said pillow has made my life immeasurably easier."
The first thing I need to get off my chest (ironic, no?) is that I am simply not the sort of person who would purchase a product with the ridiculous and humiliating name of "My Brest Friend." Perhaps it's the marketing professional in me, or perhaps it's just that I don't like to reward the person or company who came up with such a name by giving them my hard-earned cash.
But as I've learned after having a child, you must lower your standards. For example: Four hours of continuous sleep? Heaven! Taking a shower every day? The ultimate indulgence. Remembering to eat lunch? A bonus.
So once Evan was born, I wondered how exactly the human race had sustained itself for centuries when breastfeeding is so damn hard. Really. Here's an illustration to give you an idea of the agony I endured. I honestly would go through childbirth ten more times (with an epidural, of course) before experiencing the pain of the first five weeks of nursing my son. I am talking extreme pain, and this from a person who I SWEAR is not a wimp. In fact, I've always prided myself on my high pain tolerance. However, I was popping the Darvocet they gave me in the hospital two at a time. When I went to refill my prescription, a note that said "High Dose Alert" popped up on the pharmacist's screen -- meaning they could tell that I had been taking the maximum dose because of how quickly I had returned for the refill! I'm pretty sure that was the low point.
So after a couple of weeks of cracking, bleeding, crying and picturing myself hooked on painkillers like Jack Osbourne and Rush Limbaugh, I finally consulted a lactation consultant. She took one look at me and pronounced my condition "severe nipple damage." That was another low point, yes. But this was the beautiful day that I met my new Brest Friend.
Yes, it's true. The MBF pillow, however silly the name, became my knight in shining armor. Just to give you an idea of the mechanics, you fasten the pillow around you, and it positions the baby perfectly and helps you avoid a "bad latch-on," as they say. One use and I was hooked. You strap it on and feel a little bit like a blackjack dealer. Actually, you could cover it with green felt and use it as a blackjack table for a Halloween costume. (So Martha Stewart of me.) Future Halloween costume or no, the MBF was worth every penny, and I will shout its praises from the rooftops forever and ever, amen.
So, what did I learn from my experience? First of all, the first few weeks of motherhood are simply about survival, because you have to throw quality of life out the window temporarily. (At least until the baby starts smiling at you and/or sleeping more than five hours at night.) It just goes to show you that it's never wise to say "I'll never..." when it comes to having children. You never know when you're gonna have to swallow your pride, suck it up and gird yourself, literally, with your Brest Friend.