I cried in the pediatrician’s office and the entire car ride home the day after I brought my baby home from the hospital.
I had arrived at my apartment knowing that I’d need to feed every 2-3 hours but not feeling entirely comfortable with the process. Within hours, my nipples cracked, and my baby was wailing on and off at the top of her lungs from 10:00 pm until 5:00 am.
She was feeding for many more hours than doctors told me she would, but she was never satiated, and I winced and cried through the pain.
I called the pediatrician the day after we brought her home. He instructed me to come in immediately, and then informed me that I needed to give my baby a bottle of formula and take a nap before seeing a lactation consultant to work through our issues.
Why wasn’t I able to feed my baby? Why did a process so “natural” feel so clumsy and so exhaustive? And why was I beating myself up over a bottle of formula?