I, just like many mothers anxiously anticipated the birth of my child and opted to take “birth/parenting classes. While most pre-moms are interested in the labor what ifs and what nots, I was more concerned about what to do with her once I got home, especially about how to feed her.
To breastfeed little miss Oakley for at least 6 months was my goal. I was all-too eager and excited about bonding with my baby during every feeding and our plan was to have skin to skin contact as soon as she left the womb with a latch session right after. Well things didn’t quite turn out as planned as told in a previous blog (The Birthing Plan that God laughed at.) My goal from the time I was in the hospital and as soon as I got home was to wean her off the formula (given in the NICU) and exclusively breast feed! After 5 days at home the mission was accomplished! She had a latch of perfection, fed often and continued to gain weight!
Great! Except, my husband always seemed to want to touch me while I was feeding her. He wanted to rub my back or thigh or I don’t know, whatever part of my body was closest to him and it annoyed the (S)ugar (H)oney (I)ced (T)ea out of me. To me that was OUR time, (me and Oakley's). I was doing what God created my body to do. It felt empowering and comforting knowing that her nutrients and life support was coming from my body. I was all about the GIRL POWER, PINK HATS ALL DAY LONG. But then the touch of my husband’s hand would creep up on me and my skin would crawl.
I couldn’t figure it out. I knew I was still attracted to him but it was like I had put up dividers for my intimate moments and this one was for Oakley only. I could tell he was getting frustrated with me constantly telling him to stop touching me with no just cause, but nowhere near as frustrated as I was having to KEEP saying it. I was also puzzled by the fact that he had so many opportunities to touch me when she wasn’t latched to a boob. Why not choose one of those moments? I finally asked him his reasoning and after speaking with him I came to these conclusions.
1) He was just trying to get in where he could fit in. New dads have difficulty finding their role when the baby comes home,especially if you’ve chosen to breastfeed. I mean the baby literally just sleeps and eat so the majority of time is spent with the mother. It was important for him to feel a part of the structure as well.
2) He was impressed with how maternal I had become in what seemed overnight. I’ve always wanted a family but it definitely was not the first thing I would talk about during cocktail hour lol. To him it was like I had converted into this 1950’s woman in a matter of 6 days.
3) He wanted to comfort me. Even though it caused the urge to vomit in my mouth, his intentions were good.
TALK TO YOURSELF, not aloud silly, unless you’re in the shower or in front of a cool mirror like Issa Rae (Insecure). No matter what way you choose, communicate with yourself honestly and directly about your feelings so you’ll understand the whys and hows of issues with responding to your body.
TALK TO YOUR PARTNER and stop assuming that “he’ll get it” 9 times out of 10… they won’t. Tell him the truth if he’s making your skin crawl but make sure to remind him what still gives you goosebumps/butterflies about him. You can even jazz up your feeding schedule and write down TITS AT WORK/ TITS CAN PLAY!
BE THE FUN YOU WISH TO HAVE