The first feeding of the day went like this - I sat down to breastfeed Owen and looked at the open sore that used to be a nipple and felt my stomach clench with anticipatory fear. I looked down at my baby and tried to feel only the love for him because he is so amazingly adorable and gets more sweet every day. But as I brought him closer, my body involuntarily shrank from him. I somehow made it through and, after he fed for about 45 minutes, my mom suggested maybe he was still hungry. I lost it. I started to cry ugly-little-kid tears and said I just couldn't bare to feed him anymore. And then...I disintegrated. I began to say awful depressing things about myself and my mom took the baby from me and sent me to bed where I wallowed in despair for a few minutes and then passed out. I know these moments are prompted by exhaustion and hormones, but they are fucking hard. In those moments I despair that I am not the mother I wanted to be. Not the mother I thought I would be. Not the mother my husband expected me to be. Not the mother my baby deserves.
The last feeding I had today was so much different. I snuggled into the couch with Owen and Bear. I got a great latch right away (no idea how...pure luck) that only minimally hurt me. Then I leaned back into the pillows and let Owen snuggle into my stomach and breasts. The kitten snuggled up to my side and then I was able to turn on Netflix and just relax while the baby calmly ate for 30 minutes. I even managed to relatch on the other side without any drama. I felt capable, calm and happy. Afterwards, I washed the baby and was playing with him when Daddy walked in from work.
What is the difference in those two moments? How can I go from so extremely desperate to feeling capable and confident? I suppose, this is motherhood?