Thank you for your supportive comments in my Judge Judy post. There are some things that I don't want to allow to bother me but then they just do. As if being a new mom wasn't tough enough... you have to deal with Jude Judy's too. Part of the job, I guess. Your support is much appreciated.
Speaking of support. I was at a baby shower yesterday and the guests were asked to share new mom tips with the mother-to-be. As I contemplated what I would share the usual came to mind
sleep when the baby sleeps (I'm not a napper and couldn't really do this)
accept help when offered (we did)
let the cleaning and laundry go (still do)
etc, but then I thought about what helped me.
A big help was support from other new moms.
The hospital where I delivered Ethan offers a Breastfeeding Group and a New Mom & Baby Group. I started attending these groups when Ethan was 2.5 weeks old and it's one of the best decisions I've made as a new mom. Some of the ladies there were in the childbirth class that Matt and I attended. Two of them have babies just a few days older than Ethan. A couple of them went through infertility treatments too.
The group has been a place for me to share the joys that we've experienced and the difficulties that we've endured. There are lots of laughs and most of the moms have cried at one meeting or another. A Lactation Consultant leads the group. She has been a wonderful support. There were a couple of times when we were really struggling with Ethan's allergies that she called throughout the week to check in on us.
In the beginning the group was one of the only consistent events that required me to get ready, get Ethan ready, and get us out of the house around a certain time! The first time I went I was in a non-matching sweat-pant & sweater 'outfit' because that is what fit at 2.5 weeks postpartum, I could easily nurse Ethan in it, & that is what I had time to throw together. I also had soaking wet hair (Ethan allowed me to put him down w/o screaming just long enough for me to jump in the shower) and no makeup but we made it there! Afterward I felt better about myself and better about my mothering skills because there were other new moms who looked exactly the same and who were going through the same things as we were. The group has been a confidence booster and a sanity keeper for me :)
So, what I shared with my friend at her baby shower was: Connect with other new moms. They've likely been there and can share their stories about when they felt like their boobs were going to explode too. What worked for them may not be the solution for you, but at the very least you've made that connection.