Newly graduated from nursing school and fresh off an internship in OB as I approached my due date with my daughter, I was confident that I had this baby thing down.
I had even prepped myself a little extra by taking a breastfeeding class. I sat smugly in the room, hands clasped over my giant belly as I fielded questions myself about the labor and delivery floor.
Fast forward a few days after my daughter’s birth (which, by the way, was not exactly textbook. Smugness has a way of biting you in the back). Things had been going pretty well. She was eating well, pretty much sleeping after feedings at night, and seemed to be a pretty happy baby.
After feeding her and settling her in the bassinette for
the night the next two hours, I tucked myself into bed and drifted off.
And was shocked when I woke up later in a giant puddle. My entire nightgown was soaked, the bed sheets dripping, and my husband sitting up in bed, looking at me with a horrified expression on his face.
What is going on? I thought. Am I sweating? Did I spill water? Omg, did I pee the bed?
It was just my milk coming in.
Somehow I had missed that part of the breastfeeding class. You know, the part that would have warned me that I should have prepped for a major leaking battle when my milk came in. For the next few days, I struggled with painful, engorged breasts and felt like a freak for leaking through every shirt I owned. I didn’t know how to regulate my milk supply and tried pumping for relief—only to end up with a raging case of mastitis.