A frisbee friend of mine just had twins and has faced some seriously difficult times getting one of the two girls to nurse well. It reminds me of how hard it was for us (well, my wife and daughter, I was just collateral damage) fourteen years ago. My take home lesson was that breastfeeding was not natural. Well, as natural as infant mortality because failure happens and is really hard. Lots of the books and culture around it make it much harder for the woman because of the increased expectations and the consequences of not getting it to work.
These pressures led to some early mistakes and a quick visit to the emergency room when Jessica was all of a couple of days old due to dehydration and jaundice. I will never forget the game of "pin the IV on the dehydrated baby." Good times. Fortunately, my pal has heaps of resources, friends and a community upon which to rely. As always, the lessons of Lost apply: you need a community and you need to ask for help. We didn't have the former in Lubbock, and most of my family's community today is pretty virtual. We are still not that implanted in Montreal, but we have heaps of resources elsewhere.
Anyhow, the message today is that it is easy to forget that having a baby is really, really hard, and that failure used to be an option (high infant mortality rates) but is much less so today.