Little did I realize, this was just the beginning of my journey. The worst part for me turned out to be the recovery. While I managed to avoid an episiotomy, which my doctor promised would have been worse, I had a fairly substantial labial tear that took several painful weeks to heal. Additionally, I was determined to breastfeed and endured almost every difficulty from engorgement to latching problems to thrush to wincingly sore nipples that I didn't recover from until several months later.
My mother came to stay with us for the first two weeks, and though I don't know if any of us would have survived without her, my hormone-induced emotional instability was at times further exacerbated by her presence. I think I cried more in those first few weeks than I had in my whole life. I kept wondering what kind of system leaves you responsible for a completely helpless, needy baby when you are at your physical and emotional worst. However, with the help of a lactation consultant, my mom, and supportive family and friends, we managed to get through those difficult weeks and really begin to enjoy our beautiful son. I'm still not sure I could endure all of that again, but I wouldn't trade him for anything.
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