You can tell by the title that this may be a little bit of a strange post and there is some personal stuff in here that might be more than you want to know, but hang with me here for a moment.
After four babies, I feel like I could almost qualify to be a lactation consultant. I can tell you about positioning the baby, correct and incorrect latching, nipple care, how to tell if the baby is really eating or just using you as a pacifier, avoiding the engorgement discomfort, etc...
And still, I spent a good portion of the first week in excruciating pain (at least every time Shep latched on). Apparently sometimes it doesn't matter what you do, tender skin is no match for a voracious little eater.
I can see why some moms quit breastfeeding. Really. It is so hard to do something when you know it is going to physically hurt you. Knowing that it is good for the baby and having the experience to know that it is very temporary does help. But I confess that in the moments that Shepherd was drawing tears from my eyes while drawing out his dinner, that didn't feel like enough.
I'm beyond that point for the most part now and enjoying those times with Shepherd. I made it through the tough moments by meditating on something amazing.
From Phillipians 2 - Rather, He made himself nothing, by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.
Jesus suffered for my sins and for the sins of everyone - and he suffered pain unimaginable, both physically and emotionally. Because of what He did, I will never have to know that kind of suffering.
But the thing is, He didn't have to. He obeyed the Father's will. He made himself nothing. He submitted himself to pain and suffering and death. He chose this path because of his unfailing love for me. And for you.
And so I spent those moments focusing on this truth. While I allowed myself to experience a little pain for the sake of the child I love, I pondered the great love which sent Jesus obediently to suffering more gravely and more undoing than I can ever know. And I found solace there - in the knowledge that any bit of suffering I do here now is immensely slight in comparison to that which I have been saved from and that the truly overwhelming love I feel for the child in my arms is far less than the love God has shown for me.
In that light, my pain was so small. And placing myself there for the sake of a child I love became a joyful act and an unexpected special reminder.