Natalie is a hungry, hungry girl. She LOVES to nurse. She’s been to the pediatrician twice (flying colors, thank you) and is already gaining back the few ounces she lost from birth to day 2. My milk is in, without a doubt. So from the perspective that matters most, breastfeeding is going well. Unfortunately, from my perspective, it’s been utterly (pun intended) excruciating from the moment she first eagerly – oh, so eagerly – grabbed on after birth. Four days, two lactation consultants, a lot of stress and pain later, and we have a diagnosis and some solutions.
Ready for this? My nipples are too big. (Want to increase blog traffic in one easy post? Write about lesbians with enormous n*pples.) Too big and too short. Quoth the LC, “Those nipples are perfect for a one month old. She’s going to love them in a month. We just have to figure out how you’re going to survive until then.” So we’ve been working on tips and tricks for getting a bearable latch, and things really are getting a lot better. Earlier tonight we just for the first time ever had a feeding without any gasping or wincing on my part. And it was so wonderful to feed her and not be tense, anxious, or in pain. We’re not to the point of smooth sailing yet, but I can feel it coming.
So this is to thank the friends (in and out of the computer) who have helped us cope with this, whether or not they know it:
-The lactation consultants we’ve seen have been lifesavers. Period.
-I’m also tremendously indebted to Moxie, whose great posts on breastfeeding got me to take a breastfeeding class before Natalie was born. I’d been wavering about how useful a class like that might be. I did learn more in the class than I’d expected, but more importantly, met the lactation consultant. It was much easier to call her this weekend having already met her. Moxie’s posts also helped us determine that the amount of pain I was having was NOT ok, and that we should seek help sooner rather than later. (Can’t link from this computer – will update later. In the meantime, google Ask Moxie for ALL kinds of great parenting info and a darn good blog, too.)
-All my friends who have recommended the My Breast Friend pillow. It’s ugly, and it has the Stupidest. Name. Ever. but damn, is it a useful contraption. Even better when you get one second hand for $5
-Everyone who has been commenting and congratulating us on Natalie’s birth. Reading or listening to your words of love and joy have been a nice counterpoint to the discomfort of our nursing sessions.
-The brilliant folks at KellyMom.com, whose nifty no-cost hands-free pumping trick is making this whole post possible!
-Cait, who has fed me, and consoled me as I’ve cried, and consoled the baby when SHE’S cried, and washed the infinite supply of pump bits, and been extra hands when trying to get the infernal latch (really, I’d like to be an octopus about now) and just generally made this all possible.
I thank you, Natalie thanks you, and the Gargantuan Nipples from Hell (TM) thank you.
PS – Cait gets credit for the title, too.