I will post later about my family's visit and put up the pictures from it...but right now I just wanna complain.
And just for the record, I'm gonna let it ALL out because I know that only girls read my blog.
From the very beginning breastfeeding was hard. At the hospital Talmage had trouble latching on because of his small mouth. And I have small, flat nipples. Not a great combination. Well they gave me a nipple shield to make things easier, and it did help. WHat they neglected to tell me is that babies have a REALLY tough time adjusting without it once it is introduced. So despite my efforts to take off the shield, Talmage still uses it at seven weeks old. When I try to slide it off halfway through a feeding, he opens his mouth real wide and moves his head back and forth like there is nothing there. Then he screams, VERY loudly. And I don't blame him, poor boy is hungry.
When I went for my six week check-up, the midwife seemed so shocked that he still used the shield. She acted like it was so horrible and made me feel like a bad mother. Perfect. I wear myself down emotionally every day because of it and she gives me no credit whatsoever.
So nipple shields are merely small pieces of "special" soft plastic that get old and stretchy really fast. At the hospital I was given two, one of which is too wide for Talmage to get his mouth around. I needed a new one, but stores don't sell them. No, scratch that. Target does- in the bigger size that is too wide. So when I want a new one I have to get it from the lactation consultant at the hospital, then pay way too much for it at the ER desk on the other side of the hospital. Very convenient, huh?
Truthfully the shield has not been that big of a deal, but it does make me stress. The bigger frustration is the constant clogged ducts in both of my breasts, which I have had from the beginning. It feels like hard rocks wedged in the flesh and they just throb and throb until they are drained. The only way to drain them is to nurse, which is very painful with clogged ducts. And if the baby is not hungry, then I have to pump to get them out. When I pump, my body produces more milk than is needed and I just end up with more rocks in my boobs.
When I went to the lactation consultant at around four weeks, she told me that I had a LOT of milk. More than I should. Fabulous.
Yesterday I decided that Talmage's mouth should be wide enough by now to take the shield off, so with every feeding I didn't put it on. He did great, and I was so proud of him. Except it did take about 40 minutes each time since he is unfamiliar with it. Being that patient was really, really hard. Especially since all my family that I haven't seen in a while was visiting.
Now let me tell you, it HURT. Like burning stinging needles. The shield sort of protects me from feeling the pull, so without it, it is a whole new experience. Within a few hours I noticed cracked and bleeding. I bled on my bra. It really freaked me out.
Today my right breast felt like someone had punched it to a pulp. It was swollen and seemed bruised. The pain was indescribable. Talmage knocked it with his elbow and it was all I could do to keep from screaming. Then came the fever- 101.1 degrees. ANd the migraine, and the fatigue. I was glad my family had all left by then, because I could hardly stand up. Since it is Sunday and evening, my doctor had to call in my prescription. He thinks I have an infection, possibly mastitis.
I love my son more than life itself but this is one of the biggest trials I have ever endured. I don't want to give up breastfeeding because I know it is best for him, so I am gonna keep on keeping on. I just hope it gets easier soon. I'm not sure how much longer I can hold on.