Sunday, June 6, 2010


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.


Jillian said...

wow! The whole nipple shield thing sounds like what I went through!!! BTW you can order those from the internet I don't know if it's more expensive I never bought more, I never got that far. Keep it up! don't give up. I think that that hospital doesn't do a good job really helping those who struggle with breastfeeding. That's what I think anyways. And don't let people make you feel bad for not breastfeeding the way they think it should be done. I've learned there are plenty of others out there who struggle and their kids turn out fine. and I think Joseph is turning wonderful also!

Forever, Foralways, No Matter What said...

My work, Valley Medical on 2nd E, sells them if you end up needing more. Im getting to understand how hard breast feeding came be though! I hope everything works out and that you get some relief. Let me know if you need anything!

Jana said...

I'm pretty sure my SIL used nipple shields the whole time she nursed because I remember talking to her about them when her baby was at least 6 mo. or so, and I'd never seen them before. she has 4 kids now, and that was #3 she was nursing when she told me about them, so I don't think it's bad to use them for a long time. just keep it up, it's definately hard at first! I remember it hurting REALLY bad with Shazer because he sucked SO hard it was like getting hickeys constantly! but I made it past that, and nursed for a long time and then nursing #2 and now #3 didn't hurt at all, no problem! but you definately have to get your nipples used to it, they aren't made that tough! keep it up, you can do it! feel free to call me if you ever need to vent or some support or anything!

Logan and Ashleigh said...

Oh Lindsey I am so so so sorry! The shield was my best friend and I am just starting to use it less and less..and fortunately it seems to be working, BUT the difference in pain is CRAZY.

I have heard of Mastitis and I am so sorry that you are having to feel so much pain.... I would love to bring you treats, because we all know sugar takes away pain :) Let me know! Love you!

Logan and Ashleigh said...

AND P.S. there is no shame in the shield...if it makes things easier for you...the most important part is that Talmage is getting your blessed milk!

You are wonderful and such a great mother! Thanks for being such a great example!

Emily said...

I'm so sorry Lindsey! You are such a trooper and to be honest, your story scares me to death to have a baby.. haha. But, you are a great example and a terrific mother for sticking with it! :)

Jill said...

my sister had clogged ducts and mastitis and she said something that really helped was a rice bag/sock. I have several if you need one. It's pretty much the same idea as a hot water bottle if you never used one. the heat really helped open the ducts and soothe the pain. Also use LOTS of lanolin every feeding and before and after showering...that helped me. Katie really struggled with opening her mouth wide enough so the first few weeks hurt really bad for me too. With her it seemed to get better as she got older. Good luck and don't let the "professionals" make you feel bad or stupid. I've learned that I'd rather get advice from other moms than professionals.

Miqmi said...

Lindsey, I went through almost the exact same thing. I ended up getting mastitis within a week of delievering, which was certainly one of hte hardest things of my life. Jessika ended up not taking very well to my breast because of a combination of flat nipples and the fact that when I let down, it practically sprayed down the back to her throat. However, I envy you for having the courage to stick with it. I gave up after four months because of the pain and frustration. The biggest thing that was a worry to me was that everyone told me that nursing was the best way for mom and baby to bond, but I started to dread it and almost began to see my perfect daughter as a source of pain. I quit so she could put on more weight and i could actually enjoy the time I spent holding my daughter. Stay strong and have the courage to do what's best for your baby, but also for you. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for the choices that Heavenly Father has prepared you to be able to make. As Talmage's mom, you know what will be best. Either way, you are such a GREAT mom!

Haylee and JC said...

OH hun I'm sorry about your bad experiences! You are a trooper to stick with it! I am coming up this week sometime and I would love to see you! You are not a bad mother in any way for using the shield still. I hated the lactation consultants. They made me leave the hospital crying my eyes out every time I saw them because they said I was starving my child... Don't listen to them. YOu know best and whatever you do will be great. You are so strong and I am so grateful to know you and have you as an example! Talmage is so lucky to have you as his mommy!

Rice bags do help the clogged ducks they are horribly painful. Let me know if I can do anything! A hot shower helped me when I had them. Also my doctor told me to rub them lightly to help get the milk going. I hope things shape up! I love you! see you soon!