So if you read my blog regularly, you probably noticed me dropping hints that breastfeeding has been a bit of a up hill battle for us this time around. I don’t think I have fulling blogged about it yet, so here it is.
Olivia latched and started nursing within the first 30 minutes of being born. It was so important to me that we get off on the right foot that I requested to be helped moved into a better position so that I could nurse her before then even stitched me. There was a moment of struggle, but she grabbed on right away and it seemed like all was good.
By the next evening I was in pain, my nipples were cracked and I knew something was not right, but I wasn’t sure what it was. Olivia seemed to latch well, but it didn’t feel quite right. It felt like she was chewing on my nipples. That night we noticed it looked like she was tongue tied. We had that looked at, and yes, she was very very tongue tied. Got it clipped, and it seemed we were on the right road.
That first week kind of sucked, as within those first 24 hours she had done a lot of damage, so I had a nipple shield because of the pain, and boy was it a pain. But we managed to get Olivia off that without too much trouble by the end of the second week. However I did end up with a painful plugged milk duct, which some sessions with my breast pump cured.
Then I got thrush. If you have not had thrush, it feels like tiny needles coming through your nipples when you nurse. It is very unpleasant. Me, not being a fan of my doctor, took a more natural route in curing the thrush. I used soda water a number of times a day as well as applied natural yogurt once a day and was pretty much topless to avoid moisture build up. This solved that issue. I think I had caught it just in time.
It had to only go up from there right? At this point I was pretty over the whole breastfeeding thing. I was tired, and tired of it being unpleasant. However, besides a few hiccups here and there Olivia was doing great. She was growing, and latching fine, and even though I was hating breastfeeding, it was still our ‘thing’, something that I was only sharing with her.. so I pushed on.
Then I has a small bought of mastitis. Having had it with Julius, I recognized the symptoms right away. I loaded up on garlic (my body does not react to antibiotics well, so again went more natural), and went to bed. I forced myself to stay in bed for at least 24 hours. This is a very difficult thing for me to do. I had stuff to do! But getting some much needed rest made a big different, and we got over that.
Since then breastfeeding has been okay. Due to my fybromyalgia, some days it is painful to feed Olivia. I also have painful letdown, which although painful, it is more annoying than anything. I always notice when my boobs leak, which is pretty much every 1.5hrs.
Speaking of leaking.. it just flows out of my right boob. Like soak my entire shirt regardless of how many nursing pads I have in there. I don’t know how many times I have had people awkwardly try and tell me that my boobs are leaking. I just shrug my shoulders. There really isn’t much I can do about it, and honestly I don’t feel like having to change my shirt 10 times a day, so I just wander around in a wet shirt. When we are out and about I try to wear a sweater, but that usually gets soaked as well.
So other than the painful let down and the painful days of feeding, breastfeeding is finally starting to go smoothly.
I don’t know how long I will breastfeed. I think, as long as Olivia continues to grow, I will do it for as long as she wants to. I don’t really have any specific goals other than to make it to 6 months. We will she how it goes though. I have some things coming up that require me to be away from her for a couple of hours, so we will be introducing a bottle to her, and that is a whole other story!