Okay, so first off I should admit that the last thing I worried about during pregnancy was breastfeeding. I seriously thought it was going to be the easiest thing in the world. And I know for some people it is, but it definitely has not been easy for me. But then again I thought she would be with me right after birth (that will be another post) and she would be able to self-attach. However, much to my dismay she was separated from me for an 1 1/2hrs after I gave birth to her. The nurse came in, kind of showed me how to get her to latch on and away she went. I kind of sat there in a daze thinking I have no clue how I am going to do this at home. I met with the lactation consultant at the hospital who took one glance at my latch and said it was fine. I asked her if it was supposed to hurt and she told yes it might for a few weeks due to the fact my nipples needed time to get used to it. So we go home and it still wasn't feeling to good to breastfeed and my milk hadn't come in yet.
By day 3, Scarlett was getting hungry so she was wanting to be on the breast constantly, making it even more sore. Then finally on day 4 my milk came in and Scarlett still wanted to nurse constantly. Having heard that you cannot breastfeed a baby to much, I continued to let her nurse. She ended up eating way to much or something because her poop was watery and green. I had decided against using a pacifier, but she still wanted to suck and the hospital nurse told us we should give her tummy a break. I could not fathom listening to her scream all night, so I ran out to Walmart at 4am and got pacifiers. Looking back now that was not probably a smart move (she may have gotten nipple confusion), but I was so exhausted and I couldn't stand to hear her upset. For three weeks I continued to breastfeed even though my nipples were sore. I met with the lactation consultant, who again told me the latch looked okay.
Then week 4 came and thrush made its way into our lives. This week was by far the worst. She would not feed and when she did she definitely wasn't sucking right. She was also so crabby and gassy!! We tried gentian violet, but she reacted badly to it and had a very purple mouth. And then the doctor ordered diflucan for her and the lactation consultant got some cream for me to put on my nipples.I also cut all sugar, yeast, and dairy out of my diet since they feed the yeast. After about a week and a half the thrush was getting better, but it was still hurting to nurse her and my milk was starting to dry up, so I started to pump a few times a day. Then the lactation consultant whom I had been seeing very frequently did an oral examination and found that she was tongue thrusting (which it why she always made a clicking noise when nursing). Because of this she thought I should try a nipple shield to see if it helped, but it only made it worse. Then I met with another lactation consultant at a hospital who told me it was my latch and I just needed to shove her on.
But as I am writing this, 8 weeks after her birth, I am still having pain while breastfeeding. I am constantly having to take her on and off the breast. Some times she gets it and sucks correctly, but most of the time it still hurts. This is so hard for me because I really really want to breastfeed for as long as possible. But I guess I will still keep plugging away at it. I am meeting with a craniosacral massage therapist ( don't ask me how it works, but people say it does) and the lactation consultant 2 times a week for the next 2 weeks. So we will see if it helps at all. She is at the lower end of the weight gain scale, so I now will have to wake her up during the night :( Plus my supply is getting low, so I have to pump after most feedings during the day. I really looked forward to my night of 6 or 7 hour sleep!! But the lacation nurse said we should supplement with breastmilk a few times a day as well to get extra feedings in while giving my nipples a break, so maybe Chris can get up and give her the bottle ;) Wishful thinking I am sure!!