I always hate when I come to the end of the week feeling like I’ve run 3 or 4 marathons, but when I look back at it I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing. Thankfully, this week started Spring Break so I’m not behind on anything besides dishes and laundry, but I can’t wrap my head around how much time I’ve managed to waste this week. How in the world does time pass so quickly?
Today started out with double doctors appointments — Micah’s 18 month and Jonah’s 2 week appointments. Micah had some issues with gaining weight when he was first born, so it’s always exciting for me to see how much he’s growing now — plus it makes me feel good to see that his brother isn’t having the same issues. Neither of them were particularly happy about being poked and prodded but they survived, and with a little help from their big sister they were smiling again in no time.
I have a bit of a cold, so we spent the rest of the day relaxing. We pulled the mattress off the guest bed and made a cozy spot in the loft to watch movies as a family. When you’re feeling cruddy, there’s nothing like snuggling with the kids to make you smile and feel better!
Now that Jonah is 3 weeks old, I was hoping we’d have more of a regular routine established with breastfeeding, but it’s been a bit challenging. This is a particularly sensitive topic for me, because Micah never really learned to latch properly and we wound up needing a nipple shield the entire 7 months I nursed him. I really wanted to eliminate the need for that this time, and at first it was really working. In the hospital Jonah was a great eater, so much so that by the time we left I had a bunch of tiny painful baby hickies. The nurses said that was normal and gave me a cream to help with any cracking or soreness, and for a few days things were fine. The soreness really surprised me — because Micah couldn’t latch without the shield, I didn’t have to deal with my nipples getting used to being chewed on constantly. Of course, Jonah spent our first few days at home cluster feeding every hour or two, and by the time he was a week old I’m pretty sure he was getting more blood than milk while he was eating. Even without teeth he managed to bite a large chunk out of each of my nipples, and it took everything in me not to scream every time he nursed.
As much as I didn’t want to, I finally gave in and started using a breast pump to give my nipples time to heal. I hate to introduce bottle feeding so early (especially when we were doing so well with nursing), but it was just physically impossible to continue nursing at that point. I pumped exclusively for about a week — I didn’t want to go that long but my nipples just weren’t healing, and one side looked like it might have been getting infected, so I didn’t want to risk nursing again. Jonah took to the bottle well, but he eats too much too quickly with it (even with a super low flow nipple), so it makes him gassier and much more likely to spit up than nursing.
I’m still not fully healed, but the last few days I’ve been able to nurse as long as I use a nipple shield again. I really didn’t want to break that out again, but I tried just nursing him once and the pain is still so bad I want to scream. I figure this is better than just bottle feeding, and hopefully I can get him off the shield in the next week or so. It’s kind of frustrating that I seem to have a ton of nursing issues while being surrounded by people that had zero issues, but at the same time I’m super grateful that we have ways to help now. Two hundred years ago my babies would probably have starved to death if they couldn’t nurse…so I’ll take having to pump and use a nipple shield for a few weeks over that!
Have you had issues with breastfeeding, and if so how did you solve them?