Woe to Breastfeeding

*I know, I know, why on earth would I blog about BOOBS?! I wouldnt read this if you are easily sickened or have a weak stomach. I would also not read this if you are a man. Just sayin’.

Where should I begin- the first clogged duct that doubled me over in pain? The second clogged duct? The third? The cracked, bloody nipples that I cant force myself to put in my infants mouth? The fact that I cant keep up with a baby who eats 6 ounces a feeding when I lost milk in one breast often due to it being clogged? The pins and needles feeling when milk lets down, that actually feels more like Im being stabbed by pins and needles? The fact that if Im out in public when my milk lets down it is almost impossible to feed him with another kid to keep up with?

I thought breastfeeding was hard with Iris, but it is at least 10 times harder with Legend. I never had infections and clogged ducts with Iris, though it was so painful feeding her that I literally saw stars during feedings. I gave up after 4 months. I was determined to go longer with Legend, but let me tell you, this has been one of the most painful, challenging experiences ever. At least with giving birth, I did it, and it was over. With breastfeeding, its putting myself through agonizing pain 8-12 times a day.

Now I know everyone has their tricks, and they swear work. Well, they dont. The midwives were sure I was doing something wrong, so they watched me latch him on and feed him. Awkward, yes. But even they said I was doing it right.

Last Friday, I cried for hours. And hours. I got yet another infection, I pumped less than half an ounce TOTAL from BOTH sides, I was cracked and bleeding, and I felt like a total. complete. failure. I just didnt understand why my body wasnt doing what it was supposed to. I was pumping in between feedings to stimulate milk, but that led to more dry and cracked nipples. Then I tried to ONLY nurse and not pump, and that was even more painful, though I was getting more milk. It just wasnt working. I cant even tell you how hopeless and utterly (like my pun??) defeated I felt. Nathan got me out of the house to get some Starbucks and make me feel better, but I cried the whole way there, while we were there and all the way back home.

Luckily, I have an encouraging husband and SUPER encouraging girlfriends who have ALL been there. After venting and crying to them, I decided to give it ONE more week. And if I couldnt do it, I couldnt do it. I would just do formula and deal with it. Afterall, Iris got formula and she is really healthy. Plus, I have been supplementing formula with Legend, when he needs 9, yes NINE ounces at a feeding. Hes a heffer!

I nursed Legend all weekend with few problems and my milk supply went right back up. That stuff was shooting all over the place! I was so excited I cried a little.

It didnt last long though. I got another clogged duct (yay) this week and now they are both bleeding again. Frustrating to say the least. Tomorrow my “one more week” committment is over… I thought maybe if I wrote this all out, I would come to a grand conclusion when I was done and I would feel better… but I didnt… I guess Ill still grit my teeth through feedings for as long as I have milk. And later in high school when he tells me I never did anything for him, I can say OH YEA????? You have NO FREAKING IDEA!!!!

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