Ignore all of the La Leche League propaganda, and talk to real women around you.
I would be surprised if you could find a woman who doesn’t find the whole experience painful during the first few days or weeks. (It does get better after that, thank heaven.)
My dad even claims that my mother would actually scream whenever I latched on. And he is risking death by ratting her out, so I would tend to believe him.
My sister has scars on her nipple from her three kids.
Some women, in extreme cases have even LOST THEIR NIPPLE. But don’t worry, folks, it grows back. (Comforting? If my nipple started to look like it might fall off, my baby’s first word would be FORMULA…)
Ranging from slightly sore, to writhing around and kicking your legs during latch-on, everyone I have talked to has been there.
I tend to be in the writhing around, and kicking my legs camp. Unfortunately for me. And my nipple.
I was hoping that this time would be better.
After all, since having Joseph, my nipples have been less like play things and more like…well…my elbow? A knob of leather? Not really much sensation.
But then, Isaac the Barracuda came along.
And so did the writhing.
Oh, the pain, people, the pain.
And yes, my latch was perfect. So, riddle me that?
At one point, Isaac even vomited blood.
A scary event for any new mom as they instantly think, “Why is my baby bleeding internally?!”
Well, good news, it was just my nipple.
That’s right, folks, my nipple was cracked and bleeding and Isaac was swallowing blood.
But wait, there’s more.
After that I got thrush.
and then a blood blister.
And then the crack kept opening up every time I fed him, causing tears to literally come to my eyes.
When it was time for him to nurse on that side, I would feel slightly nauseous.
At one point I even sobbed and told my sister, “Isn’t pain the body’s way of telling you to STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING?!”
This has continued until about 2 weeks ago, when I finally used a nipple shield on that side for a few days, applied neosporin by the pound, and the crack finally healed.
After 5 weeks of misery, all is well and it doesn’t hurt anymore.
I am so proud of myself for muscling through.
Especially for a baby who will, most likely, grow up and forget to call me, ever, unless his wife reminds him.
My nipple will never be the same (sorry, Brian.)
And my sacrifice is thus recorded, so that I can remind my kids what my nipple has given them.