Friday, January 28, 2011

Babies and Boobies

Oh my god breastfeeding is HARD. The twins are 16 days old now and I've wanted to give up no less than a thousand times. I get so angry because I have a shelf full of books that refer to breastfeeding as a womanly act and pretend that it's the most natural, instinctive thing in the world.

What message is this sending? Breastfeeding is not natural and if you cannot breastfeed you are no less a woman. It is hard and it can be painful and there are all sorts of emotions and insecurities that come along with it. Having the onus of a whole feed for two children (or even one child) every 2-3 hours, all day, every day is a lot of pressure.

I am so tired of the mommy guilt I've been feeling over my issues with nursing. Some days I get so frustrated I just sit there and cry with my kids. Other days I just want to shake them. I mean really shake them. You're hungry, I have milk, WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? And no amount of reasoning (or positioning or chiding or coddling) will get these kids to latch. Or, even better, they latch and I'm in so.much.pain. but I wont unlatch them lest they refuse the nipple again.

Our kids tricked us in the hospital. They latched beautifully and nursed so well. I was even tandem feeding like a pro. I barely used the LC at the hospital and I went home feeling overconfident. The first week I was home I brought in a lactation consultant that confirmed what I already knew - I was doing a great job. Go me. And she showed me how to tandem feed AND free up my hands. I was on cloud nine.

Fast forward to day 10 when all hell broke loose. The twins got lazy with their latch - maybe because I had just introduced pacifiers - something that kept me up worrying. Did I jeopardize my breastfeeding efforts for a plastic nipple? But I needed the pacifiers, I mean NEEDED them. Which made me feel like a bad mommy. Anywho, their sloppy latches led to nipple issues. Both of my nipples bruised and one cracked/ripped pretty badly.

I used hydrogel pads, soft shells, cold compresses, warm compresses, lansinoh, saline solution. If I read about it on the internet, I used it. And when I put Ryan to the breast the next day I burst into tears from the pain.

By the beginning of this week I actually started to dread nursing them. There's that mom guilt again. Dread feeding your child? Way to be, mom of the year. I often wonder why I'm doing this to myself, I can give them a bottle and just move on with my day and skip all of this rotten stuff. And then I feel guilty for that too.

I've been working with two lactation consultants, one at our hospital and one in our home. It has been the key to me sticking with breastfeeding. I've had four hours of LC support this week and I think we have the problem fixed.

Today I have my sea legs back. I'm sure I'll lose them (and my mind) again before we get this whole nursing thing down. I have a few pearls of wisdom I've picked up in my short time as a mommy. I'll post those tomorrow, this has already gotten too long, and I need to get some rest before it's time to feed the monkeys again.

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