Breastfeeding...where do I start?
The first two weeks was horrible. I hated nursing. I know that is not what moms are supposed to say. But it's true. I even told B that I didn't feel like I was bonding with Lizzie while she nursed, because it was so miserably painful. On good days the first minute was so painful; I would just clench my jaw and count till the pain went away.
From day one, Elizabeth had a fantastic latch. But feeling her on my left was painful, even in the hospital. Painful, as in a shooting pain. By day 3 the entire side was all plugged up and I could only pump it because even just her latching on made me sob and shake with pain. On and off for the past 3 weeks of her little life I've been fighting plugged ducts and ended up getting mastitis (on Christmas...of course).
The one thing that made it worth it during the first weeks was Lizzie's weight gain. She was born at 6.10, went down to 6.4 when she was two days old, and by day five she was back up at 6.10. It was such an affirmation that, despite the pain, I was doing something right.
But things have finally started to work better. I now feel like we bond while she nurses and just the first few seconds feel uncomfortable, not painful. At night when I nurse her in bed I'll doze on and off while she sleep-eats. Moist heat packs and massages multiple time a day, coupled with the antibiotic, have made the mastitis much more bearable. My boobs still hurt to the touch, but that's pretty much it.
I've read plenty of other blogs about how hard/difficult/painful breastfeeding is at the beginning, but I really didn't understand the pain part of it. How could I?
But now it feels worth it. I love feeding my daughter. I love how sometimes she'll stay awake through the feeding and I get to watch her look around and see her beautiful blue eyes. I love how peaceful she looks when she falls asleep while eating. I love the closeness and peace of it all. And in the evenings after she eats, I love handing her to B and watching then cuddle as she falls asleep on his chest.