After you have breastfeed 3 babies for the most part successfully it can really throw you for a loop when you have difficulty on your 4th. Actually so much about this pregnancy, labor and early postpartum period has thrown me for a loop but slowly we are figuring things out.
One of the first memories I have of Effie is within 2 minutes after being born I was holding her, completely exhausted and honestly a little shell shocked. I had waited and waited for 42 1/2 weeks for her. Planned a homebirth and thought I knew how things would go. Then I ended up in the hospital not sure at all how things would go down. After they broke my water it was like a whirlwind and all of a sudden she was here and I didn’t know what to do. Except she was crying and looking at me and then I knew what to offer her. The nurses helped me disrobe enough to offer Effie her first meal and she latched on without hesitation. The other children were younger when born and had been much more gentle but Effie latched on with a vengeance.
When I was the mother of just one baby I was talking with another mother and she said her son called babies “nurse sharks.” That was Effie. For nearly 36 hours she ate almost constantly. By 48 hours my milk was in and things changed a bit but by then my nipples were so sore from almost constant nursing. I was getting breaks now but could hardly stand to nurse her due to sore nipples.
That is when i discovered the importance of positioning. So I started my breastfeeding sessions in a chair with a boppy under my arm and a command not to come near mommy while I was nursing the baby. Yes it hurt that bad that I couldn’t risk any distractions for either of us.
Then I started researching. I knew I had to eat and drink liberally. After Two I lost 25 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. I felt very weak though everyone said I looked good. I started applying Lansinoh nipple cream after each feeding and taking Fenugreek and a Mother’s Lactation Tonic herbal rememdy. I bought a nipple shield but haven’t had to use it yet.
The turning point finally came Saturday night. We were having another marathon nursing session and I couldn’t do it anymore. Proeun took the baby and some formula samples we had received and gave me a much needed break. I felt awful. Like I was failing my daughter and family but woke-up feeling refreshed and able to think more clearly.
Now we are on the road to recovery. One nipple doesn’t hurt at all and the other one just at latch on. I am reminded that een with the simplest things sometimes we need help and we shouldn’t be afraid to take it. Oh and no matter what our experience we could still stand to learn something.