Sunday, July 13, 2008

OW!! Ow ow ow!!

I knew it was coming. I tried to prepare myself for it, but it was no use. In another week, I am hoping I won't be going "Ow, ow, ow!"

What am I talking about? Breastfeeding, of course!

It was the same with the first three babies and I expected it with this one. The initial pain of the baby latching on for the first 5 -10 seconds and then it's over and no pain afterwards. After about 2 weeks, it no longer hurts when the baby latches on, it's just in the beginning, when the poor nipples are tender from repeated nursing.

I gotta tell ya, though, this baby can suck! I am actually cringing when I know he is about to latch on and I have to give my boobs a pep talk! "It's gonna be fine-- just a little pain for about 5 seconds and then it's all over. Another week and you nipples are going to be tough!"

I had a moment when I was sitting down, getting ready to nurse the baby, and I had the boob out. Hubby put the baby in my lap and he latched on before I was ready! Aughh!! Ow ow ow!!

Tender boobies are serious business! When the girls hurt, I get snappy! I walk softly so I don't jiggle 'em, too much, but I am a total sourpuss and I am ashamed to say, I take it out on the Hubby and the kids. They get the brunt of my snappiness.

I am happy to say, that now, the girls have toughened up and it's not quite so painful when he first latches on. Now it's about 2-5 seconds of "Ow!" and then I settle down and nurse to his heart's content. It's all worth it, to endure a little discomfort and tenderness to know that my child is getting his nourishment from me and that it will help him grow big and strong.

I breastfed Oldest until she was nearly 2, even after Middle came along when she was 18 months old. Middle nursed until she was about 18 months and Youngest was the shortest, at less than a year, because she wanted to drink what her big sisters were drinking. I tried to get her to nurse, but she would turn away from me and push the boobs away. I was heartbroken, but I did nurse her and she did thrive and grow big and strong. I plan to do the same for this baby, to breastfeed as long as I can, as long as he wants it.

There is something empowering about seeing your baby grow bigger and knowing it was all from your milk alone. To know that they are healthy and developing. I don't hold it against anyone that doesn't breastfeed and chooses to use formula instead. I was a formula fed child and I grew up just as strong and healthy as any other kid did. To each his own, and this is what I've chosen.


sufferingsummer said...

ooo I remember that feeling all too well. Funny how quickly you forget we are at not even 3 months and I'd forgotten how much it used to hurt until I read your post! hang in there another couple weeks and both your boobs and the babe will be old pros.

Lantana said...

I was raised on an All Jersey Dairy and I learned that the cows give more and better milk if they are relaxed. (Thus the music the farmers played over their old radios). With humans, it is pretty tough to relax when the tears are rolling down your cheeks from the pain, which I remember well! You have my sympathy and understanding.

I have a deaf friend who breast fed her TWINS and thought nothing of it. Owie!

We are all eagerly awaiting the next chapter in your life!

Hugs, Lantana

Wendy said...

I didn't have much of a problem by way of sore nipples while I was nursing. I breastfed all five of my kids, but the first two were only breastfed for a short time. That last three were each breast fed for about the first two years, and the youngest would have continued breastfeeding until she was ... well, she'd still probably be breastfeeding if I hadn't stopped it. It wasn't painful - just not "comfortable" any longer. She was almost three when I weaned her ;).

I agree. There's something very satisfying and empowering in seeing one's baby thrive and grow on breast milk alone ;).

barefoot gardener said...

I am so out of the loop here, though I can certainly sympathise with the pain. I was unable to breastfeed either of mine, but I tried like crazy with Big Sprout. After two weeks of excruciating pain and baby being sick all the time, doc said we should switch to formula.

Good Luck holding out till the girls toughen up!

fated follies studio said...

hey jenny - hopefully you heal soon. i remember the worse is breast feeding the first few times and the uterus contracting - it felt like birthing all over again, only you had to be calmer because of the baby! i loved breast feeding myself. can't wait to do it with my next one (whenever that is...)


Lisa C. said...

I symphathized you.
Before each of my 2 sons was born, I was advised to rub my boobs with towel each morning after bath to toughen them and I didn't have problem nursing my babies. So next time try this before you have a 5th child.

jenny said...

Summer-- My mom likes to say that our bodies forget the pain, so that we are willing to do it again and again. I didn't forget the pain, but it does become more of a distant memory as time goes by. I'm halfway there with the sore boobies-- one is more tender than the other. Did you say 3 months?! Already?! Time sure flies!

Lantana-- my grandmother nursed 2 babies at once as well, and I tried it when I had Oldest and Middle, but I couldn't get comfortable so eventually I weaned Oldest off.

Wendy-- I remember going to South America and visiting the poorer section of the town we were in and there was a woman in a loose fitting dress with a little boy, maybe 5 or 6 years old. All of a sudden, he ducked under her dress and you could tell he was sucking from her breasts by the way he was moving and the mother adjusted her dress to make room. That was when I realized other countries breastfed their children for far longer than us "uptight" americans do. It's a beautiful thing, breastfeeding, and I am glad it has made such a strong comeback these last few years.

Barefoot-- Your situation is similar to my mom's. She tried to nurse my sister and either she wasn't getting the hang of it or she wasn't producing enough milk, but my sister lost weight and the doctor ordered her to use formula. Mom didn't even bother with me and went right to the bottle.

Jenny-- I didn't mind the contractions while nursing in the beginning. I have really bad cramps when I have my period and it feels the same so it wasn't bad for me. Maybe that's why I was able to handle the pain for a natural birth-- high pain tolerance. But tender boobies-- augh!

Lisa c-- 5th baby!!?! Who said anything about having a 5th?!! :o) I've heard about that towel trick, but I never did it. Too late now, a towel would hurt!

DJ Kirkby said...

I agree there is no pain quite like it, it is white hot. I used ice cubes to numb them before latching N3S.

jenny said...

Dj-- I have used ice cubes with the other babies, too. Haven't used them yet with this one, but I think I shall today.

Sparx said...

I remember that... my toes used to curl in anticipation! It's worth pushing through though as you know... we both still miss breastfeeding. Although he gave up pretty much by himself at 13 months, the spud is obsessed with my boobs keeps trying to pull them out of my shirt... hopefully this is only a passing phase!