Saturday, January 10, 2009

What's the opposite of nursing, again?

Or as I like to call it, an exercise in frustration. It has been really disappointing to me that Ethan never wanted to nurse. He never latched on, despite multiple nurses and lactation consultants assisting, despite the nipple shield and the soothing music and variety of holds (football, crossover, side-lying, etc.), despite my fervent wish to be able to breastfeed... he just wasn't really interested. In fact, it was tough to get him latched on to the bottle sometimes! Still, even though I was sad that I missed out on that experience, there were some things I won't miss about it. Like engorgement, for instance, where your breasts feel like they've been stuffed full of heavy stones and then punched several times. Those also began to look like I was wearing the famed torpedo bra of the 1960s; ugh! I couldn't sleep on my side or hug anyone, my chest was so tender. I realized later (at a lactation consultant appointment) that they were so engorged because he wasn't nursing. The pump could only do so much to relieve that, too; I had to go the old-fashioned way with hot and cold compresses and pray for the best.

There was also the telltale feeling of "oh, I guess it's time to nurse/pump!", which was something like having electricity hooked up to your chest and then having the voltage slowly increase until you express milk one way or another. That was a doozy, especially when you started to realize that it was time to pump, but you were stuck somewhere public and far from home. Argh, the pain!

So maybe my boy was trying to help me out by refusing to nurse. Maybe he was doing me a favor, in some way... yeah, that's how I'm going to think of it from now on. ;)

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