I feel all women out there deserve the truth about breastfeeding. There are so many reports out there that say it's natural and if you do it right it doesn't hurt.
That's just not true. I am currently nursing my 5th child and I know all about latching on correctly, holding the baby right etc. Typically there is soreness and discomfort at the beginning and it lasts for a couple weeks and then you're good to go. But, that's not always the case.
In the past I've dealt with thrush on multiple occasions, mastitis, cracks, chapping and currently have deep fissures. The pain I've been enduring since Anneliese's birth has been awful. There have been multiple feedings where I just cry and cry for the duration. I was talking to Jared last night and realized that I am willing to endure the physical pain in order to avoid the emotional pain of not nursing my last baby.
On Easter we were with the family and I bought a bottle and some formula due to the pain. I decided to pull out the bottle and allowed my sister in law to try and feed Anneliese. Just seeing someone else feed my baby (even though it was someone I love) I was very upset by it.
I'm perplexed at why I have such an emotional attachment to nursing. I went through serious feelings of failure and guilt when after a month of trying I had to bottle feed Brennan due to his lack of weight gain. Once on the bottle he thrived and gained a pound in a week. He was happy and no longer crying nonstop due to hunger. Regardless I still carry guilt over why it didn't work and what I could've done differently.
Things were different with Elijah. He had bowel surgery at 4 days old and I was told by all the doctors and specifically his Pediatrician that it was imperative that I nurse him. Due to all the antibiotics he was on we both had thrush severely and it kept coming back over the year I nursed him. Because of that I have scarring and now when I nurse a new baby (Graham, and now Anneliese) those scars break and the healing process starts all over again.
I plan to continue to nurse Sis simply because I've already endured the worst part and stopping now wouldn't make much sense. I was talking to our doctor and he asked if it was better. I just chuckled and said, "It's all relative. Yes it's better but it's still not good." I'm really hoping in the next couple weeks I'll be able to look forward to her feedings for that sweet intimacy and bonding. I have to say however that even with the pain I love seeing her precious little face and those delicate little hands while she nurses.