Friday, October 02, 2009

The suck: breastfeeding part one of a gazillion, I'm sure

While I've mostly made peace with breastfeeding, I miss the days my breasts were purely ornamental.

I used to have these little vanilla cupcakes that sat in place on the front of my front and rarely bothered anyone.

And now, now I have these hurty milkbags that don't make enough milk for my boy's voracious appetite, but still have to be contained. I went from wearing pretty, mildly supportive little bras when I wanted to to wearing sturdy nursing ones day and night.

Somehow I was totally unprepared for that. Much like all these other things.

Like, towards the end of my pregnancy, I got these brown patches on my nipples.

What for, I wondered?

And then I discovered: so that they could peel off when I started breastfeeding.

Yes. Ow.

I don't know how it is for other people, but for me, the beginning of breastfeeding was horrendously painful.

The closest thing I can liken it to - although I've never actually done this - would be rubbing your nipples against the sidewalk every couple hours. And if they blister, crack, bleed, or scab, you still have to do it. Even though it hurts like bloodyfuckinghell.

Which kind of goes against everything in your nature.

Hi! These really really hurt. Let me go ahead and stick them in your mouth.

And it turns out that my little boy has a very strong suck. So while most of the issues cleared up, I do still get blisters.

Because every once in a while, he goes ahead and gears up to get off the breast in the following manner: sucks really hard, and then pulls back his head. You'd expect to hear a pop, like the cork coming out of a wine bottle.

I try to catch it, but am rarely successful. He sneaks it in.

We're all snuggled up, and I think we're having a beautiful moment, where he's being nourished and soothed and we're bonding.

And then...Pop!

Followed by much profanity.

At least we're both true to our natures.

Happy Friday!


  1. Ha, just one of the more beautifully awful joys of child rearing they didn't tell you about.

    My friend Katelyn told me this story about her sister when she was breastfeeding, it's pretty funny. So Kristen was having trouble breastfeeding, and her husband was trying to help her by researching home remedies. Her ducts were clogged or something, and the solution was to put a hot washcloth on her boob to soothe or something. So anyways, wanting to be extra helpful, her husband got the washcloth wet! and scaldingly hot! in the microwave! on a plate! and then brought it to her, and it was so hot, it almost burned her boob off. OW OW OW OW! (keep in mind this was at Christmastime, and the whole family was visiting!)

    So Kristen screams in pain, and her husband is giving her a hard time about it("Don't be such a baby Kristen!") and so she flings the washcloth at him, and yells, loud enough for their whole house of guests to hear, "WHY DON'T YOU TRY PUTTING A BURNING HOT CLOTH ON YOUR PENIS JOE, AND THEN TELL ME HOW IT FEELS, HUH???"

    He got the message. As did everyone else.


  2. I'm starting to understand why some women just pump and bottle-feed, despite the fact that pumping looks rather painful, too.

    And it sounds like you're getting to know each other just fine. :o)

  3. OMG. I never knew boobs could blister. You traumatized me for life.

  4. i remember the sore nipples! tell me, why is it that even though YOU are the one in pain, it *kinda* looks like jordan is giving you the finger in this picture . . .

  5. I've heard that it's pretty painful when a woman starts breastfeeding. Hopefully you'll stop blistering? Because OW!

    p.s. Each picture you put up is cuter than the one before.

  6. I have a penis and therefore will not attempt to offer any sort of platitudes or advice, but damn that kid adorable.

  7. Jesus fucking christ. Blisters? I didn't even know that was possible.

  8. Rindy - Ohhhhh! I would've put the burning hot cloth on his penis myself. Don't be such a baby, my ass.

    Dagny - The pumping is weird, but not actually painful. But then there's the whole pump, store, wash pump, wash bottles, blah blah blah process. Hell, it's all a process, I suppose.

    Beach Bum. Sorry about that. But better to know about worst case scenario in advance, no?

    LJ - I do actually have a picture somewhere of him giving us the finger, I think. I totally respect him for it.

    lacochran - Yes. Owowowowowow.

    Marie - More ow, for sure. And thank you! We think so. :)

    restaurant refugee - Ha. I definitely appreciate that. And thank you - we're pretty smitten!

    Hillary - I would never have imagined in my wildest nightmares.

  9. (okay, first... rhino footie pjs are THE FREAKING CUTEST THING EVER!! besides that lil' boy in them anyway)

    reading that line about the sidewalk made my hands instantly jump and cover my nipples because, ow, ow ow ow OW! i had heard "it hurts" and about the blisters but damn... ow, i'm not sure i'd capable of tolerating such things.


  10. Yikes! So many things you're going through.

    Cute shoes Jordan! If those count as shoes?

  11. Ah, breastfeeding. Fun, isn't it? At least it gets better after the first month or so. But I tell ya, those first few weeks were bad... Everyone said it would be such a great bonding time with the baby, but I yelled out more profanities while feeding than I ever imagined -- thank God the baby won't remember it all. Anyway, time to go clean my pump and store my milk in the office fridge. Hooray for the weekend!!

    Jordan is beautiful, by the way. LOVE the PJs!!

  12. How about some Bag Balm? it was originally created for cow udders, works great at relieving dry nipples and moisturizes. One of my friends swears by it.

  13. When I went to visit a lactation consultant (with a blistered nipple) she was very quick to point out, before my husband could say a thing that nipples were made up of erectile tissue and it was just like someone sucking really really hard on his penis all day long. And not in a good way! He crossed his legs, went pale and has been very supportive since!

  14. Oh lord. I feel for you-- and your boobs. I'm just going to add this to the list of reasons I can never have children.

  15. You can take this positively or negatively. Nathan. Yep. Just like that.

  16. I remember how all of this feels, Lisa. Oh yes, I remember.

    Women are amazing.

  17. Breastfeeding sucks (pardon the pun) but it does. I cracked, blistered and bled, cried and swore at every feeding all the while putting up with those who kept saying keep at it, it is best for the baby yada yada yada. I lasted 6 weeks and then went onto formula. I now have a happy healthy, well adjusted 16yr old who doesnt resent his mother at all. Breastfeeding isnt for everyone remember that and its a choice dont let others make you feel bad about not doing it if thats what you decide.


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