But I am at a cross-roads. My right nipple still hasn't healed. I've been treating the infection I have in it for a week and it is still there! To top it all off my left nipple is now staring to hurt when I feed (though no obvious cause for this). I'm told my latch is fine & have taken any advice I've been given but nothing is changing. I started to feel things were starting to improve & felt the pain was getting less but I had also started taking paracetamol for the pain. It was after I forgot to take it for a day that I found myself crying out in pain and in tears in the middle of the night again.
I am gutted. I had hoped that I would get to the point that feeding became easy and I could start to enjoy the convenience & both me and Millie would enjoy the benefits. I had expected that stage to have got here by now. I'll be honest, if I had experienced that but still came to the point now at 6 weeks that I wanted to stop I'd have been happy. But I am gutted, so disappointed! It's making me miserable! I've spent too much time in tears this past couple of days that I figure if it is making me so unhappy I have to stop! If someone else had gone through the same experience as me and was as miserable as I am with it then I'd be advising them to stop, it's spoiling the good times they should be having with their baby. Happy mummy means happy baby! So I know I should heed my own advice.
So many people on twitter have been amazingly supportive and sharing their own experiences and passing on advice. It's really helped and meant so much. It's an amazing support network.
I am actually feeling a bit better about it this evening but put it down to another day on the painkillers! However, both this and the support on twitter (and of course from Stuart) I think I've come to a decision. I am seeing the HV for Millie's 6 week check on Monday and am going to tell her of the trouble I've had and tell her my plan and see what she says or if she has any other advice that might help.
From that evening, I will make the 7/7.30 feed formula (this is the only routine feed so makes sense to start with this one!). I'll leave it at this for a week then, if no improvement, I will start to replace another feed every 2 days. I hope that by the time I am down to 2 feeds which are breast feeds, that my nipple will have healed or be showing a clear improvement in which case I will combination feed keeping just these 2 breastfeeds.
There are so many advanages to bottle feeding too.
- Stuart can help meaning he can feel included but, most importantly to me, he can do the odd nighttime feed at the weekend.
- I won't be worrying about whether I'll be in a bf friendly place, especially when it comes to the right side!
- I have to do a driver awareness course soon and I'm currently worrying about how this is going to work and whether I can express enough in time that someone else can feed Millie with expressed milk.
- I can start to enjoy some detachment again. This sounds incredibly selfish but sometimes being so tied to Millie and her being so dependent on only me and no one else can feel incredibly exhausting. Again, this is the advantage of others being able to feed Millie for me.
These all sound like incredibly selfish reasons! The reasons I would like to continue with breastfeeding:
- I've lost very nearly all my pregnancy weight with very little (no) effort - now I've got another stone to lose which I'd really like some help with!
- You can't take away the fact that in the middle of the night it is much better being able to whip out a boob rather than prepare a bottle while the baby screams for food
- There's no sterilising of bottles and the advance preparation of bottles to worry about
- The reason I mention above - to experience what it's like to be pain free and enjoy the convenience
- There is a whooping cough epidemic at the moment and this really worries me. Babies can't be vaccinated until 8 weeks and I'm not sure how long it is before they have a resistance against the illness. While I am breastfeeding I hope that I am offering some protection to Millie until she is protected following the vaccination.
But, I have already achieved what I set out to (bf for longer and get to feed off right side), given Millie the best start and enjoyed the convenience without having to express all the time. I should be proud, and I am!