I completely resisted the idea of pumping for each feeding because, well, I hate pumping. Not only are there a billion parts to wash and assemble each time, it's nowhere near as enjoyable an experience as feeding your child directly.
But two more sores have started showing up where Allison's teeth rub with the new position I'm trying, so I reluctantly have resigned myself to pumping until I heal and can get some help.
This presents an entirely new set of challenges as I have no idea how much she typically gets at each feeding. I could try to pump and give her that immediately, but when she's hungry, she's used to immediate gratification -- not waiting 20 to 30 minutes so mom can set up and use a machine.
I guess I'll just have to start planning better.
This morning was a complete disaster. My breasts were fully engorged, but I forced myself to give Allison a bottle. I selected the largest one in the fridge from the night before at work, figured out how to use the warmer while she cried, then she sucked it down in a few minutes and started crying for more.
Because I didn't know how much more to give her, I just set up the pump and tried my best to block out her cries in the next room. As soon as I got enough out for another bottle, I ran in and gave it to her, but then she puked all over because she's not used to getting it all that fast. She's used to working for it.
I set her down again and took up the pump again, but by that time, I couldn't get any flow because I was too tense. So I swore. Well, part of it was because Toby was whining to go outside and I had to try to reach the door while I was attached to a machine and a plug and ended up spilling milk all over the chair I had been sitting in.
Then, instead of spending the morning eating breakfast and playing with Allison like I normally do, I spent it at the sink. Washing everything. And wanting to cry.
Then we came upstairs for a few minutes, she showed signs of needing a nap and I went down to pump again, so I could give her a little before bed like she's used to.
Now everything's dirty again and my nipples are absolutely throbbing from the pump agitation.
To top it off, I have the day off and had planned to go shopping. I'm used to being able to take her and feed her wherever and whenever, but now I'm guessing I'll just have to stay home. My electronic pump won't work in a dressing room without an outlet. Or in my car.
And my nipples feel so blindingly painful that I can't even tolerate the thought of feeding her directly. I actually have broken bloody flaps of skin that can't heal because they're pried open constantly -- including with the pump.
I wrote to my lactation consultant, but at this point, I'm feeling pretty hopeless.
If I didn't already know how wonderful and rewarding an experience breastfeeding can be, I don't think I'd believe it.