I am in a breastfeeding nightmare. If I wasn't so committed to giving my daughter the best possible start in life, I probably would've switched to formula a few days ago.
I wasn't exactly sure what was going on until two open wounds showed up on the same spot on each nipple. Allison had been using me as a teething apparatus.
The problem started when I discovered her top front teeth were coming in. As they began to poke through, each suck scraped and agitated one spot until I was forcefully biting my fingers to distract myself from the pain. When she was done, I realized that I had been holding my breath and clenching every muscle in my body.
Now I have two cracked, bleeding blisters that reopen with every feeding. Imagine taking a stapler to your nipple and punching down on it just enough to break the skin for about 20 minutes at a time. Then do it on the other nipple. Then repeat the process at least eight times a day.
Wonder what you'll end up with?
Excruciating pain that sends such strong shockwaves to your brain that it takes every ounce of willpower not to scream in agony. It's like placing your hand on a hot stove burner and forcing yourself to resist the urge to take it off. Because you know it's good for your baby. And you love her so much you'll find a way to deal with the pain.
But when it got to the point that I was actually crying while feeding her, I knew something had to give. It was only going to get worse if I didn't come up with potential solutions.
For now, I've repositioned Allison so her top teeth hit the other side, but it's still so painful that even the thought of it makes me tense. Plus, it's awkward and cumbersome, but I'm hoping I'll notice an improvement in the next few days.
In the meantime, I keep telling myself that I'll be rewarded for my perseverance. That because I'm dealing with this, my daughter will somehow skip the "I hate my mother" phase.
And if she doesn't?
I'll try to resist the urge to coat her entire bedroom in formula powder.