Can be tough? Is tough!
It can be great being able to breastfeed but it can also be tough. From the cracked nipples, to thrush, to mastitis, to your bubba biting you, to low flow. From feeling like Pamela Anderson to a Nana with boobs to your ankles. I had it all.
I breast fed E til she was about 8 and a half months old, I ended up stopping since she started biting me as soon as I put her on, man does that hurt when they have teeth!
Of course I started with cracked nipples as everyone does, babies suck hard when they are hungry. N was astounded, when trying to settle E while I got ready to feed, he put his little finger in her mouth, he thought she was going to suck off his finger nail. "Imagine that on your nipple" I'd say. My cracked nipples healed and it became a pleasurable and bonding experience between E and I.
A few weeks later I then got thrush however not knowing what it was. It felt like someone was scratching my boob from the inside out, extremely painful, I just thought it was something 'normal'. I just waited til I saw my maternal health nurse as I had an appointment with her anyway for a normal check-up on E. It ended up being about 5 days before I saw anyone, I was in agony. I had to get drops for E and cream for my nipples. I think I used it for about a month worried it would come back (you have to use it a week after the pain has gone to make sure its all cleared up), then back to that pleasurable and bonding experience.
E was just over 6 months old when I woke up at about 1am shivering uncontrollably. I was shivering that badly I woke up N, he doesn't even wake up to E crying anymore. He just thought I was being silly and told me to go back to sleep. Got to 2am and I was still shivering, N tried calling C (my best friend who is a nurse) there was no answer so he called Nurse On Call 1300 60 60 24, she said I probably had mastitis and needed to see a doctor in the next 4 hours. N went and got E from her room and tried to get her to feed, she was too asleep so we just left. There were only about 2 people in the emergency room and got through pretty quickly. I got poked and prodded for blood tests and a drip (since my temp was so high). They confirmed mastitis and gave me antibiotics. I thought thrush was bad...this was nasty.
I got discharged from the hospital about 2 in the afternoon and was still really bad, went to my local doctors about 6pm. They injected my bottom with who knows what to try and help with my temp ect. I had to go back the few days after Christmas to get the same injection which they mix with a local anesthetic so it doesn't hurt so much (still hurt like hell though). Was getting a little better and went to the beach for new years, not that I was up for partying. I finished my antibiotics and thought it was all done with.
About 2 days later N was home to pull down our shed to make way for the new one (which still isn't up) and E and I were playing outside watching daddy work. I started getting hot again (thinking because it was summer) and sharp pains in my boob (thinking it was just something to do with feeding because of what I had just been through). Half an hour later decided something wasn't right and tried calling the doctor again, there were no openings so I just left it. N realised I was in a lot of pain and called them him self, 'demamded' for us to come down and get seen. I ended up with another week of injections and 4 more weeks of antibiotics (stronger ones).
Everyone couldn't understand why I got mastitis so late (usually you get it when your milk comes in and bubs isn't feeding enough). E was going through what I thought was a growth spurt, she wasn't sleeping through the night anymore. Each time she woke through the night which ended up being 2 hourly, I was feeding her. I let it go on for a month and decided a growth spurt doesn't go that long and started settling her instead of feeding her. Did that for 2 nights and she was back to sleeping through as was I, however my milk was still producing and basically becoming stagnant and going off, hence the mastitis. Because of the infection you feel like your boob is on fire, like you have been sun burnt really really badly. When feeding it hurt similar to thrush because of the inflamed milk ducts. Not pleasant at all! After the week and weeks of antibiotics it was finally done with.
I never had 'high' flow, could never 'shoot' someone across the room, not even E's face while trying to latch on. I think this is why I was more relaxed when it came to her sleeping through more and more, big mistake.
N has decided I just don't like having to do anything for Christmas (since it was now Christmas Eve and sick as a dog). Last year I was pregnant and had bad all day morning sickness, apparently 9 months was just too long to only get out of 1 day so I had decided to get mastitis, it wouldn't be such a commitment (according to N), hahaha. Wonder what the excuse will be this year...
E then started biting me. When babies do that its usually because they have had enough and are bored however when E was biting me it was as soon as she latched on. I got told to yell "ouch" to give bubs a fright with hope they wont do it again however this did not happen. I would latch E back on and she would bite again. I then got told to do the "ouch" and pop her on the floor for a few minuets as kind of like a punishment. Again didn't help, so for me, that was it.
It is now about 3 months since I have stopped feeding and I now have the pleasure of more and more excess skin every day. 'The joys' of feeding...