For something that is supposed to be so beautiful and natural, breastfeeding has got to be one of the harder things I’ve attempted. Sabine and I have been battling it out for four weeks now and I really don’t feel like we are making much headway. Our challenges are many. Too many for one blog post so I’ll break them up over the coming weeks. Hopefully you all can offer some insight or at least find comfort in knowing you might not be alone in similar struggles.
Belle The Human Pacifier
Some babies have an intense need to suck. Sabine is one of those. She came out of the womb screaming and rooting. She nursed in recovery before the epidural had even been pulled from my spine. She sucked on my breast constantly while we were in the hospital, so often that every time the lactation consultant came by to see how we were doing she would laugh and say, “Wasn’t she right there two hours ago?” Yes, and she has been there ever since.
After three days of this I looked down at my nipples and thought there was lint sticking to them. I plucked the “lint” off and found blood and shooting pain. That lint was actually scab.
A nurse showed us how to offer Sabine a finger to suck on when she needed to pacify. She loves the Professor’s finger and Nana and Pappy’s fingers. She hates Mama’s finger, knowing that I have the good stuff. I.E. Nipples. Scabby, sore nipples. Today my nipples have toughened and no longer scab. Sabine will also humor me and take my finger during the times she knows a boob is physically not possible, like when we are in the car. Otherwise, she accepts no substitutions from me.
As a brief aside, we have a few Dr. Sears books that serve as our late night “OMG what is wrong with our baby” reference manuals. In the breast feeding book they show a diagram of how you can nurse your baby while he/she is in the car seat and your spouse is driving. Excuse my French but what the fuck? People really have boobs that big? And torsos that long? There is no way my short torso and tiny boob would even begin to approach Sabine’s mouth when she is in the car seat. The fact that there are women who can do this blows my mind and seems miserably unfair.
At our two week checkup Dr. Shannon said we could start slowly introducing Sabine to a pacifier. This is something I was majorly against. My baby, I said, will have nothing but my nipple in her mouth for the first two to three months and even then she will NEVER have a pacifier.
After the appointment I went home and found myself chained to the couch, once again being a human pacifier for the entire afternoon and I gave up. That night we purchased four pacifiers, two soothies and two Tommee Tippie. They were both rejected and after 10 minutes of screaming I allowed her to chew on my boob again, forfeiting more hours of potential productivity.
Yesterday in a moment of desperation I brought out the “Soothie” again and suddenly Sabine was OK with it. Her tiny mouth tried mightily to hang onto the pacifier and for about 10 minutes we had some success. After that I could tell she was getting tired and I let her rest and pacify on my boob some more, but I felt like this was positive progress. She did not reject it and just needs to learn how to use it. I vowed to have paci practice every morning and evening during our snuggle time.
Last night I went to find her soothies (she had two) and neither were where I left them. We tore the house apart looking for them. After a frantic search we stood in the living room looking completely baffled. We had stationed a soothie at both our nursing stations: sofa end table and nightstand in the guest room. Both were gone. What the…. and then Euclid pranced by and suddenly we realized our error.
The Professor’s cats will chew anything soft and plasticy to smithereens. Their favorite things to chew are the thick, soft power cords that are typically found on expensive electronics. Like my MacBook, the Wii and the huge fireplace insert. I am on my third MacBook chord and our fireplace insert no longer works from all the cord chewing. A pacifier would be way too tempting to these cats. I’m now waiting to see who barfs up pink or purple pieces or where a mangled paci might surface…. maybe between the bed sheets, perhaps in a shoe, or worse yet, in the bathtub where my naked feet will find it when my contacts are out and I’ll be CERTAIN I’m stepping on the mangled remains of an amphibian.
During our 2 a.m. feed I ordered 8 new pacis. Two more soothies, and then several other styles and brands. In three weeks we will be loading Sabine into the car for a two day journey to NYC. I absolutely cannot listen to red faced “I NEED TO SUCK NOW” screaming for the entire drive, nor is my boob going to magically grow large enough to drape over the side of her car seat. We must get her loving a paci otherwise we might not make it until she is whatever age kids outgrow pacifiers. Please, please, please Sabine, don’t be the kindergardener who is sitting in class sucking a paci!