Warning - if you are a man, you probably don't want to read this post.It's about boobies, breastfeeding and lots of icky details. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Wow, this is a touchy subject for me. It was a full on nightmare with Jessi Girl. I got home from the hospital and thought things were going great. She was eating well, and it appeared to be normal. Everyone told me there would be pain in the beginning and that would go away. So I ignored the intense pain, and continued without asking for help. After a week, I decided it was time to seek help when I was screaming in pain every time I fed her. We met with a lactation consultant who told me how cute my baby was and estimated she was 6-8 weeks old. Ummmm, no. She's a week old. That's right, I birthed a toddler. The girl was 10lbs and had the suck of a 2 year old. I seriously think we could have put a straw in her mouth and she would have drank her milk just fine that way. That was our first problem.
Then when the consultant looked at my breasts, she cringed. Jessi had destroyed me. She then told me this wasn't normal. Oops.
From there, it was mastitis, yeast infections, thrust, more mastitis, more pain, lots of tears, even more mastitis, buckets of pink milk (filled with blood), did I mention the mastitis, so much unbearable pain, possible nerve damage, emotional breakdowns, so many clogged ducts, and of course a little more mastitis. This went on for 4 months without a break.
I was seeing my doctor on a weekly basis, seeing specialist after specialist. The lactation consultants had me on speed dial. I was well known around the hospital. I was the girl with the weird shaped uterus, who's body doesn't know how to go into labor and who's boobs are a freak of nature.
Finally, I had a doctor sit me down and say - "this won't stop unless you do". I was a complete mess. I felt like a failure. Breastfeeding was my plan, it was supposed to happen for me. But it didn't.
I'm thrilled to say I gave my baby girl nothing but breastmilk until she was 4 months old. I went through more pain and torture than I could have ever imagined, and it was worth every second. For her.
Fastforward to almost one year later ---
Last week, I found some lumps on my breasts. Since I was having my monthly check up anyway, I talked to my doctor about it then. She immediately referred me to a breast center to get a work up and see what was going on. I had to wait 4 days to get in and I was a nervous wreck. The lumps felt like clogged milk ducts to me, but that seemed kinda silly since I'm not breastfeeding.
Tuesday afternoon I went in to get checked out. My amazing husband walked in with me, and held my hand. I'm so thankful for his support through all of this. We prayed for the best and imagined the worst. What if there is something really wrong? The technician was so kind asking me about my daughter and our plans for little sister as she did my ultrasound. I tried not to look her in the eyes for fear I would see the fear in hers.
When she walked back in my room without the doctor and a big smile on her face to give me my results I wanted to hug her. Nothing was seriously wrong. But, there's still some issues. It looks like my milk is starting to come in (at only 28 weeks) and it's clogging. Which means we have to monitor it very closely and I'm prone to mastitis anyway.
Hubby and I were thankful nothing was seriously wrong, but talked about our options on the way home. Is breastfeeding even going to happen for me this time? I was on the verge of post partum depression with Jessi because of how difficult the bfing was. It wore me down, and took everything out of me. Am I willing to face that again? I feel like I get no straight answers of what to expect this time. But can my body handle this again? If my milk is already coming in, will I have trouble once the baby is actually here in 10 weeks? I have so many questions and fears. It breaks my heart to think I might not have that incredible bonding experience with my little girl. But then again, will I bond better with her without the stresses that come with bfing her?
All of this overwhelms and breaks my heart. I know that God is in control. He made my body, perfect in HIS image. But it doesn't take away how hard it is on me.
Advice? Please give me any. I'm planning to meet with the lactation consultants and my doctor about this. I'm not sure who else to reach out to for support. Help!