Today I had my 3 week post partum appointment with my doctor. I checked out fine – still healing up, but looking good.

My doctor’s main concern was with my nipples. I have been suffering with damaged nipples from day one. At first it was from Lewis’ tongue tie, and since the procedure, my right nipple has healed entirely. But no two nipples, even on the same person, are exactly alike. And my left nipple seems to still be incompatible with my son’s mouth.

It has about 3 gaping holes in it.

I got some prescription healing ointment from the lactation specialist, but how can we expect healing to happen when the holes are literally being eaten open more and more with every feeding. Every 3 hours, all healing is completely undone by my suckling baby.

So anyway… I’ve been in a lot of pain. But I’ve been pushing through, because apparently breastfeeding my son is just that important to me. I really don’t want to deprive him and myself of all the benefits that go along with breastfeeding.

But my doctor pointed out today that I was sacrificing my own physical and mental well being unnecessarily. There are other ways to successfully feed a child that don’t involve wincing.

Not to mention that all of the bonding you’re supposed to experience with your child is instead being replaced with dread because of my brain’s natural reaction to the pain – You develop negative associations with the cause of the pain, which in this case is MY KID.

That really hit home for me. I can’t proceed with something that could lead to negative feelings about my sweet baby!

So I’m heading back to the lactation specialist tomorrow for a last ditch effort to save breastfeeding. I am seeing a different person tomorrow, so I’m hopeful they’ll have some new insights.

And in the meantime, my breast pump and I are going to get to know each other a little better. Good thing Lewis is so good with the bottle.

If breastfeeding doesn’t work out, I’ll have to find a way to make peace with another method – whether it be pumping and feeding breast milk, or formula. I foresee the mourning process being very tough for me. My doctor was worried it was because I was scared of the judgy portland moms…. but it isn’t.

The judgy mom I’m scared of is ME.

I’d never judge another mother for her decisions on how to feed her baby. But I had such high expectations for myself. And I’m not used to not performing the way I planned. So I think I’d be pretty hard on myself.

Anyway… I’m working through this both physically and emotionally. Luckily I understand logically that no matter what, Lewis is going to be fed, and he’ll be healthy. But sometimes logic can’t quiet emotions.