After reading @wannabeathlete’s recent post about breastfeeding, I began to reminisce on my early days breastfeeding my daughter, who is now 2 years old. I had a c-section and to be honest, I am not quite sure at what point I tried to nurse her for the first time. It wasn’t “straight to breast” like often happens with a vaginal delivery. I think it may have been about 12 hours after she was born…but to be honest, it’s all a little fuzzy.
I remember the nurse helping me since I was quite sore and not very mobile. She stacked the pillows around me and had me undo my hospital johnny. She looked at my boobs and said, “Do your nipples always look like that?”
I laughed and said, “Well if you mean the 6 inch dark brown nipples….no. Will they go back to normal soon?”
The nurse chuckled and asked if my nipples are always inverted. I looked down, confused, and saw not only were my nipples 6 inches and dark brown as I had described, but they looked like they were retreating into my body. Like she said, inverted.
What the *#@^???? “Um, no, I’ve never seen them do that before,” I responded.
So I tried to nurse and the baby was having trouble latching on. The nursed called the Lactation Specialist (do you think that title is on her business card???) into my room. She quickly made the “official” diagnosis of inverted nipples and got me a nipple shield to try. Did you know a nipple shield existed? No, it’s not like a nipple tassle…get your mind out of the gutter…but it just goes over your nipple. I’m not sure the science behind it but they told me to use it and I did. Anyway…with the help of a pump and the nipple shield, I was nursing like a champ in no time (they had me pump for a few minutes before I actually nursed to help un-invert them).
One memory of this whole encounter is as follows. The Lactation Specialist, her assistant and my nurse were all around me as I lay in the hospital bed. My husband, mother, aunt and grandmother were all there too. Of course my ta-ta’s were out on full display as the nurses were trying to help me. And I’m STARVING. I still hadn’t been cleared to eat yet and was only allowed water, broth and jello. I think I was on jello #10, when I suddenly felt nauseas. The nurse handed me a little bucket, I threw up, then asked for more jello like nothing every happened..still with a room full of people.
Fast forward 2 weeks. I am home with my daughter, and for some reason I am concerned she is not eating enough. I don’t remember what exactly triggered this thought…but I panicked. I called my OB’s office for a referral for a Lactation Consultant. I had seen information in their office. They gave me the number and I called right away. It was the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, and in my mind, I was afraid my little one would starve over the long weekend.
I called immediately and they could fit me in right away. I had to scramble to leave the house asap. Remember now, this is 2 weeks after my c-section…I didn’t even know if I was supposed to drive or lift the baby’s car seat…but I did it. I packed up diapers and everything we needed and hit the road. We picked up my husband on the way…he was just getting out of work and was shocked to say the least to see us waiting in the parking lot for him.
We arrived at the Lactation Consultant…it was an old Victorian home in a beautiful neighborhood of a nice town nearby. Kind of strange that it was in a house. We go in and we are escorted to what appears to be a family room setup. No joke, the Lactation Consultant was about 65 and was very passionate about breastfeeding. “What did I get us into,” I thought.
She asked us some questions and then weighed the baby on a doctor’s scale. I then nursed my daughter, both sides. While I was nursing, the Lactation Consultant came up behind me and started massaging my breasts from the collarbone down toward the nipple. My husband and I made eye contact and just stared at each other in amazement. It was like a scene from Saturday Night Live….the “Sweddy Balls” skit with Ana Gasteyer and Alec Baldwin. This woman’s voice and mannerisms were just like Gasteyer. I couldn’t get the thought out of my head. Actually, SNL should do a skit based on this…call me
I finished nursing my daughter and we weighed her again. She drank 4 ounces. Then she had me pump, and I pumped another 4 ounces. So apparently I was a milk factory and was worried for nothing. I felt kind of silly for being so concerned, but when it comes to my daughter, I didn’t want to take any chances.
I think the visit cost $150 or so….and then they hit me up for some high quality nursing bras. Apparently, the one I wore there was WAY too small for me…so I got suckered into buying some bras for $40 each and a hands-free strapless concoction for my pump. Close to $300 later, we left feeling a little silly, but knowing our daughter’s tummy was full and we could enjoy the long weekend.
I’m not sure if there is a point to my story, rather it is just funny memory. For those of you wondering, my nipples returned to normal a few weeks after giving birth. I nursed successfully for 9 months until my milk supply dwindled a bit and daughter weened herself. I can’t wait for #2 to arrive in August and do it gain. It was such great bonding time with my littler one…it was our special time together. And I swear it was what helped me shed pounds without even trying to get back to my pre-baby weight and lose a little more, all while eating a ton to keep up my caloric intake Win win to me!!!