Part one of three...
Joaquin nursed all night long, our first night together while still in the hospital. I asked the nurse a few times to see the Lactation Consultant, but she said she was only referred if it looked like there was a bad latch. She glanced down at us and said the latch looked fine. I told her it hurt, that it didn’t feel right and she reminded me that he was my first and that I’ve never had a baby sucking on my boobs for hours on end. Of course it was going to be uncomfortable. She also told me not to let him nurse all night long, that I was “just asking” for sore nipples.
So I of course assumed she knew what she was talking about. We went home the next day and I kept on trying to nurse. I had Joaquin on a Tuesday. By Friday my nipples were cracked and bloody. I went to a nursing support group where one of the Lactation Consultants took a look and asked me why I waited so long to come in. “He was only born Tuesday,” I mumbled as I stared down at him. She gave me some tips, but not a lot of information and told me to come back on Monday to see if it was any better.
That weekend was hell. I walked in on Monday and begged to see a Lactation Consultant, one on one. I didn’t care how much it was or if one was available, I needed help. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. Why did it hurt so much? Why was I bleeding? Each time he latched on I cried out loud and shuddered in pain. When the LC took a closer look she was shocked I was still nursing. “I’m not quitting,” I told her. She took one quick look at Joaquin and had all the answers. “He’s tongue tied.” I had already suspected it from reading my many books over the weekend and his very obvious heart shaped tongue, but she confirmed it. Now what? She had me use nipple shields and told me what to do to help my nipples heal up and suggested I take Joaquin to his pediatrician to possibly get it clipped.
When I called to make the appointment, I explained to the nurse what was going on. I remember her saying that they wanted to get me in as soon as possible so I don’t give up. I vividly remember telling her “I’m not going to give up, that is why I need your help.”
To be continued...
Part two is here.