Me My Life Parenting

Adjusting

Calvin

Calvin is nearly four weeks old already! I was always on my own with our babies before, but now with Brandon as a stay-at-home dad, we can team up on kid duties. I’m nursing and some days it feels nonstop, so I’m mostly taking care of Calvin while Brandon has Eleanor and August.

Brandon and Calvin

Nursing — I have such a hard time with it in the beginning. I’ve seen lactation consultants, I’ve read the entire La Leche League book, and my search engine history has been entirely taken over by various breastfeeding queries. Things got better with both Eleanor and August around six weeks, so I keep telling myself it will happen again, but right now it is incredibly difficult. It’s isolating and time-consuming, but the worst of it is that I dread sessions because of the anxiety around anticipating a painful latch. There are often tears, and I’m having a hard time right now.

Calvin

Baby Toes

We are all doing so well though, in every other regard! We’re settling in nicely as a family of five, and the kids are sweet with the baby. Our normal morning routine has continued smoothly, we’re all sleeping as well as can be expected, and I get out of the house and see friends often enough to keep from going stir-crazy. Plus I love love love having a baby at home again. Calvin sleeps on me and is in my arms all day, and I adore his little snuggles.

August, Nicole, Calvin, and Eleanor

The good stuff is coming up: the smiles, the coos, the baby laughs. This is likely our last baby though, so while I’m eager to get past the nursing pain, I don’t want to wish this time away. There’s a lot of good stuff happening right now, too.

Calvin

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113 Comments

  • Reply
    Lori
    October 29, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    You have such a great attitude about the nursing. You are so not alone. It was painful for me for a long time too but we got through it and its worth it in the end. Good for you and your lovely family!

  • Reply
    Katie
    October 29, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Check and see if the baby has a lip or tongue tie. You can google for more info, but basically the ridge of skin above the upper lip and/or below the tongue are too thick and extend too far down, making it hard for the upper lip and tongue to curl properly for a latch. My son had a pretty severe lip tie, and we had a lot of problems with latching at first – I didn’t find out about ties until he was around 9 months, I wish I had known those first few, painful weeks. Here’s hoping things improve!

    • Reply
      Nicki
      October 29, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      My second was tongue tied, I asked her doc because nursing was SO PAINFUL compared to my first, like bleeding and cracking and lots of tears. Her doc referred me to a ENT who performed a frenectomy at 10 days old (it wasn’t too terrible, less pain than a shot) and it was INSTANTLY better. Those 10 days were terrible though. Her doc said that they used to snip every single baby’s tongue back in the day, crazy! Anyway, worth looking into if it stops your pain!

    • Reply
      jen
      October 29, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      I second checking for a tongue tie, and add the caveat of not accepting a “well the baby can stick out his tongue so it’s not tied” as an answer. As I found out with my second, there are several different types of ties (anterior, posterior, etc) that manifest differently. The old school oral surgeon we went to took one look at my son and accurately described exactly what the painful latch felt like before I said a word about it. One snip, and it was immediately better.

    • Reply
      Randi
      October 29, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      I also agree to check for lip and/or tongue tie. I had such anxiety about the painful latch and letdown with my second LO. I also found out at 9 months that she had a severe lip tie and a posterior tongue tie. I really wish someone could have told me earlier so I didn’t just have to endure the pain or the issues with LOs growth. LCs, midwife, doula, they all said to just give it time. I saw Dr. Kotlow’s website (www.kiddsteeth.com) and 3 symptoms stood out to me, painful latch, clicking noise, and the gap in the top front teeth.

      Take care of yourself mama.

    • Reply
      Adriana Osborn
      October 29, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      Yes, that was my first thought, a lip and tongue tie! My third had it and no professional could help me figure it out. I finally went to a midwife that had some knowledge in this. There is a FB group called LIP TIE AND TONGUE TIE SUPPORT GROUP, with LOTS of info!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 11:24 am

      No tongue or lip tie, though that’s good advice for others who may be experiencing problems. I almost wish there was a diagnosable problem, because then we could remedy it (other than ‘wait for his mouth to grow and for you to toughen up’).

  • Reply
    jenn aka the picky girl
    October 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Oh my goodness, he is so adorable all bundled up on your chest.

    I am so sorry you’re having a difficult time. I’m not a mom, but breastfeeding sounds so intense – in good and bad ways. Don’t feel the need to explain it away, though. You’re feeling rough, and I’m sure you are sleep deprived. Do what you need to do for you. And enjoy your sweet little family. :)

  • Reply
    Leslie
    October 29, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Sorry you are having such a rough time. I quit nursing the first time after 4 months after 2 bouts of mastitis. Everyone (including my own mother!) said it would hurt less the second time around, but oh! the sore nipples. I actually ended up taking the pain pills the doctor prescribed for my episiotomy – they mellowed out the nipple pain just a bit. It definitely gets easier, though, and takes up less and less time. I wouldn’t go back to that first month for anything!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 11:26 am

      My doctor didn’t prescribe pain medication and recommended Tylenol (Acetaminophen) and Motrin (Ibuprofin). The Tylenol doesn’t help, but Motrin does, a little. So sorry to hear that you had mastitis not once, but twice.

  • Reply
    Danielle
    October 29, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I feel your pain. I have an issue that made breast feeding very difficult so I pumped with my son. It was so hard for me and I felt like I was missing out on so much. It’s exhausting. When will our healthcare system help with this more??? I could have used a lot of help in the hospital instead of being told to keep trying.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 11:27 am

      I’m sorry you had a hard time too. Did your hospital have a lactation consultant, or just the nurses offering advice? I know it varies from hospital to hospital.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    October 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Congrats to your family! You are probably getting great help from the lactation consultant but side lying nursing really helped our nursing relationship (and nipple shield too). I googled it on you tube.
    Also check into tongue tie like someone else suggested. Enjoy your family!

  • Reply
    Nichole K
    October 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Hang in there, mama! Calvin is such a cutie. Our son is 9 weeks old and I can relate to the painful latch that eventually gets (a little) better. Glad you’re all settling in well. You’re completely right that the smiles make it all worth it. We love unconditionally and do the best we can with the rest of it! :)

  • Reply
    Alison
    October 29, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Oh I feel your pain! Same with me, super painful latch with both kids, with my last, I even had blood/sores-sorry if TMI!! What helped me were those Medela clear nipple cover things (sorry can’t recall the exact name) and mine seemed to get better around 6 weeks too. Good luck!

  • Reply
    ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com
    October 29, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    he’s too adorable!

  • Reply
    Danielle
    October 29, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I’m sorry to hear you’re having a rough time! No breastfeeding tips to share – I just hope it gets better for you!

  • Reply
    angela
    October 29, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Have you stumbled on Dr. Jack Newman in your searches? He’s the like the breastfeeding whisperer. It may be stuff you already know but maybe there is nugget of helpful advice on the site. Good luck with your nursing sessions!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    October 29, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I had the WORST time nursing. I did it for 3months, and I literally cried every time she latched on. We saw lactation consultants and I talked to La Leche League and none of it worked. I realized after a while that neither of us were happy, and we just needed to find another way. Formula became our best friend. I know its not the natural way, but we both thrived on not having the terrible pain of nursing.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Three months of pain is a long time. I would probably switch too. I was thinking back to when I was first nursing Eleanor, and I’m kind of in awe that I stuck it out for those initial six weeks without knowing how or when it would be better. At least now I have a timeframe to expect improvement, but it’s still so hard.

  • Reply
    Debbie
    October 29, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    No tips to share as I’m not a mother myself, but I am afraid that breastfeeding will be difficult for me someday like you are experiencing. I hope it gets easier soon. :(

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      I hope it isn’t. It does go smoothly for a lot of women.

  • Reply
    judy
    October 29, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    I tried breast feeding with my first baby but with all of the yowling about the BABY is starving to death and her breasts are obviously not large enough to nurse and being a terrified 20 year old I gave it up and became the mad Scientist of preparing Formula in 1960. I swear between the pre sterilization of the bottles and the nipple pieces and measuring out all the ingredients and watching and timing the pot and cooling them before refrigeration I was even more tired. Oh- and all of the complaints were spoken in a language I didn’t understand and translated by my Husband who I know was tempering at least some of it. But something to the effect one should have married (insert appropriate Nationality) and then everything would be perfect! Yikes-Good Times. Lots of babies have done quite well being bottle fed and I’m sure a Mother not dreading feeding time and not in great pain would convey to Baby a better vibe than what you are enduring. Offered in great sympathy and not meant to sound offensive.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Everyone always seems to know best for everyone else — sounds like times don’t change much, just the advice given! Sounds like it was a stressful situation.

  • Reply
    Erin
    October 29, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    I feel ya! We just had baby #3 about two weeks ago and nursing is super-painful, but it is slowly getting better (though it’s hard to remember that at 3am! Ha!). So great your husband is home to help with the older kids – this transition is fun and crazy! Good luck!

  • Reply
    Andrea Howe
    October 29, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I don’t mean to sound bitchy, but can’t we just offer some support and not more advice? What’s the age-old cliche about women just needing to vent and needing others to listen? :) I’m happy you’re adjusting, sorry it’s painful, it’s been painful for me every single time as well, despite everything being “right” in terms of latch and let down and all the other factors. I’m convinced some women are just more sensitive and some babies are just rougher, and sadly, no amount of advice can change that :-/ XOXO

  • Reply
    tara
    October 29, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Like the other comments I really feel for you. I went through it with my third and the anxiety you described is awful. I did pump now and then just to give my nipples a break. I found if I went for a walk every day the exercise seemed to help my nipples heal and body function better. Not always possible though, tricky to get out the door some days. Sorry to add more advice, feel free to ignore. We get so many ‘helpful’ hints as mums that it can drive you crazy :)

  • Reply
    B
    October 29, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Congratulations. He is so precious. I too am having pain with my 2 week old and using a nipple shield has helped me. I hope it gets easier and more comfortable for you!

  • Reply
    Carol
    October 29, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I understand entirely and all of what is said above is quality reassurance, advice and support.
    I read something the other day and it said, of having children, ‘the days are long but the years are short’. It’s very true so I hear what your saying about not wishing it away.
    I’m sorry about your sore bits and I’m sending a hug (not too tight!)
    You found the time to post!
    You’re AMAZING! You really are!
    Much love, for you and your beautiful family.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Thanks. And your line about “sending a hug (not too tight!)” made me smile. :)

  • Reply
    Heather
    October 29, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I love the picture of you with your babies! So sweet! It almost makes me want to have another! My second is six weeks old. :)

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      I know! I’m constantly looking at my little guy and thinking “I could have a million babies, I love them so!”

  • Reply
    Annie Hall
    October 29, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Here’s hoping tomorrow is better and the day after even better still. Xoxo.

  • Reply
    Aoife
    October 29, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    My daughter turns one this week. I can’t believe a year has gone by already so I can appreciate you wanting to savour this special time. It’s my first and it has been the most amazing experience but so difficult at times. You know from having kids already though that this difficult time will pass. I had a lot of pain nursing at the beginning too. My lactation consultant checked for tongue tie but it wasn’t an issue. I know not everyone agrees with them but she recommended nipple shields to me. Her theory was if it was too painful to feed it wouldn’t be a success so why not try them and they saved me! After about 6 weeks I started using them every second feed until I didn’t need them anymore. I hope you find some relief with whatever you decide to try. I’m wincing even thinking of that searing pain. Ouch! Well done to you for sticking with it. It’s certainly not easy.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Definitely not easy. Congrats to you on your one year anniversary as a mother! (And happy birthday to your little one, of course.)

  • Reply
    Megan F
    October 29, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Chin up! He’s just lovely and savoring the last of the “firsts” is important. Can’t tell you how many ladies here join you in solidarity on the pain issue. Here’s to hoping you’ve felt the last of it!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Hopefully soon, though it is helpful to feel less alone in it.

  • Reply
    jbhat
    October 29, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Such great photos! Calvin is a really pretty baby. Good luck with the boob juice. :D

    jbhat

  • Reply
    caitlin low
    October 29, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    I’m also going to suggest a tongue or lip tie. You can also check out He’s here in Portland, but after reading the info you suspect this join the tongue tie support group on Facebook and you can find a local provider.

  • Reply
    Bethann
    October 29, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    So precious! Thanks for the update! Sorry to hear about breastfeeding difficulties. Don’t have any advice, but my best friend cried herself through each of her children’s breastfeeding rounds. Will be praying for you and hopefully again week 6 will be the turning point!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      It’s so hard sometimes. Tears have been shed plenty over here.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    October 29, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    What a precious baby! You have the cutest kids, hands down!

  • Reply
    Becky
    October 29, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I’ve never commented, but I had the same experience! My 3rd baby just turned 6 months (ahhhh! So fast!) and nursing at first was rough–with each of my babies. No tongue tie, but toe curling pain for the first month or so. I always felt like no one acknowledges that it is painful at first and I’d wonder–if this is natural, why does it hurt so much–then I remembered childbirth :) I am stubborn, so I stuck with it, and I’m so glad I did, but I understand why some people don’t. You’ll be through it soon!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      I’m stubbornly sticking through it too, but YES. I think it’s just painful for some people, but all I ever hear is “it shouldn’t hurt if you’re doing it right”.

  • Reply
    Deahne Brigden
    October 29, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    oh Nicole, hang in there xo I hear you…I ended up with scars from my first…but you know what, was so worth it, wouldnt change a thing. But its like starting all over again each child hey. I can feel your pain…it takes me back :-/ hope things get better asap xxx the first weeks are rough…hugs.

  • Reply
    PinkBird
    October 29, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    You mentioned the LLL book, but have you attended a LLL meeting? The leaders and fellow moms could be a great resource for information and help as well as support. Good luck, and so glad you’re working through it and not giving up nursing!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      I haven’t this time around, but I did with Eleanor. I attended meetings, met with more than one LC, talked to my doctor, read the LLL book, and supposedly everything was correct even though I was still in so much pain. Having repeat experiences with August and now again with Calvin, I’ve just accepted that this is how it is for me.

  • Reply
    Debbie
    October 29, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    My daughter just had her third baby also. She nursed without complication the first two times. This time she had problems with the baby latching and VERY painful nipples. After three weeks of pumping alone, she didn’t hurt and tried again. It is going better now. I think the take away message is you need to do what works for You and your baby.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      I’m glad she was able to find what worked for her.

  • Reply
    Colleen
    October 29, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Have you tried nipple shields? I got some from Target after many tears and extremely painful, bleeding and cracked nipples. I was close to giving up and the shields helped instantly with the pain and to help heal the nipples. After a week I slowly started using them every other session until now past the 6 week mark (when you are right, it does get better) I don’t use them anymore. Hope you get some relief and sleep!

  • Reply
    Kathryn
    October 29, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Oh, I miss babies. But not pain. Hugs to you, you’re a good mama.

  • Reply
    Andrea
    October 29, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Nicole! I won’t offer any advice because I’m pretty sure you’ve exhausted all avenues at this point, but I wanted to chime in with another I’ve been there. I had four babies and despite lactation consultants, pediatrician visits, books, articles, etc. nothing offered any relief until about 6 weeks (8 weeks with my youngest). And until then, it was an excruciating mess. Hang in there! I know for me it was such a mental challenge because, after all, this is supposed to be precious bonding time – not mama-clinching-fists-and-gasping-for-breath-from-pain time. Such a strange juxtaposition of emotions. I’m hoping you’ll find relief sooner than later and I really applaud you for hanging in there so far.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      It really is just helpful to know that others have gone through the same thing. Thank you for the support.

  • Reply
    Jami
    October 29, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    So sorry you are having a hard time…I had a really hard time the first five or so weeks nursing my second, and if I would not have had such a great time with my first, it probably would have prompted me to quit. My eyes would fill with tears (anticipating the pain) every time he gave his “i’m hungry” cry. He had a bad latch. My lactation consultant said the only thing to make it right was to un-latch and re-latch him each time until he did it right, and that was so hard. Because after the initial pain of the bad latch, you can kind of stand it and don’t want to go through the whole thing again…but I kept un-latching him and eventually it was all beautiful. In between feedings, I had an apple cider vinegar soaking and going topless routine that helped with the healing of skin. Good luck, I feel your pain!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      Oh my, the last thing I want to do is unlatch and do it all over again. I know that’s the advice LCs give, but I can’t do it! I tried with baby number one, and by now, I just try to get through it.

  • Reply
    Michellejeanne
    October 29, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    he is sooo beautiful, I could almost have another precious bundle! Alas, my youngest/third will soon enter double digits. I had some iffy moments nursing each, but not at your level. Kudos to you – those precious cuddles and moments when they sleep on you… I still get those. I even skipped an evening meeting recently because my 17 year old amazing high school senior girl asleep with her head on my shoulder when we were talking while cuddling on the couch. Hang in there!

  • Reply
    Tam
    October 29, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I think you should give yourself a pat on the back for slugging it through nursing grief for these past 4 weeks. I was there with my first and it was only after numerous visits with lactation consultants and an email from a dear friend who suggested using Saran Wrap after moisturizing with lanolin ridiculous as it sounds that things got much better. Your family looks so happy – enjoy those baby cuddles!

  • Reply
    Carmella
    October 29, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing. He is so beautiful! If it can be of any help, I got a lot of relief from a semi-reclined nursing position in the first six- to eight weeks. Basically you have to be leaning back somewhat, and then you kind of face plant the baby onto your nipple. () Things will turn around soon, but I’m sure you know that! Good luck, amazing mama!

  • Reply
    alex
    October 29, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Just sending lots of early nursing love! Bah, it was so painful for me too the first 6 weeks. You know all you need to know on the mechanics of nursing… also know you’re not alone ;&)

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    October 29, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Hi there! I feel your pain and I found that my LO had toungue and lip tie. I later learned that nursing should never be painful. Dr. Bobby Gaheri’s blog explains it all. Truly saved my sanity and my nursing relationship. Just thought I’d send the tip in case that’s the issue. Sending love and light your way! Hang in there.

  • Reply
    Rachel A
    October 29, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Yes, Nicole, thank you for sharing your experiences. I’ve had quite the breastfeeding journey with my now 6-month-old, and so it’s so comforting to read that even “supermoms” struggle! I agree with everyone who suggested nipple shields and getting Calvin checked for a tongue-tie. After cracked and open-sore nipples, a million tears shed, and lots and lots of help from a lactation consultant, I spent almost 4 months using a nipple shield with my daughter. Every time I tried to stop using it the pain was excruciating, so we finally went to a pediatric ENT. Mild tongue-tie was snipped and amazingly, 1 week later… no shield needed and no pain. It feels like a miracle. You’ve done this for many more years than I, but I just want to say that you’re an amazing mama! Do what you need to do to continue to care for your children so lovingly well, whether or not that includes breastfeeding. Your dedication is inspiring!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      I’m so glad you were able to finally find (and remedy) the problem! No tongue tie here, but thanks for the kind words and the support.

  • Reply
    gina
    October 30, 2014 at 12:03 am

    I breastfed both of my boys until 15 months so I thought I would be a pro at nursing for my 3rd. Nope. It was the worst experience ever. I cried for every latch, was so nervous about the pain that when he did latch my milk wouldn’t let down, and he had a tongue tie. I won’t say that getting his tongue tie clipped fixed everything, but it did help. Like you, I read every article on breastfeeding, but was down on myself because it just wasn’t working. Turns out it was a combination of things- supply, bad latch, and tongue tie. I nursed with this horrible pain for 2 months until he finally got the hang of it. He is 4 months now, and I am so glad I stuck with it. Only problem now is that he won’t take a bottle! Hang in there. You are doing everything right!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      Crazy how it could be so different from baby to baby. Glad you got it sorted out, even if you are the only one who can feed him now!

  • Reply
    Heather
    October 30, 2014 at 7:15 am

    He’s adorable! What a snugglyl little guy! Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Anne @ Itsabaltimorelife
    October 30, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Ugh Nicole, I could literally feel your pain as a I read this post. I felt the same way…the first 6 weeks of breastfeeding were terrible. I will gladly do 40 hours of natural childbirth again over the first few weeks of breastfeeding. I am now pregnant with my second child and vividly remember and NOT looking forward to it. Sending you a big ol’ virtual hug…hang in there…just two more weeks!!!!!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      I can handle natural childbirth better than nursing too. At least with the birth, you get through it and you’re done! Nursing, you have to do it hundreds of times, and it’s painful each time, for weeks. Gah. I hope it goes smoothly for you the second time around.

  • Reply
    Bonnie Morscher
    October 30, 2014 at 8:37 am

    What a beautiful baby!

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    October 30, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I will say that breastfeeding was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I had preemie boy twins with latch problems and I was completely overwhelmed. I finally met with a LC who put it all in perspective. She told me:
    1) Take care of yourself first. You matter.
    2) Feed the baby. It doesn’t matter how it happens. Formula is food, too.

    *hugs* I remember thinking pursuing my graduate engineering degree was nothing compared to breastfeeding. It’s such an emotional and physical challenge coupled with sleep deprivation and the flood of PP hormones. On the upside Calvin is so precious! I love his little blonde patch.

  • Reply
    Jo
    October 30, 2014 at 9:09 am

    He sure is a cutie.

    Yeah, I never knew nursing would hurt! I thought it would just immediately happen & work. Nope. Ouch!

    Hope it gets better for you two, fast.

  • Reply
    Margaret
    October 30, 2014 at 9:26 am

    I never heard this when I had a baby (Only: “Breast is best!”) but, for me, nursing sucked. We couldn’t latch and I’m extremely ticklish. Nipple guards were the only answer but I still disliked it so much.

    You mentioned anxiety and I think that pressure put on mothers to do it is half the problem. Five years later, I tell new mothers to do what they can and to not sweat it… sometimes it does not work out. I had a friend who could not breastfeed at all. She lived in Berkeley and she has hilarious/horrible stories of getting the stink eye from righteous, organic, granola mums there while buying formula at the grocery store. Oy.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      How awful about the judgement. Breastfed or formula-fed, everyone’s doing what works best for them and for their baby.

  • Reply
    Andrea
    October 30, 2014 at 9:45 am

    He’s beautiful! I have three as well and all three ended up being on formula (for various reasons). The guilt lessened with each one. As mothers, we are expected to do the heavy lifting and somehow, we are bad mothers if we don’t nurse. Don’t let the guilt eat you up and prevent you from enjoying the little moments; they grow up so fast! Ultimately, wherever they get their nutrition from, it is still nutritious and they grow up without being scarred for life. My three are thriving, smart, happy kids. Do what you can but don’t beat yourself up for every perceived failing. God bless.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Agreed. I’m trying to make nursing work, but I don’t like the way some people vilify formula (and the moms who choose it).

  • Reply
    Candice
    October 30, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I only have 1 but I had the same situation with nursing and it also got better around the 6 week mark. I remember feeling the exact same way about the situation, I’m sure all the post preg hormones don’t help either!! Just hang in there! As you know with babies, everything is just a stage and as soon as you adapt to it, the whole thing changes again.

  • Reply
    Antonella
    October 30, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Have you seen this? It gave me goosebumps (I hope to be a mum someday)!

    Remember you are a mum: take care of yourself and celebrate your sweet accomplishment! Many hugs

    • Reply
      Marcee ... ILLINOIS
      November 2, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      Beautiful. Yeah. Tears are necessary for this vid. So nice.

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 3, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Tears! I hadn’t seen that — thank you for sharing it.

  • Reply
    Jennifer R.
    October 30, 2014 at 11:43 am

    He is so precious! Thank you mucho for being honest with the breastfeeding struggle, it can be a really isolating thing when it seems like it should be so simple.

    I would love it one day if you did a baby name post. I love all of your name choices and am having a hard time choosing for our baby due in February. :)

    • Reply
      Darcie Bell
      October 30, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      You know, my son was just born a few weeks ago and we didn’t have a name picked out until the last day in the hospital. I found writing down options really helped. Seeing the full name in writing really sealed the deal. Good luck and a happy/healthy pregnancy and deliver! xo

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 3, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      We had a hard time, too, especially for the boys’ names. I really like the format of the book from , but no other tips, really. Brandon and I would keep a running list of names that we liked, and we would rule some out and keep considering others until we both found a name we agreed on!

  • Reply
    Mera @ Red House West
    October 30, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    He is so precious! The first weeks with a new baby are just nuts, there’s no way around it. I had the exact same experience with nursing my daughter–the first 6 weeks were excruciating, and then it got better and was totally worth it. In those first weeks though there were times when she was spitting up blood and I was really worried about it but it turned out it was my blood from having cracked nipples, not a problem with her. Hang in there mama!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      Isn’t it crazy what we mamas go through? Like, oh, just a little blood from my sore, cracked nipples. NBD. I’m glad it got better for you after those first 6 weeks. Seems to be the magic number for a lot of us.

  • Reply
    Kate F
    October 30, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Oh boy, do I feel you on that rough start to nursing. My oldest had a bit of a tongue tie and we had every latch problem ever, and then just as things started improving I ended up with thrush. He was two months old before I stopped crying every time he latched. Since this is your third time down that path (I’m so grateful it was easier with my daughter) you probably know ALL the tricks, but the two things that saved me with him were APNO (All Purpose Nipple Ointment), which you can get made at a compounding pharmacy; most midwives can give the formula on the Rx, and a silicone nipple shield. APNO has a little antifungal and antibiotic along with lots of other stuff; it’s safe for the baby and helps with a range of problems.

    Good luck! You’re almost there!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been using lanolin, but an LC did give me the formula for APNO and I’d forgotten about it. I wonder if it might help.

      • Reply
        Jennie
        November 5, 2014 at 5:50 pm

        When I was going through this painful phase (which I remember all too well – my daughter is now 4 months) I used lanolin at first, but then on the advice of my lactation consultant, switched to this nipple cream instead: I found it was more effective than the lanolin – perhaps my use of it just coincided with the turning point when things stop hurting so much, but I used it religiously and it really seemed to help things heal up.

  • Reply
    Darcie Bell
    October 30, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    My newborn is 3 weeks old today. My mom called a few days ago when I was up for my 6am/7am/8am/ALL DAY LONG feeding and asked “How is the breastfeeding going?” Because I was too tired to filter my thoughts I blurted out, “It sucks. It friggin sucks really bad and I hate it.”

    I will say, that a nipple shield will be your best friend. Nipple confusion is a lie. :) I was groggy and out of it in my recovery from my c-section. My hospital is very family-centered and put my newborn son on me to start breastfeeding before I really came out of the opiate haze, so he latched on bad from the get go and immediately drew blood and damaged my nipple. I spent my 4 days in the hospital in toe curling pain at every latch… I almost just demanded the formula and said, “screw this!” but my friend smuggled me in a nipple shield and it saved my life as a breastfeeder. Three kids later, I am just finding out about this gorgeous contraption.

    Now breastfeeding is pretty much pain-free. Now if I could just get rid of this thrush I got from living in my gel-soothing pads before I found out about the nipple shield. :)

    Good luck, mama!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 3, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      I was talking to my mom about it the other day, and she only nursed me as a baby for a couple of weeks because the latch was so painful. She said she remembered counting through the initial pain as a way to cope.

      So sorry that you got thrush, but glad the shields worked for you! Here’s to hoping you get everything cleared up soon. Nursing just really sucks sometimes — it’s true.

  • Reply
    Gillian
    October 30, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    I’d nearly forgotten the toe-curling pain of painful feeding. I had it on all 4 of my babies to a lesser or greater extent. I always resented the suggestion that it only hurts if you are doing something wrong because at 4 months you can latch them on upside down and it doesn’t hurt at all. I was very grateful to a midwife who once told me that she could tell by looking at my nipples that it would hurt me, fair skinned and not too pointy? Anyway I second the nipple shields especially if you have reached the point of actually cracking, or just for whichever side is the most sore! Good luck!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 3, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      “at 4 months you can latch them on upside down and it doesn’t hurt at all” Ha! So true. But at first? Yowch.

  • Reply
    Nicola
    October 31, 2014 at 1:47 am

    Congratulations!!! Thank you for sharing photos of your lovely family Nicole.

    After a month of extreme pain with breastfeeding, and numerious Dr’s visits, I finally saw an awesome lactation consultant who performed a tiny tiny snip below babe’s tongue, and the pain was instantly gone. Ahhh, I remember that pain – hang in there.

  • Reply
    Katie R
    October 31, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I had our second son 4 weeks ago today and although he’s a champion breastfeeder, my boobs are not built well for a tiny newborn mouth and learning to latch. I brought my nipple shield to the hospital and was saved much of the toe curling pain (although there were several days of needing to have a pillow or something to squeeze during latch on because OMG painful!).
    Weaning off the shield when you feel ready can be frustrating and difficult but it’s doable. My first figured out how to latch without it around 6 weeks and my youngest and current feeding partner has been shield free during the day since yesterday!
    I hope it gets better soon and it doesn’t take another 2 weeks! Hang in there!

  • Reply
    Kati B ~ FurnishMyWay
    October 31, 2014 at 11:52 am

    He is just precious! So wonderful that you are both around the house. That can be a difficult time when you already have other young ones running around! You have a lovely family. :)

  • Reply
    Kristin
    October 31, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Those pictures are all wonderful! What a beautiful family. It sounds like you are doing a great job during a tough time. Those first six weeks…so hard and lovely and exhausting and amazing all at the same time. I have three kids too, all about 2 years older than your respective kids. I definitely remember the challenges of nursing at the beginning. It was hard for me with each kid. You are right–around a month or 6 weeks it starts to get easier. You’re almost there! I agree with the other commenters–nipple shield worked wonders with two of my kids at the beginning. One baby wouldn’t nurse with it, so we just kept plugging along, me in pain. Also, a trick I learned from my lactation consultant with the first baby was to apply Lanolin to my nipples after every feeding. I did it religiously for the first month or so with each baby and it really did help. Good luck–I hope it gets better very quickly!

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      November 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      I’ve been using Lanolin, but the shields don’t work well for me (unfortunately). I just keep telling myself it will get better… it will get better…

  • Reply
    Mia
    November 1, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Nicole, congratulations on this sweet new babe and good on you for your honesty about the challenges with nursing. Good luck, I do hope it gets better at six weeks.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    November 2, 2014 at 8:14 am

    What a sweet post Nicole – so happy for you and your family.

  • Reply
    Patrice
    November 2, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    He is just gorgeous, you must be over the moon.

    Breastfeeding is so difficult, I was in so much pain as well. After a month it was nipple shields or give up. I used the shields until my nipples healed. One week on one side and FOUR weeks the other side. I know you don’t want to wish the time away, but soon that beautifully amazing time will come when you feel nothing but pure love and joy looking down at your beautiful baby nuzzling away, pain free.

    The best of luck Mama.

  • Reply
    Patricia
    November 2, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Congratulations and all the blessings to your lovely family. Yes nipple pain is real and frustrating, but you are almost over the hump two three more weeks and you will finally see the light. And i love all the names you have picked for your children, they are so Victorian? ! Good luck and godspeed!

  • Reply
    Vicki
    November 5, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    This post brought back so much for me. My baby is six months old and the first few weeks were hell! My lactation consultant had Jack Newman’s Nipple Cream made up for me. That and the fact that my baby’s mouth finally grew big enough to latch more comfortably really, really helped! Good luck. Love your blog! X

  • Reply
    Jennifer Rodgers
    November 5, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Just throwing in my experience…I had no problems breastfeeding my first son exclusively until I returned to work when he was 8 months old. Four years later, I had the exact opposite with my second son. Foolishly I thought it would be a piece of cake to breastfeed him, I thought I was a pro! Ha! My little Malcolm had other plans. Breastfeeding was a nightmare from the beginning. He had lots of trouble latching. I used lanolin, nipple shields, LC, all with no luck. Days of feeding him resulted in cracked nipples and eventually mastitis in both breasts. Whenever I fed him, it felt like glass fragments were being ground in to my breasts. With a 104 fever I took both of my boys to my OB who wrote me an Rx and told me to find a compounding pharmacy….which was 45 minutes away. At that point I made the choice to switch to formula. Immediately my son started eating more, his diapers were full and I felt relieved. I realize that his nourishment was way more important than anything else. I pumped for 2 more weeks alternating between formula and EBM. Ultimately I grew to resent the pump and made the switch to exclusively formula feeding him. He is a happy thriving 4 year old.

  • Reply
    liên
    November 5, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Have you checked into lip and/or tongue tie? Both of my daughters have lip tie and I too dreaded nursing. Dr. Newman has great information on it. Hang in there mama. :)

  • Reply
    Neha
    November 6, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Hi,m a new mom to a 4 month old…we too faced the painful latching problem.after numerous lactation sessions one of the lactation nurses discovered that my son was tongue tied.We had frenectomy for him. N that improved things tremendously.I suggest you look into it….! Hang in there..this shall too pass.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    November 7, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    This is always such a sensitive subject for people, so please know I’m saying this from a place of support and concern. There is so much emphasis put on breast-feeding today that a lot of women feel really pressured to keep it up despite being miserable. If it gets any worse, or even if it just doesn’t start getting better, please rethink it. Obviously you want what’s best for Calvin, and that includes a happy, healthy mom!

  • Reply
    Joanna
    November 7, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Not sure if anyone already mentioned it, but have you tried nipple shields while breastfeeding? If I hadn’t had them I never would have made it. They helped with my son’s trouble getting a good latch and my pain. I loved them and would totally recommend. Here’s a link: Good luck!

  • Reply
    Honor Roll | Making it Lovely
    November 8, 2014 at 11:54 am

    […] and I are sort of getting the hang of this whole nursing thing now, which means more efficient nursing for him and less pain for me. He’s also settling into […]

  • Reply
    Jackie
    November 10, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Ohh…I’ve been MIA since baby #2 arrived and had no idea about Calvin, but CONGRATS and he’s SO cute! You look great!! Hang in there and good for you for sticking it out…I think the isolation was the hardest part for me, too, so thanks for your honesty.

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