The true cost of breastfeeding, 2

Things weren’t so blissful a few weeks ago.

One day, Oneal came home from work, and he noticed that I’d been distressed. Apparently he’d asked me at least three times how I was doing, and I never answered him, or i always replied with something about the baby.

Upset, Oneal told me he didn’t know what was wrong, and he didn’t know how to help me if i didn’t tell him what was wrong.

I was feeding Lucas, and I started crying.

I told Oneal that I almost constantly in pain, because of my breasts and my nipples. Both nipples were cracked and bleeding. The pain radiated outward, so both breasts hurt. Wearing bras hurt. Wearing shirts hurt. If my breasts were wet with milk, and they dried, fabric would stick to my nipples, and detaching them hurt. Even showers hurt, when the water hit my nipples.

Worse, feeding hurt. I dreaded breastfeeding. The initial latch was always so painful. My whole body would tense in anticipation of the pain. While feeding, my whole body was tense.

It was so bad that when Lucas spit up milk one day, it was tinged red, from my blood.

I didn’t even realize how much all that had been stressing me out till I started telling him about it. All this tumbled out of me, with plenty of tears.

Why are you keeping all this to yourself, Oneal asked. He asked if I wanted to stop breastfeeding, and to switch to formula instead, because breastfeeding was distressing me so much.

Tearfully, I said no, I wanted to keep breastfeeding.

“Then ask for help, from Ros, or whoever,” he pleaded.

I nodded, and he asked if anything else was bothering me. More tears flowed, as I wept over how isolated I felt. I couldn’t work, couldn’t troop. We didn’t get to see Rogue One. I felt as though GeekFight and Deus Sex Machina didn’t need or want me anymore. I felt like the troopers didn’t need us anymore. I felt like everyone I loved was so far away, and I was stuck at home, alone.

I hadn’t even realized that I was upset about all those things until that moment.

Oneal promised we would go out, and see people. But first, we really needed to get help with breastfeeding.

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