Hi moms. I'm at a loss. I've been exclusively pumping for my baby girl and bottle feeding her using Breastflow bottles since she was born 7 weeks ago. She never once latched, even with the help of many nurses and LCs in the hospital and an LC visit at about 3 weeks (including attempts with a nipple shield, the largest size of which was too small in diameter for my nipples and caused major nipple trauma!). I have/had flat nipples and baby couldn't latch. I started EPing with the hope of my baby nursing once she became bigger and stronger. I think the pumping has drawn out my nipples to some extent. I desperately want to have a nursing relationship with my baby girl, and I have continued to try to put her to the breast off and on all along. Sometimes I go many days without trying, though, because every time I try I feel like she and I both come out of it traumatized. She screams in frustration and I end up sobbing. I have tried doing skin to skin time, and she scoots her way to my breast and then gets upset once she gets to the point where she ought to latch and start sucking. As soon as her mouth gets near my nipple she gets so upset (and then I do too).
My desire and inability to nurse has cast a sadness over what is otherwise a joyous time (like, she just cooed at me...so cute, but here I am crying). I don't know whether I should just let go of my dream of nursing her and accept that I'll feed her through bottles, either EP or maybe incorporate a little formula down the road. I feel like I'm experiencing actual grief--or mourning or something--related to my inability to nurse my baby girl, and maybe the best way to get it past it is to accept defeat and move on.
What do you all think? Has anyone out there been through something like this, where baby NEVER latched in the first 1-2 months and was super stressed at the breast and then ended up able to nurse their baby anyway? I just don't know whether I'm crazy to keep putting myself through this stress and sadness. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.