I hate to say it, but right now I completely hate nursing her. We are on week 3.5 and I am still in massive pain when she nurses. We had maybe one good day when I thought I'd finally gotten the latch down, then I got mastitis and had to exclusively nurse on the non-affected side for a few days. I pumped every 2 or so hours on the affected side to try to keep up supply, but by the second day I was getting literally drops each time. After five days of antibiotics, the mastitis is gone, but the massive pain is not. I started nursing her again on the "broken" side a couple days ago and expected pain, but now it's on both sides. I canNOT get her to latch deeply. The nipple is always flattened/pinched when she comes off. I unlatch and relatch her 100 times each session, and maybe in that 100 times she'll get a good latch once or twice but invariably she pulls off a bit and brings her lower jaw in tightly. I've tried watching the Dr. Newman BFing vids on YouTube and tried his "wait til the open wide, then forcefully bring them straight on chin first" to try to get the asymetrical latch he talks about, I've tried the "scoop" in the nipple (where you pull it in a bit so you're presenting more of the areola) that they talk about in the "Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" book. I've had two LLL consults over to my house and seen a lactation consultant. I just can't get it. It seems fine (or better) when I'm with them but when they're not here it's horrible again. It hurts just to breathe. I can't stand having ANYTHING touching my nipples; it's horrible. Pumping hurts - not as much as her nursing, but it definitely hurts. We're not talking open bleeding sores that'd I'd expect to be so painful - there are sores, but they're just flat white scabs (our doctor said it was scabs, not a bleb or milk blister). On days when she cluster feeds (like today) I spend most of the day in tears dreading having to feed her. I end up giving her a bottle of pumped BM once a day just to give my nipples a break and she has a better latch on the bottle than she does on me! I assume it's because it's a firmer surface and I can get it shoved in her mouth and therefore force her lower jaw open more. My meager pumped supply is almost gone and I'm dreading it (like, could be gone tomorrow). I know they say no pacifiers and that the baby should fulfill all their sucking needs on mom, but I can't physically have her do that as much as I want to. Not that it matters, because she rejects pacifiers usually.
I want to do this so badly. I'm the biggest BFing advocate and I want to get this down, but I'm so frustrated and in so much pain and I spend the day with my boobs hanging out (since it hurts to wear a shirt or a bra) looking like a hot flipping mess. I'm seriously considering exclusively pumping until my nipples are healed but I want to have the "true" nursing relationship SO badly and I don't know if I'd be able to get her to ever latch correctly on me then.
I just don't know what to do. I'm at such a loss. Everyone keeps saying it will get better but I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.