I'm posting this partly to get advice and partly to vent.
My baby was born a little over three weeks ago, and right from the start nursing was terrifically painful. The LCs and nurses at the hospital couldn't find anything wrong, even though by the time I was discharged, both of my nipples had multiple blisters on the tips. For the next couple of days, nursing just got more and more intolerable until my husband and I went to see an LC, who immediately spotted a posterior tongue tie. (It shouldn't have come as a surprise, since my husband has one, too.)
We got her frenulum clipped and I thought that everything would be all right. However, days later, after I'd spent time pumping to let my nipples heal, her latch was still bad and was creasing both my nipples. We went back to the LC but started to get a bad vibe from her, as every solution she proposed involved selling us something from the boutique in which she practices. She also gave us some exercises to do to get my baby to relax her jaw, but the exercises were almost impossible to do when she was fussy.
So for another week or so I limped along, nursing when I could but mainly just pumping. My nipples were just not healing at all--in fact, the pain was getting worse every day. Even the loose fabric of a shirt was too painful to bear and I started sleeping in my bra. I also started getting shooting pains in both breasts simultaneously at random times. Finally I noticed a thick white coating on my baby's tongue and realized that we both must have thrush. I got some medicine for her which has been clearing it up pretty well, but when I showed my pink, tender nipples to my doctor, she immediately said it wasn't thrush (but didn't diagnose anything else). I've been using my baby's nystatin on myself anyway, since the pediatrician said I could, but it's not having much of an effect, so maybe my doctor was right.
Meanwhile, my gigantic fibroid started to degenerate a couple of weeks ago, and I've been dealing with pretty formidable pain and heavy bleeding. Every day feels like the first day of my period.
So here's where I'm at now: my nipples are bright pink and hurt all the time, my baby's latch is still bad, and even pumping is almost unbearably painful. I started supplementing with formula around the time that my fibroid started bleeding, and whether from the loss of blood, the supplementing, or just stress and fatigue, my milk supply has been cut in half. On top of that, I think my baby's entering another growth spurt, because it takes two sessions' worth of pumping to provide her with enough milk to satisfy her (between 4 and 6 oz over the course of a wakeful period). When I pump, I can't keep up with her; when I supplement, my supply plummets; when I nurse, the blisters come back and I worry that she's giving me her thrush.
I want to breastfeed so badly, but the effort is ruining my life. My chest often hurts too much to hold my baby. Other people rock her and play with her while I sit by myself, strapped to the pump. I'm terrified that I'm losing my chance to bond with my baby. I think I've developed PPD. I can't stop crying. I feel like my baby and I have become strangers.
I've got an appointment with a different LC in a couple of days, but we may have to cancel it if the insurance doesn't cover it (we've completely blown out our budget on this problem), and I'm not getting my hopes up anyway. I don't want to give up but I feel like otherwise I'm trapped in a maze of pain and frustration.
What do I do?