I suspect this will be a long post as I feel the need to get this off my chest - sorry for the length. I dont have many people to speak with about this - either they didnt breastfeed or they'll be judgmental.
I have a four year old son who was a NICU baby and I was not able to successfully breastfeed - I pumped exclusively for a few months before I went back to work and switched to formula after my stash ran out.
I have a great husband; however, he's a police officer on the night shift and I'm alone more than I'm not.
My daughter is 5w1d - we've had trouble from the start. She was a "late preterm" baby who was hypoglycemic and I was forced to give her formula at birth to raise her sugar as bf'ing didnt do it.
I had excruciating pain from the get-go - I described it as "glass through a straw." I have seen four different lactation consultants (all IBCLCs) on five different occassions, and with one I've had repeated followup phone conversations. Also consulted with two LLL leaders. None saw a problem with latch, but the last LC diagnosed me (only me) with thrush. I began a 2 week natural treatment of antifungal ointment, oral GSE tinctures, and probiotics. It turned into a severe ductal thrush infection and my daughter most likely has it in her gut. There are tiny white spots on her gums - I'm unsure whether it's thrush - it doesnt look like what Ive googled. We're both on scripts now - she on nystantin, I on Diflucan). I'm also continuing probiotics, apple cider vinegar and GSE rinses, Lecithin, oral GSE, and ointment. I had been taking garlic but I think the dose upset her more. My diet is basically protein and vegetables.
It's thought that she has thrush b/c she's absolutely miserable with gas. However, Ive also been "blessed" with an oversupply (which I think I've fixed through block feeding) and an overactive let down. She chokes, gags, pulls off, etc. I know this can cause gas too. There are a few other problems - each I've taken in stride, but now it all feels too much now.
So my infection has improved only slightly, and nursing sessions are so bad that I bawl through most of them. She's a very, very needy baby - I cannot put her down to pee or get a drink of water - and there isnt another adult to help. She isn't all that happy being held either. I cannot play with my son. He asked me for breakfast the other morning and I realized it was already lunch.
I'm embarassed to say that the pain is hurting my bond with her. It hurts all.the.time. When I nurse, the pain reaches around to my back. It hurts when she's nowhere near me. Letdowns burn. I started pumping but I cannot keep up the schedule to keep my supply up - I can't put her down to get the pump going - all the pump parts need to be boiled each time - and I have another child to care for - etc. We're both so miserable. Since Saturday, I keep making the decision to quit. I get overcome with guilt and start the cycle of pain over. I know a growth spurt comes in another week or so and pumping wont accomodate that.
Oh, and she doesnt poop. Her wets are plentiful, but IF she poops, its once a day and she goes through a lot of pain for that one.
I just don't know what to do. I dont know how to make it work. I dont know how to go on.
Thanks for listening to my frustration. I really need a "friend."