Thursday, March 4, 2010

Through the Pain

Yesterday I was on the verge of deciding to throw in the towel on this whole world of breastfeeding. I’m a tough girl – I can give you a long list of painful things that I’ve endured…running a 1 mile race with a broken leg…refusing to get off the track…I’ve run 2 marathons & and I have some great horror stories from those experiences…so when it comes to pain – it typically doesn’t scare me.

But yesterday…

Yesterday was the epitome of tough. Turns out that the three things that can go wrong with breastfeeding were all knocking at my door (you might want to stop reading now if you can’t handle my too much information)…

Cracked & Bleeding Nipples – check

Engorgement – check

Mastitis (this is an infection in the breasts that caused me to run a high fever for over 24 hours and feel like I have the flu) – check

So yesterday as I sat on my couch all I could do was let the crazy hormones take over and cry. I cried…and cried…and cried. I cried to Josh…I cried to my mom…I cried when I looked at Selah…and I cried when I saw my pitiful face in the mirror.

And somewhere in the crying I just heard the Lord say – “You will get through this.” I asked Him for specifics (I like to set goals)…but all I heard was there was an end & in the meantime I could know that He was with me.

I’ve been thinking about this today…I can handle pain MUCH better when I know specifics about the end. For example, in labor I actually asked the doctor in between pushes how much longer she was estimating. Josh laughed at me as he said I calmly explained to her that I did much better with “proper expectations.” She seemed taken a back but finally said – I think you have 15 minutes left…I did it in 10.

So, this my reality. I can handle pain so long as I know that I am in control and I can navigate a path to a quick and speedy end…and so yesterday, when there were no specific answers…only a promise of His presence I REALLY wanted to cave.

That is until I decided to embrace His promise…I stopped crying at my hopeless situation and started crying to Him. That was all I knew to do…and yet, amazingly there was peace there – a peace that built up both my heart and mind to know that although the end may be a bit farther – we will get there and in the meantime He will be there to comfort and teach.

One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

It became life to me yesterday – I petitioned…I prayed…I cried…and although I didn’t get the answer I was hoping for – I got the answer that matters most. He is with me and He will guard my heart, mind & even my crazy emotions as we journey through the pain.

FYI – the antibiotics did kick in this afternoon. I’m feeling MUCH better and I’m determined to stick out breastfeeding…

I will leave you with a picture of my precious one.


Dominika said...

Paige, breastfeeding isn't as easy as it seems and I think it's wonderful that you want to continue trying. Have Josh go out and buy you some Lansinoh Creme at Target (in the aisle with breast pumps and breast pads) and use that to help with the tenderness and cracking. It does get easier, just takes a little bit of time...You're in my thoughts and prayers!

Jennifer said...

Oy! I was totally holding my boobs while I was reading this! I am praying it gets better QUICKLY!

ummm...and whatever possessed you to run with a broken leg? For goodness sakes Paige you kill me!

(and I'm so thankful you had the same crazy thoughts about the gift list)

Mike and Emily said...

I had the same problems when I started breastfeeding...and I just now weaned at 16.5 months. so it gets better. Mastitis is yuck though! I would get a little breastmilk and rub in on the cracking and tenderness and let airdry. That really helped me. I certainly love reading your blog. It's very uplifting and centering. thanks for sharing and honesty!

The Louders said...

Oh, Paige, Im so sorry you had to go thru
that! Thank you for your openness--I love
that about you. And I love how God assures
and speaks softly yet loud enough for us to
hear through our cries and tears! :) love you and
love that baby Selah! Hey, Selah, next time
I see you don't b hungry and I will hold u. :)
just rule the roost, so you can
do whatever ya darn please :) youre absolutely
precious, sweetie!

Jenifer Davidson said...

Hang in there mama! There are so many times in motherhood where you just have to ride it out instead of know the end. I am right there with you sister. You're doing a great've only been a mom a short week and a half but you've already learned the BIGGEST lesson of parenting...follow the father and cry out to him for EVERYTHING you need as a mom! Way to go Paige!

Sarah Bessey said...

Paige, first of all, she is BEAUTIFUL!

And good for you! I'm glad you're so committed to nursing. It's been one of the best things I've ever done for my two kids -and for myself. I echo the advice for Lansinoh. It's natural and safe for babies to have in their mouth. I literally put it on as soon as Anne would come off (and I'd dried it off) and just leave it until the next nursing session. Also, if you have a La Leche League in your town or a lactation consultant or midwife, give them a call. I promise that it usually doesn't hurt once you get your latch figured out. It can be awkward to invite a stranger over to inspect your boobs and latch but it'll be SO WORTH IT.

I know you didn't post this for advice and I promise that I know it! I totally understand what you meant though and I"m glad you're so committed. I just want so much for bf'ing to be a beautiful experience for you instead of just a discipline. Love and prayers for you and Selah, the small girl is so blessed.

Smartie Duck said...

You can do it! A huge ditto on the Lansinoh.

As for the mastitis, you can put a cabbage leaf in your bra and it helps. Truely....really I'm not a nut. Tee hee.

Enid said...

Lansinoh Cream, Whot water shower as far you can handle it in your boobs, nurse her every two hours wake her up to nurse tickle her feets, 10 minutes each side, football position is AWSOME it works on the ducts she is not using as much (that is the cause of many mastitis)
My oldest daughter crack me very horrible, it was a desperations..I know excatly your pain, But loving this kids is amazing Paige. Nursing is one of the best things we can do for them!

Praying for you!

Jenn Beamer said...

ohmygoodnesss...walking around with a cabbage leaf in your bra is the dang funniest thing I've EVER heard in my entire life! I'm not knocking it...I'm sure it works...but I just want to know who was the first person who thought "Hmmm...maybe if I put some cabbage right here, it'll clear that mastitis right up!" HA!

Holly swears that my mom changed her whole breastfeeding world. (she's a nurse) Years later and Holly still wells up with excessive gratefulness about it...maybe I should send her over to you. Course, she will touch your nipples...and that may be a world collision that I can not handle...

Paige Allen said...

Thank you everyone for your comments! The advice, encouragement, and personal stories have helped so much.

I am happy to let you all know that Selah & I are doing MUCH better. I spoke with a lactation consultant - changed positions...made Lansinoh my best friend, and got some amazing encouragement along the way. After 48 hours of antibiotics I was feeling better & today I feel great! Selah is eating like a champ - only woke up once (at 4am) last wow - amazing how life can change in just a couple days!

Thank you all again! I am glad that I stuck it out.

Kristie Hurley said...

Paige- we have been out of town for our Anniversary and just got back. My mom has a procedure and Carson has his 3rd ear surgery (ugh) this week. I would love to bring dinner by to you and see your sweet girl sometime. Maybe next week sometime? If you are not up to it, I totally get it and will seriously just leave you some food on your doorstep. I have our favorite lullaby CD for you, too :)
Love ya'

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