I had this brilliant idea last week sometime. I decided to run a little experiment. If I fed Dylan formula before bed, would he sleep longer? Would he wake less? In order to pursue this experiment, I had to account for my own supply and an unwillingness to take the chance of losing it.
So I pumped.
I haven't attached myself to a pump for a couple months at least. But I didn't foresee any problems. I hooked it up and cranked it up and let it run for no less than ten minutes. As I removed each flange, I noticed my mistake.
I was cracked. I was bleeding. I was in pain.
A week later, and I'm still cracked. I'm still bleeding. And every time Dylan latches, I want to scream. My toes literally curl and I can feel every suck. It makes it hard to relax. It makes it hard to let him finish. In fact, I'm fairly certain that I'm pulling him off early in those wee morning hour feedings, which does not help the sleep issue.
Dylan hasn't slept well all week. I don't know if it's teeth or a possible ear infection. I took him in the week before, but he didn't have an ear infection. Clint wants to let him cry. I'm convinced he's in some kind of pain. He has an appointment Tuesday, so I guess we'll have to push through the sleeplessness and see what's going on then. Even if it is teething, I'm not the kind of mom that can say, "he needs to learn how to deal with it." In the mean time, I'm a walking zombie that's left feeling...
Outside of getting little to no sleep, I've decided to stop breastfeeding. I know I could push through the pain until my poor nipples heal, but I seriously have them covered in band-aids today because so much as a light brush makes me cringe visibly. It's so painful! And I'm not able to let him eat as long as he wants because it's unbearable.
The sucky thing is that I did this to myself. I tried some dumb experiment and cracked myself. I could scream at the unfairness of it. I've tossed around quitting for about a month, but I just wasn't really ready to give it up. It's the end. It's my last baby. And even though I do not LOVE breastfeeding, it's something I can do for Dylan that no one else can. It's a part of our relationship. And I will miss that part of it. I just thought I'd last a year. And I'm so damn close that it's freaking pathetic!
And so I feel defeated. Defeated in sleep and defeated in breastfeeding. But I'm telling you, it is PAINFUL. Excruciatingly so.