While I was pregnant I decided I would give breastfeeding a try. If it went well then I would continue with it, if not no biggie we'd use formula or I'd try pumping.
The first time I was able to feed Ryland was after 10pm when we finally made it to our post delivery room. The feeding went well enough, he seemed to latch on OK though it didn't last very long. The next couple of feedings didn't go as smoothly. I produced plenty of colostrum but Ryland would not suckle for long. He just wouldn't/couldn't stay attached. I had several nurses manhandle me and give me pointers. The hubby was shocked that I let them poke and prod me without complaint, but I was determined to nurse. There was maybe only 1 or 2 times during our stay at the hospital that Ryland had a decent feeding. I had always planned on renting a breast pump from the hospital, so on day 2 we headed to the nursing nook and picked up our pump. Back in our room the nurses showed me how to use it and right away I had two small bottles ready to go. I was very lucky that my milk had started to come in so soon. Ryland took to the bottle like a pro! I was relieved that he was getting food since I wasn't really sure how much he was able to nurse from me. Plus pumping didn't bother me at all. Yay!
Our first night home I woke up at midnight and OMG did my breasts hurt! If felt like I had two huge boulders sitting on my chest. I couldn't believe how hard and uncomfortable they were. I continued to try and nurse as well as pump as a backup. Unfortunately the feedings were just not going well, not to mention sometimes it hurt like hell! I was talking to my cousin, Sarah, one day and she recommended a nipple shield as she had to use one for her kids. It just so happened that same day we went back to the hospital to meet Ryland's new cousin Blake. While there I talked to a lactation consultant and she also mentioned the nipple shield. I figured what the heck, might as well give it a try. The nipple shield was my last resort, if that didn't work I would just continue to pump instead of nurse.
On the way home from the hospital we stopped by Target and picked one up. As soon as we arrived at home Ryland was ready to eat. "OK, here we go, I hope this works!" Sure enough it worked like a charm! Ryland was able to latch on no problem and suckled for 15 mins straight! I was elated! Finally I could really nurse him and it became a pleasant experience for both of us. :) Not to mention the shield protects me from chapped, dry skin and bruises. It's a win-win situation!
I'm glad I stuck it out as I do enjoy nursing my baby and our alone time together. Whoever invented the nipple shield is a genius!