biting, breastfeeding, milk, nipple pain, parenting, teething
So, Babby’s teething. AGAIN.
Sure, his top two incisors just came in, but apparently his second two sets of incisors decided that they needed to follow the others, because they are apparently lemmings.
So I had about three or four days free of biting Babby, and now he’s BITING ME AGAIN.
It is difficult to explain to others, men especially, how frigging painful this is.
Let’s just say that biting my tongue hard on the same spot again and again would be about as painful… if I had sharpened my teeth.
Let’s just say I would rather be stung by a bee.
Let’s just say that my nipples and the area below them are bright red, and covered in flaky, peeling skin, like a terrible sunburn, and feel about as bad.
Let’s just say that the underside of my nipples are covered in greenish and reddish scabs in crescent-shaped lines.
Let’s just say that all of my white bras are covered in dark red splotches, and when I try to pump, bright red drops appear in the funnel.
Let’s just say that I have given birth to an angry piranha, and the big eyes and cherubic grin is just a clever mask.
Of course, every time he bites me I cry out involuntarily and remove him from the breast unceremoniously. If I am sitting in the chair, he gets dumped on the floor with “DON’T! BITE! MOMMY!”
(What is it with creatures wanting to bite my boobas? This has been a problem since long before Babby was concieved).
If I’m trying to nurse him to sleep, he ends up wailing disconsolately on the bed while I hunch over next to him, clutching my nipple and studiously ignoring him for a short while. Then I hold him while he screams. What used to be a short interlude between nursing attempts is becoming more and more protracted, while he writhes and signs “Milk!” at me angrily.
Babby went to sleep last night with a big dose of Advil and very little chomping. When he woke up, I went to nurse him back down and he bit me so hard that I not only cried out, but I burst into tears. PH came rushing in and took the baby while I sobbed helplessly in the gliding rocker for several minutes, clutching my poor right booba and wailing.
I’ve never been good at pain tolerance.
PH then proceeded to rock Babby to sleep without booba while Babby screamed and screamed in what felt like unending rage.
This is what we had intended to do over Easter, but PH was so stressed out by the screaming that we ended up backing out of the plan entirely. He hates listening to his baby cry, and it frustrates him so much that he can’t provide the comfort that Babby craves.
It took an hour.
…and a half.
An hour and a half of tea-kettle screams and vitriolic ah-hah-hah haaaaaaaas. It felt like a long time to me, and I’m sure it felt twice as long to poor PH.
Once he went down, he stayed asleep for about twenty minutes before he woke up and began to wail again. So I went in this time and offered him my other nipple, and he dozed off after about ten minutes of furious nursing. When I set him down, he woke right up again. I picked him up and rocked him to sleep on my shoulder, which only took about forty minutes or so before I was able to successfully put him down and collapse into bed.
All of this started at 10 pm. It was one in the morning when I went to sleep. I don’t know how long Babby slept for, but the next time he woke up I brought him in bed with me to nurse for the rest of the night, and he behaved well.
If any of you have suggestions, I’m happy to hear them, although I’ve trawled KellyMom and similar sites for help as well.
A couple of friends have suggested that I should just wean him if he’s going to make me bleed all over the place and sob with pain. But I love breastfeeding. It doesn’t normally hurt – it is actually quite satisfying and relaxing, generally speaking. Giving up breastfeeding entirely would be like giving up bubble baths forever, just because my hot water heater is on the fritz right now.
Considering that I have every intention of nursing him until he is ready to stop himself, be that two years old or beyond, and that I would really miss the closeness of nursing, not to mention the basic awesomeness of my superpower, I am not willing to give up the fight.
He isn’t biting for attention, or even out of boredom. In that brief hiatus between incisors, the biting dropped to nil.
So this must be temporary.
In the meantime, we finally have motivation to get him to sleep without booba, and I have discovered a new superpower:
I can make strawberry milk.