Wednesday, June 03, 2009

My Hero

Snapdragon, like many babies, did not go to college to learn how to latch on and suckle. Sadly, he hasn't a degree in how wide to open, just where his tongue needs to be,and the best way to detach himself. Heck. The kid can barely hold his head up for more than 10 seconds.
It isn't his fault, he's young and inexperienced. But even if we're not pointing fingers here, well maybe the one that's going to break the suction on this latch so we can try for a better one, all parties concerned have to admit that there have been casualties in Snapdragon's meal-time skills ettiquite.
My nipples take the purple heart here. They've been stretched beyone recognition, sucked and pulled into bizarre shapes as he suddenly arches his back like he's immitating famous buildings in St. Louis, pushes back with his legs, and turns his head. They've been bruised by bad latch gumming. They've cracked and bled, and in one particularly horrifying misplaced attempt, they've even found a small chunk missing.
Yes, there have been casualties.
Also among the casualties has been my will to keep subjecting body parts to the type of treatment Snapdragon tends to bring to meal time. But I haven't quit, and here's why I'm thankful.
I've gotten to the point where I'm inwardly cringing every time I bring him to the breast. Particularly the left breast. I'm cringing because I don't know if the latch will be decent or not. I've come to think of it as a spectrum of how bad is it going to hurt, and based on the amount of pain, I determine whether or not to break latch and try again, but I'm getting lazy. Since its the pain gamble every time, worse or better, better or worse? I always ask "is this really bad enough to risk something worse and having to start all over?" (Isn't that the mentality that keeps women in failed relationships?)
At the other end of the spectrum is when he misses alltogether and there's no pain at all. Then its break that suction and start agin too, tireder and more fearful than last time.
But today something else happened. Snapdragon opened really wide, wider than I knew he could, I pulled him in, he latched on, his upper lip visibly curling outward, and nothing. No pain, nothing. I look closer, can it be he's really on there and not somewhere next to? But yes, really really latched on. Perfect. That's when it happened.
I cried.
I was so proud of him I cried. The nipples may deserve a purple heart, but that boy is my hero.

2 reflections:

Pamela said...

i remember the day it stopped hurting with elliott. actually, i am pretty sure i remember it with all four of my short people. good day, that was!

Upstatemomof3 said...

Yay for Snapdragon!!!! It should be all uphill from here. Lovely post.