Well friends, it probably goes without saying but… My tits hurt.
I was gonna stop pumping. But then that mom guilt came over me again. If I have milk to give them, why not give them the milk? They caught up in size real fast, and they’re learning like crazy. What if that’s all cuz of the milk? It feels like I’d be robbing them to stop giving it to them. Dave keeps telling me that they’ll be fine on formula, and I know that.. But that’s not really the point. Plenty of women want to give their babies breast milk and can’t. I’m fortunate enough to have an abundant supply. I feel like I owe it to the babies to keep pumping. And all of those moms. Especially my dear friend Lauren, who died trying to give her baby breast milk. (Fucking Domperidone…)
Anyways… For the last week I have been in tremendous pain. There was a couple days where pumping kinda hurt, and my nipples were getting a bit chapped. I figured that was just a temporary thing, and that my tits would be back up to pumping shape in no time. I went from doing two 25 to 30 minute pumps a day to sometimes pumping just once a day for 20ish minutes. It didn’t seem like it was that big of a difference but.. Gat damn! So I started pumping for the 25 to 30 minutes again, twice a day, and as I said the nips were getting a bit sore. I ignored this sign, and about five days ago I pulled my pump cups off to reveal a horrific sight. My left nipple had a few medium-sized blebs on it but my right nipple literally looked like it had a small raspberry on the end. I almost had a panic attack! I didn’t know how the fuck to deal with it, but I knew I had to do it soon because I had to pump again in the evening.
Disclaimer: If you’re squeamish – Skip the next paragraph.
So I put some epsom salts and warm water in a shot glass and soaked my poor nip in that for 20 or so minutes. Then I had to pop it. It was mostly milk and pus, with a bit of blood (much less than I thought.) I attacked the blebs on my other nipple as well, which was much less dramatic.
All week has been.. Uncomfortable to say the least. I still have to do my pumps but fuuuuck is it ever sore. What I should have been doing is more frequent pumps instead of longer pumps, especially after I destroyed my poor nipples. But I guess I’m stubborn. And since the raspberry showed up I’ve been scared to pump, so I just keep doing two a day. I put polysporin on my poor udders once I’m done. Luckily my tits themselves hurt less, and it’s mostly just the nipples. Hopefully it’ll be only a couple more days before pumping is back to normal.
For anyone reading this and thinking “what the fuck! Is this going to happen to me?!” Probably not. Unless you’re a dumbass, like me. Remember that old joke, “a man goes to the doctor and says, ‘it hurts when I go like this.’ So the doctor says, ‘so stop doing that.’ “ I have been defying doctors orders. It hurts, but I’m doing it anyways. According to my midwife, I was also pumping too long (for a long time, but that kind of evolved when I went from pumping eight times a day when the babies were first born to eventually pumping 30 minutes, twice a day.) I think the lesson here is basically to do what feels right, and don’t push it. I somehow was able to still get over a litre a day while pumping only twice. I’d gone down to 400mL to 700mL when I was slowing down, depending how many times I’d pumped that day. I’m now slowly getting back up above 800mL in the last couple days.
So yeah. Listen to your nipples. Or your heart, or whatever.