Yes, just like Amber, I know you are all dying to know about the status of my boobs. (Rachael, take note: after the baby is born, all attention shifts from your belly status to your boob status.)
So. Thing #1 is, thrush. So far only evident on Gwen's bottom (what we thought was just a bad diaper rash). Her bum, her mouth, and my nipples are all being treated. Yesterday/last night was a complete gong show. She didn't sleep, I didn't sleep, by 5am I felt like my nipples had been chewed on by rodents and I couldn't. Nurse her. AGAIN. So I, you know, didn't. Instead I broke out the formula, in a bottle no less, and went back to sleep. When we got up to her screaming again 2 hours later, we discovered how bad the diaper rash had gotten, called Lillian, and she came over and diagnosed thrush. Hence the tender nipples. Sigh.
Thing #2 is, my appointment with the health unit today. The nurse (Norma) thinks based on a thorough description of my left-side pain that I might have an infection from the time, shortly after Gwen's birth, when my nipple was cracked and bleeding. She recommended a "triple treatment" of antibiotic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory, as discussed by Dr. Jack Newman here. (I was also pleased to see the nurse pull up kellymom.com during our discussion, as it's a site I've been visiting lately. The public health nurses use the same websites as I do! They must be good.)
Thing #3 is, breast pumps. I brought my manual pump to the health unit to get some assistance with it, and the nurse was really shocked that it wasn't working any better than it was. She let me try out an electric pump to eliminate the possibility that I'm just one of those women for whom pumps do not work. That possibility has now been eliminated and I am seriously considering the purchase of an electric pump. The one I tried at the office is an Ameda Egnell, which worked like a hot damn but is probably quite a lot of overkill for what I need. She suggested the Medela Swing which is $200 at Babies R Us.
(So, those of you who know stuff about breast pumps - Amber and Mouse, I'm looking at you - please let me know what you've heard or experienced with different brands of pump and what you might recommend.)
Conclusion: I'm feeling way more positive today, weirdly. Yes, I'm frustrated that we seem to be working our way through the list of all the shit that can go wrong with breastfeeding (and look! I forgot to even list infections of the breast tissue!), but for some reason I view diagnoses of actual problems in a way more positive light than I would a reaction of "Well, breastfeeding hurts, what can I tell ya," accompanied by shrugged shoulders. The bottom line is, if I do the umpteen things I need to do in order to treat the thrush and/or infection, it will get better. That gives me hope.