Ali has been breastfeeding using a nipple shield since she was born. the first or second time she tried to latch on one of the nurses went and got one and told me to use it with her. When we met with the lactation consultant before leaving the hospital she said we should discontinue it’s use within the first week. The first week came…and went. The nipple shield firmly sandwiched between my boob and the baby’s mouth. Every feed I told myself I’d try her without it on the next one. It seemed so cruel to mess with a hungry newborn if she was doing fine. I researched long term effects of just saying "F*$% it" and nursing with the device. They weren’t much, mostly the possibility of a lowered milk supply but I didn’t have a problem with that. I tried sometimes to get Ali to nurse au naturel but no luck.
And then yesterday. I have no idea what changed but all day yesterday, last night, and today she’s been nursing fine on the boob alone! It’s kind of a relief, for a long time that was what I’d failed to do "right" as a mom. Also, it’s so much cleaner! No more little cup-thing filled with milk to spill all over me when she’s done. No more hunting for the device in the middle of the night. No more worrying about leaving the house without it and being stranded with a hungry baby. No more embarrassment when nursing in front of people. On the other hand, it’s as if she’s two days old again, as far as sore nipples in concerned. The next few days will be painful, but in a good way. Tony and I are SO PROUD of Ali. I don’t know how she did it…the difference between the shield and the real thing is immense and we’d basically given up. She’s such a little troooper.
Right now Tony and Ali are watching the Iowa vs. Penn State game. Go Hawkeyes! Ali is wearing her Hawkeye hat from her Grandpa and Grandma Carroll, and aunties Martha and Georgia. And yes, she’s soooo tired in this pic and is now sleeping in her daddy’s arms.