Monday, June 14, 2010


This post is about my breasts.  There will be no pictures.

Near the top of my list of Reasons To Sleep Train Willow was not having to wear a bra at night.  It's hot.  And just weird.  You'd think I'd be used to it after six months, but no. 

Well, Willow, she be sleep-trained (I'd talk more about that, only I don't really have much to say.  It worked pretty gosh darn well there for a while, but she's started backsliding, but either way it doesn't have much to do with me since it's Dave's job to get up and comfort her, not mine) and I'm still wearing a bra. 

Because Willow has never taken a bottle, we gave back our pump--it was needed by its owner anyway.  So my boobs had to go cold turkey on the night feedings, and they didn't much care for that.  They got engorged.  And one of the ducts on the left side stayed that way. 

I have tried everything.  Baths, warm compresses, massage, nursing in a weird 69ing position that Willow really disliked, and pretty much ignoring my right breast entirely.  Nothing works.  The lump, it is unchanged.  It has been suggested that I need to get a pump and pump at night, but dear God, that's annoying.  I made it through all these months without using a pump, but now I need to get one because my child is done nursing at night?  And I finally get to stay in bed all night long, but now I need to get up and pump during the night?  That's the most irritating thing I've ever heard, and I just can't bring myself to do it.

In any case, I think my breasts are slow learners.  The right breast--the basically-unused and unblocked one--gets crazy full every night.  It just won't get the message that its services aren't really required at this time.

What do you all suggest?  Short of buying the pump, that is?  (All right, if you really think the pump is the answer, say so, but I don't promise to listen).  I'm so over this.  It doesn't hurt, it continues to produce, it's just the threat of mastitis that's freaking me out.  Last night I dreamt that I was in charge of feeding the fish at some wildlife refuge, and I needed to feed them by--you got it--breast.  A fish came and latched on, and it felt all weird and really uncomfortable, and I was just kind of lying there underwater.  And then another, bigger fish, spotted the nursing fish and was all, hey, he's distracted and exposed and vulnerable.  I think I'll try to eat him.  And so he clamped on to the nursing fish, and the nursing fish held on to my nipple for dear life, and the bigger fish tugged, and I screamed, and then all these other fish came and started biting on to various parts of me, and it really hurt, and I thrashed about and woke up in a panic.

Good times.


Amy Bailes said...

You don't need a pump. As you've had lump for a while I would suggest maybe going to see your doctor. It could be an infection or another medical problem. Pumping will just keep your breasts producing milk when you don't want them to!

But... I'm not a medical doctor, so take any advice from me with a grain of salt.

I, too, was glad to get rid of the night-time bra wearing bit.

regina said...

I would reach out to the local chapter of La Leche League (which is a great chapter, btw). If they can't help, you may well want to check in with your doctor just to rule out any medical issues, though I suspect if you had an infection, you'd know it. I only had mastitis once, and it was painful as all hell, but I was counseled to "nurse through it," so I did. Ow.

Laura said...

Good god, that sounds awful! I really don't know. I night weaned so gradually that it was never an issue. Sounds good, right? On the one hand, no boob lumps. On the other, 2+ years of bra wearing. Good luck!

kate said...

Need post on sleep training.

Echo what above poster said - pumping will provide immediate relief, but will also tell your body to make more milk. Which makes things fuller.

Anonymous said...

I think you should go and see the doctor as lumps in boobs can turn nasty (ask me I know). Feeding in the daytime should be enough to shift it, extra feeding won't make any difference!

Nikki Van De Car said...

See here's the thing. It was, um, my doctor who told me (via email) that I should buy a pump. I do have an appointment, but I couldn't get one sooner than a month from now.

I've left messages for La Leche League, but we breastfeeders, we're a demanding bunch. I'm sure they're busy.

Amy Bailes said...

I've been thinking about you and this situation quite a bit. (No, I don't have much of a life, why do you ask?)

You said this lump isn't painful. Is it noticeable? By just looking? Or do you have to touch your breast to know that it's there?

I've done a bit of on-line research. Some people suggest pumping for about 5 minutes and each night after reducing that time by about 1 minute each day.

Others suggest just waiting - a couple of ladies said that they had a lumps that didn't hurt and after a few weeks the lumps began to get smaller and smaller. So, how many weeks have you had this?

Several people said they used massage, cabbage leaves and warm showers - all stuff that you told us that you've already done.

I hope that you don't think that I'm being too nosey.

Nikki Van De Car said...

Dear everybody and especially Amy,

Uhh, it's fixed. Just like you said. My broken boob resolved itself magically, between when I checked it earlier this afternoon and now. I made Dave feel around to make sure I wasn't having a manual hallucination (not a real phrase, obviously. And wrong, to boot. How do you say not seeing something that is there?)

Anyway...thanks for all the help, ladies! And at least now I know what to do in the future. And to chill.

Anna-Maria said...

If you get rock hard breasts again and you might whenever willow starts eating less from you, the tip I got was to get in the shower and hand milk out just as much needed for it not to hurt anymore and then get into the tightest bra you got (I used a sports bra) 24-7 until not needed anymore.