When I was pregnant, breastfeeding seemed kinda weird to me. Hey, 8 months in, it still seems a little weird to me if I think about it too much. I've been so so thankful for that's worked for Sam and me, that Joey supports it, and that we haven't had too many issues. I have had some good friends be open to me about what it was like, but it's still different to actually be experiencing it. For some reason, it was one of the things that I often wondered about but didn't know how to ask other mothers about, being an intimate thing.
While I can enjoy the time that lets Sam and I spend together, it can be fun to know I'm needed, and I'm thankful for the nourishment it has provided him, it does limit freedom, can still feel weird, and adding teeth can be painful. Just trying to be honest, and add another perspective and experience :)
Sam didn't officially latch on until 6 days, and that seemed like FOREVER at the time. We tried over and over again in the hospital, often with nurses' help, and learned that Sam does not like being forced. Every time his head was pushed towards me, he'd resist. Also, he had a strong suck, but needed his palate to be directly pushed on, which was not going to happen with engorged breasts. So, I started pumping and Sam learned to take a bottle nipple and we tried the SNS tubing system. While super messy and frustrating, the SNS tube was taped near my nipple and at the other end, there was a bottle with a little device that would stop the tube. Joey would help me with the stopper so I could focus on the latch or trying to get a latch. Sometimes it would work, and it probably helped Sam learn, but man, it was tough. The lactation consultant at our pediatrician tried to help too, and I tried a shield, which Sam would just knock off. Every feeding, I would try to get Sam to latch, then we would do the SNS or I would pump and Joey would give him a bottle. On the sixth day, he just got it.
Since then, I've been really thankful that Sam will both nurse and take a bottle. He's had no issue taking a bottle from me or anyone else, whether I'm around or not. I know that can be hard for some. After the first couple of weeks of a lot of pumping and nursing, I was a little sore, but really not as bad as I expected. I would apply lanolin before pumping at first, and that seemed preventive.
I've been fortunate to not have any plugged ducts or anything. Sam is now at a point where he is pretty easily distracted and has never loved being under a cover, so I prefer to find a separate room when I can. His and my favorite position is probably lying down on our sides facing each other. Even not at night, I'll do this one a lot. Otherwise, I still use the boppy to prop him up. I think I have a longish torso and this helped bring him to me. I was a little large chested before getting pregnant, and I still often have to sandwich or hold a boob to help Sam, especially when he's tired. He doesn't bite too often, but he's got sharp little teeth (just two on the bottom so far) when he does, and it's hard not to react.
I think that's all I would have wanted to ask someone, but feel free to ask any questions. And I'm all for healthy babies, regardless of breastmilk, formula, whatever. I think we all do what we can.