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Trying to hold it together!

(5 Posts)
mrsvgs Fri 11-Sep-15 16:54:13

Hi ladies of mumsnet. I find myself here because whilst I have a fantastic support network, I can feel myself slowly becoming more and more despondent and sad about looking after my baby girl.

She was born last Friday via forceps with an episiotomy and somewhere along the way I incurred an injury to my coccyx. I have no idea how bad it is (Fracture/dislocation/bruising) but it is utterly excruciating and there is literally no position that is comfortable - even lying down causes me distress. My husband had taken 3 weeks off (thank goodness) but Im already panicking BIG TIME about how to cope with this level of pain when he goes back. There is as far as I can find out, no real treatment for my pain, its just a waiting game for it to heal which could be 3 weeks or 3 months (or in some places I read about it seems could be never!). I have requested an MRI to figure out how bad the damage is, but Ill be waiting until after he is back at work before I know. The doctor upgraded my painkillers and they really help, but im so conscious that my daughter is now consuming them too and feel so terrible and guilty for it.

I have been breastfeeding my daughter, but within 2 days my nipples were cracked and bleeding and burning throughout each feed. I paid a consultant to come and walk me through things and she definitely helped me improve my technique but my nipples are already so sore, and the only position I can feed her in without crying out in agony is lying down. I have resorted to using nipple shields which means I dont dread every feed (at least in terms of nipple pain), but the very thought of stopping using them fills me with complete dread. For the last three days my daughter was regurgitating her milk and it was bright red with my blood. Today finally its not...but Im terrified to take the shields off! But then I read around and everything says they must be temporary and it will hurt my supply and my daughter wont recognise my skin and my smell and I feel horrendous. Has anyone else used nipple shields for every feed? My one consolation is so far she has only lost 10g, and the milk seems to be flowing well through the shields - she feeds every 3 hours or so and seems to get full (although of course, at one week old how much milk can she need?) Do I need to just suck it up and grin and bear the pain?!

So..basically Im in pain up top, in pain down below and I just feel horrible. I had such an easy pregnancy so in some ways this feels like payback, but I just dont know how to enjoy my daughter when Im in agony and tired and I just can't stop crying! I know these are all minor things in the scheme of it but I never knew it would be so hard sad

Purpleboa Sat 12-Sep-15 20:53:02

Oh you poor thing. What you're going through isn't minor. You're in pain, recovering from a traumatic birth and still trying to be the best mum you can. I think you're amazing!

But it's not normal for you to be suffering this much. I was just a bit sore after birth and had a minor tear, and still struggled. Those first few weeks are HARD, no matter what your physical state.

First things first: what's your support network like? Do you have regular midwife /health visitor check ups? Please tell them how you are feeling. They are there to help and support you. How about family and friends who can help when your husband is back at work? I suffered badly with the baby blues, and reaching out to others really helped.

Secondly, your pain level. You can't function like that. Can you get any temporary help in? Just while you're dealing with the worst of it? Your most important job right now is to be a mum, and you should not be alone - you need support from others.

Finally - the breastfeeding. Wow - sounds like you are persevering in the face of serious pain. You're obviously committed to breastfeeding and that's admirable. However, a happy mum leads to a happy baby. If it's a real struggle in addition to your back pain, I would say don't feel guilty about exploring other options. They do say stick with it for 6 weeks to get over the worst of it, but if it's causing you real misery, there is absolutely nothing wrong with formula. You have to put your sanity an health as a priority. I was lucky enough to be able to breast feed as the pain didn't last for too long but when it was there it was awful, I was in tears everytime she latched on. As for nippLe shields, I'm afraid I don't know much about them. But surely if your baby is getting enough of your milk then that's a good thing? Best advice I've received on motherhood: you do what you have to do to get through and keep your baby fed and healthy.

Not sure if my ramblings are helpful (sleep deprived with an 11 week DD! ) but you're doing great. I really hope the pain doesn't last too long xx

Considerphebas Sat 12-Sep-15 21:01:02

Just wanted to say I used nipple shields for 6 months (DS was probably tongue tied and feeding was agony!) We fed successfully to 1, at 6 months he did an extra big suck, pulled the shield off himself, spat it out and dived on no problem! Feeding was always slow but I think that was due to his tongue rather than the shields? Lots of people were negative about using shields but I just couldn't cope without then- I liked the Tesco/boots basics- nice and thin but protective! And used to stash them in my bra so I always had a set!

Good luck with everything else

SonjasSister Sat 12-Sep-15 21:21:22

Oh gosh OP, poor you! For heavens' sake don't worry about the nipple shields! If your babe is getting plenty of milk (and she is) and you are bf which is what you wanted, then great! Please don't beat yourself up about a tiny detail not going to plan. I promise you there will be one or two more such instances as the years go by....

The pain sounds awful; I am wondering if any local treatment eg ibuprofen gel might be something that could be added in without going through to the milk? I have NO idea I hasten to add, (maybe as its absorbed into the skin there 's no difference, but worth asking?)

There are also people who specialise in managing pain, ( as opposed to diagnosing bone and muscle problems, iyswim) - agin I know little so hopefully someone who knows more can tell you more.

Whwn your oh goes back to work after paternity leave is pretty tough even without all you are going through. Can anyone else come to stay for a bit? Please don't be afraid ashamed to ask for help. You need and deserve it!

mumtolittledot Sun 13-Sep-15 19:03:11

Thank you all for your empathy and kind words. It's so reassuring to just hear people say that I'm not doing all the wrong things. To add to everything I lost the last episiotomy stitch today and am left with a gaping hole that is leaking a bit of pus- it's a red cream colour (sorry) and doesn't smell but do I need to see the midwife or doctor?! Or am I ok to just keep it clean and dry?

On the bright side nipples are now fully healed and feeding isn't painful - I can almost enjoy it! I've found a comfy laying down position and if my husband rubs my back and thighs a bit while I feed it seems to help the coccyx pain. I going to stick with the shields and worst case if she starts to lose I'll supplement with formula as well.

You are all right that I need to ask for help more.... I'm so used to my independence and doing things for myself it's really hard to remember how!

Goodness they don't to u about all this at NCT do they. The aftermath of birth on my body is mind blowing!

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