When CIO seems to be the only viable option….PART 2

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I’m about to get into an all out boob discussion here, and it really won’t be the last time I do this, so if the topic of tits makes you uncomfortable, I would just recommend avoiding the entire category On the Topic of Tits: Titillating Tales of a Breastfeeding Mama. There, you’ve been warned.

So back to CIO and boobs.

There is nothing worse in the world of a breastfeeding mama than niplash. Well, maybe mastitis, clogged ducts, thrush, undersupply, oversupply, engorgement, inverted or flat nips, being judged for public breastfeeding, being judged for supplementing, trying to keep a wiggly baby from pulling off a nursing cover to reveal your boobs to onlooking bystanders, vasoconstriction, tongue-tie, biting, or cracked/raw nips due to a bad latch.

So maybe I should amend my initial statement. There are SEVERAL things that are worse than niplash, but dangit, niplash sucks!

For those of you not familiar with the term niplash, it basically is a word to describe every time your nursing child likes to suddenly pop off the boob so fast it hurts. This could be due to boredom, the baby being suddenly startled, undersupply and over-demand, or pretty much anything that can misdirect your child’s attention away from the perfect latch that took you 45 minutes to accomplish. I have been nursing for nine months with Baby Bear, and I still CIO every time she does it. Which of course makes her giggle. Not the reaction that I want.

I thought that the daily episodes of niplash were my worst nightmare, until Baby Bear started teething. Oh , hell no. Teething Baby Bear makes niplash Baby Bear look like rainbows and puppy kisses. In order to be proactive before those little razors started to pop out, I sought out as many articles that I could find that talked about what to do in case the baby bites me while nursing. I think that was the exact phrase I ended up typing into the Google search bar, in fact. That or “how to avoid biting during breastfeeding”. Either way, everything that I kept reading mentioned ways to just stop the nursing session and say “no” firmly , and that should just do the trick. Nineteen “holy mother fluffing mulberry trees” later, I began to suspect that all of those articles were a bunch of crock.

I’m now convinced that I have some kind of nursing PTSD, because I swear, as soon as I hear her cry, both my boobs and my tear ducts simultaneously let down. What once was such a sweet, bonding embrace has now turned into me flinching every time she latches on, or even opens her mouth towards me. I swear she has turned into part vampire or something. The worst part is, every time that she does it, she smiles maniacally. Well, maybe not maniacally, but it sure seems like it when she stares up at me with those beady little eyes and that wicked grin as I’m trying to nurture my bleeding nips. “Get back, demon baby! Don’t bite Mama! No!” And she just grins and grins as if to just soak up that title.

No matter how many times I say no and stop the nursing session, she still does it. Overall, that advice just makes me cry and hold my girls close and look at my daughter with deep suspicion that she isn’t enjoying this whole thing, truly. Giving me that cherub smile, with the sparkly eyes. It’s her cuteness that’s the bait, I just know it. She draws you in, just close enough for you to coo at her, and then CHOMP!!! You’ve got yourself a bad case of bloody tatas. I’ve even seen her do this to Papa Bear’s nose, except that when she does it to him, I find it way more hilarious. Either way, crying it out will have to be my coping mechanism until solid foods can take up the majority of her diet instead of the blood of her unsuspecting mother. Oh, strained peas, you’ve never looked so good.

So you can find Part 1 here, if you’re interested in reading more about my adventures with CIO

When CIO seems to be the only viable option… PART 1

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There have only been a handful of defining moments in my life as a new mom when I have truly considered using the Cry It Out (CIO) method. From the bits and pieces that I have read about this method, I have learned that this is an approach towards raising a child where parents try to teach their babies how to self-soothe when they are upset, instead of coddling the babies when they get upset. I always kind of understood this to mean that the baby cries and cries until just passing out from pure exhaustion, but hey, I could have that totally wrong.

So the first time that I wanted to fully utilize the CIO method was when I was in labor.

Oh, so you thought that I was talking about applying CIO to my child? Well now, how’s THAT for a plot twist?

Ahem, as I was saying…. the first time that I wanted to utilize CIO was when I had just gotten to 5 cm dilated, after 20 hours of labor.

My initial birthplan had included a nice, relaxing pain management plan consisting of visualization with soothing background music, a birthball, several hot showers, “talking through it”, and a birthing tub in the hospital that I would be delivering at. I should have called it my birth joke, because, despite all of my valiant efforts to uphold this pathway towards a natural delivery, it just wasn’t what I expected when I was expecting. Especially the part about my water breaking when I was only dilated to 1 cm.

I’m still not completely convinced that it wasn’t an evil practical joke when the nurses told me to “just get some rest” for the next twelve hours, since I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed due to them using prostaglandin versus pitocin to induce me, because it was “less aggressive”. Six hours later, with only slivers of sleep accumulated from my uncomfortable nurse imposed bedrest, I think I had finally had gotten to 2 cm dilated. This was going to take a while.

At about 4 cm was when I hit the whale noises. Fuck the soft music and visualization, I went full blown Finding Nemo Dory. And it seemed to help, until the exhaustion started kicking my butt, and I started fighting the contractions versus “going with the flow”.

I was whale sobbing at this point, because, even though I had stared adoringly at that birth tub in the distance the entire time up to this point, by the time I finally reached 5 cm dilated and would have been able to actually use the damn thing, I was ready to tap out. And a warm bath just didn’t seem like it was going to do the trick.

My attempts at self-soothing while Papa Bear was self-snoozing were not helping in the least. Which is actually better, now that I think about it, because if I HAD gotten to the point where I was crying and crying until I passed out, I don’t think that would have been in my best interest. So, as I attempted to have a cross-eyed, whale noise infested conversation with one of my nurses about what my pain management options were at that point, I decided maybe I should consider the epideral. So the first big lesson that I learned about CIO is that it can sometimes lead to unexpected epiderals. Or should I say, unexpected, it takes the anaesthesiologist three times to get the dang thing right, epideral.

TRUE STORY

At this point, Papa Bear had tapped out when we started talking epideral needles, and I had to rely on my awesome friend Tra-NayNay to hold me steady while the doctor attempted to get me all epideralled up. Yes, I just made that word up, and no, her real name is not Tra-NayNay.

Two hours after it kicked in, Baby Bear popped out.

What’s funny is that I never screamed like how television portrays a woman going into labor screams. I meditated, paced, tried the hot showers, crawled, whale moaned, sobbed, bounced on a birthing ball, but nope, never a banshee scream was uttered.

And in the end, I had the most beautiful miracle staring up at me in my arms. Totally worth every drop of that awesome epideral juice.