Today was a day of mixed emotions for me. I found the hours from midnight until 9am long because Little Woman woke a lot for feeds during the night, and was awake for a couple of hours each time, so I got very little sleep and was feeling tired and irritable by the time the sun rose. My right nipple with that godforsaken crack was very sore and the thoughts of feeding on it again filled me with dread.
I tried to cheer myself up thinking that the homeopathic nipple cream, which I ordered on the advice of the lactation consultant, would arrive with the morning post and it would soon speed my recovery.
Shortly before 9am, the doorbell rang. The postman! He had not one but two parcels for me. But neither of them contained the cream I had ordered. I tried to console myself that the cream will be here tomorrow instead but I think I probably used up all my pep talks at around 3am. I wasn’t buying it.
An hour or so later, it was time to feed on the right side again and it took me five long minutes to latch Little Woman on. I kept flinching back from the latch, frustrating her and upsetting myself. Eventually I gritted my teeth and latched her on. A few deep breaths later and the pain eased. But when the feed finished I took one look at the red and purple gouge on the side of my nipple and burst into tears thinking of the feeds yet to come today. I knew then that I couldn’t wait until tomorrow’s post for the homeopathic cream to arrive.
I picked up the phone to my doctor and explained that I’d like a prescription for Dr Jack Newman’s All Purpose Nipple Ointment (APNO). He asked me to come in to see him so that he could check if the crack was infected. Thankfully it’s not, though I suspect it’s getting close. It’s been oozing a lot today. (And that’s every bit as gross as it sounds!)
I thought my doctor would have heard of APNO. After all it’s regularly mentioned on almost every breastfeeding forum I visit. But he said no one has ever requested it from him before. He gave me a real boost of confidence when he said I was doing well to still be feeding despite the crack. Though I had to laugh when he commented on how bad it is. If he had seen the crack I had when feeding Little Man (which eventually took four weeks of pumping and no latching to heal), he would think this one was nothing! I was surprised when he said he’d estimate that only one in twenty of his patients is still breastfeeding at three weeks. We had a good chat about breastfeeding issues and coping with feeding problems and we both agreed that many problems could be avoided if there were better support available in the first week in hospital.
It took about thirty minutes for the pharmacist to make up the cream. As soon as I got home I applied some, knowing that I had a few hours before I’d have to feed on that side again. I also decided that I’m doing myself no favors by trying to do without painkillers so I took some about a half hour before I anticipated the next feed on the sore side.
The feed was tolerable, but the crack still looked awful afterwards. I applied more ointment and hoped for the best.
Several feeds later, as well as suspecting we’re in the middle of a growth spurt, I’m pleased to note that the angry red and purple colour seems to be subsiding within the crack, and it’s taking on a healthier looking pink colour instead.
Please please please let this mean that APNO is indeed the miracle cure people make it out to be and that I’m finally on the road to recovery here!! I’m feeling hopeful!