| | |

my sweet nursling {my second breastfeeding journey through bleeding and a tongue-tie}

Share Wildflower Ramblings!

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about breastfeeding success stories. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 22nd through August 4th!


Oh, nursing your little precious one. Is there anything more snuggly, more pure, more blessed? Not to me. I was so grateful to nurse my first nursling for 19 months. We stopped when I became pregnant with my second and my milk stopped and dry nursing hurt so so terribly. I wrote about it at: Weaning my first-born.

It was bittersweet. I was so happy to be bringing a sibling into the world for him, but after our intense struggles with nursing after a tongue-tie and pumping for six long weeks before he finally latched, I was sad to see our “hard work” end. I wrote about our times together, mother and son at: Our breastfeeding journey, through a tongue-tie and Our breastfeeding journey, part two, through thrush and everything else. But it was his time.

And now, my son, John, is almost three years old. Not at the breast, but he is forever in my heart. I remember our times of nursing with great happiness and always that little “hold back a tear” thought. I miss it. I miss him so little – but oh, he is an adventurer now. He says and explores new things every day, how could I wish he was my little baby nursling again? He sometimes watches his sister nurse and I always tell him that he nursed at my breast too.

Remember when I nursed at your breast when I was a baby?” He asks me – oh yes – sweet love – I remember {tear}.

I let him “try” to nurse after his sister came, because he asked, but he didn’t know what to do and was then uninterested. I didn’t want to say, “no” to my sweet boy – and I’ve heard of toddlers picking it up again – but I didn’t want to nurse two at once – knowing what my painful experience would most-likely be again. And it was painful. But it is now sweet.


My second nursling

I am beyond blessed to have my baby girl. My sweet daughter. My sweet angel, sweet pea. She is beyond heaven. Her little face and smiles and wandering hands. She is a much different nurser than my son was. She started different – well she actually, started, at the beginning. And now, she is gentle and doesn’t bite me either, so now it is always pleasant and lovely.

It all started that first day. When May was born, {read: The home waterbirth of my daughter} she was slithery and wet and warm and she just wanted to look around – she didn’t even cry. Little gurgles, but no cry. When I picked her up, she laid on me and then daintily started fussing. I tried to latch her on, after all I had experienced with your brother, but she wasn’t very interested in the breast. She looked around and we snuggled a lot. I should have cherished that time more, but I was worried that she would be like her brother and that she didn’t want to, or know how to, eat.

After being stitched up and taking an herbal bath, she was finally weighed and measured, and then she fell asleep in her hammock, with me protectively falling asleep in the bed, right next to her. We got about two hours of sleep. And when I woke up, I put my sweet girl at my breast and she suckled! She had a strong suck and I was so thrilled. It hurt {a lot}, my nipples hadn’t done it for over 6 months! But she sucked and sucked. I was so happy that she was getting my rich colostrum, beyond happy and grateful to God, the creator of my sweet, sweet {and practical} breasts.

At night, my little girl wanted to nurse constantly – after all, she is my snuggle bug, and she just wanted to feel me close, just as she does now, 10 months later. I had her in bed with me some nights – putting her in her hammock in the middle of the night. I always made sure that no pillows or blankets were around her, but it was difficult for me to sleep like this since I worried about her safety and wasn’t able to fully fall into a deep sleep. But those first two weeks of cuddles were priceless. They are joy incarnate.

May ate every two hours during the day. My nipples became raw. They both became chapped and blistered and began to bleed. We called the lactation consultant, the one I went to with my difficulties with my son, and we made an appointment. I trust her completely, as she helped us so much with my son’s issues. I went in when May was two days old. She advised for me to have my nipples constantly moistened, to use coconut oil, which was soothing, as well as using Soothies.

Another tongue-tie

The lactation consultant also felt for a tongue-tie and, though it was not as deep as her John’s, she had a thick tongue-tie that was causing her to suck harder than she needed to.

For my son, we went to a doctor at the local Otarlaryngology department, on his seventh day of life. But for my daughter, I let my homebirth midwife, Amanda, clip it. I knew that she did them, but opted for the doctor with my son – I was scared to let a “non-doctor” clip it. However, after sitting down and talking about the actual procedure, I realized that she would take much more time and care and caution than the doctor ever did with my son. He clipped John’s tie in one clip – this leaves room for error – my midwife explained that doctors can get over aggressive with their clippings, and doing them in only one clipping can make them too deep.

My son’s tongue is fine now, it looks fine, and he has incredible conversational skills, so his speech has been positively affected by the tongue-tie clipping, however, I wanted to make the right decision for my daughter. And going to the doctor again did not {feel} right. Also, they weren’t going to be able to see me for another week – and my nipples needed relief sooner than later. She was sucking poorly and she needed help right then and there.

May’s tongue was clipped on her third day of life. Amanda did it while May was sleeping. She held her in her arms. I was sitting right next to both of them, and she slowly opened her mouth and clipped with a sterile scissors, using sterile gauze – Amanda did the small, cautious clipping about 7-8 tiny times before she felt that it was a satisfactory clipping. May never woke up. She never bled either. (John’s tongue-tie did bleed a lot – but his bleeding stopped fairly soon after it started.)

I will never regret clipping their tongues. For their health, so I could continue to nurse, and for their speech later in life. While I don’t know how they both were born with thick and long frenulums – it is most-likely hereditary – I am grateful that they were diagnosed early so that we could help them, and me. (I showed my tongue to the lactation consultant and she said that I have a slight tongue-tie – but I have never had speech difficulties and I studied voice performance/{singing} at school – so it did not affect my life.)

Raw pain

I can’t describe the pain of breastfeeding – though many mothers before and after me don’t need me to describe the horrors – it lasted for several weeks. The fear of brushing up against anything or anyone. The constant hunching over so no one would touch them. The wrath if my husband came near me. The checking of the nipple pads to make sure they were still moist and/or not leaking. Nursing isn’t pretty at the beginning – at least it wasn’t for me – and I want to share my experiences.

Other moms, blogs, {and books} told me that nursing was pain-free. Not true.  And I wasn’t “doing it wrong” — I had a different experience — my children weren’t ready at first.  I had to be so, so patient.  And oh, I prayed.


It can get better

The milk-filled swelling in my breasts came at about 5 days, but that pain was minimal compared to my bleeding and blistered nipples. I switched sides, every other time with nursing – this is what I did with my son. I prefer it this way because then she gets a very full meal on each side (with foremilk and hindmilk) and also my nipples had more time to rest, only being used every other time.

The pain was so intense that I remember every time she was on one nipple, biting my own hand from the intense pain and tapping my foot waiting for it to be over. I remember the left side having more of a cut than the right and thanking God when she was on the right side. I sat in the chair in the room for many nights. After two weeks of constantly lubricating my nipples, with coconut and calendula oil, something had to give – I decided to let them air out with no bra at night. That way, they became hardened and cracked, but they began to heal. My husband suggested doing this, and it worked.

My nipples slowly healed, and by the third month, nursing came easy, and by the fourth month, there was absolutely no pain. I am so grateful. She loves to rest on my breast after she eats, staring up at me.

Nursing is sweet

Now, I love nursing May. When we lay down, I love feeling her little hand reach for my hand as I guide her to my breast. I nurse her to sleep for her naps and nights. She sleeps on a twin bed mattress (with pink sheets!) in her room, so I can sneak out to do adult stuff, and then I come in once or twice in the night when she needs me. I often will fall asleep with her, which I love and cherish.

She nurses about every two hours, but now, with finally liking solid foods at 10 months, her nursing is more stretched out and she is nursing more like 6 times a day, with about once at night.  I will nurse her if she needs me (for comfort, on demand), but it is usually on a routine schedule, before and after sleeps.

When we are sitting, she loves to do the splits with her legs, and loves to grab her toes while she nurses. Sometimes, she looks up at me and smiles, but most the time she means business and she is done fairly quickly. Lately, though, in the afternoon, she lingers for a longer time, snuggling and getting the last of the hind milk, as much as she can.

She is truly the perfect nurser. I can nurse her in public and I don’t have to worry about her getting off and on the breast. She is not easily distracted. She stays on until she is done. I never use a cover, but I do sometimes put a muslin blanket on us to start, and make sure to have my tummy and top of my breast covered so I don’t feel overexposed. This is for my own comfort.

I don’t worry that she will bite me. It has only happened, unintentionally, about 4 times. John always bit me, all the time. He would bite to get off, he would bite to try to re-latch himself. So I always had to latch him – I’d never let him do it on his own. But not sweet May, she can get off the breast and latch again on her own. Her top, front teeth are coming in, so we’ll see if her “no biting” will still ring true.  She knows how to do it.  For now, she eats, she breathes, she has this.


Oh my sweet, smelling, soft angel. I love you so and I am not hurrying this nursing thing up at all. You can nurse as long as you little body needs. My love, my baby girl.


Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.







Photos courtesy: S.D.R.

Share Wildflower Ramblings!

Similar Posts


  1. Stopping by from the link up. This is beautiful. While my daughter and I struggled with nursing at first, we are now ten months in! I love your story and sweet words on such a precious topic! Looking forward to following your blog! (I had a homebirth, too!)

  2. Also stopping by from the link-up. I need to remember to be thankful for how smoothly everything went with my first. I only had a few days of pain, but once it was over, everything went great. I had way too much milk, but I would prefer that over not enough. My little guy was such a good drinker and only bit me twice I think and he even had teeth at 3 months. It makes me scared for this one on the way…it was such a good experience, can it go so well a 2nd time?

    1. Leah, Of course you can have another positive experience! Many of my friends have had no pain at all — blessings to you and your upcoming arrival ♥

  3. I’ve heard of how much harder it can be to feed with tongue tie. You have done so well. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
    I need to crack on and write my breast feeding post too.

  4. This was such a great read. I’m glad to hear that everything is better. Although I haven’t had to deal with tongue tie with any of my 6 children, I did have a case of mastitis. Ouch! And well some of the other discomforts that come with creating that nursing bond with my newborns. With all that being said, I LOVE IT! What we moms go through again and again, ha-ha.

    Stopping by from babies and beyond link up.

  5. I’m hoping with my second (if there is a second) it is easier, but I guess I shouldn’t count on that, huh? It’s so worth it to keep going, despite the awful, awful, worse-than-childbirth pain, though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *