I have been supremely blessed by Hope and her textbook breastfeeding. She's had very few issues and thus, so have I. Until last week.
For some reason that I have yet to figure out, Hope is not so interested in my right breast anymore. For her, it's the ugly cousin she's been forced to take to the prom. The left one is the President of Student Council and just way more interesting.
I can dupe her by getting her on there in the night or if her room is really dark or if she is supremely hungry (any ole' port looks good in a storm). I've tried breastfeeding in different rooms, in different positions, with or without pillows, distraction and no distraction... none of those things seem to matter. I seem to be able to get her on there about 3 or 4 times in a 24 hour period. It is likely that my supply on that side has gone down a bit as a result.
After almost a week of this, I called La Leche League yesterday, the grandmommies of breastfeeding. The person I talked to confirmed that I was doing everything right in trying to figure it out and trying to persuade her to take it. They also asked questions about the health of that breast. That's what has put me in a bit of a state for the remainder of today.
I have a very small cyst on that breast. My doctor has told me at least twice that it is nothing to worry about because it is right under the skin and not in the breast tissue. She also said that no surgeon would touch it until I'm done breastfeeding. However the La Leche League lady (we'll refer to her now as LLLL) asked if I'd had it biopsied. Ah, wah? She said that there have been five cases (out of how many, I have no idea) of women whose baby suddenly stopped feeding on one breast where the breast turned out to have a tumour in it. That is the precise moment when my heart stopped. Just for a moment.
I know that it is entirely unlikely that this is my case but just for a moment, the movie reel that plays out my adult life in my mind spit the film onto the floor and the crowd started to get pretty surly. I talked about it with John who confirmed that I should call my doctor just to put my mind at ease and ensure that there are no breast issues and also that this is likely Hope just being finicky for a while.
The likely scenario is that my flow is a little slower in that breast. I have a wad of scar tissue in there from a squash injury from years ago (poor right breast, everything happens to you) and come to think of it, Emily was more fond of the left as well. Babies will often favour the breast with the faster flow. Up until now, Hope hasn't seemed to care but maybe she's decided that all this work is for chumps and she wants to sit back and have her milk margarita delivered to her without getting up from her lounge chair.
LLLL also suggested that I express a bit of milk first in the problem breast to see if that entices her to go for it. It seemed to help during the last feeding, as did a bit of distraction (a funky necklace around my neck - thanks, Pam!).
All this to say, when breastfeeding works, it's great, when it doesn't, it can eat at you to your core until you get it worked out. No one explains very well the emotional issues and attachments that go along with breastfeeding. Those are ours to find out the hard way.