On Saturday morning, I sat on a couch as not one, but TWO lactation consultants stood over me staring at my right nipple.
You know what you don’t expect to hear from a couple of women who look at nipples all day every day?
“I have never seen that before.”
What are they referring to?
I have teeth marks on my nipple.
Let that sink in for a minute.
I’ve been having quite a bit of pain when nursing ever since Charlotte got her two bottom teeth. After ALL of my breastfeeding research indicated that there is NO WAY I could possibly be feeling those teeth while nursing, I chalked it up to the thrush I’ve been battling. (It goes away for a week and then comes back. It’s been fun.) THEN, I saw it—a very clear red mark exactly where those bottom teeth fall when she’s nursing and in the exact shape and size of those little razors.
But no. It’s not possible. Kelly Mom, La Leche League, and pretty much every other breastfeeding resource on the internet says that I will not feel baby’s teeth when she’s nursing unless she actually bites me. Particularly not the bottom teeth, because her tongue covers them.
So when I mentioned it to the lactation consultants when we were there on Saturday, they both immediately shot me down. No way, they said. Not possible. Gotta be something else. Can we see?
But as they stood over me and stared at my poor nipple, they both exclaimed, “That’s a tooth mark! I have never seen that before!”
Isn’t that every woman’s fear when it comes to medical professionals examining various lady parts? That someone will tell us we’re weird and they’ve never seen that before? And we all talk ourselves out of our worries by telling ourselves that these people have seen EVERYTHING, and they have probably seen our brand of crazy a thousand times and will immediately have all of the answers.
Well allow me to be the ones to burst your bubble, because I have tooth marks rubbed into my nipple. For real. And the best advice they could give me after ruling out a tongue tie and various other issues is to try a different nursing position and to maybe give it a go with the nipple shield for a while.
Now, if you’ll just humor me for a moment, please imagine me standing on top of the tallest building in Los Angeles with a megaphone screaming WHY ME?! WHY DOES THIS SHIT ALWAYS HAPPEN TO ME?!
30-ish years from now, I will be sitting with my daughter as she holds her first baby explaining how when I was a breastfeeding mom, I had to walk miles uphill in the snow BOTH WAYS. And you know what? I’m not even exaggerating.
Breastfeeding: 999999999 Molly: 0