Bad dreams, day care, and more than you wanted to know about my right nipple.

I dreamed I was going to do some sort of reading of my poems. I arrived with a stack of poems in a big box that looked like our dining room table turned upside down, and everyone at the reading treated me like some kind of crazed pariah. "That is the filthiest dining room table I've ever seen," I heard people gossiping to one another. "And are we really supposed to listen to those poems after she has let them touch her dirty, dirty clothes? Doesn't she ever do laundry?"

Sheesh. You'd think my subconscious could give me a break once in a while.


I mentioned that Ingrid's fantastic and long searched for day care is most likely closing at the end of the summer. We have two options in front of us:

1. Cooperatively run day care center nearby but slightly off my path to work. Fourteen kids in her classroom, two teachers. Rave reviews from many, many families. Four hours of "work" required per month. Advantages: Pretty close to guaranteed reliability and stability (it's been there 30 years). Worries: Is it going to freak Ingrid out to be in a classroom with 14 kids?

2. Small (5 kids, max) in-home day care run by a woman I sort of know through our early childhood classes. She has an early childhood ed. background and taught preschool for eight years. I know some of the kids who go there, and they are on the quieter, more mellow side. She has a long list of stellar references. It's two blocks from where I work. Advantages: Many. I am much more confident that Ingrid will be comfortable in this setting. Worries: She plans to be doing this for the next five years, but with a one-woman show like this I know anything could come up and then we'd have to put Ingrid through another transition. Also, if she or either of her two kids is sick, there's no backup and we're out of luck for that day (though she doesn't charge for sick days she takes).



Iris is cutting her top front teeth and as a result she has been nursing funny for the past week or so. By "funny" I mean "clench, clench, clench, chomp, chomp chomp." For a while this was only moderately painful, but during one of last night's nursing sessions it started to be really, really painful, and then this morning I noticed there is an actual open sore on my nipple. Which I guess would explain why it has been feeling like she's chewing my nipple off: She is.

I am so taken with the pain and grossness of this that it's all I can do to keep from telling everyone about it: "I have an open sore! On my nipple! My baby has been chewing my nipple off! Feel sorry for me and be impressed with my motherly dedication!"

More worrisome is that right now it genuinely hurts too much to nurse. And this, of course, is the boob that makes literally 90% of the milk. So poor Iris is cranky, and I'm worried my whole supply is going to dry up. I am pumping on the wounded side (which hurts a lot, but much less than nursing), but not getting much milk, and nursing her only on the uninjured but wimpy side. Other than Lansinoh and Ibuprofen, what else should I be doing? At this point I wish someone would just give me a hit of (insert name of nursing-safe extreme pain reliever here) so I could let her nurse on the milky side again.


  1. Youch! You are an extremely dedicated mother!!!

    Silicone nipple shield for nursing? At the beginning, I had a plastic thing that was like a bubble over the nipple to protect it, and then a silicone thing that fit over the nipple that milk went through. But that works for infants. She might chew it. My goodness. Certainly you need to say "NO!" and pop her off when she starts to chew. yikes!

    If it were your foot, I would say moleskin, but the nip is a bit different?

  2. I know, it seems like I should have somehow stopped this, right? But it's not exactly biting (not a sudden chomp, anyway), it's just constant, harder-than-usual nursing.

  3. I assume this is what I have to look forward with Vivien. For the last two weeks, she's started clenching with her gums. Hard enough where I have to pull my nipple away. Like you, my right side produces, oh, 95% of my supply. She hates the left. Just today, she refused to latch on.

    I was going to suggest the nipple shield as well, but I can see where it would still hurt.

  4. Boo nursed this way all the time, so I had a lot of open sores. I found gel pads to be the most helpful because they helped the wounds heal and prevented scabs that would just get ripped off at the next nursing session. They sell some called Soothies at the drugstore, but the ones I liked best were Ameda ComfortGel pads (I got them from my lactation consultant). Changing position was also critical to give the sore area a rest.

  5. Okay I am just going to ignore the part about the nipple being chewed off because, GAH! And also, yah, never doing that again fer sher.

    Moving on... I vote for the first day care because the possibility of a cancellation when any of three separate people get sick is just too much. You only go to work two days/week-- not good if you have to miss one or both of those two often. (Or is it flexible, and if you had to stay home on a day that is normally an office day it would be no big deal to go in on a different day when the day care is back open?)

  6. Ouch! I second the Soothies. Have you checked out Kellymom.com? And maybe some of that Nursing tea to help with production? (If you stink like maple syrup, i won't say anything.)

  7. I'm not much help on healing the sore, although I think changing nursing position if she'll let you might let you nurse while the sore heals. Or it might just let her open up a second sore.

    But if you're worrying about supply, definitely try fenugreek. That got me through several supply dips caused by changes in pumping schedules. You have to take enough to make your sweat smell like maple syrup (really), but it always sorted my supply out.

    I think the day care decision depends on how easily you can get back up day care on sick days and how much you care if you have to miss work now and then. But I will say that I wouldn't worry about the class size as long as they have enough teachers (which they must, since it is state law). Pumpkin has downright thrived since moving up to the toddler room, which was a move from a class size of 8 to a class size of 24 (I think, based on the number of teachers- I've never counted the kids).