Parenting

Three Weeks Old

Eleanor’s wants and needs are pretty simple at this point. She likes nursing, being held and rocked, being sung to, and sleeping. She hates being put down, being awake for extended periods, and pooping. She’s not all that keen on stroller rides or baths either.

Bath Time for Eleanor

She has definitely been keeping us busy. I don’t know if she needs the warmth of being held or if she just likes hearing a heartbeat, but she never lets us put her down. I try to put her down in exactly the same position I had been holding her in, but she always wakes up within a few minutes. It’s easier to just hold her and let her sleep on us than to try and console her over and over as she becomes increasingly tired.

mid-yawn

Adjusting to life with a baby has been fairly easy for me. She sleeps pretty well at night, waking to eat every few hours but falling back asleep right away. When she does wake for the day, she’s usually in a pretty good mood and I can set her in a bouncy seat while I take a shower, so we have a good little routine starting. And I haven’t experienced any of the ‘baby blues’ that I know are so common. Maybe I’m just lucky, but I’ve been so happy taking care of her.

The only difficulty I’ve had has been with breastfeeding. Nursing has definitely been a lot harder than I thought it would be and there have been days where I’ve almost wanted to quit. The latch-on is painful, causing me to cry along with Eleanor sometimes. I know that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt, but for me it does. I’ve met with two lactation consultants (one in the hospital, one in my home), and both told me that I’m doing it correctly. The second LC did say that Eleanor has a high palate and that I may just have to wait for her to get a little bigger and “grow into her mouth”. I think the worst of the pain has passed, so I’m just going day by day and hoping things improve soon.

2.5 Weeks Old

On a happier note, I want to start a little photo project with Eleanor. I want to take a picture of her each month either holding the same object or sitting in the same place (maybe the Eames rocker?). I think it will be great to look back at a collection of photos to see how she grows. :)

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233 Comments

  • Reply
    Kendra
    May 20, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Hi,
    Just wanted to make a suggestion about breastfeeding since I had the same exact problem you are having (my daughter was born April 4th). Medela makes nipple shields – bpa free covers that go over your nipple- and makes feeding baby pain free and latch on easy peasy.
    You can find them at Target and probably any baby store.
    I was about to give up before I discovered these and was dreading every feeding…now I’m enjoying it:)
    Eleanor is a beauty!!
    Good Luck!!

  • Reply
    veronica
    May 20, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    she’s adorable! that face is the absolute sweetest.

    where did you get that fabulous “when two people love each other..” onesie? my brother and sister-in-law are having a baby in a few months and it’d be the perfect gift for their upcoming baby shower. :)

  • Reply
    Elaine
    May 20, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    The monthly photo is a great idea. A friend did just that, in the rocking chair, and beside the baby put a scrapbooked page with a large number representing the baby’s age in months. It was a great thing to have in the baby’s first year album and you really get to see how much they grow in the first year :)

  • Reply
    Sarah M.
    May 20, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Dude, breastfeeding was soooooooooooo hard for me at first that my baby lost weight and got jaundiced! But you do eventually get the hang of it, and it is so fabulously conveniently heavenly wonderful, I urge you not to give up on it! We used nipple shields for about a month (until Isabelle and I got used to each other) and that really, really helped. So did the cream, so did expressing/pumping and so did sheer persistence. Get some good movies to watch while you nurse… those hour-long sessions in the beginning will eventually drop to five minutes.

    And then she got teeth early and started biting.

    Gaah, taking a photo of her every month in the same setting is such a good idea! I wish I’d thought of it! We take one photo every day, but it’s a lot to sift through on the back end…

  • Reply
    Megan C.
    May 20, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Hey,
    I’m not a mom yet but I do have quiet a few friends who are and from them I’ve learned a lot. From this I’ve learned that there are such things as nipple guards. They’re like the top of a nursing bottle that you slip over your nipple to protect you from pain, cracking, and eventually bleeding. My friend who’s a first time mom asked her nurse if she could use them past the first week and they assured her that she could use them as long as she’d like. I would maybe ask your nurse about this option.

    Hope that’s helpful!

  • Reply
    Corie
    May 20, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    So glad to hear that you are doing well! Nursing is hard and painful at first but I promise, it does get better. Good for you for sticking it out!

    Eleanor is gorgeous. Thanks for updating us!

  • Reply
    April
    May 20, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I love that idea! The Eames chair would be sweet!

  • Reply
    Kathryn
    May 20, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I have been lurking for a few weeks but had to comment on your latest post because it’s a huge pet peeve of mine. Nursing hurts A LOT for most women (every one I’ve ever talked to) for the first few weeks. With my first son (now almost 3) it was about 6 weeks, with my second (now 15 mo) it was about 3 weeks. If you’ve talked to the LC and you’re doing everything right, hang in there. You’re both learning, your nipples are getting desensitized and toughened up, and she’s growing – eventually her mouth will get bigger and she’ll get better at a nice big latch.

    I love your photo idea – I wish I had done it with the boys. And, of course, Eleanor is beautiful! I love the name and those chunky little hands and cheeks are too cute on a tiny baby like that. She must be getting some good milk!

  • Reply
    Joelle
    May 20, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    She is a beauty! I had the same experience with breastfeeding (meeting w/ LC’s and painful, but correct latch). It was strange, but it seemed like overnight my little girl just figured out how to nurse. It is second nature to me and to her. It morphed from a painful experience to a wonderful, rewarding experience. Good Luck – but remember you are a good mom, breastfeeding or not :)

  • Reply
    Kim
    May 20, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Just want to second what others have said about breastfeeding – while it’s natural, it’s not always easy. Especially at the beginning. I had the same experience as you, but she & I got the hang of it eventually. And then feeding her became such a sweet time, little moments of quietness & peace to share together. Good luck! And if for some reason, breastfeeding doesn’t work out for you, you gave it a shot & that’s what matters.
    And she’s absolutely beautiful!

  • Reply
    sara
    May 20, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    she is beautiful!! congratulations! i will agree with you that nursing is so difficult and frustrating in the beginning. i wanted to quit on day 4 because it was so painful. i ended up trying it with a nipple shield (you can buy them at target or babies r us) and it saved my nipples!! and saved me from quitting….i ended up breastfeeding for 8 months. definitely try out the nipple shield if you ever have one of those “i quit” moments :) and don’t worry, you are completely normal – breastfeeding is hard for everyone in the beginning. and i have never met anyone who said it didn’t hurt at first. good luck!

  • Reply
    Christy
    May 20, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Breastfeeding hurts! I did it for a year. I find it really frustrating when people say breastfeeding hurts only when you are not doing it right. Not true! The good news is that it only hurts for the first few months. After that, it is soooo much easier than formula.

  • Reply
    Johanna I.
    May 20, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Must know where you got that adorable “When Two People” onesie.

    Oh wait…never mind. I found it (or one VERY similar) on Etsy, of course, but it is sold out. :-(

    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=20598740

  • Reply
    kasia
    May 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    YES TOE CURLING PAIN, about sums it up!!! keep at it. She’s gorgeous.

  • Reply
    Chocolate
    May 20, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    She’s the sweetest little thing I think I’ve ever seen.
    And she definitely looks adorable in that chair. That’s a sweet idea, taking a picture in that chair.

    My mom has all of my school pictures all over the house, and it is kind of fun seeing how you’ve grown. ^.^

  • Reply
    Thrifted Treasure
    May 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Your little girl is just beautiful!!! Keep going with the breastfeeding, honestly it gets so much easier, I couldn’t believe how hard and painful it was for the first month or so, I used to cry too and dreaded it, I thought it was just me till I joined a Mothers’ Group and lots of the girls were saying they had the same problems at first but then it was fine. And they were right, after a month or so, my son got the hang of latching on properly, and it was the loveliest experience, he used to stop breastfeedfing occasionally just to look up at me and smile and then go back to it, as if to say thank you. Then after he would fall fast asleep and use me as a pillow, the loveliest thing in the world.

  • Reply
    Melissa
    May 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    I have never commented on your blog before and not that I am going to say anything that hasn’t been said, but I just had to say hang in there too!! Nursing is challenging in the beginning and takes time to adjust. My advice, use lanolin (Lansinoh brand is great) after EVERY nursing session and also if you pump. In addition, you HAVE to get SOOTHIES gel pads and put them in the fridge – they are a godsend. Definitely buy 2 at a time so you never run out! I think i used them for the first month or more. And as so many other moms have said, it does get easier, as in less painful. Though sure to be other challenges along the way. Always remember this – NEVER QUIT ON A BAD DAY!! Nursing has been the most rewarding experience for me and I am so happy that tomorrow I will hit my goal of nursing my daughter for a year. I enjoy it so much that I’m not sure when we’ll quit. Good luck and just take it 1 day, 1 nursing session at a time – that’s what I did!

  • Reply
    Cheryl Ann
    May 20, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    I haven’t read any of the other comments, but here are my thoughts. First, I like both ideas. One picture of her each month in the rocker, one with a certain object. Both will be valuable. My son died in a car wreck at the age of 24, I would love the pictures and someday so will you regardless of the circumstances. Especially if the object is UNIQUE. My daughter is 19 and I would love the same pictures of her!! SECOND nursing is very dependant on the baby. My son ~ easy. My daughter ~ not easy. Even the nurses in the hospital called her a “piranha” (which I thought amusing at the time) and my pediatrician told my nine year old son “Keep the pacifier in her mouth at all times” which I found AMAZING since I thought it was distained. She did have HICKIES on her own arms from where she sucked! So, I gave up nursing (which I LOVED with my first child and was SO successful) and went to formula after 6 weeks. Listen to your mother and your own heart and it WILL be your guide on all that is to come….
    Cheryl Ann

  • Reply
    Michelle
    May 20, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    No one told me how difficult breastfeeding would be either. Of course after, everyone always says, “oh, me too!” Hang in there. Take it one day at a time and I promise, it will get easier. Those days that you’re miserable, sore, and cracked are short lived. Really. Even though it really doesn’t feel like it at the time. You and she will find your groove.

  • Reply
    Erin
    May 20, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I also had lots of pain nursing. I’d have tears streaming down my face during the process. I constantly read that “nursing shouldn’t hurt”, but I’m here to tell you: it hurts. It will hurt for awhile. It took me SEVEN WEEKS before it stopped hurting. After that, it was a joy. Before that, a nightmare. Do it as long as you can, but don’t kill yourself over it. One thing I did was pump instead of nurse to give myself some time to heal. She started drinking breast milk from a bottle at only three weeks and she had no problems switching back and forth. I wound up nursing for the first year of her life, and I’m so glad I stuck to it until it stopped hurting. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Valentina
    May 20, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    She is so beautiful! love the pictures :) I can’t tell you anything about breastfeeding because I don’t have kids, BUT I had 3 “news mamas” friends and saw those girls crying for the pain. They said is not easy but always get better ;)

  • Reply
    Cheryl Ann
    May 20, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    I also had a friend that took her baby’s picture for all of her preschool life at exactly the time of her birth each month, no matter where they were. Interesting idea, worthy of effort.
    Cheryl Ann

  • Reply
    Vanessa
    May 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Breastfeeding was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’d heard it’d be a little uncomfortable to somewhat painful for the first couple weeks. But after weeks of feeling like shards of glass were tearing up my boobs, I finally realized it shouldn’t hurt THAT much. I met with several lactation consultants of varying degrees of militancy to no avail. According to them, I was a pro and my son, August, was a natural. It seemed I was doomed to many months of toe-curling pain until my fellow new mama friend told me about thrush, a yeast infection. Some symptoms include excruciating pain (check!) and white stuff in your babe’s mouth. I never saw any yeast, but the pain was enough reason for me to discuss it with my doctor. She wrote me a prescription, and the next day, NO PAIN. I kid you not. Look into it. Good luck. And Eleanor is beautiful!!

  • Reply
    Anna
    May 20, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    As Kelly mentioned, make sure that you don’t have breast thrush as its very painful, and hard to get rid of.

  • Reply
    Robyn
    May 20, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Hi Nicole
    I love the photo project idea!
    My mom did the same thing with my little brother when he was born, and shot him every month sitting in a chair holding a stuffed animal. The photos are absolutely adorable, and it’s nice to have a way to see them grow up like that :)

  • Reply
    Cheryl Ann
    May 20, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    What about an item that symbolizes Mom and Dad? Or just one? NOT a baby thing….i.e. something pink or something that represents Brandon?

  • Reply
    Courtney
    May 20, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Oh Momma, she’s GORGEOUS! Motherhood seems to be agreeing with you quite nicely. Now if only she could hurry up and grow into that mouth of hers…

  • Reply
    Cheryl Ann
    May 20, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    An item that when she is 16 or 18 she might think is COOL…

  • Reply
    Cheryl Ann
    May 20, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    btw, I vote every day….

  • Reply
    Heidi
    May 20, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    I vote Eames rocker!

    And, with the crying if she isn’t being held, you need to break her of that habit before it’s too late. It’s really hard to do so, but you really need to let her cry it out. She will learn to sooth herself and be a much happier, independent baby.

  • Reply
    Laura
    May 20, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Oh, she is gorgeous. I miss those tiny little baby days.

    Your breastfeeding experience thus far sounds like mine. What worked for me: 1) Nipple shield when the pain was too much – used on and off for about 4-5 weeks; 2) Gel pads; 3) Having the LC validate that I was doing it “right” and that baby would grow into it (which she did around 5-6 weeks); 4) Knowing I would still be a great mom whenever I decided to switch to bottles. Worked for 13 months!

  • Reply
    Brittanie
    May 20, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    I had absolutely painful experience with breastfeeding, so I happily turned to using a Medela pump and then feeding my son the milk out of a bottle. I still felt like I was giving him what his little body needed, minus the pain on my end. Much easier to keep track of the amounts too. You’re doing wonderfully, and you have a gorgeous little girl. Thank you for the constant inspiration you are, as an amazingly creative lady and a spunky mom!

  • Reply
    Becky @ Farmgirl Paints
    May 20, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Sounds like you are doing everything right. Don’t be afraid to let her fuss. My doctor always told me that a baby never died from crying too much. That always made me feel a little better. I always tried to put mine to sleep, when they were a little older of course, awake. It seemed to help them figure out how to go back to sleep on their own. She’s just a doll baby!

  • Reply
    Jenny
    May 20, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    I love the Eames chair idea! I wish I had done something similar. I have an 11 month old (turns 1 in about 3 weeks) and sometimes I forget how she looked/smelled, etc as a tiny baby – she’s turning into such a little girl now. Just enjoy every day. And don’t stress about the breastfeeding, if it works it works, if it doesn’t it doesn’t. Too many people put too much stress on new moms and it just isn’t fair. Sounds like I was in the minority as I had no issues except for a blocked milk duct one time – my kid was a champ eater (which is also why I stopped breastfeeding when she was 6 months – we’ll just say my husband always refered to our daughter as a “violent eater” – which was fine until the teeth came in – OUCH).
    Anyway, she is beautiful and remember everyone has and opinion, but do what feels right for you and your family!

  • Reply
    Jennae @ Green Your Decor
    May 20, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    She looks really happy and content. But I feel your pain, both from the feeding and from not putting her down. My daughter absolutely refused to sleep anywhere but my or my husband’s chest until she was about 3 months old. It was sweet, and I loved the closeness, but it was really tiring. As for breastfeeding, I lasted exactly 3 days because I couldn’t take the pain, so I commend you for continuing through it.

    And like so many others, I vote for the Eames chair. You won’t misplace it, and it’s likely to be in the family until Eleanor grows up, and probably longer :)

  • Reply
    Diana
    May 20, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Oh my gosh, she is absolutely beautiful! You two definitely “made something lovely.” :o)

  • Reply
    Yvonne
    May 20, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Oh she’s just so sweet. Ha to sahre the phote with my hubby(a proud grampa)who was sitting here watching the ballgame. He said “aw, she’s pretty”. Enjoy this quiet peaceful time, her cries will grow louder, but your love for her will grow stronger each day as she does. This time with her is so special that you will always cherish it. Take LOTS of pictures and video.
    love,
    Vonnie

  • Reply
    Yvonne
    May 20, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Must be tired, my spelling stinks tonight.

  • Reply
    Estelle
    May 20, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Nursing was SO hard for me with my first and I thought about quitting everyday. Things got easier and with my second baby I knew the hardest time would pass. But it is painful. All remember is curling my toes so tight and gritting my teeth every time my son would latch on. It does get easier. And you’ll be so glad (for so many reasons) you stuck to it. Thanks for sharing. I love your blog.

  • Reply
    Estelle
    May 20, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    …Oh and…my vote is for the Eames chair too. ;)

  • Reply
    Miss B
    May 20, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    You are so creative, of course that’s an amazing photo project, she is lucky that you are so thoughtful. I can not believe it has been 3 weeks already…

  • Reply
    Sara
    May 20, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    I did the photo project with my son. I put in a chair with a stuffed bear next to him. It was so neat to see how he grew every month.

  • Reply
    kim de montreal
    May 20, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Nicole! You are amazing, thanks for posting this. All I’m going to say is; do not give up breastfeeding. It is absolute hell for the first month, each and every feeding is absolute leg kicking, toe wiggling torture! but when it stops hurting it’s amazing and it WILL stop hurting. My neighbor who had 4 kids told me “if you want to, you can” and that’s what kept me going.
    For the monthly photos; you need to put her age in the photo somehow, because you’ll get confused when you have other kids and you look back. You can make a pretty sign for her to hold every month that says how many months she is.
    Congratulations again!!!

  • Reply
    Shaunna
    May 20, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    You have such a lovely daughter :)

    Get in as many snuggles as you can! My little girl (9 months) doesn’t like to be held to fall asleep any longer and I miss those close, quiet snuggly moments dearly! I remember wishing I could “get things done” when she was sleeping ON me in those early weeks, but now I’m glad I let the chores pile up and didn’t bother with a shower EVERY day simply for the snuggles! SO worth it!

    I also remember those early weeks of nursing that were accompanied by sweat, blood and tears … but DO try to stick with it – it gets SO much easier in just a short time. Trust yourself and your body – you were MADE for this! There are a lot of people rooting for you (excuse the pun!) and just by the # of comments on this one post, a lot of great advice to sift through!

    What saved me in those early weeks:
    * APNO Cream (All Purpose Nipple Ointment) Google it. Then get it prescribed. It’s safe and it was AMAZING. I used it for one week and never needed it again – but it got me through the worst part of my nipples “toughening up”.
    * A Breastfeeding-specific Mom’s group. La Leche League or other local nursing groups. I had a “support mom” through my local group and I had her home # and could call her whenever I had questions or concerns. Like when we were dealing with a nasty bout of thrush; when my daughter didn’t poop for 10 days (I didn’t know that could be NORMAL for breastfed babies!?!?); etc. etc. etc.

    Sometimes just hearing that you’re doing something RIGHT helps and sometimes just being able to TELL someone you’re doing something right helps! You’re a new, nursing mom. Already a super-mom, whether you feel like one or not :)

    Blessings and may the sweet moments and sound sleep continue!

  • Reply
    Gwen
    May 20, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    ohhhhhh sweetie,
    How lucky you are to be relishing this special time with your very first baby. I have to admit that I am a bit jealous since my babies are 16 and almost 19 yrs. old!. People would tell me that this time would go by fast but I didn’t believe it. It really really does. I love the photo of Eleanor on your Eames rocker. You have already gotten a lot of valuable advice so I’ll just simply say Enjoy. Looking back on this time someday will make you realize how precious it is!
    Gwen

  • Reply
    luuvely
    May 20, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    hey nicole…she is a SUPER DUPER CUTIE! the eames chair is a wonderful idea…ive taken monthly pictures of my son since birth..and he is now 5…some months when i look back..he doesn’t look like has changed a bit and then all of a sudden ill look at a picture and wonder where all the time went!..it will be a wonderful project..mostly for you! lol…when she is about 4 years old and saying “i can do it myself” you’ll want her back in baby form! lol

    about the breastfeeding..i TOTALLY agree with the others when they said lanolin…i honestly didn’t want to “toughen” my nipples (wow..that sounded really crazy lol)..but another commenter said that..i want it to be a natural progression…the lanolin really helped…my son never ever minded the taste of it..and omg was it soothing..like you and the others i was in pain for the first few weeks only because “he wasn’t doing it correctly” i was told that by one of my lactation specialist…but once he latched on..it was a dream…he was and still is my perfect little blessing!

    and btw…holding her…KEEP HOLDING HER…i probably held my son from sun up to sun down! i got a LOT of lip service from my mother and sisters about it…but it never stopped me..and besides…who wants a crying baby??! i didn’t…he rarely cried…and it made our bonding time soo much sweeter :)

    that was super lengthy..lol sorry…

  • Reply
    Erin
    May 20, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    First, good for you for sticking with nursing despite the difficulties. It does get better. Second, darling picture of Eleanor in the rocker. Just one little bit of food for thought (that comes from the mom of a VERY busy almost 11 month old). I do every month pics with my son and I take them with an object. I have found that once he became mobile, it is darn near impossible to get him to sit still in a chair long enough to get his picture as the first thing he wants to do once I set him down is take a nose dive off of the seat. Just a little something to consider before choosing the Eames rocker for your location (although she does look stinking adorable in it right now). :o)

  • Reply
    AussieMum
    May 20, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    She is just gorgeous. Feeding was the hardest part for me.

  • Reply
    Laura
    May 20, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Another lurker de-lurking to say that Eleanor is gorgeous. Nursing is painful at the start. It took me about 6 weeks to be comfortable. After that it was easy-peasy and I nursed my first son for 20 months and my second for 15. Please know that it will get easier and non-painful.

  • Reply
    Desiree Fawn
    May 20, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Beautiful! One thing that REALLY helped my breastfeeding career was the Jack Newman medicated nipple cream. It’s worth it’s weight in gold and saved me from quitting when I was in so much pain I was in tears.
    :)
    I hope all goes well and that feeding soon becomes a breeze — it took us about 3 months to get REALLY good at it :)

  • Reply
    Carrie
    May 20, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    I had a similar experience when we first started breastfeeding because I had flat nipples (plus new mamas are using them–for their intended purpose anyway–for the first time ever!)… after a few weeks the pain subsided and 15 months later we’re still breastfeeding up a storm.

    I am so glad the transition has been smooth for you. That really is amazing!

    Hope the breastfeeding gets easier and easier…

  • Reply
    kate
    May 20, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    i love the idea of the Eames chair photos…you can continue once she sits up…all the way until you shoot a photo of her holding her baby!! how cool would that be?

    breast feeding: i hear you sista. it was super hard for me too. but i was determined to stick with it. get some good cream and remember – this is both of your first times doing this – and there is a learning curve. but once you get past it (and really -those days are distant memories now) – it’s SUCH a beautiful thing on so many levels. my son is 14 mo old and though he only nurses about 3-4 times a day now – they are some of my most precious times with him(sometimes sweet, sometimes goofy, sometimes sleepy, sometimes wide awake…and sometimes i read US weekly – ha!).

    warmest wishes for it to get better soon. i’d say it took 4-6 weeks for me….

  • Reply
    allison
    May 20, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    NIPPLE SHIELDS!!! They are a MUST if it’s painful for the latching and nursing. I believe Medela makes them, and they look strangely like clear pasties :) They will get you through until she grows into her high palate. I totally understand your pain, and I have yet to forget the pain I had before the shields…two years later, I say this!! Seriously, life, er, nipple saver! Good luck and congrats! She’s gorgeous!!

  • Reply
    Noelle Buttry
    May 20, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    It does hurt! A lot! I was never so happy as when, at 6 weeks, my doctor looked at me and said, “Why don’t you quit? It won’t hurt her at all.” I felt like I had been freed! Good luck with all of it, whether you persist or quit. She is certainly a beautiful little baby!

  • Reply
    casapinka
    May 20, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Congrats!!!! I found nursing so painful and difficult both times. The first time I made it to 3 months and felt terribly guilty for giving up. The second time, perhaps two months but less guilt. We all just doing our best and you are doing great. What a beautiful little angel you have.

  • Reply
    Christina
    May 21, 2009 at 12:07 am

    My baby is five months old and I am sorry to say that he still wakes up if you put him down when he is asleep! However, when he was a bit older than three weeks, he got better and being put in his cot sleepy and falling asleep on his own, so I would say hang in there! I hope you don’t mind all the advice! I’m sure lots of other comments have said this, but it does hurt! I’m still breastfeeding now, but at first my nipple were sooooo sore and then he started to want a feed every hour and I was ready to quit! Luckily I got a cream for my nipples, a dummy for the baby and my nipples recovered! Don’t feel quilty if you do stop. The nurses told me that any amount of breast feeding is better than none. She’s your baby. Regardless of all the advice in the world, you need to do what is right for the both of you. Happy mum equals happy baby!
    PS. I like the chair idea too. :)

  • Reply
    Alexis
    May 21, 2009 at 12:17 am

    I also used the nipple shields until my daughter (91/2 months) was about 5 months. I WAS IN TEARS every time she nursed and one of my very best friends told me to just give it a month and it will get better… not to give up. It got better after about 2 :) But I am still nursing her today and it seems to be the best thing for her. She is a healthy happy baby and the bonding experience is amazing. My supply is starting to dwindle and I think she is weaning herself but Just the sound of the word “formula” freaks me out… they should have called it “familk” or something not so scientific sounding.

    We have one of those medicine balls, and I would sit on it with Adella and gently bounce her back to sleep, it was the only thing that worked and I highly recommend them, you get a little work out in as well.

  • Reply
    Heather
    May 21, 2009 at 12:41 am

    So adorable! Hang in there with the nursing if you can. It was really painful for me during the first 3-4 weeks and it took a full 8 weeks before it started to get easier in general. I just weaned my son at 13 months, and it was hard work but so worth it! I also did a similar photo project, and I love those photos so much! Not only can you see how he grew, but you can really see his emerging personality with each monthly photo. Have fun and enjoy!

  • Reply
    Jo
    May 21, 2009 at 1:30 am

    Nicole you are so much like I was with my first child! Keep up the effort – feeding is difficult for at least the first month but well worth it eventually.
    Photo project sounds great!

  • Reply
    KellyA
    May 21, 2009 at 1:32 am

    I am delurking to say that I completely understand about the nursing. Pumping is always good, and the nipple shields are great. We used to feed my son (now 9.5 years old) with a formula tube taped to our pinky fingers. It does get easier, but don’t beat yourself up about it. You are obliviously a great mom. Good luck to you.

  • Reply
    Bethany
    May 21, 2009 at 2:02 am

    I say use the eames rocker. It sorta resembles a belly…

    Breast feeding is difficult for most I’d say. We just don’t talk about it much – thankfully that’s changing.

    If you have any issues with over-supply please message me. I found a natural cure through a random nurse. I couldn’t find help anywhere else… it totally saved my life! (or at least our breastfeeding partnership!)

  • Reply
    samarahuel
    May 21, 2009 at 2:15 am

    As far as breastfeeding goes, I am having a baby in September, and my mom, who birthed and breastfed 5 babies, has already been giving me advice. You say it shouldn’t hurt, but my mom (and some books I’ve read) said that it will hurt for the first 6 weeks or so and that is normal. You just have to be tough and make it through. She also said to resist the urge to pump even if you’re feeling full, because emptying the breast just triggers it to produce more milk. Let the baby set the schedule, she says. I plan on feeding from the breast exclusively, if I can, because if you pump and feed the baby breast milk from a bottle, even though they are getting more nutrients than they would from formula, the artificial nipple will just make it harder for them to learn how to nurse on a breast properly, because they are two completely different ways of sucking. Milk will flow faster from a bottle too, which will make the baby frustrated at the breast when they have to work a little harder.

    Sorry if that was TMI or just annoying coming from someone who has never had a baby or nursed. I’m sure I will be coming back here for encouragement myself in a few months! Eleanor is so cute; I’m glad you have the time to enjoy her.

  • Reply
    Charla @ For the Sake of Time
    May 21, 2009 at 3:45 am

    The pictures are just precious. Do the best you can with the breast feeding and then don’t beat yourself up over it. That is not the deciding factor as to whether or not you are a good mother. I know many wonderful mothers who just couldn’t do it. Also, I love the rocker idea. She looks very content there.

    Charla

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    May 21, 2009 at 5:52 am

    I’m due with our first at the end of June and have been reading up on Attachment Parenting by Dr. Sears. His theory on babies wanting to be held all of the time is that they go from the womb, where they’re “held” all of the time, to the outside world where they’re not. He surmises that they need to make a slow transition into this and highly recommends baby wearing with a sling or wrap. We’re going to try it out to see how it works.

  • Reply
    Bretagne ferienhäuser
    May 21, 2009 at 6:42 am

    Really good picture you got here. I really love it. It really makes me smile while looking at it. It feels like I am looking to an innocent angel.

  • Reply
    Martha
    May 21, 2009 at 7:12 am

    I can’t relate to the Mommy issues but I vote for the Eames rocker!

  • Reply
    Agnes
    May 21, 2009 at 7:31 am

    Hang in there my dear! Nursing can be so tough at first, but it DOES get better. I am sure all this advice has been given by your lactation nurse but just feed her regularly so you don’t get engorged and use nipple shields and lanolin and before you know it, your little sweetheart will be nursing like a champ and you won’t even feel it! Thanks for sharing the pictures of her with us! xoxox Stay hydrated and rest up new Mama!

  • Reply
    Natalie
    May 21, 2009 at 7:39 am

    She is just precious!! And I love the yellow onesy – what a hilarious and adorable saying! Congrats again on your adorable little girl :)

  • Reply
    Natalie
    May 21, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Oh I forgot to mention: have you heard of the “Slumber Bear”? My cousin’s baby was having a terrible time sleeping, so I bought her one of these bears in hopes that it would lull her to sleep. Inside the bear is a little audio box that plays “inside the womb” heartbeat sounds whenever the baby starts moving around. My cousin took the device out of the bear and strapped it to the crib. She said that the audio box sounds lull the baby back to sleep and since they beganusing it, the baby has been sleeping soundly through the night!

    Here is a link to the Slumber Bear at Target:

    http://www.target.com/dp/B0006M1B0K/sr=1-1/qid=1242909773/ref=sr_fkmr_txt_1_1/180-7485997-3332527?ie=UTF8&frombrowse=0&index=target&rh=k%3Asleepytime%20bear&page=1

    I hope it helps :)

  • Reply
    kristenv
    May 21, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Oh, hang in there with the nursing thing! It took me around 2 months to get the hang of it (with twins if you can imagine) but once we found our groove, it was the ultimate fast food with no bottles to clean or pack! But yeah, it took some time. So enjoying your pictures!

  • Reply
    Alicia
    May 21, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Eleanor is the sweetest thing!
    I can only encourage you in taking hundreds and thousands of pictures of your little girl!
    Both my Mom and Dad took pictures of me and my brothers at every opportunity. These days I’m making a childhood-pix-collage of the three of us for my brother’s b-day. It’s so much fun looking through that old stuff and I’m sure my brother will love the present.
    So, what I’m trying to say is: That idea of yours is great!
    And since you’re such a great photographer you should print these pictures out. Digital photography sometimes keeps us from taking the time to really look and enjoy the photos we took!
    Greetings from Germany!

  • Reply
    justine
    May 21, 2009 at 8:42 am

    We got our son an Eames rocker for his 1st b day and photgraph him every year in it! Hang in there with breast feeding, I thought it was way harder than labor with all my 3 kids

  • Reply
    Heidi
    May 21, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I love the picture idea (and your blog). I think I am going to copy you, too bad by new little one is almost 3 months. I think I am going to lay her on our Eames rocker today!

    Hang in there with the nursing, my baby girl is sitting here nursing right now. It is definitely not as easy as they say. If you are having pain at the beginning of nursing you could also try pumping for a couple of minutes first. Then your milk will have started to let down so the baby gets milk right away. The worst part of nursing for me was the 6 week and 3 month growth spurt (with my first baby). I thought about giving up lots of time but made it for 10 months with my son.

    I also recommend the baby wearing. We have a sling for quick trips out and a moby wrap for longer wearing periods. The moby wrap keeps the baby closer and tighter which makes it easier to move around. It takes a little practice but once you get the hang of it works really well.

    Good luck!

  • Reply
    Julie
    May 21, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Hi Nicole,

    First of all, I just wanted to say that I love your blog. I check it almost every day, but this is my first post.

    I didn’t read through the 170+ other comments to see if others already made these suggestions, but as the mother of two (a 3yo and a 1yo) I’ve been where you are right now and thought I’d offer a few things that were helpful to me:

    1. Nursing – it hurts at first. Don’t let anyone tell you it shouldn’t. But, it shouldn’t hurt so bad you cry, and the high palette might be the explanation. If your health insurance covers it, I highly recommend looking around for an outpatient lactation consultant. We have a great one in the Boston area that all my friends and I have used. You might have someone similar near you? Sometimes you have to try more than one to find a good fit.

    2. Sleeping on you – I had this same problem with my first daughter, and because I was a first-time parent and sleep deprived, I let her sleep on me. Which was great at first, until she got bigger and/or I needed to do something else while she slept. I highly recommend the Miracle Blanket. It it awesome! And you should be able to hold her wrapped in it until she falls asleep, and then put her down and have some time to yourself! (www.miracleblanket.com)

    3. I saw someone else suggested this already too…but I highly recommend a sign posted in the pics with at least Eleanor’s age on it (“I’m 1 month old today”). It’s so fun to look back at when they’re older.

    Good luck!

  • Reply
    Mixing Bowl Mama
    May 21, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Your girl is so beautiful…and I love the idea of taking her photo in the rocker. I have a friend who did something similar and she put a shirt on her child with a number that represented the age of her at each photo…2 months had a 2 on the t-shirt, 3 months had a 3 etc, so she would now exactly what age she was in each photo…it was cute!

  • Reply
    jja
    May 21, 2009 at 9:43 am

    “She sleeps pretty well at night, waking to eat every few hours but falling back asleep right away. When she does wake for the day, she’s usually in a pretty good mood and I can set her in a bouncy seat while I take a shower, so we have a good little routine starting.”

    Wow I want a baby like that! She is so cute and I ams ure she will adore photos you plan to make, once when she will be grown up, she can have such a great memories with those pictures :-)

  • Reply
    creative*type
    May 21, 2009 at 9:51 am

    yay! she’s gorgeous. i love the photo idea and glad you’re adjusting well.

  • Reply
    Valerie from Studio Rose Flash
    May 21, 2009 at 10:15 am

    hey Nicole,

    You have great advices here! My son is 2 weeks old, so I’m also in my debut as the official milk supplier in my family :) So yeah, it hurts. The first times where plain frustration for me (it’s not like my son and myself knew what we where doing!), and also, I was rushed to nurse properly at the hospital, my son was doing hypoglycemia and well, I was out of a C-section, so it all together failed!

    It’s getting better though, only the first 5 seconds are painful now. Lanolin ointments definitely help me, I put it on once a day.

    I wish you lots and lots of joy with your family :)

  • Reply
    Danielle
    May 21, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I love your blog. I just read about your NURSING issues and had to comment. I had the hardest most stressful time nursing my son who is now two. It was so painful and difficult. I have fingernail marks still in my coffee table from digging into it while enduring the nursing pain! All of the lactation specialist said I was doing it wrong b/c of the pain but once I saw all of them they said “oh you are doing it right.” So annoying. Anyway LONG story short, I kept going at it and eventually it really got way easier after a few months.I think when they are so small it is difficult to latch. Lessons learned… throw out the lactation books because they stressed me out and make you feel that you have ruined your babies whole life if u don’t nurse (so not true), don’t nurse more than 25 mins on each side, it gets A LOT easier and if your baby spits up blood- it is probably your blood. Kind of gross. Keep at it if you feel strongly about it, but don’t do it if it is making life miserable. I ended up nursing until my son was 14 months. It was a shocker and one of my best accomplishments!

  • Reply
    Gia
    May 21, 2009 at 10:43 am

    I think your design blog just tried into a mommy blog.

    The comments are great–so supportive and helpful. I, mom of a 3 year old and an 8 month old, picked up some tips.

    And I’ll add to the chorus of “Yes, breastfeeding hurts.” So much of motherhood is that way: lovely and ouchy. I think it’s nature’s way of helping women acquire the tools to be good moms: strength, a loving heart, and the ability to do things that make mere mortals faint.

    With my oldest, each time he latched on, I’d curl my toes to the point of cramping and hold my breath so I wouldn’t yelp. A wave of pain would wash over me (kind of like being in labor). After 10 or 15 seconds, I’d exhale, uncurl my toes, and reach for a magazine. Eventually, the level of pain diminished and disappeared. And just like labor, I remember that it hurt but it’s all a foggy blur.

    My advice:
    1. Hang in there. You’re normal.
    2. Find a La Leche League meeting. Even if you go once in a while, you’ll have a phone list of LLL leaders to call for expert advice. This will not be your only breastfeeding challenge.

    Remember, this is fun, even the awful parts.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    May 21, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Congrats on your new baby–she is adorable! And lucky you, you get to shower in (relative) peace! I have 3 little ones and still have a hard time showering without someone barging in! Breastfeeding can be frustrating, but your baby looks quite healthy and if she is growing and sleeping allright, then everything should be fine in the nursing department. And breastfeeding does hurt for a while and that is normal. But the pain does go away and you’ll be glad you stuck with it, it is the best thing for your baby and it burns 500 calories a day for you!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    May 21, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Just coming out of lurking to say breastfeeding *is* painful. It took 6 weeks before it felt comfortable for me to nurse my daughter. I’m so glad I stuck it out – I was taking it a day at a time and one day, I just realized that it didn’t hurt any more. Your daughter is beautiful. Congratulations!

  • Reply
    joyce
    May 21, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Yup…I’ll go along with the other moms..it’s painful for the first 6 weeks even if you are doing it “right.” It was for me (I nursed 3) and for every honest mom I know. I think people do a disservice to nursing mothers when they say it won’t hurt if you are doing it correctly…I know quite a few moms who gave up because they thought they couldn’t get it (it still hurt)…when all they really needed was the magic of time.

  • Reply
    Shannon
    May 21, 2009 at 11:01 am

    I had a really hard time nursing with my first. I thought we’d never get the hand of it and wanted to quit. I stuck with it though and was so glad. i nursed him for 20 months. I’m nursing my one year old as I type this.
    Tune in to all those cheerleaders around you and look at that gorgeous babe. You two can do it.
    Congratulations and hang in there. it will get easier.

  • Reply
    meghan
    May 21, 2009 at 11:33 am

    first time writer. long time reader.
    just wanted to let you know i am right there with you !!! i am a self-employed designer (in canada) and was due with my first child a day before you. David was born on the 18th of april and it’s been the most amazing and most overwhelming month.

    i too have been struggling with breastfeeding. i am determined to stick with it but have had to top-up feedings with supplements because he has not been gaining weight fast enough. each day I go back and forth with what to do and it has been a painful challenge both mentally and physically but i am hoping it gets easier.

    eleanor is beautiful. good luck with every day.

    meghan

  • Reply
    Aunt Jane
    May 21, 2009 at 11:33 am

    I applaude you for persevering with breast feeding. Way back when Sara was born (1971) I had to fight off the nurses in the hospital who wanted to give me shots to dry up my milk. Sara was never that enthralled about nursing and weaned herself at 10 months. Katie was a different story. She loved it and I finally weaned her at 14 months.
    Your photo idea is great! I would periodically write “letters” to my baby girls detailing their likes and their accomplishments. I also made a special book for each of them when they turned 3. They treasure them now.

  • Reply
    Meg
    May 21, 2009 at 11:51 am

    She’s beautiful and the rocker photo is perfect of course. Wouldn’t expect nothing but the best from you.

    Don’t kid yourself, nursing is painful – but it goes away. I remember pounding the bed everytime my first born latched on for a few weeks and he wanted to nurse all the time. I kept at it because it IS worth it. And it DOES get better. I promise! Remember that you are both new at this and it can take a lot of practice. Knowing that your amazing body can nourish such a sweet soul like nothng else could is comforting. You are very wise to say that you are taking it one day at a time.

  • Reply
    Yolande
    May 21, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I didn’t read the above comments, but it took about 3 months to get used to the latching on. Every time my daughter would latch on, I would curl my toes in pain. Many times I wanted to quit, but I persisted, and glad I did. This was for my 2nd daughter. For my first child, I pumped for a year at least 5x a day!!!! This is why for my 2nd, I kept at it- to avoid the 1-year-pump-a-thon.

  • Reply
    Sami Jemnkins
    May 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Not sure if anyone mentioned this yet – but what helped me breastfeed was having a breast pump. My LC suggested that I use the pump to give myself some extra recovery time — and at three weeks, we didn’t have to worry about “nipple confusion” — (which my LC said studies have shown to be a myth). In my case she was right. Pumping for a day or two allowed me to recover enough to reduce the pain and there was no problem with the baby taking the bottle for a few feedings, then returning to the breast.

    Those Almeda gel pad also were a huge help — I got mine from Amazon. If you don’t have any, put a cup of very cold water into a clean diaper place it over your chest (also works with hot water for a quick heating pad).

    Congratulations on a beautiful baby.

  • Reply
    Alicia
    May 21, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    What a beautiful baby! Such a cutie.

    I love your idea for the photo project—that’ll be a keepsake for sure.

    Congratulations!

  • Reply
    JLR
    May 21, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Nipple shields. Or pump and bottle feed – I rented a pump from a hospital – pumping is less painful and lets you heal a little bit between breastfeedings.

    Remember, nothing is wrong with stopping and moving to formula – if it’s all about what works for you and your baby.

  • Reply
    JDzJane
    May 21, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I’ve had three children and unfortunately I was only able to nurse my third child – which was funny b/c he was preemie and was tongue tied and he latched on right away. I was VERY inexperienced and none of the nurses or LC could help me. My BFF was the only one who (for whatever reason) was the only one who offered any help that worked. And it was horribly painful for the first month or two. But I hung in there. I learned that the pain was only temporary. I nursed until my son was 8 months old and I wish I wouldn’t have quit so soon, but it was definately worth the “pain”. Hang in there and you’ll get used to it. And I found lanolin to be a huge help too. Good Luck and Congrats on your beautiful Blessing. Enjoy her – they grow up waaaaaay to fast.

  • Reply
    Tove
    May 21, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Put some ice on your nipple before you nurse her. That and lanolin made it tolerable for me until I got toughened up. Hang in there!

  • Reply
    cvjn
    May 21, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    I’m “de-lurking” too, to quote another commenter. Your home is beautiful and your daughter is precious. I have 2 little ones (5 and 2) and I hope you are able to stick with the nursing. Once you get the kinks out (and EVERYONE has kinks!), it is very rewarding and relaxing.

    When I read about how much Eleanor liked to be held, I wondered if you have a sling. If you don’t, you should try one. They take a bit of practice to get used to, but you can hold your baby and have your hands free. It is wonderful beyond words. I wanted to hold mine all the time anyway, and the sling was so wonderful because it kept both of us happy. (Sling Tip: wear it around so that it smells like you before putting baby in it.)

    Best of luck with your glorious new life!

  • Reply
    jill
    May 21, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    A friend of mine took a picture every Monday morning of his daughter for the first year of her life. Said it was something to look forward to on an otherwise dreadful Monday. Since they weren’t pictures for the whole family or the blog, he took polaroids and then bound them together in a fat little book. So cute.

  • Reply
    Tess
    May 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Ok, breast feeding hurts. I watched my poor sister breast feed and every time Cady “latched” on I was wincing in pain.

    She’s still at it even though Cady is 1 and has several sharp little teeth!

    Eventually Eleanor will want to be put down. But you have to remember that just like dogs, she can sense your mood and if you’re anxious – she’ll get anxious. Try to relax and have a calm demeanor when you put her down to rest.

    Otherwise, just keep remembering that you’re the best mom she is going to have and how you do it is how it’s supposed to be done.

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    May 21, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Such a sweet looking baby. Congratulations.

    I also had a horrible experience nursing at first (and by at first, I mean the first two months). I still want to smack anyone who says that it shouldn’t be painful if you’re doing it right. Now five months in, I’m so glad that I stuck with it. I’m sure that other people have said this, but it WILL get better. It will.

    I don’t know if it’s an option for you, but if possible, try another lactation consultant (and maybe another if necessary). It wasn’t until the FIFTH lc that I found one that was able to give me actual helpful advice that reduced the pain. (The first four lcs basically told me that everything looked okay and maybe I just had sensitive nipples- hah!)

  • Reply
    Patti
    May 21, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Mazel Tov on your blessing!
    I too had a very painful breastfeeding experience the first go around. I was told that my son had a small mouth. I remember crying for the first five weeks and then like magic the pain just went away! :) With my second son it was maybe 10 days of pain… go figure. Each boy nursed for 12 months or so and I’m really happy they did. Now my youngest is about to turn 9 and I can honestly say the thing I miss the most about having a baby is the closeness of breastfeeding. I wish you much love and luck :) I think mommies need both!

  • Reply
    Kathy
    May 21, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Congratulations on your beautiful baby. I totally agree with the posts about using a sling, it’s great. I loved holding my babies more than anything. The best sleep advice I ever got was from the book by Richard Ferber: Solve your child’s sleep problems. I didn’t follow the “Ferber Method” to a T, but the first few chapters taught me enough about normal sleep patterns to help my kids make their own. Best of luck… oh and also, I vote for the Eames chair. Great idea.

  • Reply
    Izzy
    May 21, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Your baby is beautiful and clearly well-nourished!

    Don’t listen to those who tell you that breast-feeding “shouldn’t” hurt — who made up a rule like that anyway? Some babies suck really hard and some mommy’s have very sensitive breast tissue. (And some people feel the need to always tell mothers that they’re doing it “wrong…”) Try to stay with it but if you feel you must stop there’s no shame in it. You’ve already given her a great start!

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