Things are seeming to improve with the nursing business, but not without some tricks. My cousin suggested I try a nipple shield since it worked so well for her. Desperate, I purchased the shield from Target, and immediately, Judah latched on and nursed - best $7 ever spent! We have been using the shield for about a week now, and it has been an absolute life savor. In a couple more weeks, I will hopefully be able to wean him off the shield and nurse without tricks or gadgets.
Even with the success of the shield, however, this system is not without its flaws. While at the hospital, my baby's latch was perfect. The nursing issues were not due to poor latching, rather they were birthed out of frustration. Since my milk hadn't come in yet, Judah would get SO hungry, he wouldn't want to work to get the colostrum out; he wanted his food immediately. By the time my milk came in, he had already been exposed to the bottle and all of its ease. Now, with this shield, my son thinks I am his bottle, and I am noticing that his latch is getting lazy. He now latches onto just the nipple instead of the getting the mouth full of boob that is needed for a good latch, and with a poor latch comes blistered nipples - OUCH!!
In an attempt to let my nipples heal up a bit, I have decided to pump all of his feedings today (and possibly tomorrow). It takes a little more effort and time to pump (washing the cups, hooking up the tubes, finding the right setting...), but at least my pump doesn't make me bleed. I am extremely grateful to my dad and Deb for my breast pump; that thing has been an absolute blessing, especially since formula seems to upset Judah's tummy.