The thought of my poor nipples during those early feeds still literally makes my toes curl. I fully remember stating to my Mum that there would NEVER be a time when it didn't hurt or that Mabel just attached herself no problem.
But of course, she was right, that time came. I can't remember when I stopped having to 'latch' her on and although we have had odd very minor problems with blockages / supply, in the main I have been really lucky. Now the only issue I have is keeping her feeding when there is anything remotely interesting (in her opinion) going on in the room.
We are starting to think about weaning our hungry little munchkin now and I have to say that when we do I will feel sad that it will be the start of the end for my feeding days. I will hopefully keep her bedtime feed for some time to come but I have a feeling that once she has the option of some decent food, milk might be of less interest. Who'd have thought it, I genuinely thought I'd be counting the days till I could drink again (o.k so I have drank but I mean properly), have back a bit more freedom and reclaim my boobs (lets hope I want to reclaim them after all they've been through). But no. I think I will miss the convenience and the closeness.
I thought it worth noting for any future children when no doubt I will have forgotten (I definitely won't take for granted that they will feed as easily as Mabel) or anyone else going through those difficult first few weeks, that it does get better and your nipples do recover. I'm very grateful that I've been able to do it...
And for this smile, I'd go through it all the harder times again anyway!
(pictures credited to Fee who has become quite the photographer and whose Spain pictures are so much better than mine! http://chippernelly.blogspot.com/2011/06/holiday-blues.html)