Hi everyone, NAK...yay!
I fully expected BF to be this amazing and wondrous experience, an instead it has been a total test of my patience and commitment (like everything else during my pregnancy, labor, birth, and recovery!). DS bit me bad on both nipples this first night, but I was so out of it from 36 hours of labor, not to mention the residual effect of the epidural, pitocin, and ibuprofen, that I didn't notice. By the end of the first week I was a bloody mess (with what I called significant cracks, but what an IBCLC later assured me were in fact gaping wounds). I ended up with plugged ducts, mastitis, OS, OALD, and to top it all off, DS has a lip tie.
Just this last week (7 weeks PP) I finally agreed to go on nipple rest for three days, pumped exclusively and baby was fed with bottles. It was the saddest few days of my entire life, but when it was over I had beautifully healed (well, mostly) nipples and BFing no longer hurt. Im still dealing with a somewhat shallow latch and some soreness but feel a million times better. APNO is magic and I highly recommend it for sore, cracked, or thrush nipples...seriously!
I was completely clueless.