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TMI?

heh. Well today's topic may be a little TMI, and some of the links are definitely NSFW (and if you didn't get either of those acronyms then you should maybe hit up google before reading the rest of this entry).

So last weekend, I began my final round up of "things I need before the baby shows up", and one of those things was extra parts for my breast pump. You need extra parts just like you need extra sheets for the bed; cause sometimes stuff is dirty and you don't want to be dependent on the doing a wash before you get to sleep again. So I started browsing through amazon, building up my shopping list o' parts when I noticed something.

Breastshields, which are the plastic bits that fit over your nipples and such, come in different sizes. The normal part that comes with my pump is a medium, but they also sell a small, large, XL, and XXL. oh, ok.. well, what the hell? So I do a little more research and allegedly, ill-fitting breastshields can cause unpleasant pumping experiences like breast pain and decreased milk collection.

well, shit.. how do I know if the shield do-hickey is the right size then??
--- note* by now, I hope you can see where this story is going. So if you need to stop reading, now is a good time. ---

So I do what any reasonable person does, I googled it. And I found a couple of websites with pictures. Cause I'll be damned if I've ever closely inspected a nursing mother to evaluate the exact dynamics of the situation. Here are the two sites I found:
Site 1# Graphics from Medela, manufacturer of breastpumps. Now this site was ok, it sort of explained things, but yet, I still felt the need to keep on looking.

Site #2: Crazy pics of real breasts in mid-pump. At this point I realized that I would actually have to attach the pump to myself in order to compare to the pictures. So I assembled the sucker (ha. get it... sucker? haha) and tried it out. aaaaand.. no, I didn't quite look like the picture of the good fit. in fact, I looked more like the theoretical picture of the "breastshield is too big". WTF?

At this point, I had to get some help, so I hollered for the loml (in clear defiance of my 'no shouting' across the house policy, but I was a bit agitated). He showed up and I showed him the pump and my breast. "Do I have small nipples?", I asked. I thought I was being pretty calm but I must not have been because the loml started with the whole, "no baby, you look great" thing. and I was like "no, no, I mean it. Are my nipples smaller than other women? You've dated other woman, you tell me!" but he kept insisting that I was fine so I showed the pictures that I had found online.

"woah, that is an ugly picture", he said about link #2 (see the second set of pics...) which I agreed about, but he couldn't exactly provide any definitive answers to my questions. So I went ahead and ordered the extra parts anyway (which was other stuff besides the shields) and gave up the topic until the next day, when I was over at my cousin's house.

She's a breast-pumping momma, so I asked her about the actual fit of her pump and finally she goes, "ok, let's see 'em. Show me your nipples." Honestly, I didn't think I'd ever be in this spot, but whatever, I showed her. She thought they looked normal, though maybe a bit small... but then, her pump didn't fit like the pictures online either and it had always worked for her. so, ok fine.

and I swear I thought the whole thing was over until I was reading my basic infant care book and they started talking about nipple problems that could impact breastfeeding.. and there it was again.. my nipples didn't stick out like the illustration in the book. Well, did I need to buy extra parts for this or what? Why isn't this more clear???

So finally, the loml and I went to the midwifery practice today for a routine check-in and I said to the mid-wife. "I'm worried I may have small or inverted nipples." at which point, the loml pipes up and says "you never asked me about inverted nipples. I could've told you!" and I was like "You couldn't tell me what size my nipples were compared to your ex's". At which point the mid-wife steps in and offers to take a look. and I'm like "ok, that would be great", cause I've spent too much time on this as it is.

and she looks. and says, "they're not inverted. They sink a little but they still poke out... I don't think they're small. " and she follows this up with a thing about how you don't want nipples that are too big anyways, because sometimes babies have a hard time feeding off them. and then comes the big kiss-off. she says "maybe you are overthinking this."

and I am like WTF! This is what you say to someone when they are acting crazy. I would not be acting crazy if there was better information available about this topic instead of having to actually show my nipples to three different people to get a bonafide opinion! but ok.. ok.. maybe I did overthink it and I probably was getting a little crazy.. but anyway.

So I try to explain, "I wasn't going to be upset if I had small nipples (because seriously, who gets upset about that? People get upset about small boobs, not small nips), I just wanted to know in case I had to do something about it."

but ok - whatever. there you have it. I've already ordered extra parts and if it actually becomes a problem I'll deal with it later..

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