1. Adelaide has some gas bubbles. Mylicon drops seem to have calmed her evening fussiness a lot.
2. Adelaide does NOT sleep with a messy diaper. This is not a theory, it's a proven fact. While I'm optimistic that this will result (or at least impact) a very quick potty 'learning' period, it doesn't help her much now.
3. I should have given her a pacifier earlier. Granted, her latch needed work, but her latch isn't going to get better while my breasts are hard and swollen.
4. My breasts are hard and swollen because Adelaide comfort nurses a lot. It's not a problem for me to comfort her a lot, and it's not a problem for most mothers to allow their children to nurse whenever the children want/need to. For me, it causes oversupply.
5. The excess milk production is causing plugged ducts. Plugged ducts contribute to (or maybe outright caused) my sore breasts and my soreness is impacting our relationship.
6. My nipple pain is caused by her latch and my sensitive skin. We need to keep working on her latch, but working on her latch hurts so badly that I end up going back to the shield for a day.
7. All the comfort nursing is overfilling her belly and causing her spit up. This upsets her and causes more nursing, which only adds to the problem.
8. I need to remember to wake her up to burp her after every feeding and then put her back to sleep.
I need to pump to clear out the plugged ducts, but pumping will add to my oversupply issues. Ideally, she would nurse out the clogged spots, but she gets VERY upset when the flow slows down (which results in me letting her switch to the other breast causing another letdown contributing to oversupply) and she ends up so upset that she can't nurse without the shield. She also gets too sleepy to latch correctly on her own, so we frequently have to go back to the shield at the end of the feeding.
I am now researching bottles that will let her practice her latch because my nipples just can't take it. Maybe we will take her to the chiropractor after all.
She also got her first not-me substance tonight. Since I found out I was pregnant I haven't taken even a Tylenol. No medications at all. Not even the eye goop that is required in some states to be given at birth. [Turns out, that's an antibiotic to prevent blindness in infants passing through a birth canal infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea. I have neither, she doesn't need weird chemicals in her eye for diseases I do not have.] Tonight she got gas relief drops. That and my new theories have resulted in a quiet, peaceful night. She fusses when her diaper is dirty, I change her, give her the pacifier (instead of my breast), and rock her back to sleep. Her nap has so far been interrupted 3 times, but she's sleeping peacefully. I've had time to heat, massage, and pump one breast and after her next feeding I'll have time to do the other.
It's time I start trusting my instincts. When I know in my heart and gut that she has a full belly and clean diaper, I need to just help her sleep. Nursing when she needs sleep is not meeting her needs. It's my job to meet her needs.
We'll see how these theories impact the next few days and consider revision. Parenting is more research and theorizing than I expected.