So we're still not breastfeeding, and I'm largely OK with that. I'm eating my twice-daily oatmeal (bleh) and drinking my daily Guiness (yum!) to keep my milk production up for pumping.
(As a side note: I have done an experiment with the boozed-up milk. I set one bottle aside and gave it to the kid and noted the results. He fell right asleep. Of course, he'd done that with the prior two non-boozy feedings, too, so um... I dunno. Even with his tiny body weight, can 3.5 oz of a meal that's about 0.06 - 0.08% alcohol really affect him much? Anyway.)
Two nights ago, Something Happened to Leftie. (Leftie being, for purposes of this post, the left mammary gland.) The nipple got really, really sore. After I (incorrectly) tried hand-expressing, the entire boob was pretty sore. Then, because I couldn't get much milk out because of the soreness, it got engorged and even more sore.
Cue the drama. Oh my God, what are we going to do? We don't have more than a day and a half of milk frozen and the soreness isn't going away and the right boob can only do so much on its own. I shouldn't have had the vacuum set so high, that's probably what did it. And why didn't I read the hand-expression instructions in that LLL book beforehand? Not that I was able to get much milk out after I read it. And WTF was up with page 121: "Squeeze fingers and thumb rhythmically" followed by page 123: "Avoid squeezing the breast"? Hello? I'm tired and I'm sore and now the baby's going to starve. Waah!
I finally gave up on trying to express and save Leftie's yield and decided to just get out as much as I could in a nice hot shower. You need to relax to let down milk, and all the drama and worry and hunching over a bowl were just not conductive to that. I figured that, if I just got the milk out, at least my supply wouldn't dry up (another thing I was worrying about).
In the shower, I found a tender, sore and hard lump just under the areola. Rightie lacked a similar lump. I suppose it was a clogged milk duct. I worked it over, gently, and by the time the hot water ran out, I was pretty sure I'd found the source of the problem.
Today, Leftie is still sore but not the kind of sore that made me drop the baby when he brushed against it yesterday (dropped into my lap, but still). And, after a few pathetic pumpings where the engorement prevented much yield, it seems back up to snuff.
Drama over. Thank goodness.