It's been 2 days of feeding Laurie expressed milk from the bottle while my nipples heal over. Just a couple of hours ago, I tried nursing her directly from the less sore side again, and it was sheer joy to see her suckle. She seems to enjoy feeding from my breasts instead of the bottle (and I enjoy it just as much watching her suckle), so it was really upsetting for me not to be able to for 2 days. Worries of nipple confusion have been allayed, though my sis told me babies just somehow solve the issue for themselves. Even the lactation nurse I saw at the hospital yesterday told me to express and bottle feed for the moment.
I've got an appointment to finally meet the LC at the hospital on Monday. Hopefully we can solve the problem of sore nipples. The paed and lactation nurse both were of the opinion that it could be that Laurie's mouth was tiny in relation to my nipple size. Perhaps the problem would "solve" itself as she gets older. Meanwhile though, I've been encouraged by a friend to feed direct for a few minutes a day until the nipples toughen. In the meantime, I'm gonna still express for most of the day, and try to feed her directly once or twice in the evenings just to keep the rhythm. I'm praying it will all get better soon. I'm sure it will.