leche wars: the sequel

August 22, 2012

yesterday i pumped 11.5 oz.
annabel drank 12.

today, i’ve pumped 9 oz [with one session still to go] . . . and a. drank 14.  day care reported that she ‘seemed to want more’ after her last bottle, and then she was clearly unsatisfied after tonight’s pre-bedtime feeding session.  though it broke my heart, i had josh give her 2 oz from today’s pump sessions and she promptly passed out.  i spent the past few hours feeling a mix of:

frustration and anger.  why can some people pump 12 oz before breakfast when that’s all i can eke out — with great physical effort — during an entire work day?
guilt.  because obviously i must be doing something WRONG to not have this sort of supply.
► self-pity.  obviously.  because it’s not fair!!!  [like most things in life.]
► sadness.  because i love our breastfeeding relationship, but not when she seems desperate for more and i can’t give it to her.  it’s a horrible feeling.

unfortunately, the above cocktail of emotions is quite a familiar one — reminds me of those awful disappointing ultrasounds and pregnancy tests during the most wretched of my TTC days.

but then again it’s totally different.  because with infertility came a horrible emptiness that gnawed on me daily.  i woke up daily feeling like something truly important was missing from my life.

versus now, when i get to wake up to THIS beautiful smile every day.  and when i think about it that way, it does help me put things in perspective.  after all, in the grand scheme of things, IT IS NOT GOING TO MATTER whether she gets breast milk, formula, or a mix of both.

she’s healthy.  she’s happy.  i love her to pieces.

and i can’t keep making myself crazy.
because of the above and because i also think it may help her sleep better at night [i can’t keep getting up x3 — i’m TIRED], i have decided to start dipping into my freezer stash.  i’m going to make her day care bottles a bit bigger [5 oz instead of 4] since she seems to want more, and we will see how she does at night.  i will continue to pump and breastfeed as i have been, but will likely be behind by 3 oz or so per day.

at that rate, my freezer stash will last about 2 months — bringing a. to 6.5 months old.  at that point, i will probably have to bite the bullet and supplement with some formula each day in her day care bottles.

and i’m pretty sure she will be okay.

i don’t know why i can’t seem to ramp up my production.  i pump 4-5x/day [though usually 4], and she breastfeeds at least 3 other times [usually more].  i take fenugreek.  i eat oatmeal [most days].  i drink enough water to have to make 35 bathroom trips daily, and i take in more calories than i ever thought possible.  i don’t think it is running related, as my mileage was a whopping 12 last week and i really don’t see a correlation where harder workouts –> fewer oz. pumped.

if i had to venture a guess, i think it’s just a combination of:

✖ naturally low-ish supply [so not a lot of wiggle room]
✖ slow letdown [making pump sessions inefficient]
✖ work keeping me away from my baby all day, interfering with the natural breastfeeding relationship <– sad, but the right choice for us both.

anyway, i sort of feel at peace writing this out
most likely, i will not be one of those moms [like my own!] who will be able to say that my baby never had formula.  but i highly doubt i will look back five years from now — while getting a. ready for her first day of kindergarten!! — and even think about it.

instead, i’ll probably be looking back wistfully, barely believing that she was ever this small.  yet another reason i shouldn’t spend these precious months fixating over what she drinks.  it’s just milk.

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