the milk saga: epilogue

October 11, 2012

the 7th stage
it’s a little morbid, but i now realize that i’ve gone through sort of a grieving process regarding a’s breastfeeding/my lame milk supply.  there was denial, bargaining, guilt, and plenty of anger.  most recently, there was some depression and i shed more than a few tears over the issue.  but i think that i may have finally reached acceptance.

my supply is not going to magically double.
i cannot keep up with her needs 100%.
my freezer stash is dwindling.
she WILL need supplementation.

i haven’t clicked ‘subscribe & save’ on a big case of enfamil just yet, but i see it in my future.  and IT IS OKAY.  and this time, i really mean it.

i am still going to pump
even though it pains me to walk past this sign on the way to the lactation room twice daily, i am going to continue to get what i can for miss a.

yes, really.   

i am still going to try to breastfeed as much as possible.

i am still going to take expensive herbs that probably make me smell like IHOP.

but i am NO LONGER going to beat myself up when it’s not ‘enough’.  i’m going to stop the mental tally of oz drank vs. oz produced, as i’m always in the red and i don’t think that’s going to change.

instead, i will applaud myself for the fact that a) annabel got 6 months worth of ALL b-milk and b) i will still be providing her with benefits even if it’s just a portion of what she gets each day.

she had her 6 month pediatrician’s appointment
and i think that having one of my trusted colleagues reassure me that she is thriving and that i already ‘won’ by getting through 6 months really helped.  she is happy and developing so well.  and she will continue to do so on a mix of breast milk, real food, and yeah — formula.

dress credit:  expertly knitted by my mom with yarn from my sister’s store.  
family effort!

finally, i’m just realizing how fast this all goes.
i do not want to look back on this time and just remember being sad/obsessive about this issue – which admittedly i have been – especially since it is SO tiny in the grand scheme of things, anyway!  a. is healthy and beautiful and everything i could have asked for.  she needs her mama to be happy too — and focused on HER beyond just our breastfeeding relationship.  
i love my little muffin.
and she will love me back no matter how i provide her nutrition over the next 6 months.  when she is 5, i won’t even think about all this for a second.   and so, it’s time to move on.  i’m ready.  i’ve reached acceptance, and it feels . . . good.


  • Reply Red Stethoscope March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Seriously, you’ve been such an amazing mother. Also, you’ve stuck with what’s been a really hard and frustrating situation for longer than most people could. A. is healthy and clearly very happy and you’re the reason for that. Don’t beat yourself up…you’ve done and are doing a great job!

  • Reply Hotpotatokate March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    You really have "won", and then some. Glad you have reached acceptance- don’t be surprised if you sometimes relapse a little; I certainly have! I love the picture of her in the dress- what a wee beauty!

  • Reply thechrista March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Happy to hear you’ve gotten to a place where you’re feeling better about it. Annabel is absolutely adorable!

  • Reply atilla March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm


  • Reply Brittnie March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Yay for not beating yourself up!! So proud of YOU!

  • Reply Chelsea March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    You will completely forget the whole ordeal the first time she draws a picture of you… in red sharpie… on your med school diploma :). You are doing a great job.

  • Reply Lee March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    You’ve done great. Breastfeeding (oops, I wrote "breakfast" first) is not easy and there is no right or wrong way to do it. She’s doing great and I think you’re right about letting yourself be happy and just enjoy her at this age instead of worrying about milk supply.

  • Reply Lara March 10, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Six months is something BIG to be proud of, mama! Way to go!

  • Reply Sophia March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    That poster makes me cringe. My son was a preemie and spent a while in the nicu and they had posters everywhere about how breastfeeding was EASY! CONVENIENT! FREE! which I found particularly obnoxious since most (all?) nicu moms pump and pumping is none of the above. You’ve done a great great job so far and A is too cute for words.

    I exclusively pumped for my son for 9 months and it was such a relief to (recently) stop and switch to formula. We still have frozen stuff at home but send him to day care with formula because it’s 100x easier.

  • Reply sweetbabydiary March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    i am so happy you are feeling good, it is so important. Do not beat yourself up, it is so easy to do when you are a mom and responsible for so many things, you are doing a good job, just look at little A, she is beautiful. Good job –

  • Reply Lauren March 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Rock on! Miss A. is lucky to have such an awesome mamma! You’ve done everything you could and have given her such an amazing start in life. You should be proud!

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