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.