milk matters, round 2

June 19, 2014

When Annabel was 4 months old, I wrote this post about the frustration of pumping my heart out and still not getting enough.  A few weeks ago, I thought I was doing much better with round #2 — fancier pump, my own office to do it in, and better yields (sometimes).  And yet here we are.  Just shy of 4 months in, despite a sizable stash that I mentioned in the last post, I’m struggling.  I’m eating a ton, exercising pretty minimally, taking Go-Lacta/More Milk Plus/Fenugreek, and I pump 5x and feed C 4x a day.  And I’m definitely still producing a lot of milk:  15 oz pumped today over 4 sessions so far.  But it’s still.  Just.  Not.  Quite.  Enough.

even if i did build those arms from scratch

Both of my babies were (are) eaters who hang out at the top of the weight charts, and I just don’t have awesome production, especially in the afternoons/evenings.  I just had Josh give C 3 oz because he simply wouldn’t settle and seemed unsatisfied, and it hurt to do so.  Not because I’m worried about giving up precious oz, but just because I’m (*&$@# MAD that with the amount of time and energy I’m pouring into this little ‘project’, that I’m losing.

In writing that, it’s clear to me that I’ve lost sight of the true goal: feed C, enjoy the mother-baby relationship, and stay sane.  I remember the exact same thing happening with Annabel — I started to fixate on this issue to the detriment of . . . well, everything else.  I could never relax because I was always worried about the optimum duration of pumping, and stressing over the perfect timing so that I could collect maximum oz and satisfy during feeds at the breast.

I’m always anxious at work now (about fitting pumping between patients) and I’m just not very happy with the way things are going right now.  I don’t know what the answer is.  My plan was to try to do things for C as long as I did for A, which means sticking it out for 9 months of pumping.  Yet right now that seems . . . impossible, at least the way I’m doing it now.  I’m tired, REALLY tired.

I’m not ready to throw in the towel, but I’m actually considering cutting down drastically on pumping — going down to 2 pumps/day at work and that’s it — knowing that it will mean my supply will drop and supplementing will be necessary, even on weekends.  Writing that makes me feel both giddy and incredibly guilty.

let’s focus on the positive: 2 healthy beautiful babies
PS: this may seem counter to this post, but they are two different issues.  I’m willing to postpone losing those vanity lbs of leftover baby weight to keep feeding C, but I’m perhaps not willing to go completely insane with respect to the rest of my life.  Oh, and yes — my supply did increase back up when I stopped with the calorie-tracking, but it is still not quite enough, or at least it wasn’t today.