See this woman?
I hate her.
I have the same, exact breast pump and there is no way in hell that I could ever A) get that much milk and B) sit there calmly at my desk with my suit top open and write a memo...or do basic math...or doodle...or whatever it is she's doing.
So, Ladybug turned three weeks old yesterday and that is exactly how old her big brother was when I made the difficult, but right for me, decision to stop breastfeeding. You can read all about that emotional roller coaster HERE.
Before Ladybug was born I promised myself that I wasn't going to let myself get as emotionally invested in breastfeeding as I did last time. The last thing any of us needs is a weepy momma who can't function because she's gone bat-sh*t crazy over breastfeeding. I thought that if I was ultra aware of the risks of getting too attached to breastfeeding than maybe I wouldn't fall so hard if/when it didn't work again. My goal was to make it three weeks; as long as I made it with Little G.
And yet, bat-sh*t crazy-land is exactly where I found myself heading emotionally just a couple of weeks ago. Ladybug was losing weight at a rapid pace and our pediatrician suggested that we start supplementing. I was ok with that, but I was so sad that I once again wasn't able to breastfeed exclusively. I had pumped in the hospital when she wouldn't latch onto a side in an attempt to keep my breasts stimulated (and I was ecstatic when I got 7cc's of colostrum one night) but now we had to do the exact thing that had drove me over the edge with Little G: I was supposed to breastfeed, then supplement, then pump to try to up my supply. Although Ladybug wasn't crying after breastfeeding like Little G did, thus making it impossible to find time to pump, I was only getting 1-2 oz a session which was starting to feel pointless and unproductive.
And then it happened.
Ladybug started latching on improperly just like her brother did when he annihilated my nipple in the course of a few hours. I recognized that this was a bad thing...a very, VERY bad thing, so I stopped breastfeeding Ladybug immediately and went to exclusively pumping and supplementing with formula to protect my nipples from the infection that devastated my supply last time.
Since then, I contacted a nutraceutical pharmacologist at a local compounding center and started on a course of Mallunggay leaves and Eye of Newt...kidding on that last one...it's really Goat's Rue. These are to hopefully up my supply. I've been taking them since Monday afternoon and so far I don't see an increase in production, but it can take some women up to two weeks to notice a difference.
As I said, as of yesterday, I have provided as much breast milk as I can for my daughter for three weeks which is exactly what my goal was. I am hoping that in the next few days some more milk will start to come in and I can potentially give her more than I am currently giving her. But if that doesn't happen, I am trying to get myself ready to let it go.
But even with all of my emotional precautions, even with a two year old IN THE HOUSE who thrived on formula, it is so hard not to beat myself up about this. No matter how many times I tell myself that a sane mommy is best, the message that breast is best is the loudest one I hear.
What was your breastfeeding journey?