Monday, August 16, 2010

Busy, busy, busy. Yes, that's life with a three year old and a four week old. And the thing is, it's not busy like, "I got so much accomplished today." It's busy like, "I didn't have a moment to myself, and I'm psyched that I got to take a shower today!" But I knew that would be what it's like. I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

The truth is, so far, life with two kiddos isn't as overwhelming as I expected it to be. E is a pretty good baby, and she sleeps well most nights, so my tolerance level is higher than when I just had D (as an infant) and I was getting very little sleep (oh yeah, AND trying to close on our house, pack, and move.) D is still being three, which is challenging, but he adores E which helps a lot. He also has moments when he is such a doll that it almost makes me cry, and that helps too.

The thing that has been pretty much dominating my life for the past month is trying to get this breastfeeding thing to work. And it's not. It's just not. The lactation consultant asked me how much Fenugreek I'm taking (4 pills, 3 times a day), how much water I'm drinking (plenty) and how much I'm feeding and pumping (feeding at least twice a day, and pumping every 2-3 hours during the day, which amounts to about 4-5 times in addition to the two feedings.) She asked how much milk I was getting after going overnight without feeding or pumping. When I told her how much (well, how little, really) I was getting, she said, "honestly, for the amount of work that you're putting into it, and for how much milk you're getting out of it, I think I would probably say screw it." Love her. She is EXACTLY the type of lactation consultant I needed. She gave me the tools, and gave me suggestions on how to increase supply. When I did everything that was asked and it still didn't help, she gave me permission to call it a day.

I'm going to continue feeding and pumping as often as possible until the Fenugreek is gone. After it's gone, I'm going to continue to feed and pump as much as I feel like it until I lose what little production I have. And then I'm going to give up.

I wish I could say that I'm at peace with it, but the truth is I'm heartbroken. I feel like I've failed, and like if I had done things differently at the beginning, maybe I would have been able to produce more milk. And I feel like probably if I was willing to let E nurse whenever she feels like it and deal with more excruciating pain that I could probably increase my production even now. But maybe that wouldn't even work, and then I would be left in excruciating pain with no more milk than I had before.

I know in the grand scheme of things, feeding formula is very minor, and after all, E will be getting more than a month of breastmilk, which is way more than D got. I think part of me is grieving though. This may very well be my last child. I may never have the chance to try breastfeeding again, and I'm struggling with the idea of closing that door before I'm ready, because once it's closed, I can't open it back up.


Ibis said...

Ahh, I'm sorry. That sounds so hard. But I think you got good advice from your LC. Supply is one of those things... you can only do so much. GL

Stacie said...

I can only imagine how insane it must be at times with two babies! I'm glad that things are going well. That stinks about your breastfeeding issues. I was not much of a producer either. I took Fenugreek as well. At least you've been able to give her a month's worth of milk. That's still something to be proud of!

Anonymous said...

I know how hectic it is with 2....I am just STARTING to get on some sort of "schedule" with my 18 month old and 2 1/2 month old.

You are doing a great job. You have done everything you can to give BF a good go. I know how hard it can be. All of us moms need to encourage each other and know we are all making the best choices at the time for our kids.


CeCe said...

I am sorry that the nursing isn't working out as you hoped. It must be hard. You have done the best you can and that's all you can do. It is tough that it's out of our control. Hopefully you will reach a point of peace with the situation. Hugs!

Azaera said...

I never made a lot of milk either, and I still have a bottle of Fenugreek in the cupboard. Both Sky and I had thrush in the beginning and breastfeeding was so painful. Sometimes it's worth it to just call it quits, you might both feel better. And think of it this way as long as your baby is still getting fed, you haven't failed! The fact that you care so much about it just means you are a wonderful mom and your kids are lucky to have you.

Dawn said...

I'm sorry that you are struggling with the breastfeeding. You have done such an incredible job trying to stick with it, more than I could ever do.

I'm happy that your little ones are doing great otherwise.