Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Where We Are: More Talk About Breastfeeding

People have been asking me, "How's breastfeeding going? Is it getting any better?" I answer them honestly. It's not, but I'm okay with it. As silly as it sounds, I had to go through a sort of grieving period. To mourn the loss of the perfect breastfeeding relationship with my daughter that I had dreamed about before she was born. I had planned to nurse Emmy upwards of two or three years, whenever she felt it was time to wean. And maybe we can still, but it won't be exactly as I had planned.

We've been to the lactation consultant once a week for the past two months. We're regulars and the staff know us by name-it's sort of cute. We finally figured out that Emmy has a weak suckle, hence her slow weight-gain and my low supply. We bought a special pacifier to help her learn to suck properly, use an SNS for stimulation and supplement about half of her food with donated breastmilk or formula. I also have to pump between and after as many feedings as I can and take a ton of herbs to try and increase my supply. The process has been exhausting and for awhile I was driving myself crazy with guilt. All day I thought things like: What's wrong with me? I should be able to do this. This formula isn't as good as breast milk. And then one day, I just stopped. I decided that I'm doing the best I can and that's good enough. She still gets my milk, even if she has to have a little extra something here and there. And since I came to that realization, life has been so much easier. I've been able to enjoy time with Emmy more instead of nervously watching the clock and dreading every feeding. And honestly, I think that a happy mama and a great relationship is more beneficial to her in the long run.

So, to sum it up, we're still breastfeeding, in our own little way. And hopefully we can for a long time to come. All I know is that my little one is happy and healthy and so much fun, and that's good enough for me.