One extreme to the other.

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Happy Baby!

5 and a half months ago I was tired, in agony, and practically drowning in breast milk. If you missed my initial breastfeeding saga you can read about that here, and here and here too.

Now it appears my body has gone from one extreme to the other. Last Thursday Sophie and I had, well a really shit day. She was unsettled all day. Had slept maybe 20 minutes between 6.30am and 2.30pm. As I started feeding her at about 2.40pm I suddenly wondered if she wasn’t getting enough milk. I grabbed my breast pump and pumped for nearly 10 minutes. Now in the old days I’d get close to 120ml. Not anymore it would seem. I was lucky to have gotten 5ml.

Holy shit, my milk was drying up. Completely out of no where. I was devastated. While that may sound dramatic, I was proud of where we had go to, after the initial horrible time we had. So I did what any self respescting grown woman would do. I called my husband in tears. I didn’t know what to do. I called the lovely ladies at the community health centre and felt better after our conversation.

Maybe I was just having a bad day. I persisted with trying to get Soph to feed properly. Then finally defrosted some of the frozen milk stash we had. She gulped 130ml and promptly went to sleep.

My heart sank. Here I was thinking she had wind all day and needing extra burping and that was the reason she wasn’t sleeping. Turned out she was hungry. I’ve never felt so awful in my life.

Thankfully our frozen stash got us through till mid next morning. Then I set off to find out what I could do. A friend recommended a health place, so off we went. I was given a breastfeeding tonic, which included fenugreek. The lady told me, ‘women swear by this for increasing supply’. I felt hopeful. We grabbed a tin of formula just in case.

By Friday afternoon we needed the formula. I thought the herbs just needed time to kick in, and more expressing would be the key. This morning (Saturday) I was relieved to be able to give Sophie a full feed. Unfortunately this happiness was short lived as I struggled to get enough milk for her 11am feed. Today was the day we had decided to start her on solids as well. Which for the poor little thing wasn’t the most delicious culinary experience.

If you had have asked me a week ago how long I was going to breastfeed for, my answer was quick and simple. 12 months was my goal. I know we’re lucky to have got this far and it has given Sophie a great start. It’s just sad that all of sudden my body decided that milk making was no longer it’s priority, and Sophie and I didn’t get to decide when we stopped.

I hate being in two minds about something. I’m a Libran and can’t make a decision to save my life. Do I express, take herbs, and hope my supply comes back, or take a chill pill and treat this as a new chapter and go all formula?

So we’ve come to a decision. The more I tried to express, the more stressed out I felt, and the less milk came out. I could persist and hope that my supply comes back, or we could be thankful we had 5 and a half months, and move onto a new chapter. So formula it is. That doesn’t mean I haven’t shed a few tears over no more breastfeeding.

At the end of the day all we want is a happy and healthy baby.

2 Comments
  • Nicole (astrogirl529)
    March 19, 2011

    I had problems with milk supply with my first, at 3 months he wasn’t putting on weight. I did breast and bottle for a long time. When it happened again with my second I went straight to bottle, I just couldn’t do both again. This time round my baby is 7 months almost and still feeding. I was amazed. You just do what you have to, to get through.

  • Thea
    March 21, 2011

    You did great!!!
    And you’re right, sometimes we don’t get to choose. I was the same, 12 months was my goal, too. We didn’t make it with my first, he was a big boy and needed more than I could give him. We got to 10mths which is pretty good, then went with formula as well.
    Decisions are so hard, well done for making one that is good for both of you. xx

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