The struggle is real // the quest for milk

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ironic mugshot

8 AM - lactation tea, lactation plus pills, lactation cookie, oatmeal for breakfast
11 AM - More tea, another cookie, brewers yeast shake (barf)
1 PM - lunch, lactation plus pills, another tea, another cookie
4 PM - more tea
6 PM-dinner, lactation cookie, pineapple juice.
9 PM - Last tea, last set of lactation plus pills
3 AM - Lactation plus pills 

I was looking back on blog posts that I had posted with my daughter recently, and noticed a trend. I have always wanted to breastfeed. I never had a birth plan, I never felt super strong about anything besides having healthy babies when it came to being pregnant or giving birth. The one thing I wanted was to breastfeed my kid for at least a year. 

My Daughter and I ran into issues with milk production the first week we brought her home. she was badly dehydrated and little to my knowledge, she was not getting much milk from me. I went to lactation consultants who all assured me that she was latching great, and I needed to supplement to make sure she was getting enough. Enter the nipple shield-syringe-tube trifecta. We fed like this for almost four and a half months. Four and a half months of hoping the suckling from my daughter thru all this artificial feeding would help my supply. Four and a half months of not being able to cuddle my baby after she fed because I had to pump whatever was left of my milk to fill the syringe for her next feeding. It was pure torture. Four months of torture- hoping that my supply would go up, to never get more than two ounces combined. When I decided to stop this madness, and give her only formula, I was content knowing I tried everything I could to give her what my body was meant to produce...but it just wasn't.

Present time, Three years later with the birth of Gavin, I told myself if I ran into the same issues, I would not do that again. My son was doing good in the hospital- eating like a champ. I was relieved that he was not losing weight like my daughter did, and I was hopeful my supply was up. In the hospital- I should mention, I was eating the cookies, drinking the tea, and drinking pineapple juice (apparently that helps too). Then my son started to get a little lazy, not latching right, causing me severe nipple pain, and just like his sister, he started to lose weight. The lactation consultant suggested again, the trifecta that I loathed so much. I instantly said no- I will bottle feed and exclusively pump and supplement his bottles with formula. This is when I noticed the same trend starting to repeat itself. I am not destined to pass the 2 oz mark. 

So with cracked nipples, and tears in my eyes- I continue to turn on my pump. As I pump, I contemplate how much longer I can do this for. Do I continue to stay hopeful that I will finally get past the 2oz mark? Or do I stop. I curl my feet in pain and think about ways to destroy my pump. There is a piece of me that keeps saying keep going and another piece (a very large a piece with knowledge of what four and half months of trying feels like) that tells me it's not going to get better and I'm doing all of this for the same result....less than 2 oz. 

So for now...I'm conflicted. I'll continue to loathe my pump, and continue to feel my heart break a little as we keep getting less than 2 oz. 

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