Monday, August 1, 2011

A Little More Milk Please

 If you are not a mother or are not passionate about nursing your babies, then you probably won't understand my heartbreak or the determination behind these decisions.

I breastfed Austin & Makenzie both, but not for long. When Austin was born, I was young & unsure of a lot of things. I was also very timid about breastfeeding him around other people. So instead of leaving the room, using a blanket, or finding some other way to nurse him, I would just give him a bottle. I didn't seek advice or encouragement. No one told me that babies usually had a growth spurt when they are about 3 weeks old. So when he started wanting to eat all the time, I thought that I was starving him. I gave up shortly after that.

Then, when I had Makenzie, I made another attempt at providing the best nutrition for my child. I was a little older & a little more secure with who I was, so I made more of an effort to nurse her. We made lots of trips to public bathrooms or back out to the car. This worked fine....until I had to return to work. My office was, um, lukewarm about accommodating my need to pump, to say the least. My continued desire to breastfed was also hindered by the fact that my beautiful little daughter passed her thrush infection on to me. OUCH! So this time, we made it for 3 or 4 months.

When I got pregnant with Logan, I was so excited about the fact that I would have another opportunity at nursing. This time, I wouldn't have to worry about daycare or returning to work. I could just take my time with him & feed him however I chose. I am much more confident in my values, needs, & desires, not only when it comes to his nutrition, but also in every aspect concerning my children. I knew that I wanted to breastfed my baby for a full year. I had no desire at all to introduce a bottle anytime soon.

Well, we made it through that infamous growth spurt. I have also made HUGE progress with the fact that I have nursed Logan in public - not a bathroom (covered up, of course). I have also been able to feed him while walking around & shopping. That was no easy task let me assure you, but I was ecstatic about being able to accomplish this!

Unfortunately, we hit a snag. After a few weeks dealing with acid reflux, an upset tummy, constant crying spells, & too many evenings with a need to eat every hour on the hour, I am exhausted. I don't get nearly as much milk when I pump anymore & I feel like Logan is always hungry.

I finally broke down & gave him a bottle. And I cried the whole time he was eating. I feel like I have failed at the most primal level of motherhood. I don't understand why I can't satisfy this basic need.

I am no where near ready to give up, but I never dreamed I would be facing this decision so soon with him. I am hoping that my decreased milk supply is due to my iron level being too low, too many Mt. Dews, & not enough water. If that's the case, then this should be an easy fix.
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