I grow these big, beautiful, healthy babies. I get pregnant seemingly by just laying down next to my partner. We've never even tried for a baby. In fact, we've NOT tried and still gotten pregnant. I am fertile. But I cannot produce enough milk for my babies.
I realize there are SO many people who think, "So what?"
I get that. I can bottle feed formula. We live in a day and age when it's not a death sentence for my babies for me to be unable to produce enough milk for them. And there are a whole lot of folks these days who could care less about giving their babes formula. But I care. I care a whole heck of a lot. I've done countless hours of research on formula, on breastfeeding, on formula versus breast milk... No, formula is NOT good enough for my babies.
I have, in fact, stood in Babies R Us, buying formula, crying hysterically.
I have cried at 2 a.m., stomping to the kitchen for a bottle when I wanted to be able to just roll over and feed my baby the way nature intended.
I have cried many, many times as I watched my baby clawing and my breast, arching his or her back, whimpering and protesting because milk refuses to come out.
Yesterday was not the first time I squeezed the everliving hell out of my breasts as the pump whirred, begging them to please, please make milk. Just a little more. Please work! Please stop being broken! Why the FUCK am I broken!?
I have a few theories. Scientists and doctors have a few theories. Hormones in food. Hormonal imbalance as I went through puberty causing my breasts not to develop fully. Family history. Who knows. No one is really doing the research.
I've done a lot to encourage milk production. So much so that I'm confident that I've done and I am doing everything I can possibly do for my third baby.
To know that you are doing everything you can possibly do and still end up with a baby slow to gain, or worse, fails to gain and is diagnosed with failure to thrive. A baby who has to cry while you warm milk. A baby who has to work around a stupid SNS tube when he just wants to nurse. It's heartbreaking. I love to nurse my babies. I won't do anything less, but I will always wish I never had to do this much just to breastfeed. Every day I think multiple times, "I could just bottle feed." But I don't. I keep sourcing donor milk (and thank goodness for our multiple, *wonderful* donors). I keep pumping and taking supplements. I keep in constant contact with my IBCLC and numerous other lactation professionals. And I'll continue to.
I get a lot of props from folks because I work so hard.
Thank you. The support is wonderful.
And believe me when I say I mean this in the nicest way possible. I don't want any of it. None of it. I don't want to be an example of fierce determination. I don't want to know everything I know.
I just want to breastfeed.
And don't hold it against me because.. sometimes I wish I hadn't learned any of it. I wish I hadn't looked into formula and it's ingredients or started sourcing donor milk. Sometimes I wish I'd done as so many others have and just gone to bottles and not stressed myself. Because this is exhausting. Mentally and physically. I'm tired.
|2 weeks old, milk drunk and sleep smiling. I live for this.|
But I look at this guy's face, sound asleep on my breast. He's milk drunk and snoring, which melts my heart, even if it was mostly another mother's milk. He's one month old tomorrow and I've promised him to keep nursing for as long as he wants, however we need to to make it work, even if that means the SNS and I are going to be long time friends. Or frenemies maybe.
But I had to let this all out. I promised myself I was at peace with "failing" again. I guess I wasn't. And you know.. I get to rant too sometimes.