Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The End

I love this face. 
No, no. Not of this blog. Of nursing. Here is where this blog is going to take a more personal turn. Please feel free to keep reading- but be forewarned- it will be self indulgent and more for me and my memories of this process than for keeping the world updated on the happy little miss. *I will include photos though ;-) 

The last time I nursed Carya was the 4th of July weekend. I am sad because I did not know it was going to be the last time and this whole ending-nursing-thing has been way harder than I thought.

When I was pregnant I knew I would breast feed, I never had a date in mind that I wanted to make it to, I knew formula was just fine (I was formula fed!) and I would do what I could- no pressure and no preconceived ideas. What I could not anticipate was how much I loved (LOVE) breast feeding and bonding with the little miss. Or how much I hate giving her formula. 

Part of my problem with the formula is the cost. I should not have to pay for something that I can make completely free of cost (or should make- and not really free if you count the price of a pump- but you get the point). But this nursing trouble began with daycare. Before daycare, we spent our days together so I nursed her on demand (almost every 2 hours, maybe more often some days) and she was growing well and was satisfied. My supply was good as long as we kept up the frequent feedings. 

On February 19th I had 1 month left of my maternity leave and I needed to get a freezer stock of milk so she had enough for the first week of daycare. Additionally, that first weekend after going back to work I was getting sedated for a root canal and would have to pump and dump that whole weekend-- so I needed milk for then as well. So my plan was to start formula, replace one feeding with a 4oz bottle of formula and pump at that time. The best time to do this was the last feeding. Then Travis could feed her and help to put her to bed (I got to see her all day and was more than happy to have him make his own routine with her). I do not remember the exact amounts I pumped but I never got more than 3oz per boob, even when totally full. It  was not going to be easy to make a freezer stash. But I tried. 

I took fenugreek, ate oatmeal, drank water, drank beer (lovely excuse!), everything anyone said to help- but nothing really did. Fenugreek helped a bit, but after a while (and me taking it everyday- not as the doctor recommended) it gave Carya diarrhea so I had to eliminate that.

Bring in daycare. Best friend and fellow new mom, Kate, warned me to be prepared for Carya to eat way more than I expected, but I had no idea. She ate 4- 5oz bottles off the bat! There was no way she ever ate that much from me, it took me 2 days to get 20oz of milk! But she got hooked. She loved the bottle, loved the speed (I also have a VERY slow let down- sometimes 15min), and slowly began to nurse poorly. She would nurse through the fast phase (1-2min) and be done and want a bottle. So I was left having to pump after her eating.

Slowly it became me just nursing her in the middle of the night and in the morning when she was sleepy and more patient. I pumped 3 times a day at work, on schedule, for 10-20min at a time. I continued all the eating, drinking, looking at her photos, anything to help my milk. 

Then teething happened. On May 26, 2012 the little miss got her first tooth (bottom right)- we had no idea it was coming, I had an idea but nothing concrete- she was not fussy, not overly mouthy -- proof she was going to continue to be the poster child for perfection. Ha! You know the saying, don't count on any kind of routine with babies... yeah  :)

On June 25th the little miss got her second tooth and on June 19th we had our 6mo check up. That was the beginning of the end. Carya had a mini cold the day we had our checkup and she got her shots, she had a bad reaction to the shots and got a bigger cold, a double ear infection and the teething didn't help... She got bitey. Like, really bitey. I could not put my breast in her mouth without her biting me. I tried everything the lactation consultant told me to do and nothing helped. I pretty much stopped nursing then. 
She bites everything, faces, arms, so why not breasts?!
So with the combination of everything, I slowly went from pumping 15oz/day to 10oz and then to we are where we are now: 5oz a day. One bottle. BUT, it is still one bottle I do not have to pay for.... 

Currently, she has started eating more (3- 6oz bottles and the one 5oz bottle, plus solid food!) at daycare and I am coming to terms with my future 5 month relationship with formula. I regularly try for some perspective: I am lucky to have access to high quality formula I can afford and I am lucky my little miss is a champion eater and loves any and all food we give her.

So on that note, here is a photo  of the little miss biting my arm in the back seat of the car while we are driving and the bite marks she left...

I mean... what did I expect?! I should not have let her bite any part of me... I set myself and her up for failure. I will know better for the next one ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Not failure, success for over six months. Do not beat yourself up. You did well and provided her the best of you (and modern science) and flexibility to meet her demands. Surely the happy face and size / growth are proof of contentment.
    Love you lots!