Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year

I have been gone. I came to realize I have major milk supply issues and I've needed to work on those. How did I learn this?
  • I stopped waking up engorged when my daughter would sleep through the night.
  • My appetite declined sharply.
  • My daughter fussed a lot.
  • My daughter was very, very skinny. She was born at 8 lbs, 6 oz - at three and a half months old, she weighed 9 pounds.
So, I have been using donated breastmilk to supplement in a supplemental nursing system after I nurse her (she takes between 1 and 2 ounces per feeding from that), pumping after nursing, and taking 33 pills a day. (3 brewer's yeast, 4 fenugreek, 3 blessed thistle, and one multivitamin, 3 times a day.) This has helped IMMENSELY. It's tiring, my day is basically nurse, use the SNS, change Aurora, pump, wash SNS and pump parts, play with Aurora for about half an hour, let her nap for a half hour, rinse and repeat. All day. It's exhausting, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I believe it's worth it, though - in one week, she went from 9 pounds to 9 pounds, 10 ounces... She'll have another doctor's appointment soon and we'll see how well she's continued to do.

Mike has two cousins who have children around Aurora's age. Both of them have already stopped breastfeeding, presumably due to supply issues similar to mine. It makes me a little sad that they would give up instead of fighting to continue. Yes, I spend most if not all of my day sitting in the recliner nursing my daughter, but I know she's getting what's best for her. She is completely worth the effort I'm expending to do this, and I can't imagine doing anything less than everything I can for her.

My mother and my step-father drove back up here to Michigan from Illinois to help me out while I got this straightened out, and it has helped me so much. Part of my problem was that I wasn't eating enough food. My body barely had enough to sustain me, much less both of us, so it gave up the milk to keep me going. Now that I'm eating at least two small snacks between each meal (crackers and cream cheese, or yogurt and granola, things like that) and massive breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in comparison to how I used to eat, I'm feeling a difference. It's sad that it took me four months to realize it, but I just had to do it. When they had to leave, Mike stepped in and made sure I kept going.

I'll admit it - I'm scared. Mike is going back to work tomorrow (he was on vacation this last week, before that my mother was here) and I'll be on my own during the day. I'm not sure why it frightens me, I've taken care of her alone before... I think the reason I'm so scared is because all these problems started while I was taking care of her alone. I'm scared that if I'm left alone again, I'll fail again.

By the way, we did start on cloth diapers. I personally find them very, very easy, and Aurora's face brightened the first time I put one on her. I said to her, "yes, sweetheart, I'd rather wear normal undies than newspaper, too."

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