We are rapidly approaching the 6-month mark for Isla, which means we are also approaching the 6-month mark for breastfeeding. Not exclusive breastfeeding, mind you, but we’re still trucking along with pumped milk and nursing at night.
Breastfeeding has not been exactly like I thought it would be.
I was surprised by how easy it was physically for us to start (we were lucky) but how difficult mentally it was to sustain long and frequent nursing sessions early on. We started using formula for one feed a day pretty early on just so I could get a break from the baby…and get in one long pumping session to help build my stash for when I headed back to work.
Pumping has not gone as well as I would have hoped. I don’t respond well to the pump. After I returned to work, I tried Reglan then Domperidone to boost my supply, along with a ton of other naturopathic remedies, but in the end, my body apparently lacks the ability to be an industrial milch cow. While I always tries to send one or two bottles of breastmilk to daycare with Isla, we supplement heavily with formula.
And for the last month or so, nursing has really dropped to the bottom of Isla’s list of priorities. If I’m lucky, we get in two good nursing sessions at night. I still try to nurse before and after work, but if the sun is out, Isla wants to play, not eat, and if she does eat, she wants a bottle which she can hold and do with as she pleases. Isla is also sleeping better through the night which means fewer late night nursing sessions. All of this has translated into more pumping, less nursing, and lower supply. I really want to make it to a year, but with a serious nursing strike on, I’m just hoping we make it to her 6 month birthday before I dry up. I’m trying to really appreciate each nursing session, because, for one, they’re few and far between, and for another, I’m just waiting for each one to be my last.
I’m sad about it and will keep trying to keep it going, but. There you go. The only real lesson I’ve learned as a parent is that with a baby, nothing ever goes according to plan.
I’m really glad we’ve managed to make it (almost) to 6 months. In the beginning, I didn’t think we’d make it 6 days, and I wanted so badly to quit at 6 weeks. It was worth getting over that initial hump, though, and I hope we can make it over this one, too.