Saturday, July 27, 2013

Slow Goodbye

My milk is nearly all dried up now. There's still a bit left. Every time my breasts filled up (Taking much longer each time), I would feed Jack rather than let it go wherever milk goes when it doesn't get consumed. Seemed wasteful not to. So it's been a very slow process, but completely pain-free in its slowness and also it's giving me a chance to let go slowly.

My low milk supply, unfortunately, didn't allow me to keep the morning feed very well. At first I had plenty for one good feed, but slowly it decreased until it was nothing more than a snack. Apparently my normal output is a pittance. I'd had an inkling that all the pumping I did all day was necessary to have a good supply in the morning, giving my breasts a good eight hours to fill after a day of being emptied of their meagre offerings every 2-3 hours.

Well, I was right. Jack's feeds got shorter and shorter until he was no longer consuming enough to lull him back to sleep. It was a mere appetizer and nothing more. And since continuing to lactate has had some undesirable symptoms for me, I decided that the tiny amount he was getting was just not worth it.

Oh, a lactivist might tell me it's "liquid gold," but I really don't think it is, not in such tiny amounts. I can't see that it's so wildly superior to formula that several millilitres will do any real good, especially not at the cost of my physical comfort.

My teeth were getting sensitive. When I stopped pumping, it improved and when I stopped the morning feed, it mostly went away. I found other women online who experienced this, so I know I'm not alone. Having a decent sex life has been proving challenging. My body has not responded well to the hormones, and even hormone replacements haven't improved my situation much.

I have no idea why my body has been so adverse to breastfeeding. But it's slowly ending. I may have already done my last feed.

It's a hard thing for me. It's pleasant to nurse my baby. If I'd had enough milk to feed Jack each and every time, even if I needed to take meds and herbs, it would have been meaningful for us both. I still hurt sometimes when I think of the loss. Though when I see his excited little face when he sees his bottle-- his mouth makes this O shape and his eyes light up-- I feel at peace with this outcome. He never showed nearly as much enthusiasm for my breast and my milk as he has for formula in a bottle.

And speaking of which, it's bed time. But I have to wash the bottles before I go to sleep.

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