supply. stress. sleep. supplementing.
remember in my last post when i said my supply is a little low? i was downplaying that a little bit. for a couple of weeks now i have been pumping and getting barely enough for each feed. the milk i stockpiled in our freezer in those first days is gone. sometimes i get 2 ounces a side. sometimes, like the other night, i pump for 20 minutes and get less than an ounce total. i know it is not my fault. i am doing everything right. i am doing everything i can. i eat a healthy (if excruciatingly bland) organic diet. i drink glass after glass of water. i drink 3 cups of mother’s milk tea per day. i take my prenatal vitamins everyday without fail. i eat so much oatmeal i think i might be a quaker now.
this lack of supply leads to stress, which perpetuates a vicious cycle. the more i stress over my supply the worse it gets. sleep deprivation makes all of this more difficult. that pump session when i got less than an ounce? that was at 2 in the morning. i was not a pretty sight after that. let’s just say there was a lot of frustrated crying and spilled milk involved. travis (my knight in shining armor, as usual) calmed me down enough to sleep. he sat up with sylvie the rest of the night so i could rest. i felt much better that next morning.
after a lot of talking, crying (on my part), and a kind message from a good friend we have decided to supplement with formula every other feeding for the next week. 5 formula feedings a day for 7 days means i can pump and get 35 bags of milk in the freezer. it means i can stop stressing about my supply and (hopefully) produce a little bit more. it means the difference between another late night nervous breakdown and calm, nurturing feedings.
i am a mother. it is my job to feed my daughter however that needs to happen. it took me a few days to come to terms with formula. everything i had read lead me to look at it as liquid evil. it isn’t. we bought organic, dairy-free, dha and ara fortified powder. and you know what? she likes it. at first she looked at me with a expression that screamed WTF MOM?, but her first meal of it later and she is sleeping soundly in her father’s arms. i have two 3 ounce bags of milk in the freezer and i haven’t cried from the weight of it at all today. i’m doing what i have to and i don’t feel bad about it anymore. my hope is that, once the colic has passed, we can nurse exclusively again. i hope that this foray into formula is a very temporary roadblock on our journey together. the bottom line is that my daughter is a happy, healthy and well-loved almost 6-week-old, and i am a much happier mom.