Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nursing Update - I think I've been "Lapped"

I'm not sure this is a good analogy, but it's sort of how I feel. I think about a week ago Piper overtook me and I've been "lapped." Until then I'd been killing myself to keep up with her, but my supply lost out. She's suddenly taking more formula at bedtime and during the night to get to sleep. I still don't supplement much during the day, but feedings are frequent. I just haven't been able to keep up with her anymore. This is a crucial time (between 4 and 5 months) that babies really ramp up the volume of their feedings. I'd already been wondering how I could possibly feed her more often to increase my supply. I was feeding her 10-12 times a day at that point. Yikes!

This is bittersweet, but possibly also a blessing in disguise. I'd hoped to make it to six months...I still may, but at this point I'm just taking her lead. I suspect she may migrate more towards the bottle (more reliable at this point) and then my own milk supply will just slowly diminish. Hopefully I can keep a few feedings for a while, but weaning off very slowly will be the best for both of us, physically and emotionally. I'm not actively "weaning," but if that's the direction it goes I'll just go along with it.

This is bittersweet because as hard as it's been I've loved this bonding time with little Piper. I really felt like I missed out on this with Morgan, so I've cherished being able to have another chance to experience it. I think I've mentioned this before, but I've been told that this is a bit of a "heartbreak" when it ends for all Moms, no matter how long they nurse. It's a loss that needs to be "grieved" as well.

As I mentioned it's also a blessing in disguise. I've begun to realize that this will be good timing to take advantage of the "freedom" not nursing will allow me. I need to start working with Morgan on potty training and other developmental areas. I've known for a while that too much of my mental energy has been spent with continuing nursing (or figuring out how to continue). It's time to move on. Morgan thrived on formula and Piper will continue to do so as well. David has also mentioned that he is willing to take over some night feedings on the weekends when I am ready. Did I mentioned how great my husband is and what a great Daddy he is?! Who volunteers to do this?! He loves being a big part of his babies' lives. Such a blessing! I'll also be able to focus a little more time on myself by making it back to the gym more often. I found during my pregnancy that this really boosted my energy and mental well-being. Now that I am a Mom of two this is essential!! Morgan does well in the childcare there. It is good for her to have time with other kids. Piper has been a few times now and I expect she'll do fine too.

Overall, I know I've done my best. My Lactation Consultant told me last week, "if all my patients worked half as hard as you have, I wouldn't have much of a job." That made me feel good. This is the same woman who told me with Morgan "I just don't think you have the patience." I remembered that. Well I had a leg up with Piper as she tried harder as well, but I knew I wanted to give it my all. I know I have done everything I can to nurse Piper as long as possible. Now it's time to slowly move towards the next chapter. Thanks for keeping up with my "saga." I hope it hasn't been TMI, but it's helpful to record my thoughts on it. I'll keep you in the loop on how things wind down in the next few weeks or however long it lasts.

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