Crossroads. (Breastfeeding Update)

So here we are. We’ve made it to 7 and a half months of breastfeeding. I wish with every ounce of my heart that i could call it “exclusive” breastfeeding, but it isn’t. And thanks to the hospital, it never has been. My BIGGEST regret? Not having a real birth plan. In huge bold, capital letters #1 would be, “Do not, at ANY cost, feed baby any formula without permission from the mother.” Because thanks to them, he had formula BEFORE he had a chance to attempt latching at the breast. I’m not bitter, i swear.

Moving on…

Where are we right now? Well, this month baby boy will be 8 months old. 8 months! I can’t even believe it. And i am proud to say, he nurses a FEW times each and every day. Lately, we’ve been on a schedule like this. He wakes up around 7 or 8, and has a bottle of breast milk, usually 5 ounces. Around 9 or 9:30, he has breakfast, usually a bowl of yogurt, applesauce, pears, and/or a piece of french toast (which he LOVES!). Sometime between the time he finishes breakfast, and lunch, he’ll have another bottle (whether it be at 10:30, or 11:30…), and it’s usually about 4 ounces of formula. Yesterday, sometime after this bottle, we snuggled into the big reclining chair, and he nursed/napped while i watched some of a movie. When he woke up, we had lunch. Lunch is usually a veggie of some sort, yesterday it was puree’d chicken/prune/butternut squash. He had another small bottle around 1pm, and then we laid on the couch around 1:30, and he nursed/napped again. [I get criticized for nursing him down to sleep and staying with him while he naps. He likes it, and so do i, so we do it.] He had a late afternoon bottle, and then napped right through dinner, but woke up and had some peas/sweet potato later in the evening. Another bottle, and then he nursed, slept on me on the couch until we went to bed, where he nursed down for the night, until he woke around 2 or 3am (we c0-sleep) and nursed off and on until i got up at 10 minutes of 5am. So, he really DOES nurse throughout the day. Every day. I can tell, he doesn’t EAT. Although you know what? I don’t know what it feels like to NURSE a fully EATING baby. I don’t think he has ever really nursed a full MEAL. I’d like to see what it feels like, what it’s supposed to look like. Because i really don’t know.

I’m still pumping. I feel awful, the last week or so i’ve managed 3 pumping sessions per day. That’s NOT enough. But usually i skip one BECAUSE i’m nursing/napping with Bug. So i feel it’s ok? I’ve been pumping anywhere around 7 ounces a day, which is below keeping my “fridge stash” at a steady 10/day. Yesterday i came close to 10 (i think 8 3/4) and then skipped my last session to snuggle on the couch and nurse instead. But i’m still averaging giving him 10 bottled ounces a day.

So here, at almost 8 months, he’s still getting my breastmilk. That’s an accomplishment, right?

The other day while “surfing” around the internet, i came across a place here in Connecticut. They’re a “breastfeeding medical center”. They don’t call themselves lactation consultants, but almost everyone there is an IBCLC. They take you in for appointments to assess you and baby, most appointments last a minimum of 2 HOURS. I’d REALLY like to see one of them. But — i still don’t have insurance. I don’t regret quitting my job, but i do miss the security of having health insurance. Hubby will most likely be getting us on insurance in October, so it’s less than a month more to wait, and baby is on insurance so he’s covered. But i’d like to make an appointment to see one of these IBCLC’s. I so regret that i haven’t done it sooner. I saw the hospital’s LC for about 10 minutes, when he was re-admitted for jaundice just a day after we initially took him home from the hospital. She watched me nurse, and then said she’d  give me her number so if i needed anything… but she never did. So i’ve never had a real meeting with an LC.

What do you guys think? Is it worth it, at this point? Our pediatrician says no, at this point. But i’d like to continue to breastfeed for as long as possible. Past 1 year, definitely. Maybe 2 years. Maybe they can see something i don’t? Maybe they have a suggestion to help with my supply that i haven’t tried? I feel like i’ve tried it all, but maybe there’s more help out there. I suppose i can call them… it’s the least i can do, right?

I’m not ready to give up, and i really feel that he isn’t, either. But should i just accept where we are and continue until it fades away… or do we keep working as hard as we can, to make any progress?

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