Well, six months and three weeks have passed since I had my precious little baby girl. And during that six months, she has had formula only a handful of times, in the beginning, when my supply was struggling. Ever since the beginning, I have struggled to keep my supply flowing. I have tried, and tried. I have ate cookies, taken pills, gotten up in the middle of the night when she has not, pumped like a crazy woman, and nursed like a crazier woman. On London's six month appointment, her pediatrician informs me that she isn't gaining weight as she should be, and that she needs more ounces in her bottles. "But she's not hungry after I feed her!" I protest, not wanting to be ruled as the bad mommy in the room. He explains that she has just gotten used to eating only four ounces at a time, and that a healthy baby requires AT LEAST 24 ounces a day, but should be eating more. What?! My daughter has been getting around 20 ounces...Uh-oh! I immediately realize that I just don't produce enough breast milk for that!!! My mind flashes to my freezer, where ten little bags of formula sit, and I panic, knowing that those will quickly disappear, since my supply has dropped even more in the past few days. Panic!! What am I to do? Do I HAVE to give her formula? I can't imagine loosing the bonding time with her! It's our special time to be together. Something that NO ONE else can give her! Something that only I can provide. As selfish as it sounds, even her Daddy can't compare to that! What am I supposed to do? Tears well up in my eyes, and my mind is racing. I'm trying to think of what I am doing wrong. What can I do differently? How can I FIX this?!?
During the last week and a half, I have been kicking it into higher gear trying to build my milk supply back up. No luck! It's just not working out for me. I am too exhausted to get up in the middle of the night anymore, and interrupt what little sleep I do get, to pump. Yet, here I am, freaking out because my supply is running so low that today MIGHT be her last day of solely breast milk! I'm devastated. Not only because I feel like I failed her. But I feel like my body has betrayed me!! I know of plenty of mommies that are doing just fine nursing their little ones. But not this mommy. I'm the mommy that has made it to six months, and now I'm possibly not going to make it to even seven. :-( It's so heartbreaking.
I keep watching her when she nurses, and feel like crying on the spot. I can't help but wonder, "Will this be the last time that I get to nurse her?" I really wanted it to be my decision when I would stop. Somewhere around 12 months. But, instead, it's not my decision at all. I am being forced to deal with it being out of my control. I don't want to lose control. It is one of the best things I have done for my little girl. I want to continue! I want to do more! It's what is best for her. :-(
My friends have suggested so many things, and they have been wonderful in trying to help me cope with this. Keep trying. Sometimes it's not meant to be. Try donated breastmilk (although I wouldn't be able to bring myself to do that). Don't give up. Pump more. Feed more. Take pills. Take prescriptions. Let it go. HOW??? Even they can't make me truly feel better about this.
I feel like an extreme failure. I feel like I haven't done all that I can do to stop this from happening. And in reality, I probably have not. But it some ways I know I tried my best, and my hardest. I've been dedicated. But it's not enough. It's never been enough. And in some ways, while I've given London the best start, she's also suffered some from that too. And that is probably what kills me the most.