Monday, December 12, 2011

The W Word

What's been going on in this here brain of mine lately? Well a million things, but the loudest topic is weaning. Obviously this topic wouldn't be at the forefront of my consciousness if it wasn't for the drastic plummet of my milk supply over the last few weeks. Whenever I find myself freaking out completely there are a couple things I do: first, I turn to Oak and Kelly. They are my girls. Kelly offers that soothing comforting friend response that is like 'it is okay, even if you only produce one bottle a day, you are giving him something'. And Oak offers that no nonsense response of 'shut the eff up stupid head, it's going to be fine'. Both are much needed to help this crazy train stay on the tracks.

It is really difficult to verablize what breastfeeding has come to mean to me. Kelly and I have both tried to discuss it, but the conversation kind of goes like this: me - 'I don't know how to describe it, but is just like....yeah I don't know'. Her - 'I understand, it is the same for me'. I know pretty explanatory. We both just get it. Whilst she exclusively pumps, she too has formed the same attachment to giving Maggie breastmilk. I think the best way to describe it comes from her when she told me 'it is something no one else can do for her and so it makes me want to keep going'.

Kelly has become my bosom friend (see what I did there?) when it comes to milk and such. We both had/have the same initial idea about our "plan". Try to make it a year and then start the weaning process......well that is until shit started happening with my supply.

Now if you are a breastfeeding mother (obviously by this I am also talking about those who pump and then bottle feed, just to clarify because I don't want to write that every time throughout this post. Basically let's just agree that when I write breastfeeding I mean breast milk feeding), let me give you a link for when you might panic. Whenever I start to flip out about my supply, which is like every other day, I like to go here. Warning: they are biased as shit. They are those crazy hippie people who encourage women to breastfeed until your child is really ready and they say that can be between 2-4 years old. Okay everyone wipe that grossed out look off your face.

Believe me, I understand the look. I had it too when I first read that. I read their "section", which was 4 measely sentences, about "mother-led" weaning. Basically it was like, wean if that is what is right for you. But do it very slowly. And hey, how about you consider waiting until after you baby is a year and a half rather than wean. So yeah biased towards breastfeeding. I read their website and then turned to both Oak and Kelly and said 'silly hippies! I am going to look at other articles'.

Then I found this one. And I started to feel a little convinced....convinced by those 'silly hippies' and their arguments for extended breastfeeding. I am not really certain how I came to the "one-year deadline" for breastfeeding Jack. I guess I honestly wasn't sure I could make it this long. With going back to work and traveling  being a big part of my work (my boss has been amazing by the way. I have basically had a travel-pass despite us being at the point where Jack is now taking the bottle, but that is a story for another day) I wasn't really sure if I could make it past 3 months. And here we are eeeking up to the 9 month mark. I find myself saying (shout out to Josey) Holy Fucking Shit! I am glad. I am honestly glad I have made it this far. And when my supply took an additional dive this week, I decided rather than panic (easy for me to type, less easy to do) I should just go with the flow. If this is as far as I can go, so be it.

To give you some numbers (if you're not interested skip past the colored text):

When I first started back to work I was pumping 10-16 ounces a day. 4 months in 8-10 ounces a day. 6 months in 8 ounces a day. Starting this Monday, so call it 9 months in, 4 ounces. Which I obviously flipped out about. So after Monday's pump, I decided to start the milk stimulants and to bump up to two pumping seshes a day. Rather than 1 - 10 minute session, I find myself doing 2 - 20-30 minute sessions just to get 6-8 ounces of milk. It is obviously disturbing me a little. (dot) com is obviously helping a little bit and I am trying to have the 'it is because he is eating solids and this is just a natural drop' yada yada yada attitude. But what I am actually thinking (which is probably more logical and less hippie based) is 'I am pumping less than 8 and in that same period he is drinking 12-16 at daycare. yep we have a supply and demand issue'.

No statistician could be swayed by them there numbers. But in reality, Jack is just catching up to the milk he missed out on those first however many fucking months he decided he hated bottles. I pumped that milk for him, so he is just finally getting around to drinking it. And who knows. This lull could just be temporary, but considering we are on week two of taking jagerboob stimulants and drinking a shit ton of water and uping my protein and what not and we are still barely getting 6-8 ounces out of two pumps....we might be on a downward slope.

But let's say this is just a blurp. Maybe next week things will be back on track, I will be producing enough to keep him going and what not. Then what? Do I really want to wean at 12 months? As I said, the selection of 12 months was just a pick out of the air kind of thing. Really what it all boils down to is the Deuce.

The Deuce is what I have lovingly dubbed child numero dos. I would like to get that little effer on his/her way before too much longer. It shouldn't come as a shock to most of you, since I outright said I wasn't going to get on birth control after having Jack, that I am just asking to get pregnant. Hear that world? I am fucking sitting here tempting fate to get pregnant and what are you doing about it? nothing! That's right you aren't even making me pay for it. All those times I made fun of those "I didn't know I was pregnant" chicks saying 'who doesn't know they are pregnant? stupid women'....yeah I said those things....come on, don't you want me sorry for ever saying that?....I am a bitch and you should teach me a lesson by letting me get pregnant without knowing it..come on do it.....fucking mother nature right? She can't even teach you a lesson when you really deserve it.

If you couldn't gather from that little ranty rant, I wouldn't mind getting pregnant with the Deuce. I think I kind of flipped out a little about the idea when the Oakster got pregnant and we all started to come to grips with the fact that her kiddos were only going to be 15 months apart. But after that initial shock,...i found myself jealous. Having kids 15 months apart does sound overwhelming, but it also sounds fucking awesome. Think about how close Mac and Natalie (obviously what she is naming her 2nd child) are going to be.

Despite wavering a little bit back and forth about the idea of getting pregnant again so soon, I am ready. And by that I mean a little scared shitless, but also kind of is hard to explain. And just to see if fate really was going to make a fool out of me, I POAS a couple weeks ago just to be sure that I wouldn't wake up one day and feel the need to poop and then feel really bad about jokingly calling my child the Deuce. Obviously it was a BFN.....and those bitch ass IF feelings came flooding back in. Great I am broken, I don't work, I am not a woman. No seriously, those thoughts made themselves right at home in my noggin' and here I am one of the luckiest girls in the world to have been given the gift of Jack. I guess once an IF, always a bit of an IF.

Obviously I quickly reminded myself that I do work...or well I did work that one time. And I know it is perfectly natural what is going on with my bod. As much as people try to warn you 'you can get pregnant while nursing!'....I am thinking it might be an impossibility for me. I haven't had a period yet. So despite hoping I can get pregnant while nursing....yeah it might not happen.

Basically it all boils down to: wanting to get pregnant and not really wanting to wean right now. So what is my plan of attack? Because obviously I always have some sort of plan of attack. I think I will semi stick to the original plan. At 12 months I think I will get back in touch with my acupuncturist and see if she can get my cycle going without having to wean. I will give that a go. And if that route doesn't work, then I will start the weaning process. I am hoping if I just eliminate a couple of feedings a day then AF will be convinced to show back up. We'll see.


  1. My husband and I had the- when are we going to start trying for #2 talk this weekend. Scary but something to think about when dealing with IF. I hope you can bf Jack as long as you can, you have done great getting this far, it's been a struggle for me so I like to hear some positives about keeping going!

  2. I think you rock that you've been able to BF for so long. I was under-enthused by my ability that's for sure. I definitely think going back to your acupuncturist is a good idea, and who knows? Maybe you will be able to continue BF and get knocked up with deuce too!

  3. I like seeing my name on your blog. :)

    You already know what I think about all of this.

  4. OMG you need to start texting me so I can be the friend who says, "let's drink about it.". This has nothing to do with breast feeding but I do funny things when I'm drunk so it will cheer you up.

  5. Your mind is a very busy place. Weaning is scary but once you do it, you'll realize, really not so scary afterall but actually, quite freeing. And when your boobs go back to normal size? AWESOME.

    anyways, I would just like to point out how fucking nutty you are being worried about a BFN when you haven't even HAD a period yet. You do realize that you're crazy right? And by crazy I mean very very loved by me and also, straight up crazy. :)

  6. Oak's comment is hilarious.

    I don't have anything to add to this except that: you are doing a great job feeding Jack in general. So relax. (Cuz it's that easy, right?) xoxo

  7. This entire post is like deja vu for me... seriously. So you can call me any time and we can drink about it together as well. In the mean time, here is my unsolicited advice:

    If you choose to continue pumping, there are a few things I recommend. First, go to Target and get yourself a box of the Archer Farms brand cereal that is chocolate granola.... I don't remember the name exactly, but it is delicious. It's ingredients??? Glad you asked. Oatmeal (good for supply) and real live actual fenugreek. In your cereal. Did I mention it's delicious? You're welcome.

    Next, go on Yahoo and join the Yahoo Group called PumpMoms. They are an AMAZING support community and will have a bazillion suggestions for increasing your supply and also will encourage you through the difficult times without being judgey wudgey about your own decisions.

    Finally, try the "Power Pump" technique, where you pump for 10 minutes, break for 10 minutes, pump for 10 minutes, etc for an hour. Do this one hour of the day for several days in a row to a week. It should increase your supply because it tells your body that baby wants to nurse more often.

    However, if you're like me, it might just not matter what you do, your supply just might be done. That happened to me at 5 months, and I had hoped to make it to a year as well. If this is the case, or if you decide to wean anyway, you can't beat yourself up about it. Remember how many months of your milk you've given to Jack and focus on the good things you've done rather than the negative of having to wean.

    If you decide on formula, like I told you before, I recommend trying Gerber Good Start first because it tastes the most like mother's milk. Start with 3/4 of a bottle of breastmilk and 1/4 of formula and gradually increase the formula so that it's an easier adjustment. And let me know if you need anything else! =)

    Love ya!

  8. i have no words of advice, as i'm currently staring at my own breasts in awe

  9. You are definitely NOT breaks my heart to read that! This is going to happen, don't let those old feelings back in. Remember Jack's are SUPERWOMAN.