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more precious than gold

the milk situation with nola has become very stressful.

pumping for nola has never been as productive as pumping for paul, but i also haven't worked as hard. i guess i felt i didn't need to because her demand for milk while i'm away from her has never been very great. so this time around, i haven't kept up with the mother's milk pills or the lactation tea (i couldn't find the brand i used to buy, so i tried something else that made me feel like vomiting -- so i cried foul and went without). i figured that as long as i could keep up with her daily needs and not have to regularly rely on stash, i'd be fine.

it was working until about 2-3 months ago. my supply suddenly went to shit. i think i was sick. my already low output went shockingly low. pumping was horrible while i had nola at the backup daycare. i pumped and dumped in dc -- good results one day, awful the next. then i got sicker and it dropped even more. for a while i was having to hit up the stash each and every day to fill nola's daily bottles.

but then i started to get better and production went up to about 50-60% of normal (normal being about 50% of what i used to get with paul in the same amount of time). my mom startled me by having me reduce nola's daily milk supply to a mere nine oz a day (three bottles of three) from 12 (three of four). she was drinking the milk from her bottles happily, but then she'd discard them with an oz or so left. so my mom decided that to cut down on waste, we might as cut down on what i was leaving her. i could keep up with that, yes.

it's a far cry from paul. at his peak, he was drinking 22+ oz a day while i was at work.

earlier this week my mother informed that nola had apparently weaned herself from the bottle. it's now the end of the week and the bottles i put in the fridge back then are still there. it'll be time to toss them soon. she absolutely refuses bottles. she absolutely refuses milk while i'm away.

this weekend i'm planning on picking up some simple straw cups and we'll try the milk in that. my stash is still going strong (i've added to it this week, obviously), so i'm hoping she'll drink it all over the next few months. i'm starting to wonder how much longer i should pump, and if i should try to push the bottle a little longer. since i planned to wean her from bottles at a year, it hardly seems worth it to encourage bottle use for less than a month.

she nurses happily throughout the night, but daytime nursing isn't always easy. there's too much going on and nola is a very active child. we can hide in a room with the windows closed and lights off, but unless she's really sleepy, her tolerance for that isn't very good. she screams, she twists, she bites (three and a half teeth). this has been going on for a while now.

i had always assumed i'd get to nurse for (at least) 18 months with nola the way i did with paul, but i'm not so sure anymore. is this just a phase? or is this really the beginning of the end?

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