We had a bit of a scary situation on our hands last week.
I mentioned it a little bit in McKenna’s 8 month update; but my milk supply dropped very quickly and suddenly (during World Breastfeeding Week, no less!). I know what caused it; I had to go for emergency dental surgery to have 2 wisdom teeth removed, and my lack of eating following said surgery combined with antibiotics (and probably a bit of dehydration) caused my supply to plummet so low, I thought our days of nursing were truly starting to come to a close – and fast.
I feel like I have been pretty honest on the blog about my journey to exclusively breastfeeding McKenna, that it took a lot of hard work to get to this point and I am extremely proud of myself, and of her for making it as far as we have already. That being said, I was not ready for our journey to come to a close; especially so suddenly. So on top of all these factors that were working against us, I spent the better part of three days worrying, and contemplating the start of supplementation. I want to make it clear at this point that I have NOTHING against formula in the slightest. It simply just wasn’t what we had planned, prepared, and worked hard for. And any lactation specialist will tell you that worrying only makes things worse (my sister-in-law also informed me of the same), and that supplementing, is generally the beginning to an end (because nursing works on a supply/demand system).
So we stuck it out. I did what a lot of women do when faced with supply issues – I took a few nights to simply relax, put my feet up, and drink a few beers. I ate oatmeal at night and at breakfast (two things said to help with supply issues). I nursed, nursed, and nursed some more. Anytime McKenna seemed even a BIT hungry, I laid down, relaxed, and let her go at it. I started eating solid foods much earlier than I would have had I not been responsible for someone other than myself (dental surgery has quite potentially scarred me for life! LOL) and I just trusted my body to come through for me when I truly needed it to.
It was a rough 3 or so days, but we made it through. I am happy to say that it looks like we are past this obstacle, and I am back to be a fully functioning milk machine (/dairy cow), and we are back on track to hit our goal of one year.
I guess the whole point of this post is really to remind myself of how scary those few days were. Although somedays I have a love/hate relationship with nursing, the love outweighs the hate about a million to one. And the benefits of nursing McKenna for 8 months thus far have already started to shine through – she still, apart from a stuffy nose and a two mild fevers, has never been sick (now PLEASE, can everyone knock on wood!). This is the justification I need for me to push on. That and the fear I felt those three days when I truly thought it was the beginning of the end. I was already beginning to mourn the loss of those early morning, mid-afternoon, and middle of the night (yes, even those) cuddles. It is my favorite way to reconnect with McKenna when the busyness of life sometimes gets in the way. And I am so proud of our accomplishments, and proud of myself for my dedication to this very worthwhile cause.
So here’s to another 4 months of successful nursing, and here’s to never giving up on the things that mean the most :).