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Breastfeeding Woes Part Deux

Mommy's Coming Home Soon Sugar!

Let me begin by expressing how grateful and supported I feel by all of the comments you readers left for me on my last post. They were informative, comforting and brought much needed realizations to my conscious.

I’m off to the health-food store today to see if I can’t find some malunggay capsules, thank you Marit! I really want to try this indigenous method from the Philippines to promote more milk production. Had no idea.

To answer some of your questions … yes, Lil’ Abner is indeed acting like she is hungry and not getting enough at times. She makes it quite clear when she feeds if there is or isn’t enough for her hungry little tummy. Those are the times that we supplement and she ravenously drains a bottle of formula dry.

For those of you who commented about having an under-active thyroid and how that affects one’s milk supply … holy HELL. I had no idea about this, why didn’t my midwives or doctor tell me this? I, too, have an under-active thyroid.

As for Abby being in the 10th percentile for weight, thank you all for your words of comfort. I know it’s nothing to get worked up about, especially since we’re doing what we have to do to ensure she eats enough, and she’s small-boned and a such a delicate lass in general. (Don’t ask me where she gets that from — the mister and I are both giants).

Here’s the thing. I want desperately to breastfeed exclusively. To provide that for my baby girl. Since I’m not bursting at the seams in the milk department, I need to work just that much harder for it. Work, I can handle. I’m a hardworking gal. When I am away from her, I pump every 2-3 hours, but I know that nothing beats my baby’s latch and feed to stimulate more production.

The reality of the situation is that I work full-time. Mostly from the home, but I am into the busiest time of my fiscal year which means that I am away from Abby for hours or days at a time, depending on the show. Like this weekend. We brought the littles with us for the beginning of my weekend art show because all of our childcare options fell through. It was madness but we dealt. Exclusive breastfeeding during this times is impossible, unless I make the choice to not work. That’s it in a nutshell.

So while the best thing may very well be taking a time-out with my baby for a weekend to stay in bed, skin to skin and completely dedicate that time to breastfeed and snuggle … I can’t. Or I thought I couldn’t. Unless I pull out of a show or give my assistant more hours, which I can’t afford. So, I have to make choices. Choices I’ve struggled with, which may be at the detriment to my  business during this sensitive time, but are necessary.

This of course makes me feel the ultimate bad mama. Like I should not be struggling, of even thinking of putting my career over my baby and the hard work of increasing my milk supply. The thing of it is — that my business has just started to take off and the competition is fierce. I know what you’re thinking. Fierce? For a plush maker and quilt creator? Yes. If one wants to take that business where I do. Wholesale. The big-time shows.

And all of this? The dedication and drive that keeps me up at 3am to make custom orders and product for shows this crazy busy time of year? Is actually for my family. My babies. I want to be able to provide the type of life for them that is enriched with travel, art, music, literature, culture, choices. And me. The idea is to ultimately work less as my business grows — to have a staff, allowing me to be with my children more. Big dreams, I know. Ones that are possible, I think.

So now you know my innermost secrets and dreams. Well, some of them anyways. As a mother.

TMI? I think not. If my sharing of of these doubts, struggles and dreams as a mother comforts or speaks to even just one mama who may be in the same boat as me? Then we’re winning. This is what we’re here for.

Does work conflict with your BF schedule? Do you have guilt about how the demands of your career take you away from your baby? Does pumping, no matter how much you do it — simply not cut it and in fact dwindle away your supply? Let’s continue this important discussion.

More from Babble: Breastfeeding Can Suck

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