I just read this entire thread and am so uplifted by all of your stories! It's so nice to feel that 1) I am far from being alone in this struggle, and 2) I'm not crazy for continuing to BF despite all these obstacles. I'd also like to invite everyone to join a Yahoo! group I'm a part of, Mothers Overcoming Breastfeeing Issues (MOBI):http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/mobi/
It's a great group for finding support (and NO judging for FFing or anything else!) and answers to any and all BFing questions.
I'm not totally sure of the reason for my low milk supply. I think it's mostly to do with how sick I was after delivery - I've never been so sick in my life (I had unexplained and sudden REALLY high blood pressure after the delivery, plus terrible pain from degenerating fibroids... I was actually delierious much of the time) and DD was in the NICU with anemia; we were effectively separated for a week. I barely pumped that whole time, and my milk just never came in. It was devastating, emotionally and physically.
However, my milk did eventually
come in, but when it did (at 4 weeks) there wasn't much. Part of me thinks that I'm just perpetually 4 weeks behind in meeting DD's nutritional needs, but part of me thinks there's a larger problem. I'm currently taking domperidone, MM Plus, and goat's rue tincture. I've been trying to pump the recommended 6-8 times daily, but am lucky if I get in 5.
I don't have PCOS, but was on metformin for a strong familial insulin resistance - my endo actually put me on it as a preventative as no woman in my family has NOT had gestational diabetes! It did the trick - I had no sign of GD.
I actually went off met after delivery (sort of accidentally, I just kept forgetting
: ) even tho my endo wanted me to keep taking it. I had no idea it could be helpful to milk supply - I'll start it up again since according to Hale's book it's safe. I also have a hormonal imbalance - I have large uterine fibroids that interfere with normal hormonal function, eating up estrogen and producing excess progesterone. In fact, I wasn't even supposed to be able to get pregnant with them, and they're most likely the reason why DD crashed at the end of my pregnancy - they wrestled away her blood supply. My LC actually thinks that it may be the fibroids that are impacting my milk supply the most. It seems like they are always doing something to make life hard.
: I *could* have an operation to remove them, but I am sort of done with hospitals and operations for the moment.
There is a med to treat fibroids that will come out in 2005. It makes me sad, but if it's necessary to stop BFing DD at one year so I can take it, I probably will.
There are so many emotions that I go through on a daily basis, trying to BF. Each small victory and setback gets so magnified. I sometimes wonder why I am SO obsessed with it, if it's healthy. The worst guilt I have by far is when I fantasize about "next time" - as in, with my next child, I won't have these fibroids, I won't be sick, s/he won't be sick, we'll BF from the minute s/he's born, s/he'll lie on my tummy and I'll be the first person s/he sees, and we'll BF for years in perfect harmony... It's silly, and probably totally normal to want that "second chance" but it makes me feel terrible that I can't just accept and love what I do have with DD and not need to fantasize about something "better".
I really want to get to a place where our BFing just "is", where I don't feel any constant, obsessive, drive or struggle to make it "better". I pray every day that my milk supply will increase, but I also know that I need to find some acceptance of where it is right now, to find a way to love what we have and stop regretting that it's not the perfect fantasy I had before she was born.
Well thanks for reading! All I really intended to say was a quick hello to all you fellow low supply mamas - guess I had some thoughts that needed to get on out!
to all of you!