It warms my heart to find this thread.
I was (finally) diagnosed with breast hypoplasia when my daughter was about 3 months old. By then, we had a small tongue-tie clipped, many many LC consults, tried Reglan, tried every herb under the sun, pumped like crazy, etc., etc., all without improving my supply to the point I could stop supplementing with formula (which I hated!). I felt defeated. Breastfeeding was something I had taken for granted since I was bf'ed until I was 3 and my mom always talked so positively about it. It was such a shock, and so heartwrenching. And, to make matters worse, I had a horrendous pediatrician who couldn't understand what all the fuss was about, and thought I should just be happy that formula was an option.
My diagnosis-- though it meant there was probably nothing to be done-- was so comforting. So much made sense. Like many of you, my breasts grew only slightly during pregnancy. My breasts are the tell-tale conical shape. I have a wide flat space between them. When my husband and I were--finally-- told about hypoplasia, we finally knew the demon we were up against and it all just clicked. Somehow, knowledge is empowering, even when it shuts off some possibilities, you know?
We had a beautiful nursing relationship until my daughter was 13 months old. Then, during a cold when she was uninterested in nursing anyway, I gently encouraged her to wean. I was ready. I felt exhausted-- physically, mentally. And she was fine. We supplemented with formula until she was a year old, then transitioned to milk. I never was able to breastfeed exclusively.
I feel healed now (she's almost three), but it's a fairly recent feeling. I thought I was ok before, but last summer my (well-intentioned) mom said some things that brought back some of the anger and sadness from those low times. I went through a series of tests in the fall to rule out any contributing factors to my supply issues. My doctors have told me there's nothing to be done to improve my odds the next time around, aside from the general statistic that most hypoplastic women have more success with subsequent children. Nonetheless, I started acupuncture this January-- turning to Eastern medicine when there were no more answers in Western. My acupuncturist is ready to see me again when our next baby is born and to help however he can.
We're now trying to conceive our next child. A wonderful, amazing friend has offered to pump and donate milk for us, so it looks like no matter what, we'll have a much better supplementation option. I'm glad to be going into the next pregnancy/birth aware of the challenges that lie ahead. I feel empowered-- we did this once, under much worse circumstances (lack of information), and I know we can do it again.
There was so little information out there three years ago. Thank you all for putting it out there now. You are all incredibly strong.