To make this short, I have done everything humanly possible to be able to breastfeed my nearly 7 month old daughter. From the beginning I had issues with milk supply, possibly due to a very long labor with lots of IV fluids and pitocin but more than likely from having IGT. I did round-the-clock pumping, on demand feeding, fenugreek, milk teas, mother's milk special blend tinctures, even domperidone. I was finally at the place of being able to exclusively breastfeed her only to find out at this month's check up that she has not gained ANY weight since the last check up. We were previously going to weigh ins bi-weekly up until she was at her 4 month check up when everything seemed right on target and I felt I could let down the guards a bit. You can imagine my shock and horror that she was not gaining and so I immediately began supplementing her and she gained over a pound in a week!!
Right around this time we both got colds, she started sleeping longer stretches at night, started in on some solids, my period returned & my anxiety was at an all-time high. Subsequently my milk supply has utterly tanked. My daughter gets really frustrated nursing and will only do so for a couple of minutes before pulling off. I can tell my milk supply is down because the let-down is really slow and I don't leak milk from the other breast as she is nursing. I am back to pumping again a few times a day to see if I can get any results.
I am so sad to have come this far and put so much effort into this only to realize I am more than likely on the fast track to weaning. I was so proud to have made it 6 months and then got the big weight gain blow and now this.
My problem is I cannot just keep putting her to the breast to build the milk supply because she is in clear need of supplementing. I don't know what else to do. Should I just grieve the loss, be happy I made it 6 months and move on or try some more interventions? I have to say, this has been such a self-esteem blow and has meant so much to me to come this far.
I know I had gotten to where I was producing enough to meet most of her needs because she did not lose weight, so it was probably just under. At this point I am fine with her not being exclusively breastfed but I would love to nurse then top-off with formula for the next 5 months so I can breastfeed her a full year.
It makes me really sad and envious seeing how many people can breastfeed and even more sad how many people can but choose not to. I'd give anything to have had a completely normal breastfeeding experience.
I guess somehow I am wanting to hear I have done a good job and its not all been in vain or all a lost cause.