So, I posted a few days ago asking if anyone had any similar experiences; it seems not. Here's where we are now, and some background.
I breastfed my first until around 10 months of age, when all supply was gone. I continued nursing her - she just sucked for comfort - for another couple of months, at night when she'd wake. When she finally didn't need that comfort anymore, I felt relieved that what was - for me - a long, difficult period of lactation (or more like, not-lactation) was over. Nothing would increase my supply - the only thing that helped somewhat was complete bed rest for a couple days at a time when low supply was at its worst. I'm glad I was able to feed her via breast, but again, at the end of that first year, I mostly felt relief that it was over.
My second - and last - came along this summer. I had some supply problems again, but was managing better. At a month old she developed, first, milk protein intolerance - but then went on to develop an intolerance to nearly every food. I've lived on five foods only for the past 4 months. Now, in another spurt, even those foods she can no longer tolerate. (And when I say, can't tolerate, I mean this: bloody diarrhea, eczema, hives, vomiting, obvious pain....) I've tried everything. Enzymes, probiotics, every rotation and elimination diet imaginable, innumerable visits and calls to l.c.s, pediatricians, specialists.... I have nothing left to do but give her an amino acid formula. We've been trying to get her to take it during the past 5 days, and still nursing at night, trying not to make it too traumatic; but it is totally traumatic. The stress and grief is the most overwhelming I've ever experienced. (And I haven't lived a charmed life by any means.) All day she cries and refuses a bottle or sippy; we end up just trying to pour some nourishment into her mouth via cup or syringe. Health-wise, she's better, but I'm sure she isn't gaining weight right now. And I can't give her what I so desperately want to give her, what she so desperately wants, what should be "best" and "natural" and right and good.
I can't believe I can't feed my child. I know other parents experience worse; watch their children suffer worse; watch, even, their children die. But this, right now, is more than I can bear. I don't know if I feel this way because she's younger - not taking solids and simply can't for a long time yet - or if it's because she's the last and I won't have this experience again, or what. Has anyone else ever had a similar experience and felt like this?