LFM is (miracle of miracles) not in my arms...a rare occurrence indeed]
Okay, so what I have not been writing about, because it has been devastatingly heartbreaking to me, but what has been occupying my every waking moment and my every waking and sleeping moment, is milk. Specifically the lack thereof. I should preface this for those who may not be in the know, that breastfeeding has always been something that is so incredibly important to me, even before the LFM was an itch in his Daddy's pants. Its something I looked forward to, not only for the superior nutrition I believe it gives, but also for the bonding factor. And I love that bonding factor, I truly do. I adore nursing, even in the middle of the night, and Jonah loves it too. I love that when he wants comfort he asks for and looks for it in my breast- that he knows that is always a safe place for him. I love nourishing him with my body.
And that last one is where the heartbreak begins.
The LFM hasn't been getting as much nourishment from these breasts as he needs since the get go. We've been having to supplement with formula since we discovered at about 2 weeks old that he wasn't getting enough to eat. Since that time I've also been busting my proverbial balls to increase my milk supply through a prescription med, every herbal remedy known to woman, and a rigorous and demanding schedule of incessant pumping so that each feeding takes about an hour to an hour and a half with nursing then giving the bottle then pumping. And make no mistake about it, the pumping sucks. It sucks beyond belief. I feel like a moo cow imprisoned by this machine- I can't go anywhere without either bringing it along or racing to be back in tgime to pump. Its been my jailor but I was hoping it was also to be my savior, so I dutifully stick to it for the last month, charting my way through the whole endeavor to log every single ounce and cc I got. I went to the Lactation Consultant every week, the pediatrician every 5 days, suffered through thrush in the LFM's mouth and on my nipples (ie stabbing pain in my breasts every time I nursed and pumped) and cried endless buckets of tears, but I was certain that in the end it would be worth it. That all the hard work would yield a bountiful harvest of milk in the end, because doesn't hard work pay off? Don't I deserve a little slack from the universe after everything?
It seems like the universe is slapping me in the face here. Or getting quite a laugh at my expense. Or both.
Because when I went to the Lactation Consultant's last Friday, the cruelest of the cruel was revealed...my supply now seems to be decreasing.
I'm sure its hard for most of you to understand why this is even a big deal...if you have enough milk you can't understand, if you chose to bottle feed you can't understand, and if you're a guy or have no kids, fuck you if you even think you can try to understand. Basically I feel like the world's most inadequate mother. I feel like my body has betrayed me. I feel like I'm missing out on something everyone else gets to have. And I feel like this is just one more thing that cancer has stolen from me.
And the grief, she is immense.
And I want my Mama.
We're not giving up yet, but its not looking good at all.
When do I get a little break here in the sadness and grief dept?