Now let’s see where did we leave off when last we spoke about my boobs…..oh right the growth spurt. So when my champion nursing baby hit around 6 weeks old he started eating constantly. At the same time my mother-in-law came to stay about us and that visit was essentially a disaster as I alluded to in my previous post. I spent most of her visit in my rocking chair holding a very hungry and constantly nursing baby. This served to make me exhausted and additionally I think my nursing him when she was in the room made her uncomfortable. At that point I was not about to be walking up a flight of stairs to my bedroom to feed a child every hour on the hour. I suppose I’m of the mindset that in my house my rules prevail and that means nursing my son in my living room if I damn well pleased. Look I was really tired, very weepy, and extremely cranky. Best not to poke the mama bear.
About two weeks later the growth spurt had kind of calmed down and Don and I were scheduled to go to the wedding of two of my best friends. This made me anxious (obviously because I’M LIKE THAT) because it would be my first time away from my son for more than 1 hour. My mother graciously offered to essentially spend the entire day with my then very cranky infant. As much as I hated the idea I really wanted to attend this wedding so I put my big girl pants on (read: Pull Ups) and went to the wedding. This experience also served a second purpose in that I would be pumping during his normal feedings for the first time to get an idea of what that would be like when I went back to work.
So away we went up to Scranton, myself, my wonderful husband, and my new friend Mr. Pump. I discovered that day that I was not even close to capable of pumping a full meal for my son. My mother fed him every 2-3 hours and recorded how much milk he drank during those times. It turns out that no matter what I was just not capable of pumping more than about an ounce and hour and he was eating more like 1.5 ounces an hour sometimes more. This was a bit soul crushing but I had the distraction of an amazing wedding so I didn’t sit on it for too long.
When I got home I immediately set about the business of taking supplements, drinking tea and pumping extra in an effort to get my supply up but to no avail at all. A few weeks later my mother came to visit and Nathan was especially fussy. I fed him and then fed him again an hour later. After that we decided on a quick experiment and offered him a bottle of defrosted milk. This was to see if he was still hungry and also to make sure he would take the defrosted milk because I had to go back to work in 2 weeks. Well he took it. He actually drank 4 ounces AFTER eating from me and expelled a contented sigh and immediately fell asleep after.
After this experience things started to go down hill very quickly. With this new growth spurt Nathan was nursing constantly but my body just wasn’t responding by producing more milk. I was forced some days to defrosted a container just to help him get full enough to relax and go to sleep. It felt demoralizing and looking back the stress of everything going on at that point did not help. I felt like I was failing my baby because my body just couldn’t keep up with him. I kept fighting and I fed him as much as I could every day I was home with him. We made it through the growth spurt with only a minimal number of defrosted packages of milk that I had stored up. This experience was actually foreshadowing what would lie ahead when I returned to work when he turned 12 weeks. I will save that for later in the week because I’ve already written a whole bunch (and also it’s the part that makes me the most upset).