The Wells Have Run Dry

Last week my already pathetic milk supply fell to a mere dribble.  Still, I pumped enthusiastically and swallowed my Domperidone tablet three times a day while chugging water.  It took me three days to fill one bottle. 

I decided I’d have one last big blow-out-all-you-can-suck breastfeeding marathon over the weekend, then give it up.  Only, Davie wasn’t really interested.  She’d take a polite nip or two, then she was on to bigger and better things.  Even when she was really hungry, she’d pull as hard as she could, then get fussy.  But as soon as she saw the bottle, her eyes would get big and she’d almost vibrate with excitement.  I could still get her to nurse as she fell asleep, when her tummy was already full and warm and her eyelids were heavy.  But other than that, no real interest in the boob.

I took it as a sign that it really was time to give it up.  But as Monday drew closer, nostalgia began to set in, and then I panicked.  I started pumping like crazy again and popping those pills … to no avail.  I pumped several times today but got just 1/2 an ounce – total.  I finally know what squeezing a drop out of the proverbial stone looks like.

I guess failing to pump and take the pills over the weekend dealt the final death blow, and now there’s no going back.  I have to look at the positives – we got 20 great weeks in.  That’s something to really celebrate!  I enjoyed every minute of it.  If I produced a lot of milk, I have to admit, I wouldn’t give it up yet.  I’d probably nurse her a year.  But since it’s pretty much gone, I guess it’s time to let it go.

By letting go, we can move on and start officially trying for another baby.  I haven’t had a real period since breastfeeding, so I’m curious to see how long it takes.  If I have to give up breastfeeding, I want to start trying right now, you know?  Something to take my mind off what I’m missing.  Something to make it worth it.  I know it was fading away no matter what I did, but I can’t stop thinking it was my fault for not trying harder, not pumping more, not doing more.  What if lightning doesn’t strike again and we never have another baby?  I just gave up something precious I can never get back again.

I’m trying to look at the positive, at what a wonderful experience it has been, at how lucky we were to have been able to go as long as we did.  Since I had a breast reduction, I was lucky to get to do it at all.  I’m lucky Davie was such an easy going baby and would take both a bottle and the breast as long as she did.  I know in the long run, I’ll be proud of what we accomplished. 

But right now, I just miss it.  I’m so sad it’s over.  It’s all going so fast, I just want it all to slow down.

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21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stacey
    Jul 18, 2011 @ 23:33:50

    20 weeks is amazing especially when doing the working/far childcare that you have been working with! I made it about 15 weeks before it all ended with Colby- and I did the same thing– I thought I was ready to give it up then I panicked and pulled out the pump again to no avail. After that I settled for rocking him to sleep every night… until he was 23 months! 🙂 Here’s to Baby #2 & making Davie a big sister.

    Reply

    • Anonymous
      Jul 19, 2011 @ 20:19:35

      I hope I can follow in your footsteps and get pregnant again right away! Rub your good mojo off on me! 🙂 I’m so glad you told me about your experience, it really does make me feel better – and a little less crazy.

      Reply

  2. Amber
    Jul 19, 2011 @ 08:08:10

    I am super impressed that you did so well for so long!!! Paisley honestly started to lose interest more and more every month so it was hard for me when I was still producing well that my baby suddenly didn’t care. And it hurt like crazy.

    I’m hoping you can have Baby #2 SOON. Maybe we’ll even get to experience our 2nd pregnancies together if we’re lucky!!!

    Reply

    • Anonymous
      Jul 19, 2011 @ 20:22:39

      That would be hard to go through, too. I think breastfeeding is a unique and emotional experience no matter how it turns out. I’m trying to focus on what we had and all the good we still have and not get too sad about what is lost. It would be so awesome if we could both get pregnant together! Lots of good baby mojo to us both!

      Reply

  3. linds
    Jul 20, 2011 @ 11:37:26

    I think you should be proud there were 20 weeks to share breastfeeding with her! 🙂 And this is definite sign that you can move on to TTC #2 now and not feel guilty about bfing because it just dried up naturally. Excited for phase 2 of the journey! p.s. Thanks for your lovely comments on my last post! 🙂

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jul 20, 2011 @ 22:31:44

      Getting back on the TTC wagon is the only thing that makes giving up breastfeeding seem worth it! I knew it was going to happen soon by itself, but it’s still hard to let that closeness go.

      I’m so excited for you guys! Hopefully injectables are just the thing you guys needed!

      Reply

  4. Katie
    Jul 20, 2011 @ 21:20:39

    I can imagine how hard it is to stop before you are ready to be done. I’m happy for you that this means your journey towards #2 can begin though!

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jul 20, 2011 @ 22:37:45

      It’s been hard. I’m really struggling with it, and with the regret. But TTC #2 has already been initiated, and I think that’ll take all my focus away soon!

      Reply

  5. birdsandsquirrels
    Jul 21, 2011 @ 01:49:38

    20 weeks is great! You have done a great job. I am right there with you with the emotional aspects of giving it up. I started panicking last week too when she didn’t nurse for two days in a row. The first night she didn’t nurse at all, I was a mess. I burst into tears when I left her room and couldn’t stop sobbing for a good ten minutes. The third night, she did nurse briefly, and since then, just for like a minute or two each night, but like Davie, she hasn’t been terribly interested.
    I think whenever you stop, whether it’s 20 weeks or 18 months, it is tough. I never thought I would have such a hard time with it. The intense sadness really caught me off guard. I hope that weaning now helps you with ttc #2 soon!

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jul 23, 2011 @ 21:35:20

      I’m dealing, but it’s hard. I still get really sad about it. Davie will nurse randomly, every couple of days we’ll have a sweet time together. I know it’s almost over, though!

      Reply

  6. MrsB
    Jul 21, 2011 @ 09:59:29

    I was so dissapointed when I stopped BF because my supply was so low. But we are so much happier now that I’m not tied to a breast pump every 2 hrs or fighting with him as he’s trying to rip my nipples off because he’d be lucky to get an oz between the two of them.

    While it is a sad moment I’m sure you will find that the freedom, and lack of breast pain, makes up for it. And 20 weeks is great! We only made it 7 😦

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jul 23, 2011 @ 21:38:14

      It IS really, really nice to not be pumping anymore. I don’t miss that part at all! I’m really surprised I still have a little milk. It’s nice ’cause every other day or so Davie will surprise me a nurse a little. I really loved that before, the boobie would fix everything! Now I have to find new ways to soothe her when she’s upset.

      Reply

  7. Makeup by Kim P
    Jul 21, 2011 @ 17:27:23

    Aww sorry to hear about your supply dwindling. The good thing is you tried, and the baby got breast milk. Whatever little bit counts

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jul 23, 2011 @ 21:43:38

      Id’ve kept doing it forever if I could have! I just love breastfeeding my sweet girl. But I’m really happy for the time we did have with it!

      Reply

  8. Jenny
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 14:53:52

    I, like everyone else, did it for as long as I could too. Had to pump & bottle Caleb from an early age b/c he wouldn’t nurse well. I tried every supplement & trick I could to keep the supply up, but a pump just isn’t the same as baby! At 5 1/2 months, I had to cave. I was so happy to be off the pump – it was so hard and time consuming, but I felt sooooo guilty about not being able to nurse/provide b’milk for him. Now its a year later, and he’s perfectly healthy. I know (as I’m sure you do) that they’ll be fine. 🙂

    But I agree – this is a sign for TTC #2!! Woohoo! Good luck!

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jul 23, 2011 @ 22:00:13

      Starting the process to try for #2 is really the only thing that has eased my sadness at losing the breastfeeding. And I’m so happy to not be pumping. I think I’ll miss breastfeeding for a long time, though. I wish I could go back and not have a breast reduction until after I had a baby. But that was before I ever knew I wanted kids, or how long it would take me to have one!

      Reply

  9. Myndi
    Jul 23, 2011 @ 09:42:01

    Oh, I’m sorry. This transition is so much more difficult than most people can imagine. I gave up breastfeeding about a month after PB went to work because it took so long and just wasn’t working into a manageable schedule. But it killed me. And a week after the decision, I wanted to go back to it and couldn’t because Pacey, who had fought giving it up, had finally settled into the bottle. It broke my heart. The one thing I truly regret and wish I could fix. Ugh.

    Take a little time to grieve it. It seems weird to think about it that way, but I think it’s approprite.

    In the meantime, TTC #2 is very exciting! Good luck!

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jul 23, 2011 @ 22:02:44

      You nailed it, Myndi – I feel like I’m going through a grieving process. I miss that closeness and attachment so much! I know a year from now it won’t make a difference, but it seems like a life-changing decision right now. But I know it was going to happen whether I stopped on purpose or not. I was already down to less that two ounces a day, no matter how much I pumped.

      Reply

  10. Another Dreamer
    Jul 23, 2011 @ 21:37:26

    Sorry that it came to an end, but I am glad you got some to experience it too. It must be really hard to let that go.

    TTC#2 is exciting too 🙂 Lots of positive thoughts for you!

    Reply

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