annabel drank 12.
today, i've pumped 9 oz [with one session still to go] . . . and a. drank 14. day care reported that she 'seemed to want more' after her last bottle, and then she was clearly unsatisfied after tonight's pre-bedtime feeding session. though it broke my heart, i had josh give her 2 oz from today's pump sessions and she promptly passed out. i spent the past few hours feeling a mix of:
► frustration and anger. why can some people pump 12 oz before breakfast when that's all i can eke out -- with great physical effort -- during an entire work day?
► guilt. because obviously i must be doing something WRONG to not have this sort of supply.
► self-pity. obviously. because it's not fair!!! [like most things in life.]
► sadness. because i love our breastfeeding relationship, but not when she seems desperate for more and i can't give it to her. it's a horrible feeling.
unfortunately, the above cocktail of emotions is quite a familiar one -- reminds me of those awful disappointing ultrasounds and pregnancy tests during the most wretched of my TTC days.
but then again it's totally different. because with infertility came a horrible emptiness that gnawed on me daily. i woke up daily feeling like something truly important was missing from my life.
she's healthy. she's happy. i love her to pieces.
and i can't keep making myself crazy.
because of the above and because i also think it may help her sleep better at night [i can't keep getting up x3 -- i'm TIRED], i have decided to start dipping into my freezer stash. i'm going to make her day care bottles a bit bigger [5 oz instead of 4] since she seems to want more, and we will see how she does at night. i will continue to pump and breastfeed as i have been, but will likely be behind by 3 oz or so per day.
at that rate, my freezer stash will last about 2 months -- bringing a. to 6.5 months old. at that point, i will probably have to bite the bullet and supplement with some formula each day in her day care bottles.
and i'm pretty sure she will be okay.
i don't know why i can't seem to ramp up my production. i pump 4-5x/day [though usually 4], and she breastfeeds at least 3 other times [usually more]. i take fenugreek. i eat oatmeal [most days]. i drink enough water to have to make 35 bathroom trips daily, and i take in more calories than i ever thought possible. i don't think it is running related, as my mileage was a whopping 12 last week and i really don't see a correlation where harder workouts --> fewer oz. pumped.
if i had to venture a guess, i think it's just a combination of:
✖ naturally low-ish supply [so not a lot of wiggle room]
✖ slow letdown [making pump sessions inefficient]
✖ work keeping me away from my baby all day, interfering with the natural breastfeeding relationship <-- sad, but the right choice for us both.
anyway, i sort of feel at peace writing this out
most likely, i will not be one of those moms [like my own!] who will be able to say that my baby never had formula. but i highly doubt i will look back five years from now -- while getting a. ready for her first day of kindergarten!! -- and even think about it.
instead, i'll probably be looking back wistfully, barely believing that she was ever this small. yet another reason i shouldn't spend these precious months fixating over what she drinks. it's just milk.