And I hate it.
It started at around 4 months. Linc wasn't sleeping through the night, he was cranky after every feeding, & generally very unhappy. Now this wasn't my first baby rodeo so I knew to give it some time. Not stress out. Not run to the doctor at the slightest worry. So, I did give it time. Did some research. Asked some other mamas I trust. I started eliminating things from my diet to see if something I was eating bugged his tummy & after about a month of this, Linc was waking up nearly every hour in the night.
I finally took him to the doctor. He'd dropped from 76% in weight to 8%. "I think it's a problem with your milk supply." he suggested. ''But I nurse him constantly. Shouldn't it just regulate to what he needs." I held back the tears welling up (mama's not sleeping are scary creatures). He smiled as if he could read my mind, "Usually it does. But it doesn't look like its happening right now."
I had successfully nursed a HUGE child, Rob, for a solid year & I knew I could do it this time too. So, I went home & tried a holistic approach. Linc & I stayed in bed for nearly 3 days straight. I rested, took Fenugreek, drank a Mother Milk herb tea, nursed him all day long, & had lots of skin to skin time.
I tried the more medical approach. Drinking tons of water & power pumping in between nursing. I took the darn thing with me on errands. I called my doctor & started taking medicine 4 times a day that might help. But nothing was working. It was getting worse.
Finally I broke down & gave him a bottle. He sucked the nasty smelling thing like his ship was going down. I was crushed. I called the doctor again, he said keep nursing but start giving him bottles & that I had done everything I could. I talked to friends, got advice, & agreed. Both he & I needed to sleep & Lincoln McSkinnyArms needed more calories.
I gave him bottles & he kept guzzling them. And I grew to hate that bottle. He now looked adoringly at the bottle the way he used to look at me.
It was hard.
But he was starting to plump up. And sleep. And be happy again.
I once openly nursed Linc, dared people to give me dirty looks. Suddenly I was hiding in the bathroom or the car to feed him a bottle. I just couldn't take the embarrassment of not giving him the best I could.
We are down to nursing once or twice a day. Even that is getting slim. The bottle & I still have a love/hate relationship. He keeps Linc alive & I deal with having to share Lincs affection.
Why I'm posting this & what I'm trying to say is, that nursing is hard. Keep with it. Do your best. Try everything you can think of. But if you can't, if it's just not working, then don't beat yourself up. Don't cry yourself to sleep over the guilt that you're a failure. Baby is going to be just fine. Now make it so you are going to be fine.
I'm going to embrace it.