Feeling a little down on myself today for dropping to 1 pump session and having to introduce cow's milk at 12 months so I thought I would share my bfing journey.
I've always known I wanted to give breastfeeding a valiant effort. At the hospital we did skin to skin immediately after delivery. She latched on with no issues. People always tell you colostrum will be enough for your baby in the first few days. That was not the case for us. She cried so loud and uncontrollably the first night that every one on the floor heard her. The head nurse & LC came in to check on us because she was crying so loud. The LC tried the 5s which worked for a while and finally she suggested a SNS system to supplement until my milk came in. The LC suggested 1.5 oz while the head nurse suggested 3oz. The LC thought it was enough and we trusted her and went home armed with that knowledge.
When we got home, the second night, she was again crying uncontrollably for 6 hours straight. She was refusing SNS and/or boob. In desperation we tried a pacifier and even a bottle. She was inconsolable. So at 4 days old in the middle of the night we rushed her to the ER because we feared something worse. I do not wish that experience on anyone!!! They ran a whole host of tests and found nothing wrong. The nurse tried giving her a bottle and M guzzled down 2 oz in no time flat. We felt like the worst parents at that point watching her guzzle down that bottle. Then when she got home she guzzled down another 2 oz.
I was literally starving my child.
After that we have supplemented with formula ever since and the fear of starving her has mostly eliminated any guilt of supplementing.
Then we found out she is intolerant of dairy so I cut all major dairy out from my diet. At almost 12 months I am just now starting to bring back cheese, ice cream and today cow's milk for the first time!
I work full time so I have been pumping 2-3x a days since she was 6 weeks old. Through 4 different jobs because I was laid off then at a job I wasn't happy at then a temp job and now hopefully a long term job. My last job and current one I've also been pumping in a bathroom bc they had no open private rooms for me to pump in.
At almost 12 months I decided on Sunday night to drop to one pumping session a day. For the last 2 weeks I have been barely getting 1 oz in my second pump session. Finally I admitted defeat and dropped that 2nd session.
I have always had a supply issue and for a blissful two weeks I actually pumped enough for a full day's intake for her.
My short term goal at the beginning of my journey was 6 months. I was ecstatic when I reached that. My long term goal is 1 year and I am ecstatic I am hitting that. She is ONE on Sunday! However we were doing so good a month or so prior I had high hopes of going till 13 months before introducing cow's milk. Now I am starting to come to grips that we will be introducing cow's milk at 12 months. As it stands now I am only pumping enough for 1 bottle and she is getting 2 bottles of formula.
It hasn't been a terribly hard journey but it wasn't easy either. I'm so proud of myself for making it to my goal.
Not sure yet when I will stop pumping but I definitely plan to keep nursing in the mornings and evenings. Hopefully she will self wean before 2 years!
Thanks for listening and thanks to this wonderful community for your support along all my bumps! I don't think I could have made it this far w/o the support of my husband, this community and my mom's group!