Saturday, September 3, 2011

Low Flow=High Guilt... it's starting...

My milk had been coming in since before Grace was here. Apparently I have a low flow going right now. In a glorious idealistic world she's latch on, receive the love juice that my breast make with ease, and then she'd fall off with a little happy milk mustache. Well... she kind of does that. But without the full belly.

So the guilt of motherhood begins. I feel guilty I didn't make her body perfect and I feel guilty that my body isn't making enough for her to gain weight healthfully. With the guilt there is always an opposition, another voice in my head cheering me on. While my guilt says I'm not a good enough mother and my milk won't come in and that I'm failing my baby by not exclusively feeding her a font of flowing breastmilk- my instinct, my little narrator Sophie says that, "well you have been stressed, give your body time, you are doing everything you can, you ARE STILL giving her milk, your body will do what is right in time, many mothers have low flow issues, the formula is helping her gain weight and that is what is most important, don't be hard on yourself because that will just make it worse."

And it will make it worse. Just like when I was pregnant those last few weeks. If I was upset and anxious and very sad I'd contract and sleep poorly and not take good enough care of myself. I know that if I'm sad and upset and frustrated with some breastfeeding difficulties it could make things worse. It could even lead to postpartum depression easier. Now in labor I exhibited mental and physical control through breathing and meditation and sensation deprivation. I was able to cope and make it through when I DID NOT fight it. I knew that going in. People wanted to hold my hand tightly. The EMT in the ambulance was anxious for me... but my hand was loose and limp or splayed open. Don't fight it, ride it.

Don't fight it, ride it. How do you ride through a rough transition to get a milk increase? Especially when you feed every 3 hours or more, when you feed with another bottle of formula afterwards, and when you pump after that for 10 minutes to empty the breast. Every. Stinking. Feeding. How do you ride that? Well, Kris helps me. I try not to cry or get frustrated and look at the positives: she's gaining weight, she's definitely still getting milk from me, more milk is coming in every day, and we still get all the breastfeeding bonding time.

Ok so yeah, I've been drinking really expensive Mother's Milk Tea as a supplement. $7 for a box of 16 and I'm supposed to drink 3-4 bags per day!!? And yeah, I've been take 2 capsules of fenugreek 3 times per day, and I'm starting to smell like it when I sweat and pee. AND YEAH, my breast pump adventures have lead me down some crazy sanitizing rabbit holes. But there is a baby. She has a full belly. I worry that she has tummy aches from the formula... but little Sophie inside knows that just isn't true. The gas may hurt. Baby is fine.

And the silver lining that I'm working every ding dang feeding towards? It will be only breastfeeding soon. She has a great latch, which is awesome. We have great positions, also great. We just need more milk flow. If I'm still struggling later, I'll end up getting a prescription. But I'm not planning on that. I'm planning on that ideal and glorious font of mother's milk that I know my body was created to make. Just like I was created to push out my little babe, I was made to feed and sustain her.

Right. So. Let's hope this positivity sticks with me. With hormone changes, you never know. In general, I plan to ignore it and hope it goes away. Kind of like her tumor. Doing everything I can now. Everything will work out good later.

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