It's been an emotional rollercoaster. All the starting and stopping and supplementing and exclusive formula-feeding and exclusive pumping and losing milk and then rebuilding my supply...again and again and again...but we've finally made it -- I am exclusively breastfeeding Meira.
Yes, in last post I said I was happy pumping, but I knew that wouldn't last. I started feeling a bit like a prisoner to the pump. I couldn't go out for more than a few hours, I was obsessed with the how today's yield compared to yesterday's, and sometiems Meira would be crying while I was pumping and I couldn't get to her and that made me feel downright silly. Also -- all those bottles...too many dishes.
I spoke and then met with an amazing lactation consultant (actually two -- Fran and Alexis), who both helped me realize that a) I have plenty of milk (and I better, after all that hard work), b) Meira has a good latch, and c) I can do this. They also helped me work on d) relaxing. So I slowly exchanged pumping sessions for nursing sessions.
It was hard. At 6.5 weeks into the whole ordeal (because that's what it was), I felt like I was at square one -- with a baby just getting the hang of nursing, falling asleep all the time, wanting to nurse all day, etc.
And we're still working on it. We're certainly not at the every 3-4 hour mark. And because I switched from formula to nursing at night, we've both been getting a little less sleep (though the nights are still pretty good).
I'm not gonna lie -- breastfeeding is hard. But I am starting to get glimpses of what people mean when they say that it's easier than bottles, and more enjoyable.
So here I am, patting myself on the back for a job well done. And here's to Meira -- a very patient little baby!