Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fail

I know, I know, I said I would post videos and I haven't. We have had a crazy couple of weeks, it's hard to justify the time to sit down and write. We have been going through a relapse of sleeping through the night, which is probably related to the fact that my milk supply started drying up, which was really upsetting to me. Not only am I very emotionally attached to breastfeeding, but I couldn't understand why it was happening and my sleep deprivation was starting to reach a hallucinogenic state. Hunter was so fussy at the breast, he would latch and let go over and over and over. Solid food wasn't a problem though. I brought him to the pediatrician who recommended I see the lactation consultant. They gave me a referral. Great. Except I found out the next day that I didn't need a referral and that there were walk ins the afternoon I was already at the hospital for the appointment and apparently pediatrics isn't on the ball about things like that.

So started the cycle of disappointment. This is how women give up on breastfeeding, because my frustration had me crying, moping, and swearing up and down that I was done. I called my doctor. I guess it was lunch hour, so I left a message. That was Thursday. I haven't heard anything. I called three La Leche League numbers. I had to leave messages at all three places, but at least they got back to me within two days. I called and left a message at the Ft. Carson lactation consultant's office. Nothing. Finally, in desperation to just get someone on the phone, I called the WIC lactation consultant, who thankfully was willing to walk me through my issues even though I'm not enrolled in the program. As soon as she heard that I was on Seasonique, she told me, "If you had called yesterday morning I wouldn't have known what to tell you, but I spent all day researching Seasonique and I can tell you that even though the drug company says that it is safe for breastfeeding, it will dry up your milk supply because it is heavy on estrogen." It was my birth control. The whole time it was my birth control. I should rectify my previous statement, it was after this conversation that I called my doctor and left a message stating that I believed my birth control was drying me up and I needed to talk to someone about what to do.

The WIC consultant asked me which was more important to me, breastfeeding or being on birth control, because even if I switched to a progesterone only pill, there was the possibility of it messing with my milk. And I decided that breastfeeding is more important, so I stopped taking the pill. I wish I had a doctor's opinion before I did it, but I felt it required an immediate decision and they didn't get back to me. Since then my milk supply has gotten better and Hunter has started nursing without as much fussing as well. And, just to make me feel better, today at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, when he was hungry, he would have nothing to do with the bottle, it was boobie or nothing. We are still fighting sleeping through the night issues, but they have improved as well. He even self soothed himself back to sleep once last night (not the second time he woke up though).

Not being able to feed my son made me feel like a failure though. There was something deeply emotionally rooted inside of me that was devastated and after more than a week of trouble I was having serious problems dealing with those feelings. Thank goodness my parents were here for a large part of it, because having extra hands was a huge blessing. We are working through it, and I am gaining my milk supply back, but I understand why many women give up for the same or similar issues. Especially when there is so little helpful information out there. Breastfeeding is a process that extends far beyond the newborn stage, and it is a real shame that there isn't more help out there for the established breastfeeder. Without the help of one woman who happened to have done relevant research the day before, I would still be in the dark. Coincidences are divine.