To giving up on breastfeeding this weekend.
Like, put your pointer finger and your thumb a micron away from each other, so close that you can barely see any space in between the two, and that's how close I was to chucking the whole shebang this weekend.
But it's Sunday night...and I'm going to give it another week and see if that changes things.
What's going on? Oh, nothing much...except that the solution for getting my milk production up was to allow Jax to cluster feed all weekend, giving him no bottles, forcing him to breastfeed and therefore increase my milk. That came from both his doctor on Friday and my doctor as well. Great plan. Excellent in theory.
But what do you do when your child has decided that he doesn't WANT to breastfeed? If the answer if not giving him any other food options, holding his head to your breast while he screams for 30 minutes (or more) until he finally admits defeat and latches on, or other such ideas similar...then they've all been tried in this household. And that's why I'm about that same distance away from LOSING MY MIND.
Here's some stats for you:
Days on this plan: 2
Nights without more than an hour of sleep for me: 2
Times attempted to breastfeed and had to admit defeat and fix a bottle because I can't stand to see him go hungry: 2
The longest stretch that he slept last night: 57 minutes
To say this has been the weekend from hell might be the understatement of the year. This is hard, ya'll. I want to continue breastfeeding, but pumping alone is not increasing my supply no matter how often I do it. No matter what supplements I take. No matter what I eat in order to boost my calories and make more milk. It's just not enough. I need his cooperation for this to work. Case in point - my last pumping session from earlier today when he wouldn't eat? Double what it normally is at that time of the day. So, having him feed from me clearly helps my body produce more milk.
But what do I do when he won't feed from me? I've accomplished most of it this weekend either by wearing him down or tricking him. Since I use the nipple shields by Medela, I can put a little expressed milk between me and the shield in the cap of it, allowing him to "see results" of his sucking actions faster. This seems to keep him from getting so frustrated, but it doesn't work every time. And can you imagine trying to do this at 3am? Yeah, I don't have to imagine it...I did it. And I cried for an hour since it took almost an hour to convince him to feed and finish eating. It was not pretty, I'm telling you.
And the worst part about all of this? My husband who wants to help out, wants to give me a break, wishes that he could take Jax for one night so that I could get 4-5 hours of uninterrupted sleep (another stat for you - it's been over a month since that happened!) and I can't let him do that. Because my body needs Jax to feed from me to help it make more milk. Because I need to allow him to breastfeed.
So we'll see how this week goes, but I'm making no promises about how much longer I can keep this up. I'm running on fumes, and I have to be at work tomorrow, fully functional and productive. I can't say that I will be able to keep up this pace. Especially now that I can't substitute any of the feedings while I'm at home with a bottle.
If that should happen, please don't judge me. If I come to that point and I have to stop, please understand that I have tried everything that I could to keep my milk and increase it so that I could continue. Please understand that making this decision will be hard for me. Just as this weekend was officially, the weekend from hell. Maybe a good night's sleep will make me feel better...here's to this next week being better than this weekend!