my daily life lately has been all about constant editing and improvisation. work demands have included a weird schedule with even weirder-timed pumping breaks, and my supply is suffering. my left breast seems to have all but dried up over the past few days. picture me in a tshirt, right boob huge and left one non existent. the girls have not been so lopsided since 6th grade, when i stuffed my bra for about five minutes, before they grew from training bra to a d cup.
i’ve been combatting the um…inequality…by pumping as much as possible (after replacing the membranes. oh powerful suction, how i missed you!), as well as keeping jude latched on my left side more than usual. i’m hoping things will even out soon. my right side always produces more than the left, but this is ridiculous. i don’t like operating at half capacity.
little j is all about solid foods these days. she shakes with anticipation when we put her in her high chair, and her affection for her fancy spoons is rivaled only by things such as applesauce and cereal. she only really nurses undistracted late at night and early in the morning anymore. she needs absolute silence and, preferably, darkness, in order to stay latched. otherwise, there is a sensory world all around her that demands her attention. distractions are so very frustrating for both of us. for me, it’s like trying to pee, but feeling painfully bladder shy. for jude? i imagine it feels like being about to take a big bite of a juicy burger, and then someone asks her a question. over and over.
so yeah. solids. solids = less nursing. less nursing = less supply. less supply = supplementing with formula because i’m not producing enough to meet little j’s needs during the day. this cycle is depressing me. a lot. breastfeeding is at the top of the list of Ways I Feel Like a Mother. yesterday, when after 20 minutes of hardcore pumping, one of the bottles was still bone dry, i nearly lost my shit. i felt like i was losing the only firm hold i have in meeting jude’s needs. because i’m gone so effing much. i kiss her sleeping head every morning, and come home every night to a cranky, tired baby who is about ready to go to bed.
i know i meet her needs. she loves me. she is connected to me. but nursing is the tangible proof of that. and when faced with the possibility of losing that integral part of our relationship now, i panicked. i cried. i made h feel sad and helpless because there is nothing she can say to make it better. and then she went out and bought me new membranes. she brought jude to work so i could nurse her over my lunch yesterday. this morning, j snuggled in bed with me and nursed for two hours before i had to get up and go to work. and i’ve pumped often and long today.
the good news is that i’m still producing milk. and i know i can keep my flow going. and the other good news is that it’s now my job to find non-nursing ways to feel bonded to my child. i think it will involve a lot of snuggling, sharing baths, and copious praise for her near crawling pushup skills.