I've decided my body is a defect. I lamented to my husband that he should return me. He just looked at me like I'm crazy. Why am I defect? I can't nurse, and as you've learned from previous posts, I can't give birth either (not without the wonderful technology of c-sections). Maybe I should back up a little bit.
I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding. Besides the obvious convenience and savings (my milk is free versus formula), breastfeeding is so good for your baby. When my son was born we wasted no time in breastfeeding. I hadn't even been removed from the surgery room when we tried our first attempt. I'll admit, as many first time Moms will, that it was rough at first. He wasn't latching on right and I was completely unprepared. Nevertheless, I trudged through it. After a couple of months I was a nursing-pro. Then the crying started. He would just cry and cry. I was already on a no-dairy diet, the pediatrician had prescribed Zantac for his acid-reflux, and I was doing everything I could think of. My friends reassured me that it was just a growth spurt and it would soon pass. His 4 month check-up proved something else. My little boy was losing weight - I was unknowingly starving him. Now it was my turn to cry. By six months old I had completely dried up and my son was exclusively on a bottle.
This time I promised myself it would be different. I called in the lactation nurse while I was still in the hospital to make sure my baby girl was latching on right and I remembered everything correctly. I promised my husband I wouldn't exercise for the first six months and I would keep my calories up. If I was hungry I ate, even if it meant going for yet another cookie. It might not be the best option, but it was at least calories. I would force myself to have a snack before bed. My husband bought me an electric pump so I could pump when she decided to sleep for long stretches of time. By one month I started seeing the signs... I was drying up. My OB prescribed medicine, I sought out natural remedies. I've done it all. Increased calories, water, taken marshmallow root and sarsaparilla, tried pumping in between feedings, and eating potatoes and celery (a remedy I learned from my French friend). Still, yesterday found me close to tears as my little girl cried for more and I had nothing more to give.
I found myself spilling my frustrations to a friend, who reassured me that it was not my fault. Turns out, she has the same problem. It's so hard watching all of my other friends nurse for as long as they want (or the child wants). It's hard hearing the comments of "well, I nurse my baby" or seeing the judging looks as I hand my child a bottle. It's hard hearing that I just need to try harder and receiving advice from people who have simply read some article on the internet. As I spoke with my friend I realized that I wasn't the only one out there who has this problem. I've also realized that there is no reason to fight the course my body is naturally taking. Maybe I'm not a defect after all.