I know two warrior women who have given birth to their babies in the last week. Both have wonderful stories of joy and experiences they had to get through to bring a new life into this world. It’s an emotional thing for a mother to hear about other birth stories. At least it is for me.
I had wanted so dearly to deliver my boys vaginally and perhaps drug free. When I had learned my pregnancy would end with an induced labor I was open to pain relief and followed that journey into a c-section delivery. I was at the time and still am now happy with how my birth story ended. With two perfect little boys and one healthy mom.
Given all that; there are still times I think about what could have been, what if I had done this differently or tried a little harder. I’m doing my best to hold steadfast onto the positive feelings of these last five months. This week is an exercise in my mental health. After a full week of family around to help out and a busy exciting weekend I’m home alone with the boys during the days. It makes for lonely hours where it’s easy to feel down or catch cabin fever. I’m doing my best to keep busy, capture the laughter of the boys in my heart and to arrange for meet ups with friends and family to have some things to look forward to.
The other big milestone happening for me right now is the weaning of breastfeeding. If you had told me in May that I’d make it to September I would have doubted you. But if you had told me at the beginning of this month that I had only weeks left I wouldn’t have believed you. Things were cruising along so well with tandem feeding, pumping at night before I went to bed and getting in extra pumping here and there. I had been taking domperidone to keep my supply at the height of where I could get it. When those tablets ran out I decided to let my body run its course and not spend any more money on getting what little milk out that I could. I was envisioning making it until six months, when they started getting teeth or perhaps a week or two longer past that point.
Not days until it was over.
Once the domperidone was out of my system (I also took fenugreek at the beginning) my milk supply plummeted to the point where what used to be at a nightly session of pumping four ounces to spending half an hour on the process to get out just one ounce or less. It’s a frustrating thing to be on the verge of the next stage but wanting to savor the current one a little longer. I feel like just as I’ve gotten the hang of being on my own with the boys and doing well with nursing and formula feeding it’s all changing. And sooner then I’m emotionally ready for.
Yes, there are things I could do to get my milk supply back up but perhaps instead of hanging on it’s better to move forward. I made it five months (and counting) and I’m proud of my accomplishments. I compare it to sitting in your high school graduation ceremony. Something to celebrate, an achievement made but the hesitation, uncertainty, excitement and sadness all mixed in to one bucket. Life will get a little easier as I put away the pumps and focus my energies on one form of feeding but just like that it will get harder as the boys become more mobile and a new routine forms.
The boys are currently stirring from an hour long nap and I’m watching on our baby monitor. Miles is rolling to his right, rubbing his face with the backs of his hands and trying to stick his feet through the crib rails. Graham has his legs spread out so he looks like the letter X and is swishing his head left, right, left quickly as he “talks” to his lovie. Then they stop as if playing freeze tag and freeze in their little positions to settle in for another minute or two of slumber.
We’re planning on bringing up the second crib to the nursery this weekend so the boys can have more space for sleeping. Before we know it they’ll be walking over to our bed to climb in on us on lazy Sundays.
Time is a precious thing. I never really truly understood that until I was a new mom.