After more research and ongoing limits to my milk supply, I’ve realized that it is not going to increase. I’ve been learning about hypoplastic tubular breast syndrome (http://www.007b.com/breast_size_breastfeeding.php) and reading more about women who are not able to increase their supply no matter what (following this discussion thread: http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/110168/does-anyone-else-have-insuffient-glandular-tissue/100).
After my visit to the breastfeeding clinic where they confirmed that yes, I’ve tried everything, my efforts to breastfeed are “heroic” and my knowledge probably comparable to theirs, I finally realized that I need to slow down and change strategies. Even if I wanted to go all out for the next year to try and increase my supply, the chances are very good it will have little effect. And taking all that time on the supply detracts from loving and enjoying time with adorable Alya. Not to mention, I now need to find other sources to feed her, which in itself takes time and energy (practical and emotional). I’ve also accepted that keeping our amount of supplementation low won’t increase my supply, so I will now supplement her more (though still breastfeed first before offering another source). And since I’m going to be supplementing indefinitely, we’ve switched to a bottle as the SNS was too cumbersome and made leaving the house with her impractical. And I can’t spend the next year entirely at home.
Fortunately I’ve found another two women who are pumping at least a bag a day for me – what a blessing!! I need a couple other sources so we will have at least 3 bags a day (and more as she grows). I’ll also be learning more about starting solids, though we won’t start before 4 months and hopefully not until 6.
In the meantime, she is still incredibly cute. Now that I have other breastmilk to give her instead of formula her poops are more frequent and less painful for her (oh yay!). She’s growing, getting chubbier and, I believe, taller too. She was 9# 9 oz at a weigh-in on Tuesday – I expect she’ll be over 10 by now, or shortly.
I’ve also discovered the Baby Bjorn carrier from a friend and am thrilled with how easy it is to use, and how it facilitates getting things done around the house. Again, now that I have to accept that nothing I do will increase my supply, I can take care of life and routines which I was ignoring, though I will still continue to do things to maintain the milk supply I do have.
She’s now sleeping on my chest in the Bjorn – I”m going to go get some more food to eat.