Mammary

mam·ma·ry, ˈmam(ə)rē/, adjective,  relating or belonging to the milk-secreting organ of a female mammal

In the past few weeks, I really feel like my mammary glands are giving up. When we were in Jamaica I pumped a few times each day and managed to extract roughly 25 ounces over the 5-day period. It was deflating, literally! I was able to bring that milk back home with me which I was very happy about. 

Back home and back into our routine and still my withdrawals are only yielding a half to one ounce from each breast with each pump–closer to 1/2 than 1 most times.

In addition to pumping and nursing, I started hand expression,  a.k.a milking myself. As if I didn’t already feel like an old cow on the verge of being put to pasture permanently… It helps draw out an additional half ounce that the pump leaves behind.

Miss Connie continues to eat well and expand her solid food diet. Nursing is usually successful when she is tired. Most other times, she pops on and off and climbs all over me and loses interest.

Before she was born and especially after we had a successful start, I had planned to nurse through her first year. Now, I just hope I can give her a few ounces here and there during the cold season. Our frozen supply is down to approximately 32 ounces.

Cody tells me not to stress about it and I haven’t beat myself up (my definition), but it is discouraging to watch the supply continue to drop despite my efforts. I won’t try to convince anyone that I did everything I possibly could do or that I went to all measures, but I did try. I could have pumped more frequently…that is probably the fault I will apply to myself, that and not catching the decrease sooner. In my Milk Supply post, I discuss the various efforts I implemented.

For some, this is probably “TMI”. The reason I blog this is two-fold. 1. This blog is about our life, our journey at parenthood, and the development of our family–nursing is a part of our lives. 2. I read a lot of blogs. If I want to learn about ways to increase my milk supply, how to soothe her while teething, ideas on sleep training, etc., I do searches online and gravitate to ‘mom blogs.’ I want to hear from women with the experience. After reading enough variations and insights from other moms, I develop my own version for how to approach. If my story can help another mom, awesome. I am certainly grateful for the mom blogs that have helped me.

I’ll continue to nurse and pump and attempt to give her a daily dose of breast milk to aid in her development and keep her healthy. But I know our weeks of breastfeeding are numbered. One day the pump will not extract anything and my nipples will become a pacifier for her rather than a food source. My heartbreaks a little bit at that idea.

I’ll be more informed and prepared for baby #2 and that is the blessing in this experience. That, and the awesome opportunity to nurse her for more than 8 months now, and counting. I am grateful for her health and that I was able to nourish her and give her my very best for several months.

Thank you again to the many women who shared ideas and encouragement, I so appreciate you.

Our healthy, strong, fun, and sweet baby girl…I’ll take pride for my part in that and be grateful for what milk will be produced in the weeks, hopefully months, to come.

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