Monday, June 28, 2010

Define: Pearl Lite

Definitions range from tampons and beer to soil and legos. But our Pearl Lite is just another child who is struggling to gain weight on my short supply of milk. I took her in for her four month check-up and low and behold, she is low on the weight scale. I would like to chalk it up to my having small children (which I do), but I am no fool. She is trending exactly in Daisy's footsteps and I know where those steps lead.

And so with a heavy heart, I decided that I will supplement. I know this isn't a big deal, but I like not having to worry about bottles. I love breast feeding, in fact. If you don't count the first two weeks breast feeding June which consisted of pain, cracking, toe-curling, bleeding, crying, and more pain...then I really enjoy nursing my children. There is something calming from that little tug; knowing that you are giving your child sustenance. I think it is a very natural part of motherhood. (Although I don't judge those who choose to bottle feed.)

Now I feel like I have failed in some way. I shouldn't be surprised. My mother had a hormone deficiency that messed with her milk supply big time and bottle feeding was mandatory. I always thought I escaped, but in retrospect, I was 2 out of 4 and now that this baby is declining, I guess the score is 3 out of 5. I fail.

I haven't thought about much else today. I have snuggled my baby and teared at the thought of having to use a bottle. I don't know why this bothers me so much. After all, a bottle affords much more freedom. I started thinking of all the luxuries a bottle would offer me. I could go on a date with my husband, WITHOUT the baby. I could go to the temple and do a whole session. My kids could have a turn feeding her. (Which they are very excited about.) Tyler could get up in the middle of the night and feed the baby. (Woot!) Traveling and feeding would be so much easier.

And yet...I still wish that I didn't have to do it. Although I will, because I am slowly starving my child and that is a less savory option. I could tell that Pearl has been hungry. I have been feeding her more like every one and a half hours in hopes that she would be nice and chunky at her appointment. (Okay chunky is far fetched. I would be happy with overly slender.) No dice though.

I came home from the appointment and cracked open one of the emergency formula kits the hospital gives you. (I had a sneaking suspicion that my milk would be stupid again, so I had kept one on hand.) She hesitantly drank one ounce at first and then three more later. And then she decided that was enough. Now she just cries when I try and give her a bottle. I am secretly thrilled that there is no substitute for mom, but frustrated at the same time, because this would be easier on both of us if she would just take the bottle. I sense a rough road ahead of us, with me caving often because I would rather nurse her in the first place and she seems content to cry until I give in. She can sense my weakness.

Curse you skim milk.

Bless you baby. We can do this.


meganmushrat said...

I feel so sorry for you, although (if truth be told) you are having an easier time of it than I did. However, I am sorry that my lousy milk-producing genes have carried on to you. Let's hope that your girls have gotten healthier milk-producing genes from Tyler's side of the family. I guess the reason that you're able to do better than me must be Dad's side of the family, but there's no one left to ask. Keep persevering!

Janelle said...

Would that I could send you some of my heavy cream. I would in an instant. Good luck with the bottles.

Hulse Fam said...

I know you are not excited about the bottle thing, but you should maybe think about trying soy, Maggie hated regular formula even one whiff of it and she was crying....when I gave her the first soy bottle she just gulped it up...good luck! :) Your an amazing mom and don't ever forget that!

Nelle said...

Being a good mother isn't defined by how long (if even ever)we nurse our babies. Keep up the wonderful work you do as a mom.

Alissa said...

i fear we are on the same road... Libby's a tiny thing... at 11.14 at 4 mos.

Rynell said...

I was going to suggest you tried the herbs for helping milk production (fenugeek, et all), but I bet you've already been down that road.

My youngest would not have survived without the bottle. Even though I breastfed my three other babies, I still felt like I was failing her. I know that feeling.