Breastfeeding Challenges pt. 2

20140103_093238 So… ok, just picking up where I left off in part 1. So it’s just one week before I go back to working full time and the wee one starts with a sitter. AND, I don’t have any supply in the freezer, a pump with which to secure new supply, nor hardly any milk being produced. I am drinking ‘non-alcholoic beer’, drinking  boobie milk tea (ok, not the real name), taking to breast all the time, eating the occasional seaweed. Really, doing just about anything to make this milk stay. Now what do I do?

I visit the nearest store and price formula. Good gravy! Formula is priced so freaking high I would either have to be wealthy or qualify for WIC to acquire some. Since neither is my case and I don’t have a hook-up. I am back to searching for ways to produce liquid gold in a bottle.

I hit the internet. I search and search and finally stumble upon the correct words that will produce what I am looking for. I call stores the rent pumps, research pumps on various websites, and locate independent lactation specialists. The first person I speak to is a La Leche League rep. She answers! I explain and she rattles off with reasons why my milk is low, anatomy of the breastfeeding body, and some possible solutions with barely a breath in between. The conversation, that is is an overstatement. It was really a monologue. Anyhoo, it was over in under fifteen minutes and the whirlwind left me feeling very alone  and without usable solutions. She didn’t get my contact information and didn’t really seem interested. In fact, I felt like a nuisance to her otherwise wonderful evening. Booo.

The second pickup was a location that rents pumps. And yes, they had them. And no the rep couldn’t tell me anything more than the cost and which ones were most commonly used because they just work there.

A few more calls and then a call back. A lactation specialist who is absolutely kind and caring and actually paid attention to what I said. She was local. But couldn’t understand why I had problems with the last pump since that is the brand she carries. Hmmm.

A few more calls and another pick up. She skips to the point. Can you come today? I have everything you need here. Oh and I agree that pump was a piece of crap.

Enter lactation guru, book writer, care giver, inspirational, baby whisperer – Kathleen. I show up at this strangers house. She is a well dressed blonde, Mother of grown children, RN with about fifteen other letters behind her name and Ph.D. in her future. She immediately takes the car seat and invites us in. My Mom, Kathleen and I have so much fun over the next hour that it is more like hanging out with a good friend than having someone size up your breast milk shortage.

When I leave, I have pumped, nursed, had my wee one weighed, laughed, gotten two bras that fit, am outfitted with a high quality pump that only whispers, have few baby calming tricks up my sleeve, know what the law allows for regarding work and have some herbal solutions to bring the milk back full force. My knight in shining highlights!! I feel good about my breastfeeding prospects.

So here we are. The wee one just turned 9 months and he still nurses. I never have enough milk to have a huge stash but I can get enough extra for daycare and the occasional night out. I am happy, not stressed. Kathleen at Bethesda Breastfeeding continues to assist me as needed.

-Just an aside, this past weekend, I bought my first non-nursing bra in forever. A nice Felina bra in a mouth dropping 38G!!!!! What in heaven’s name? The Marine asked “G? Is that for Good Googa Mooga?” Eh.

What I know I did right? I sought out help and kept looking until I found someone I felt comfortable with. I  set small achievable goals. They were:

  • Nurse now
  • If I can do it now, I can do it in two hours
  • If I can do it in two hours, I can do it for a week,
  • If I can do it for a week, the a month
  • If a month, then two months,
  • If 3, then 6
  • If 6, then 9
  • If 9, then 12

Patience and diligence were the deal makers. I didn’t give up. Not when it hurt (um yeah, it hurts in the beginning or for my left Ginorm, whenever he nurses – use Lanolin), not when challenges presented themselves. I believed that I could do it, and I searched for the support I needed. I didn’t let the hours of phone calls to the insurance company or the additional hours of searching and calling new leads discourage me.

You can do it too.

Tell me, did you use a lactation specialist/consultant to help you?

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