So...after much consideration, research, and watching my munchkin stay sick with severe allergies, I decided that I would try to bring back the good ol' days of breastfeeding him. Back then, he wasn't so sick all the time, and he didn't have dark circles under his little eyes. Taking into account that he just turned 4, and he hasn't breastfed in over 3 years, actually nursing him is more or less out of the question. (I have no problem with nursing toddlers, it's just not going to work for us.) Thus begins my quest for information on relactating.
First, I contacted Lisa Bohn, One By One Baby's childbirth coach & awesome source for info on all things baby...including breastfeeding. (If you're not a fan of her OBOB page on FB, go add it...now.) She was more than willing to help me with this new adventure. More than anything, she offered her support...much needed, as I'm sure the majority of people don't understand.
From there, I went ahead and rented a hospital grade pump...yes, rented b/c buying one would be around $1000! It's the same kind I used after Tuck was born to boost my supply, and it worked great. I had to hunt down the kit that goes with it, since the pharmacy didn't have any. Then I picked up some Mother's Milk tea. I went through an entire box in about 4 days as I started pumping, and I decided that the pumping was great but I couldn't handle the tea anymore. I decided it was time to find some other type of herbal galactogogue. St. Bernard's Boutique for Breastfeeding Moms in the building on church street had the More Milk special blend capsules, and I thought I'd give those a try. I didn't think I'd get the opportunity to talk with the lactation consultant, but she was the one helping me in the boutique. She had so much info, it was great. She told me exactly how to take the capsules, exactly how often to pump (EVERY 2 HOURS!), and said give it two weeks. Since I wasn't pumping on any sort of schedule (maybe 3 times a day?) I'm starting my two weeks from that day.
When I talked to Sherry, the LC, it occurred to me that I had never mentioned two things to Lisa: one, I've had a hysterectomy, and two, I've had breast reduction surgery. Yikes. However, Sherry was encouraged by the fact that I could already feel the release of oxytocin (let-down or ejection reflex) while pumping. Yay, moi.
I've been doing as she suggested, and I can tell my boobs are getting bigger (NEVER thought I'd be happy about that!), so it seems that things are falling into place. The only concern, I feel, that remains is whether my ducts were damaged during my surgery. Dr. Hiers did a great job in maintaining the feeling on both sides. The duct thing is questionable...but I'm VERY optimistic! I've done a lot of reading (google has become my friend), and what I've seen is encouraging.
So, I'm pressing on. I now vividly recall how things were when Tucker was a newborn. Lansinoh lanolin stuff has become a friend as well. And dear heavens, did he REALLY wake up every 2 hours to eat? I'm dealing with it all, minus the crying baby. But I can handle it, no problem. I'm determined.
Ken has been such a great support! He listens to me ramble about stuff that he probably has no idea what it is, and he's been behind me 100%. Mom is "iffy", but understands why I want to do this. The majority of my friends, I've not discussed this with. Breastfeeding in the US isn't always looked upon favorably, especially nursing after 1-2 years. Pumping for a 4-yr-old would most likely be completely taboo, although I know it's been done. I think if Tuck was still an infant, my efforts would be admirable. So, in case there are people who would wish to discourage me, I just keep it under wraps.
I look at Tuck, and I just think, "What wouldn't I do to make sure he's healthy & ok?" The answer: nothing.
I saw Dr. Hiers (plastic surgeon) several days ago, and she was pretty encouraging. She reminded me of the statistics, and said I could definitely try! I saw my PC doctor yesterday b/c I’m sick, and he was incredibly encouraging as well. I’m just getting a bit tired. Not really tired of pumping…or maybe a tiny bit, honestly. It’s more because I’ve got so much going on, and I’m not well. I can be SO crabby when I’m sick, so I have no doubt that’s part of it. I still think this is possible. I’m trying to do this around the clock, and I’m just exhausted. Kind of like having a newborn like I said. Well, except there’s not all the other stuff that goes along with a new little one. (And I’m ok with that!) Anyway, blogging about it helps…at least to get it out of my head. I’m going to keep on trying, wait for this medicine to come in the mail that‘s supposed to help, and stay determined that that’s what’s going to do it for us.
(As of 3/18, the medicine has yet to show up. :/ )