Not all that long ago, I blogged about labor envy. In the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I got pangs of jealousy every time I heard about another woman going into labor or another baby being born. It's one of those bizarre emotions that I'm sure makes no sense until you've experienced it.
Likewise, I am now suffering from nursing envy. After a difficult labor that introduced a series of problems, Caleb and I have been having the hardest time with breastfeeding. In some ways, I feel like we are still at square one, four weeks into this mess. I've had to supplement him with formula just to get him back up to his birth weight and to wake him up. (He was an abnormally sleepy baby at first.) My milk supply still really hasn't come in fully, and it's been a struggle.
Now I get pangs of jealousy when I hear other women talk about breast feeding, see them nursing, or read about a woman who has SO much extra milk that she's selling it! I can't explain why this is so important to me, but I really want this to work. Normally, I'm a easy quitter. I hate being bad at something, so I'll just call it quits. And at least once a night (usually about 3 am or so), I give serious thoughts to bringing an end to it all. But for some reason, I can't give up...not just yet.
So I've been meeting at least once a week with a nurse at the pediatric office who is training to be a lactation consultant. Much like my experience without internet, it's taking quite a bit of troube shooting to try and get us on the right track. Every week brings new challenges, and new ways of approaching those challenges. I'd like to say each week brings hope and promise, but really, we're just circling around the same territory...a fussy, ineffective eater and an insufficient milk supply.
I hope that we'll be able to eliminate these problems and finally turn a corner in this journey. But I have to be honest with myself. Even if my milk supply jumps up over night, is it too late to really build a working nursing relationship? Has he had too much from the bottle? Do I have any stamina left?
I don't know. I do know that I've given this my all, and I hope to do so for a little longer at least. I have hope that if I just persist long enough, we'll have a break through, and it will have all been worth it. But if that day never comes, I know that there is nothing I haven't tried and it was certainly not for a lack of effort.