When we began feeding our Little Miss food at six months, we did it with the motto that ‘food before one is just for fun.’ She was getting all the nutrition she needed from formula and breast milk and we were just giving her experiences with different foods, textures, and flavors. It turns out that Little Miss is an excellent eater. She definitely prefers variety, but she can pack some food away. As we’re rapidly approaching a year, we’ve started thinking about the transition to food as that main nutrition and milk as a supporting role.
As part of that transition we decided that the time was upon us that I would stop taking domperidone to help my supply. I’ve been on pharmaceuticals for nearly a year and passing those on to Little Miss. You have to transition off it very gradually, so over the past few months I started decreasing my dosage until I was completely off the stuff a few weeks ago. I watched my pumping drop from 2 oz, to 1 oz, to 1/2 oz and the last couple of nights I’ve gotten nothing. I still nurse Little Miss several times throughout the day and I do still have some milk, but there’s no need for me to pump anymore. The milk in this vial represents several nights of pumping and will be the last major dose of milk I give her. I won’t really miss the pumping, but I am sad that I won’t be sure that she’s getting enough milk for full immunological benefit everyday.
Luckily, I asked my donor to only put 2 oz of milk in each bag. I have a nice little stash out in the freezer that we can start to give her and should last for a while. I’m sure I’ll go through another little grieving process when I run out of that.
At the end of the day, even though we chose a very difficult road with the drugs, and the pumping and the donor, I’m really glad that we did that for our little Sugar Pop. I know that I’ll look back with confidence that I did everything I could to make sure that she had the best possible start in life. Would I do it again should we choose to have another child? Probably not. It was incredibly time intensive and it only worked because I stayed home and could nap during the day with the baby. If I had two kiddos to watch with different nap times I’m not sure that I could manage it. I may look into a milk donor, but there’s no way I could maintain that strict pumping regimen. Breastfeeding is such a conflicted issue for me. I’m so grateful that I was able to cultivate a successful breastfeeding relationship with my baby, but sad that it didn’t include adequate amounts of milk for her needs. I’m confident that I did the best with what I had to work with but I feel both success and failure. Hopefully as time goes on I’ll give myself more credit and come to peace with the decisions we made.