I Wrote It. And Never Posted it.

I'm losing my mind. I wrote this. And thought I posted it about 4 days ago.

But I didn't.

Well, here you go! A post. Pretend it's last Friday . . . or something. I'm tired. So very tired.

Do you ever feel like this blog of mine is in danger of becoming a blog just about breastfeeding?

If so, this post will not help that perception.

As you can tell, even when you do it half-assed like me (that is, only in the mornings and evenings now), breastfeeding still a very attention-consuming, emotionally laden task.

Here's the deal. That second stomach bug I got? That still had me feeling crappy on Monday? Well, it stuck around for DAYS AND DAYS. I took Lorelei for her 6-month check-up on Tuesday (and meanwhile almost died from stomach cramps while I was there) and made small talk with the pediatrician's receptionist. She was asking how Charlotte was doing, blah blah blah, and she mentioned that a particular nasty stomach bug was going around, lasting about a week if not more.

"I think I have that," I croaked. The good news? My intestines were not twisted and screwed up, causing some chronic gastro disease which Google was telling me I likely had (but that I had no time to visit a doctor to confirm or deny). The bad news? I still had a few more days to go.

I believe that I got this bug from Charlotte, and the first bug from Lorelei. After all, Charlotte was out ALL last week. Me? I just WANTED to be out all week, but motherhood and earning a paycheck = sucking it up.

Anyway, by Wednesday, I was pretty damn sick of this bug. I couldn't eat but was dutifully doing what I could to consume SOME calories. The majority of my caloric intake came from Gatorade.

Wednesday morning was a morning from hell. I was miserable. I had to wake up Lorelei for us to get out the door in time. She was unusually cranky with a low-grade fever (99 degrees) due to her vaccinations. I am out of sick leave. Chris went to work ONE day last week, due to disease. I gave her a shot of baby ibuprofen, per the pediatrician's instructions, and prayed it would make her more comfy. I couldn't stay home with her, as much as would've given damn near anything to at that point. I felt incredibly guilty.

Meanwhile, nursing was disastrous--the last thing we needed. My milk supply had been absolutely destroyed by this terrible virus. We had to give Lorelei a bottle after she screamed on each side out of frustration. All of this, of course, took WAY longer than anticipated, so we got to work very late, which meant we'd be leaving work very, very late to make up for it.

I cried much of the drive in, with Chris trying to tell me that one crappy morning was no reason to, well, cry. In my defense, I was exhausted. Physically and emotionally. I had been sick for the better part of two weeks, I don't get enough sleep, I'm still nursing (sort of), and every day was just a marathon of crap unloading itself on more piles of crap. The challenges have been relentless but just manageable enough that we can't just crawl into bed and check out.

Oh, and work is nuts. Of course.

So, yeah, I had a nice little pity party in the car. And in my office. My door was closed for a good part of Wednesday.

A huge, huge concern of mine? Milk supply. I was taking every herb and supplement and tea on the market to boost supply. I was drinking as much fluid as my tender tummy would allow. I was on the brink of losing my supply forever, and I was just devastated. It looked like I'd have to wean, which broke my heart. Lorelei is my last baby. Ending my nursing career wasn't supposed to end like this. I felt so robbed. SO ROBBED. Stupid viruses screwed me over. It wasn't fair!

I needed professional help. Not for my head (ha) but for my boobies. During my lunch hour, I called the lactation services at the hospital where I delivered both girls, and basically hiccup-cried my saga to the lactation consultant. I suspect she talks to more criers than composed, articulate women.

She was very nice. (Honestly, I've never dealt with a lactation consultant who wasn't very nice and capable.)  Stimulation, she said. Lots and lots of stimulation. That was our only hope. "Unfortunately, a 6-month-old isn't going to have the patience to hang out and suck for long periods of time, especially if there's nothing there," she said. Oh, I could definitely verify this.

The lactation consultant recommended skin to skin with Lorelei, saying it helps stimulate milk production. I've always thought the whole skin-to-skin thing that the postpartum nurses shove down your throat was a crock, but what did I have to lose? At home that night, I stripped Lorelei down to her diaper and we had lots and lots of skin-to-skin time, me thinking loving, maternal thoughts to try and inspire my milk glands to get off their butts and do their job.

In the meantime, reality is that we might not have a comeback. I have a weekend to try, but I'm mentally preparing myself that Lorelei may very well wean herself this week.

Crap. I'm crying again.

Thursday morning dawned, bright and beautiful. Best of all? I felt great! And by great, I mean NORMAL! I drank coffee and my stomach held. I ate breakfast and my stomach held. The overwhelming fatigue had lifted (the coffee probably gave it a nice boost), and I felt like I could take on anything!

Meanwhile, nursing is holding on by a thread. I'm hoping that now that my body is healthy (though still pretty pooped), milk will make a comeback. If not, I'm trying really, really hard to NOT make myself take control. After all, Lorelei just got her first tooth. Our days are probably numbered anyway (no, I am not one of those uber devoted mothers who is willing to "train" her baby not to bite). When it is time, it is time.

But I still think I have the right to be sad about it.


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