Lewis must have decided his growth spurt is over. Or that my milk supply has increased satisfactorily. Because he no longer eats every 30 minutes. We’re back to 2-3 hours during the day, and 3-5 hours at night. Hallelujah! Mama got some good sleep last night and feels loads better!
BUT! (and this is a big BUT) when Lewis was cluster-feeding to increase my milk supply during his growth spurt, I was only feeding him with my right breast. So he only increased my supply in my right breast (!!!). My left has always had a good supply (remember? Squirt-gun-boob?), and it still does, but now my right boob is on another level.
This morning he ate a full meal, and both of my breasts still felt engorged, so I pumped. I got an additional 2 oz out of my left breast, which in itself is pretty impressive. But I got four ounces out of my right breast. After he had already eaten a full meal directly from the breast.
I mean seriously. That’s just insane.
I’m experiencing little to no pain from breastfeeding at the moment, which is a glorious revelation. My left breast is back in the rotation, and I have been able to skip pumping almost entirely. And I don’t miss it. I think I’ll just do it once in the morning to get rid of some of the excess milk that has built up over night.
Oh lord, the excess milk. That is our new problem. Lewis so successfully increased my milk supply that he now drowns when eating from both boobs. He constantly has to pull off because he is coughing and choking, and he spits milk out everywhere because he can’t swallow fast enough to keep up. When he pulls off, my nipples keep spraying everywhere. This happens at last 5 or 6 times per feeding.
Basically, my whole house is covered in breastmilk now. It’s a mess.
We did also do the Craniosacral Therapy on Thursday to help with his latch. I forgot to write about it. It was weird. I don’t know if I really believe in it, but it was a free clinic, and Lewis didn’t seem to mind it. And who knows… maybe it was the difference maker. But I’ll never know if it worked, since we were doing so many other things to try to fix our situation that we may never know which things actually influenced the outcome and which didn’t.
But the outcome (at this point) seems to be good. If nothing changes in the next few days, I feel safe saying that we’re going to be able to continue breastfeeding. The damage doesn’t feel like it is coming back, and other than drowning my child every time he eats, things are going smoothly. I just go through rags faster than I ever thought possible.
I think, however, that I hate breastfeeding. Obviously I wouldn’t have put in this much effort to make it work if it wasn’t super important to me. But this is a LOT of effort for something that is supposed to be so “natural”. And even now that it is going better, it is still a total headache with the mess it makes and the struggle Lewis goes through with the flow of my milk.
But because I know breastfeeding benefits both Lewis and me, as long as it stays a pain-free experience, I can put my hatred aside and find pride in the fact that I won this hard-fought battle. And I will certainly find joy in the one-on-one time he and I get to have, and the bond that we share. And there is certainly comfort in the fact that I am giving my baby the best food in the world, manufactured just for him.