Sunday, July 29, 2012

9 Months of Nursing!

We made it past 9 months! In a way, it feels like just another day. No big deal. I have always planned to nurse until my children weaned themselves, hopefully after age 2. That's how I was raised, and not meeting that goal was one of my big fears when breastfeeding wasn't as easy as I assumed it would be in the beginning. It sure seems a lot more realistic now. Then I realize that only 13.8% of mamas in the US are still breastfeeding at six months, and I give myself a little (big) pat on the back.

We've done baby-led weaning with Linus, and he loves food. He has slowly been taking less and less supplemented donor milk through the SNS, which is both nice and scary at the same time. Change in nutrition is scary with a baby who struggled so hard to gain initially. I am so afraid we will go back to those struggles. Given his love for both food and boob, though, I really don't think it's a rational fear. More just one of those lingering ghosts from our tumultuous beginning.

Knock on wood, but we should be close to having enough milk to get him to one year. I am hoping so hard that by the point that we run out of milk, he will be enjoying enough table food that my own milk will be sufficient for him. Hopefully one day, and hopefully one day not too far off. I feel really at peace with our situation lately, though. It's a nice feeling to have. We are able to nurse through the night with no supplement now (except during growth spurts), and that is really nice.

We got as official an IGT (insufficient glandular tissue) diagnosis as we could possibly get, which is both sad and reassuring. My boobs and lactation history are going into thesis work and presentations for medical professionals, though, which is kind of cool. I've been working with the "IGT IBCLC" (the same one who said that, without a doubt, this is IGT, and who is planning her PhD around teaching others to support mothers with IGT) to develop a plan of attack for the next baby, so I am hopeful that we will have a better outcome next go around. We know what to look for this time, too, with both the lip tie and tongue tie business, as well being able to recognize failure-to-thrive, so that also helps matters immensely. We had a lot of factors working against us, and I probably could be making a bit more milk than I am making with better early management, but it is honestly a relief to have confirmation of my long-standing suspicions that something was not quite right with my breasts and to have a plan of attack going forward.

Other than that, he is such a happy, healthy little boy. I couldn't be happier to be at this point. Things feel much easier than I would have ever imagined they could.

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