Adoption, Parenting

Winding Down Our Nursing Journey

February 3, 2016

Many of you have followed our volatile nursing journey this past year.

We’ve had the highest highs and the lowest lows.

From battling tongue/lip ties in the beginning to multiple nursing strikes and plugged ducts, we’ve nearly seen it all. Through lots of encouragement and medical help, we overcame all our challenges and nursing has been smooth sailing ever since.

Minus that week-long biting episode when she was teething! OUCH!

My little Josephine started out at a wee 7 pound 9 ounces and has grown to a whopping 23 pounds at a year!

But we’re winding (very slowly) things down in our breastfeeding relationship and I want to document that process here for the benefit of others (especially those taking Dom!)

The primary way I induced lactation was by taking a medication called Domperidone, a medication typically prescribed for nausea and vomitting. It elevates prolactin levels, which is the hormone that drives lactation.

I started taking this medication in September 2014 and weaned off of it November 2015, with the hopes of getting my cycle back by January 2016 so we could begin fertility testing and treatment once again. I honestly thought I was going to drop the Dom and my milk would dry up within a few days and that would be the end of it.

Josie caught a cold the week I weaned off Dom and her little nose was crazy stuffed up. This made nursing difficult in general so it wasn’t a shock to me that she began to protest breastfeeding. She would make the sign for “milk” and then I would offer and she would just freak out. Like throw herself onto the floor and roll around while screaming and continuing to make the “milk” sign type of tantrum.

It was ugly.

I thought it must be due to my decreasing supply and I was feeling  very anxious because I didn’t like how our nursing journey was ending. I pumped here and there for comfort and offered every type of milk you can think of in a bottle and sippy cup, all to end up being rejected. I made sure she drank tons of water and had slightly larger meals during the day to make up for the missing calories.

A week later the cold disappeared, Miss Jo signed for milk, I offered and she nursed like nothing had changed. Whew!

I’ve since reduced breastfeeding to 4 times a day, down from 10+ times per day which is very freeing. I need to convince her that she doesn’t need to nurse in the middle of the night anymore but she’s so dang stubborn I haven’t had the energy required!!!

My period returned the first week of January and leading up to it I felt the same old Luetenized Unruptured Follicle (LUF) pain that is my main cause of infertility. So that is back in full throttle, of course. Ugh.

From here on out I plan to keep nursing as long as Jo is interested or until I have to get back on fertility medications that aren’t compatible with breastfeeding. I am more at peace about our journey ending, whenever that day comes. We’ve made it 15 months so far and it’s been one of my greatest accomplishments ever. I will keep treasuring the days we have left!

Thank you to all of you who offered us encouragement! You were my cheerleaders in a difficult time and I will never forget it!

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