Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hope Springs Eternal

So, I got a call from my doctor telling me that my low milk supply has largely been due to "dangerously low" thyroid which has affected my prolactin levels (click on highlighted areas for further explanation). She was surprised I was able to pump any milk at all. So, our plan of attack, is taking synthroid to normalize my thyroid and continue taking all the galactagogues I have been taking. I also have to pump at least once every four hours, going no longer than four between pumping. Specifically, pumping at 2am since that is apparently an optimal time for the nutrients and quantity. All that I pump is added to any formula I give which is about 50/50.

What an exhausting schedule. Especially since I have two older boys (5&6yrs old) as well as a household to try to keep up with. To top it all off, I have family coming for a visit. If it were just my parents, I think it would be fine, but some extended family are coming too, which has me just a little stressed for keeping everyone entertained, while sticking to my schedule. I think I am just worrying needlessly, but since having my thyroid diagnosed (postpartum hypothyroidism) I realized that my extreme exhaustion hasn't just been me and I don't know if I will be able to keep up. I try not to drive unless I am certain I am fully awake. I drove to the next town (15min away) to pick up a hospital grade pump and almost fell asleep driving twice. I was so upset and jittery from nerves once I got home. Now, I walk as much as possible and avoid driving unless I feel totally up to it. Thank goodness it's summertime!

It's so unfair that breastfeeding has to be so difficult. I thought that this time I would finally have it down and be able to really offer the full benefit to my baby. The first two were a struggle and this was to be a redeeming moment for me. Oh well. Letting go of the guilt and disappointment is the hardest. To persevere against all odds is truly difficult. However, I have friends and family near and far who have been so amazing with words of encouragement and cheering me on. I am truly blessed with the friendships I have made. I hold fast to the sense that, with everything I have been doing to maintain what I have, when my thyroid rights itself, suddenly everything will click. So, I am hoping that the little bit of documentation of the struggles I have gone through, will be found by other moms who are struggling with lactation/nursing issues and find answers, encouragement and tips to keep going.

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