for whatever reason, my periods came quickly after bitsy, even though i was nursing exclusively. i had a long strange one at four months post-partum, then nothing for two months, then one more, and then mae.

so i’ve been watchful now that boo is four months. and at the first sight of what could easily be tell-tale signs, i assumed my period was on its way. (and indeed it may well be — the signs are still there.) but it also may not be on its way. one of the signs that i thought i saw was a decrease in milk supply, something i remember happening with bitsy: a temporary decrease at specific times in the cycle. 

and i was pretty sure i’d hit that point. by friday afternoon last i was certain my supply was dropping. boo was fussy, begging to nurse, but acting all put out once he latched on, like i wasn’t living up to his expectations. (get used to that one, kiddo.) and then i thought about how much he would normally eat during a work day, when the pumped milk he gets is supplemented with formula, and i realized that he probably was genuinely hungry. and indeed — he gulped down a healthy helping of formula before turning his beatific smile on me. “see? you only need to FEED me.”

he had a restless night and we nursed a lot. we followed that 24-hour nursing session with a cozy saturday, hanging out around the house with the family, which for boo meant lots of being held and being played with and nursing as much as he wanted. which was a lot. which i assumed he was doing because my supply was dropping and he was helping me build it back up.

then sunday.

sunday he was inconsolable. he nursed. he took bottles. he ate extra helpings of rice cereal. and i’m thinking to myself, oh crap, this is the beginning of the end. he’s not getting enough from me, despite 48 hours of non-stop nursing on demand. it’s over. and then i started watching him nurse. saw him yank his head away, and noticed that his cheek was soaked by juicy milk droplets. watched him pull back off the breast only to have milk continue squirting him in the face.  there was so much milk, and so much suction, that it just kept on coming. it was literally pouring out of me in a steady stream. if ever there was a moment to feel like a cyborgian milk machine, this was it.

now, i know there are women who have abundant milk supplies. i know there are even women who struggle with the problem of having too much milk. i am not one of those women. i struggle to keep my supply up, to keep my tiny little less-than-A-cup breasts steadily (let alone heavily) producing — producing, since there isn’t exactly tons of storage capacity. my babelets must nurse mightily to help me in my efforts. and boo, despite my concerns, is doing his job exceptionally well.

i’m still taking both fenugreek and domperidone, and while those are obviously madly successful (at least, i can think that today; tomorrow is another worry — tomorrow is always another worry), i was concerned that my body’s own hormones were perhaps overriding them. not to fear, i guess: the milk is coming, the baby is eating, and the only left for me to do is to continue to not be able to understand the workings of my own body.

Advertisements