We took Magpie to the pediatrician yesterday. She continues on her track, tenth percentile, steady as she goes. Her head and length are both 40th percentile. The pedi agreed her muscle tone is "at the high end of normal" and said an eval with a physical therapist would not be a bad idea, so I will be pursuing that soon. Everything else checked out just fine with her - she is rolling from front to back and back to front, holding up her head pretty well, "tripoding," reaching for things, cooing, following us with her eyes and head.
On the home front, though, things have been a bit rough. I had a mild case of mastitis last week. I talked to one of my doctors about it and they suggested an ultrasound was in order, because five bouts of mastitis in three months - all in one breast - is a lot of mastitis. So I got that and luckily there was nothing major, but it did show that some of my ducts on the affected (infected?) breast are "knuckled," and basically go in one direction and then bend backward the other way, offering, the radiologist said, lots of opportunity for kinks and clots. So boo. The other breast has nice ducts that flow like rivers toward the nipple.
So I'm pretty much at my breaking point. I think I'm going to have to wean off of this breast or risk ongoing, escalating illness. To say I am sad about this doesn't even begin to cover it. Providing the food the Magpie has needed to eat has been a singular joy for me and has felt so vitally important.
So I told the pedi all this and that I didn't think I would make enough milk without the left breast and she handed me a package of formula. Hypoallergenic formula since major allergies, asthma, and eczema run in both Will's and my families, but still formula.
I took it.
Sheepishly, unhappily, I took it.
I'm also looking into milk sharing programs. I'm much less comfortable with this, but it's also significantly cheaper (approximately $1-$2 per ounce). The worry there is that the donor would have some undisclosed medication they are taking that could harm Magpie or that they are infected with an illness they could pass along (HIV, syphilis, HTLV, Hepatitis, etc.). I would ask for testing (and pay for it) if I were going to work with someone, but they could still engage in some risky behavior after that and get infected, and well...it makes me nervous. The cost however, has me considering that if I could find someone I felt comfortable with, it could be a way to eek out the next two and a half months of exclusive breastfeeding I had been so hoping for for Ms. Magpie.
It's tough. Will is not on my side with this. He thinks I should have stopped pumping and fed formula long ago and he is not inclined to be very supportive about it now. And I feel just as strongly that breast milk is important if there's any way I can provide it, and if I can't, well, so be it, but that it's worth looking into all of the possibilities to see what we might be able to come up with. I keep thinking that this is such a short period of time, two and a half more months!, that could help Magpie out for a lifetime. How can I not look at every option to offer her what is the normal and most appropriate food for babies? Thank God for formula - it is a life saver. But the fact that it is more convenient or cheaper is not compelling to me.
My strong desire for continuing with breast milk is based on my understanding of the policy statement published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in March 2012. Will reads it entirely differently than I do, but I thought they presented some cogent, data-driven arguments about the short and long-term health benefits of a minimum of four...and even better six....months of exclusive breast milk (breast milk via breast would be, by far, more superior healthwise, but alas, that is not to be.)
So I'm wrestling with recovering from illness and with some marital discord around this feeding issue (I know I probably sound crazy regarding it - Will certainly thinks so). But the girl is growing and time is passing. Tomorrow is another day. Let the left-sided weaning begin.
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