5 June 2012

Crying Over Vanished Milk

Cries of "I want Mummy milk!" are common in my house, especially when Charlotte is tired. Unfortunately, I've no longer any milk to give. Now 17 weeks pregnant, my milk has suddenly dried up over the last week, something I don't think happened when I was pregnant with Charlotte.

To be honest, I wasn't entirely sure the milk was completely gone until today, and maybe there are still some drops there. I noticed a marked decrease in supply last week, when I instinctively went to out milk on a cut on Charlotte's foot, and had a hard time expressing any. However, I know that isn't necessarily indicative of milk being present. Yesterday I still noticed some swallowing when she'd nurse, but not much. Today, however, I never noticed her swallow. When Kieran asked for some, as he occasionally still does, he told me there wasn't any milk. I'm still surprised, really, since Charlotte was still nursing a fair amount.

Truthfully, this saddens me as well as upsetting them. I hadn't expected to completely lose my milk, since I don't recall having done that before. While I can't say I've enjoyed breastfeeding during pregnancy due to it hurting and me sometimes feeling like I'm crawling out of my skin, I'm still saddened, as I enjoyed the snuggles. I enjoyed the ability to calm them in that way and knowing I was giving them antibodies if they were ill. I knew feeds would be cut down, as happened with Kieran when I was pregnant with Charlotte, I just expected it to happen more gradually and later in the pregnancy.

Now, during the day the cries for Mummy milk are often quickly replaced with asking for something else. At night she still asks, but no longer frantically and I can either snuggle her or give her water or a snack. I still nurse her for naps if she wishes, even with no milk being there. I'd started night-weaning around the time my supply suddenly dipped. Perhaps once the milk returns she will go pick right back up, just as Kieran did, though I have always redacted that she'd wean at an earlier age than he. I just wanted it to be completely her idea. Our relationship is changing, maturing perhaps. It's a natural step, but a bittersweet one.

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