Could I have done more? This is a question we probably all ask ourselves often. Well, I find myself asking this question once again. Why? Well, I think my days of breastfeeding are ending earlier than I had anticipated as I think I may be drying up (a.k.a. running out of milk).
How did I come to this conclusion? It's been pretty obvious over the past couple weeks but after pumping today numerous times and only coming up with about 5 oz of milk it started to become more obvious. This is a BIG sign that my days of breastfeeding may be over soon. I've seen it coming and I keep asking myself "Have I done everything I can to keep my milk production strong?" and "Could I have done more?".
I hate it when I doubt myself like this. I do it often. I've found this self doubt I feel kind of makes me me. But, it's a trait I hold that also drives me wacky. To explain this better let me back up 9 months and 3 days ago.....
The day Lola was born: So, I'll try to make this quick and easy and short if possible, however, that probably isn't possible. In a nut shell, I had high blood pressure going into delivery which put me on bed rest one week before Lola was born. This was my idea of HELL....It was HORRIBLE!!! I have a very hard time staying still for a long period of time. I love my cat naps but I also love blowin' and goin'. Regardless, I was placed on bed rest and had a f/u doctor appt 3 days later....my blood pressure was still no better...it was actually worse. Went back on bed rest and had another f/u appt 3 days later again....blood pressure was up even higher. My doctor had no choice...it was time to have the baby (I say baby b/c Lola didn't have a name at this point)...EARLY!!!
At that point, I was induced. This was on 2/5/08 at 8:00 p.m. I went through the night with contractions (manageable). I went through the following morning with contractions (manageable again). I wasn't dilating and other than mild contractions nothing was happening. Finally at around 2:00 p.m. The doctor gave me a choice which was either 1) Go ahead and deliver the baby now via c-section OR 2) Go home, remain on bed rest and play the waiting game. I was always dead set against a c-section unless it was completely necessary so as hard as it would be, Clay and I decided we would take option #2 and go home and wait. THEN within minutes it happened....my water broke....Woohoo!!! So, there was no going home. This was around 2:30 or 3:00 p.m.
Again, trying to make a long story short...quickly contractions became unbearable. I went from a 1 to a 10 dilation within an hour. The baby was ready to come, they could see her head and all. By 7:00 p.m., I was in "hard-core" labor. I pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed....nothing happened. Keep in mind during all of this, the epidural wasn't really working...rather than taking away the pain, it just made me throw up aggressively...dry-heaving and all. I like to call it throwing up "Texas Tech style" (Mom, don't be alarmed by this comment...that was wellover 10 years ago and I was young & naive...we all have to learn by our own mistakes). At around midnight, Dr Farrow did the suction cup which I hated. Lola still didn't want to come. Finally, 30 hours after I was induced and 12 hours of "official" labor and 5 hours of pushing, I had to have an emergency c-section. It was a long hard fight but around 1:30 a.m. on 2/7/08 Lola Ruth was finally born! HOLA LOLA!!!
The point of this story...after all was said and done, I found myself asking after the delivery "Could I have done more?" to avoid a c-section. Not that it really matters much at this point but I continue to eat myself up over it. This one question has a tendency to drive me insane.
Anytime I do anything, I feel like I give it my all in the process but then if it doesn't end the way I had planned/imagine, I always question myself when it's done. I guess you could call this hard headiness or stubbornness but you could also call it drive....depending on which way you want to spin it....positive or negative take. I'm not sure but it brings me back to where I am today. Here we are 9 months and 3 days after the deliver of Lola and as I have continued to breastfeed through all the struggles and road blocks, I've been proud of myself that I've stuck with it. But now that the day has come where I might have to end early (prior to 12 months), I'm questioning my effort.
For now, I'll continue to give it my all. I'll go until 12 months or until I can't get 1 oz of milk (this would be the hard headiness/drive I referred to earlier). Clay asked yesterday...."Is it worth it?" The answer for me is "YES". I don't want to give up this fight b/c if I do then I'll ask myself that same question and continue to wonder "Could I have done more?"