One of the most heartbreakingly common questions I see on our Low Milk Supply Support Group is "When does this stop hurting so bad?"
Of course, the answer is different for everyone. Sometimes, the pain of living with low milk supply lasts for years. Some find peace when they wean. Rio was a toddler and I still wept over our failed attempt at nursing. (He's a strapping boy of 9 now, and the pain has faded.)
As for me, I'm there. I'm finally there.
When I was pregnant, I decided I was not going to put myself through all the stress of gulping down handfuls of herbs and medications (that didn't help me anyway), I was just going to let my supply be whatever it was going to be. I had my SNS, I had my freezer full of donor milk, and that was that.
I still had to go through a brief grieving period, but it was much, much shorter than all the others. And we still had to learn to use the SNS together, but it didn't take long. We still dealt with reflux and food sensitivities, but we got that sorted out, too.
A few months ago, I realized that we were doing it. We were making it work. I no longer had the fear that had haunted me through Lola's first year- the fear that we wouldn't meet my goal of breastfeeding for at least a year.
I KNOW we're going to make it to a year, and much, much longer.
But tonight, as I nursed my sweet boy, I had the most amazing realization:
I no longer feel broken.
(And that's a huge thing for me.)
Yes, half my son's nutritional needs are met by another mother's milk flowing out of a little tube attached to a funny little bottle, but he is so TOTALLY a breastfed baby.
Our nursing relationship is exactly what I've dreamt about since I first imagined nursing my first baby, all those years ago.
I'm finally there, in the sweet spot.
So, I urge you mamas out there, aching with the blow of low milk supply, find your sweet spot. The spot where the only thing that matters is the love that flows between you and your baby. It doesn't have to be the same as my sweet spot. It doesn't even have to involve feeding at the breast or breast milk. This is YOUR sweet spot.
You'll find your healing there.