This weekend is a nurse-in for me and Katie. Not sure if that's the technical term for it or just what I'm calling it, but I know this is a real thing. Basically it's just a 24-48 hour period devoted totally to nursing. It's advised for mom's working on supply issues either at the start of nursing or later on in the process is supply starts to drop. The gist is that you spend most of the time with baby, either in bed or wearing her, and all you do is nurse and cuddle (and sleep and eat). Not a bad deal. I didn't think it was an option for me with Ellie on scene, but earlier this week it was decided that she and Brian would go to STL for a visit. While I'm sad to have them gone, I'm excited to try just about the last tool in my belt for getting my milk supply as high as it can be. I've already seen progress from going on Reglan, which is encouraging. I'm producing almost everything Katie needs at this point. But I know her demands are going to continue growing... and I'm not sure my supply will. (For those who weren't following my blog two years ago when I discussed this problem in more detail as I nursed Ellie... I had a reduction surgery back in 2000 that likely scarred my milk ducts. I definitely don't regret the surgery since it allowed me to be much more active and lose quite a bit of weight, but it sucks that a decision I made back when I was 18 is impacting this part of motherhood for me so significantly now. Sorry if that's TMI, but it's the background.)
I also learned from the lactation nurse this week that I'll likely have to keep pumping up to 8 times a day as long as I want to continue nursing (at least without a lot of supplement). I had hoped the pumping was a means to an end and if I could power through for the first month or so things might get a little easier. But that might not be the case... in which case I'll have to continue to take stock of how breastfeeding is fitting into our lives. I feel like I spend entire days (sometimes) telling Ellie I can't play with her or that she'll have to wait until later while I finish nursing and then pumping... and then it's nearly time to start all over again. Don't get me wrong, I love breastfeeding Katie as much as I can -- but it's heartbreaking when Ellie tries to convince me "no, mommy, baby Katie's not hungry" or "Don't pick Katie up!" I know some of this is normal big sister-transition... but I'm just not sure how long our daily routine can be devoted so entirely to making breastfeeding work.
OK, sorry about the ramble -- and enough pessimism for now! Today starts the nurse-in and I'm sure my supply will benefit from some exclusive Katie time in the next two days. Fingers crossed!