Lather, rinse, repeat.
Oh, except this week we also have a broken-down car to throw in the mix, forcing us into carpooling and waiting on tow trucks to pick up the dead Civic in the garage. Extra fun!! We've been procrastinating getting a new(er) (slash maybe bigger??) vehicle for some time...and now we're going to be forced into it, I guess. Yippee.
You know what one of the worst things about being super busy is? When you look at your camera roll on the phone and realize you've taken NO PICTURES OF YOUR FREAKING ADORABLE CHILD in like...a week. That is a horrible realization.
I finally took a few this morning, because babies in bear-ear-hoodies are pretty irresistible. Especially this baby.
Oh, but don't worry- what I lack in cute baby pictures, I make up for in
Millie finally succumbed to some kind of cold or allergies or virus or Daycare Funk...she's one snotty and sneezy little thing. Her snot is still clear (not green or yellow) (isn't it great that I'm sharing this pertinent information?) and she doesn't have a fever, so hopefully she's not too sick...but I hate that she doesn't seem to feel well. And that she smears snot on everything, let's be honest. That's nasty. I must admit, though- her health held out about a week longer than I expected it to once she started daycare!! I thought the Funk would hit hard and early...she must have a pretty sweet immune system to survive this long!
It is worth noting, though, that the Funk arrived exactly one day after she finished the last of her breast milk. Coincidence? I don't know, probably. But maybe not. I am so awed and amazed and grateful and thrilled that we had enough donor milk to last five and a half months!! Half of her diet for five months has been breast milk!! I really just can't believe it. What a huge blessing that donor milk was to us and to her. I know many people seem a little wary (or straight up grossed out) by the idea of donor milk, but I am so glad that it was an option available to us. My (and many of your) blog friend Emily wrote a great piece this week about why she donates breast milk- I really loved her perspective...and I'm just really, really thankful for her and so many other women like her that are willing to share with those of us who cannot breastfeed our own babies.
Back when we were initially consider and planning adoption, but before we were ever matched (either time), I had contemplated and even planned on trying to induce lactation. I really felt like breast milk was SO important for babies and that breastfeeding would be such an amazing way to bond with our baby. Each time we matched, though, I ended up deciding not to. And then questioning whether it was a decision I'd regret...while continuing to decide to not try. At the end of the day (or this almost-six months, as the case may be), I don't regret my decision to not try (although probably my lack of regret is greatly helped by the fact that Millie got breast milk anyway, despite my failure to try). Although each of our matches came about three months before the baby was due...it just seemed like it would be so much work (beginning to pump around the clock in hopes to stimulate milk production...which...pumping around the clock is one thing if you're doing it for your living, breathing child...but I can only imagine how I would have felt sitting attached to that thing for hours a day with no guarantee of ANYTHING- milk OR baby). And I was scared of taking the herbs and medicine that would help my hormones to induce lactation- I have enough issues with my endo and estrogen without monkeying around with things. I was terrified that if my hormones started getting screwy, my endo pain would get out of check...and the last thing I wanted to be doing while sitting around and waiting for my maybe-baby to be born was sitting around in a whole lotta pain. And then there are the emotional effects of hormones. I can promise you I didn't need to be any more emotional. Oh, and at any rate, the odds of all this induction effort working at all are not all that great unless you've previously breastfed before- which I haven't, obviously. So it's not like my body would be like "oh, this again? Okay then," and jump right back into things. So it seemed like a lot of risk for something that probably wouldn't work...
But far and above everything else, my greatest fear was that it would work- that sometime before August 4, Millie's due date, I would have started lactating. And that would be great- but what if our adoption failed again? I know what that feels like. I couldn't imagine experiencing it again. And I really couldn't imagine surviving it if it happened with a baby that I'd been breastfeeding and bonding with under the influence of extra estrogen and whatever other hormones breastfeeding produces. Oh, and what- then after I give the baby back, I have to deal with cold-turkey weaning? Sitting around in pain, waiting for my milk to dry up, every single minute a constant reminder of what I just lost?
Oh hell no.
I don't know why I'm even writing all this out. I guess I just want to remember. I've had people ask- and not usually in a judgmental way, thank goodness- why I didn't try to induce lactation. And I guess the short answer is that I was pretty sure it wouldn't work, and I was terrified of what could happen if it did. And I am incredibly thankful to live in a world where safe and healthy alternatives to breast milk exist- God bless you, Similac and Enfamil and Gerber.
And plus, I've heard of (okay, like...fiftieth-hand. Not like anyone I know personally.) people spontaneously lactating under extreme circumstances- like without even trying to induce it. Even men!!! (I totally want to Google and find the stories where I've read about this, but I'm too tired. If you find one, leave it in the comments, ha.) So my philosophy was that hey- if this adoption works and this is my forever baby, God is welcome and encouraged to spring some spontaneous lactation on me. Ha. I won't turn it down! But as it turned out, he didn't, and I'm fine with that. There are a lot of nice fringe benefits to bottle feeding, as it turns out, so I just focus on those and don't waste a minute on regretting what I didn't try. At the end of the day, Millie is healthy and beautiful and smart and a great sleeper and deeply bonded to both Matt and me, who are equally responsible for her nutrition- and I couldn't be any more thankful for how we got where we are.
(Speaking of nutrition and how smart that girl is- now she not only recognizes/understands her bottles by sight (like, gets excited and/or fussy when she sees one, depending on how starving she is), but we think she understands the word 'bottle'...it's just a working theory right now, but we've had to start using code words so that she doesn't get insane before the bottle is ready...Matt, are you getting Millie's nutrition ready? is how we usually have to phrase it now. Erika, her wholesome meal is on the counter when you're ready. She totally hasn't caught on yet.)
I have no idea how I got off on this insanely long tangent, but here we are. I guess Em's blog just had me thinking, and then we just ran out of our milk yesterday, and now Millie is sick...so bam, there you are. I didn't try to breastfeed, but I'm deeply thankful for women who are willing to donate. And I'm really impressed with women who are able to induce lactation, and I wonder how they got past all the emotional roadblocks and fear that ended up crippling me. And I am absolutely not intending to dissuade anyone from trying to induce lactation! I think it's an awesome thing to try- it just wasn't for me in my situations thus far. Who knows what the future will bring, though? Oh, and I'm also thankful (and maybe have never mentioned before?) that Millie's birth mom was willing and able to breastfeed her in the hospital immediately after birth. THAT is truly priceless on about ten different levels. We just love her and respect her so much. And I'm also thankful that almost none (literally...I know I think two people in real life) of my friends use formula and that they therefore gave me all of the formula samples and coupons that come in the mail to them. Ha. Those things were/are life savers!!
Well, with that, I'm off to enjoy a few minutes of relishing the fact that I've already completed my 10k steps today and don't have to walk laps around my house before bed...and then go to bed. Have a happy rest of the week!