I honestly can't believe that so many things can go wrong with breastfeeding, as they did for me, and now something else!!!!
I don't think I ever mentioned that I gave up breastfeeding and pumping back in September. My husband and I reached an agreement that as the primary caretaker of two babies with very little help or support, breastfeeding was just not going to be possible and was already causing more trouble than it was worth. It sounds simple when I say that, but it actually took days of arguing, crying, fighting, pumping, not pumping, trying to breastfeed, babies screaming, etc., before I grudgingly agreed to give it up.
In retrospect, I have no idea why I didn't just scale it WAY back and keep pumping a couple times a day to maintain some supply so I could try to ramp it up again later if/when things got less crazy. Partly because my husband was convinced it was an all-or-nothing issue and I believed him. Partly because he thought my breastmilk was causing the babies' fussiness and I believed him again. I wish I hadn't. I wish I just maintained the possibility of breastfeeding at some point. But it doesn't matter now.
I gradually stopped breastfeeding, and because of my husband's belief that my milk was causing the babies' fussiness, I meticulously bagged and labeled every ounce and stored it in our deep freezer until I was no longer producing. I had something like 300-400 ounces (maybe more), which isn't a lot, but I hoped to give it to my babies at some point in the future.
Later in the fall, we started giving the babies one bottle of breastmilk every night with rice cereal mixed in, and every morning I found several ounces sitting on the kitchen counter from my husband's shift with the babies. He said that the rice cereal would get too thick at the bottom of the bottle and the babies couldn't drink it. I was thawing 8-10 ounces of milk per day and throwing away 2-3 ounces. It was breaking my heart. So we stopped, and I decided to wait until we got back from Italy and then I'd start giving them one bottle per day again.
Three days ago, I discovered that while we were gone, the contractors working on our house rewired the living room and in the process disconnected the sunroom where the freezer lives. Since we'll eventually demolish the sunroom, they didn't bother to hook the electricity back up in there. Everything in the freezer was thawed and had to be thrown away, including all of my milk.
It seems a bit like the final straw. Clearly the universe didn't want me to feed my babies breastmilk. I'm just really sad it all ended this way.
Coming up next - a few happy posts, I hope. Plus notes on long-distance air travel with babies. Maybe a post on how our six-month appointment will go today with the doctor who turned us in to CPS. The possibilities are endless!