...I feel silly doing this, to be honest, but it's important to me to get as much help/suggestions/information as I can. My daughter is 5 months now, and I'd only managed to breastfeed the first month and a half of her life before giving up.
I was under a lot of stress [some, if not most, self inflicted]. Even physically I don't think I was adequately prepared. I'd been really sick early on in my pregnancy and had to be hospitalized because of it. To say the least, I spent more of my time exhausted and in pain than I like to recall. I also lost a lot of my independence. This made a nasty cocktail of irrationality by the time my little girl came into the world. I was determined to breastfeed. It was one of the few things I felt I'd have control over after almost a year of not having any.
I obviously couldn't have been more wrong about the process.
Looking back I realize, in part, that I didn't reach for outside sources because I felt like I would have failed at being independent. When you have to be bathed by someone else and have to get assistance merely to wipe and get off a toilet, you lose a bit of dignity. I wasn't as self-confident about how well I'd do as a mother...so I imposed the quest of become 'Super Mom' upon myself, not evening taking into account my mental and physical health.
I'm ashamed to say that breastfeeding my daughter at that time was more about me, and less about her and her needs. I think I realized this when I finally gave up, because with the sorrow of feeling like a failure came immense guilt and loads of shame.
Once I'd thrown in the towel and we started giving her formula, we quickly learned that the milk-based ones just weren't going to work. She would projectile-vomit so bad at times she wasn't putting on enough weight. Obviously we quickly switched to soy-based formula. During this time I was still pumping, managing to get out 4 oz per day. But that began to dwindle, as I've only got a manual pump. [We didn't have the money for anything else, and this was given by the hospital I delivered her at.]
Finally, when, manually pumping and self-expressing stopped being as effective, and it took me three days to produce only HALF of what I'd been doing before [which wasn't at all impressive in my opinion back then.] I gave up on breast milk completely.
My little bean started becoming constipated with the soy formula a few weeks in, and so, as a natural remedy, I started giving her prune juice. After a while, however the juice stopped being as affective and she'd go days not being able to pooh. I can't stand seeing her uncomfortable and in pain, and her feedings become bouts of torture for us both. Her screaming and spitting out milk between vigorous sucking, and me practically in tears while I think, "If only I was breastfeeding!"
I've been thinking of trying to relactate for quite some time, now...Only, until I started doing research, I didn't even know there was a term for it. I only thought: 'God made our bodies to do this. What did people do back in times when there WASN'T formula OR a nursemaid around?' I don't know, I've a weird brain. So I started maiming Google with mad questing to find the answer to my question: "Is it possible to start breastfeeding after stopping?"
And I WOULD like to breastfeed again, but I don't know how well she'll take to it after all this time on the bottle. I do want to try to at least pump enough to cut back at least half of what she gets from the soy.
I'm really determined this time, and seeking out any suggestions and help I can get. I know I have to go into this with a clear understanding that my success may be minimal, but I want to focus on the positive -the successful outcome of achieving my goals. I really feel I can do this, only I don't have the tools to do so. Any information on how to do this with a limited income and resources would be helpful.
Please keep in mind that I've suffered from strokes, so my mental reasoning and understand of large amounts of information is limited at best, so I don't always get something the first time. [And I don't always make sense...I have to really work at typing. It's actually quite exhausting, to be honest. Hahahah! ^___^] So I hope you can be patient if I don't fully understand something or happen to even MISUNDERSTAND your meaning. >___< I'm truly sorry in advance, and appreciate your willingness to take time to help.
[Also, I'm sorry I carry on so much. I'm a bit excitable and rather talkative...]