So i'm a long time lurker here, but never posted. But I'm just about at my end here, and i need to vent and get some advice.
My son is 10m old. We've been BF since birth, with solids introduced at 6m. He's up to 3 meals a day now with sometimes a snack, and loves his solids. He's a little guy, only 14% or so at his 9m appt, and when I weighed him last week he was still at 17 .5lbs, so probably a little lower % now. His doc has never been concerned even when he went from 50%->20% in 2m-6m, because she said he's clearly developing well, happy, just on "his own curve." She's always been very supportive of anything I want to do with BF, solids, formula, whatever. Of course I'm always sensitive of his weight though.
I went back to work at 3m and at first had a major oversupply and was pumping 18oz a day while he ate 12-16oz. Around 6m this went down a bit, and I was pumping 12-14oz a day and he started eating 12oz regularly (morning, lunch, afternoon 4oz bottles). Around 8m my supply REALLY started struggling, and most days I was only getting 10oz, so I started fenugreek/blessed thistle (which never seemed to help much) and waking myself up in the middle of the night to pump since he sleeps through the night and it was the best way to make up for the missing milk. That plus extra pumping on the weekend helped me maintain my 12oz with only dipping into the freezer a bit.
At his 9m, my pediatrician said to give up the night pumping to keep myself sane, and that it should be perfectly fine to drop down to 2 4oz bottles at daycare and just make sure to nurse when I get home. She said if we wanted to try a few oz of whole milk (not as a supplement but just to get used to it) so we can transition right at 12m we can. My plan was to struggle through with the night pumping to 10m (he just hit 10m yesterday), then sometime soon drop to 2 bottles at daycare, and around 11m start experimenting with whole milk (we have vacation and lots of holiday in Dec, so he'll be with me or family a lot, not too much daycare).
My plan was always to make it to 12m, and then pump wean with whole milk at daycare lunch, and then nurse morning and evenings with him. This was my goal, my reward... no counting oz, no pumps, just me and my little guy snuggling and nursing for enjoyment and "extra bonus" with no stress.
But this weekend I got the stomach flu. I tried to nurse through it, but was so weak I could barely sit (he doesnt like side lying) and my husband ended up giving him a bottle of formula saturday. Yesterday I was feeling better, trying to rehydrate, but it was completely clear he was not getting enough. After multiple attempts at nursing we gave him a bottle, and he wolfed down 3oz. Same thing later in the evening... another 4oz wolfed down. I know supplementing when you're trying to get your supply up is BAD. But he's older now, he won't put up with no milk from boobs. He gets mad and pinches/bites (which he normally never does), and fusses. He just sat there screaming and crying at me and I COULDN'T keep him hungry like that. He's normally the happiest little guy ever and doesn't cry unless he NEEDS something. I've had trouble pumping enough for daycare for awhile now but this is the first time he's been clearly unsatisfied when nursing (normally weekends/work from home days he's totally content at breast).
Today he's at daycare so I can rest, and we sent him with the milk I had from friday, but only had 2 bottles, so we're picking him up early. I'm trying to pump but so far I've only gotten .5oz when I pump. Weakest let down ever. I'm supposed to be resting but now all I can think about is how we'll never make it to 12m. I only have about 24oz in the freezer, because I used up most of my supply when I had to go away for a night a few months ago.
I'm afraid the supply won't come back... and I don't know what to do. Every time it's dipped since 6m, it won't come back. I can't keep him hungry. I don't know if it's worth it to keep going. Maybe I should send formula to daycare, and try to nurse morning/night like I had planned at 12m? But I won't know if he's getting enough when he's nursing, and I don't know how much to send. Formula bottles are bigger, I don't know how much he'll need. I hate this. On the one hand, I don't want to sabatogize us by supplementing TOO much, but on the other, I worry that I'm keeping him from the nutrients he needs because I'm too stubborn to just give up and move to formula.
I should be napping and resting before he gets home in a few hours but all I can think about is milk and bottles and formula and crying.