A dear friend and I recently had a conversation about breastfeeding. We both had difficult times, me with my first (and only) and her with her second. The troubles we encountered were different but both very frustrating. I thought that I would share my struggles with you all so that you'll know you aren't alone.
Our son, Henry, was born in the fall of 2012. All went well, until it came to breastfeeding. I had several different nurses tell me several different things. It seemed like we were doing okay. However, after being discharged, Henry lost 13% of his body weight and was labeled "failure to thrive." My heart broke.
The hospital lactation consultant referred us to a special consultant, who also did OT and PT. Through her we were able to determine that Henry had not developed a proper latch. As a result, my milk came in and went out. To remedy the situation, I fed Henry as much as I could, while my husband, Peter, mixed up formula. When I ran dry, Peter took Henry and fed him by trickling milk, from a syringe, down his finger. As He did this, I pumped for 15 minutes on each side. We continued this process, every feeding,for a week and a half. At that point my milk came back, though it was six weeks before our lactation consultant was satisfied that all was well.
With everything sorted out, Henry did very well...until he was six months. At that point in time, my period returned. The taste of my milk changed and Henry decided he was done breastfeeding. We had to switch to bottle and, shortly thereafter, my milk dried up. We had to use formula again. I was not ready for this change and Peter didn't understand why the change was difficult for me.
Please know that you are not alone in your struggle! There are many of us who are, or were, right there with you and help is available. Lactation consultants are lifesavers!