Letting Go

As so many of you were supremely helpful, answering my pleas and whines, I thought I’d drop a little update on how Little Bun and I are going on the milk front.

Three months ago, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed at the triple whammy that I was dealt – her allergies, my own milk’s problem with freezing, and her not taking formula.

Well – we’re through it and (almost) out the other side. Once we’d settled back home after hotfootting it around the globe and back, I started LB on a bottle of her stinky formula here and there. Luckily, she’s a guts and her appetite’s only getting bigger, so she seemed happier and happier to take the bottle.

Then, with my back-to-work date looming, I started to slowly wean her. Just as they recommend in the books, I replaced a feed a week – beginning with her least ‘favourite’. And she was fine. Absolutely. Fine. It took her a while to pick up her quantities, but I knew that she was getting plenty of milk from me, and PUH-LENTY of food and water as well (my girl likes to eat).

The slow approach was also kind to my boobs, and I haven’t had any troubles with engorgement or pain.

She was crook last week so I delayed dropping the final feed – the one first thing in the morning. But I think that was more for me than her. You see, I’ve been sad to wean her. As lovely as its been to have more than a three hour window in which to get out and do things on my own, I miss feeding her. What was such a close, warm, organic thing is now a different – not bad – experience. Nice cuddle, plastic teat, gulp-and-burp. Done.

But the admin! I really applaud those women who have been managing bottles for months and months. The washing, sterilising, transporting, buying of formula … it’s just another thing to fit into your brain when it’s already fit to burst.

I’m so grateful for the boob-support I received – both online and in real life – all the way back to those first few weeks when I couldn’t breastfeed at all. Now that it’s time for us to move on, I do feel some sense of sadness. My baby is growing up.

But what we’ll miss in that, I’m sure we’ll discover something new elsewhere.

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Sour Milk

As some of you know, LB has a dairy and soy allergy. As she is exclusively breastfed, we’re currently managing this via my diet. It’s been a little tough (eating out is pretty much a thing of the past), but there are upsides too (eating more healthily, saving $$ and of course, a much healthier tummy for LB). As she’s now on solids as well, we’re sticking to fruit and veg and will be introducing protein in the coming month/s.

This also means LB can’t have normal or soy-based formula. There is a formula currently available in Australia, on prescription only, that is dairy and soy free. A.ptamil P.epti Junior Gold. This will be what LB will have to have when I go back to work.

The thing about the A.ptamil is it tastes repulsive. I mean, according Dr Hob, it’s almost undrinkable. Way to go formula company! You think parents of kids with allergies need more shit to deal with!? I tried a teaspoon on LB last week and she dry retched. Dr Hob recommended giving LB 4-6 WEEKS to get used to it. I was planning to begin this slow wean in January. How I’ll do this, I have no idea.

With the grossness of the formula front of mind, I had been pumping a little milk here and there. I wasn’t planning on giving LB EBM on heading back to work, so this little stockpile was just my ‘freedom milk’. Just enough for a bottle once in a while, to allow me a night out or an afternoon away – or even an evening at home with a few glasses of wine. I can’t tell you how much I need this.

Last week I defrosted some of the precious liquid to give Mr Bun a chance to reintroduce LB to the bottle, while I was around in case it didn’t work.

The milk was off. It smelt, and tasted disgusting.

Right – so. We tried again. Another batch, same thing. Completely sour. This had never happened previously. A little Googling found the probable reason – lipase. It’s an enzyme that’s excessive in some women’s milk, and causes the souring. A way to get rid of it is to scald the milk before freezing.

I express such small amounts at a time (20ml) that I don’t think I can even scald it and not burn/boil it, and I can’t express larger quantities.

So I can’t store my EBM and I can’t currently give formula either (I need to get her onto that formula, or I’m not going back to work, so I’m already pretty stressed about that).

I can’t catch a break here. I mean, it’s fine. I’ll remain stuck to LB’s side until next year sometime and that’s OK. I love hanging out with her. It’s just – psychologically – the idea that I can’t get away if I want or need to, is a tough one to get my head around.

Has anyone got any experience with either sour defrosted milk or yucky-tasting formula?