It was Valentine’s morning this morning, and oddly enough, I had a full five hours of continuous sleep, which is the longest stretch of sleep I have had since the day before my baby was born.
You would think that I would have been happy about this, but instead when I woke up on my own at around 4:20 AM this morning, I was in a panic because I realized that I had hit “off” on my alarm for 2:20 AM to wake up to pump. I usually will hit snooze, but in my sleep deprived and exhausted state, I hit “off“ instead, resulting in my continuing to sleep for an additional two hours. I had had dreams, or nightmares rather, of missing my middle of the night pump multiple times, so clearly this was a source of potential anxiety for me. In my dreams, I miss my middle of the night pump completely and of course panic about my milk supply dropping. If you follow any exclusive pumping blogs and websites, they all warn you to never skip your middle of the night pump up until the time that your supply regulates, which is around the 12-week postpartum mark, otherwise you could severely torpedo your milk supply for after your supply regulates.
I’d had at least a dozen dreams of missing my MOTN pump. In real life, I would wake up in a panic at around 5 or 5:30 AM, to see the milk I had expressed during my 2:30 AM pump sitting and cooling in the fridge where it usually is. This time, I literally jumped out of bed to go into the kitchen to get my pump ready. And well, it was not the end of the world because I actually expressed almost an ounce of additional milk more than I normally do during my 2:30 AM pump. So at least that made me happy.
I feel like my entire waking and subconscious thoughts surround themselves around my milk supply, my output, and how much breastmilk I am producing for my baby to drink and whether I will have enough for her. Granted, I recognize I do not have enough to 100% cover her needs every single day, but if I am able to get to about 75 to 80% of her needs and cover the rest with formula, I will be comfortable. That is not ideal, as I would love to be able to provide her 100% of her needs with a little to put away for a freezer stash, but I am not sure or confident that that is in the cards for me.