The other night I was compelled to break out the trusty Medela Pump In-Style. (Seriously, people: who named this machine? Could it have a more ridiculous name? I think not.)
Do you know what I got for my troubles? One ounce, people. COMBINED. Yep, that's both sides.
OK, so I've read that the baby can obtain roughly twice what a breast pump can, being, you know, a baby and not an unnatural, motorized pump. But that still only comes out to two ounces of milk per feeding. Since I recently cut down to three instead of four nursings a day--feeling that I could probably do that, seeing as how my baby is FIFTEEN MONTHS OLD--that comes out to only six (or so) ounces of milk per day. Six. Ounces.
Let me tell you something: 15-month-old babies are supposed to drink more than six ounces of milk per 24-hour period. In fact, I believe the general consensus is something like 16 ounces, though don't quote me on that. Of course, most 15-month-old babies are drinking cow's milk from a cup at all their meals, or if not cow's milk, perhaps soy, or rice, or lactose-free, or something. Most babies aren't reliant on nursing alone to get all their needed milk-based nutrition.
It's pretty crazy, because when Genevieve was a newborn, I had oodles of milk, way more milk than necessary. I guess my body is tired and old and saggy, and figures, hey, the baby is 15 months old now, she surely doesn't need a whole lot each time, so how about if we just kind of lie here and phone it in? Because surely she's almost weaned. Right?
After my initial dismay and panic, not only did I research "herbs for increasing milk supply" online (and people: do you know how weird it feels to be researching ways to increase milk supply for a 15-month-old? All the articles refer to newborns who aren't getting enough milk, to panicked newly postpartum mamas trying to get the hang of things. Not exactly my situation.), but I also glugged some chocolate milk into a sippy and slapped it down on the highchair tray in front of Genevieve, resigning myself to the last resort. (Internets: this was advised by our pediatrician. I do not take lightly the idea of feeding my baby chocolate milk. Believe me.)
At two meals and one snack yesterday, Genevieve wouldn't even try it. She could tell it wasn't water in the sippy, so apparently she knew I was trying to persuade her to ingest another milk-related substance, and she wasn't having it. But today she took a swig before realizing the liquid inside wasn't clear.
Guess whose baby DOESN'T EVEN LIKE CHOCOLATE MILK? Is she even human?
This morning I added that fourth nursing back into the day. Because apparently I'm going to be nursing this child forever.