OK, Michael, look away. ;o)
I was so touched by the amazing outpouring of support for LB and I during our nursing woes. I am thrilled to report that things are now going really well! We went for 3 or 4 visits to the lactation consultant and 3 to a craniosacral therapist. We would never ever have gotten to this place without a) my husband who was up with me for every feeding during the dark days, and who fed the baby with a syringe and then a bottle while I pumped exclusively for a few weeks, b) our lactation consultant who was always so supportive and calming, and c) the craniosacral therapist who was equally helpful.
We are now nursing every other feeding, alternating with bottles of expressed milk, while I continue to heal from our weeks of difficulties. Thanks to the craniosacral therapist, the baby's palate, jaw, and muscles are now much more efficient at getting milk from me. We are even able to do our feedings without supplementation now. He still takes more time than he will in the future, sometimes an hour, but occasionally we are finished in 30 minutes. This is a tremendous improvement from the 90 minutes it used to take for him to get 2 ounces. He drinks 3.5-4 when drinking from a bottle, so I can only assume he's getting a similar amount from me in 30-45 minutes. But as Christine told me recently, I shouldn't try to put ounce markers on my boobs. Time to put away the Sharpie, I guess!
Again, I have to say I'm thrilled. I was very much wanting to breastfeed. I think some of my extreme, heartbreaking panic, though, was definitely hormonal. I was just aching to be close to LB since he was no longer in my womb, and I couldn't see any other way to be closer to him than nursing. I was NUTS for awhile there. Postpartum emotions were crazier than I ever imagined. There's no way to prepare for that. It is SO nice to be starting to feel normal again. Ahhh.