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An online acquaintance wrote this. 


She, too, has IGT and low supply. All of us low supply boob junkies marvelled at how her breasts were growing half-way through her pregnancy, excited for her and hopeful for us all. I generally find myself coming to the conclusion that I will never make enough milk to feed a baby all on my own. Not even if I follow the rigorous, complicated plan I have concocted for myself to begin once Linus decides to wean (probably, and hopefully, not for another year or two). 

Nursing a toddler is so delightful compared to our experience of nursing a newborn. He nurses without the SNS, adjusts his latch to allow me to place the SNS when he’s ready and only if he really wants it, drinks happily, and runs off or falls asleep. The only time we REALLY need the SNS is when he is going to sleep at night or having a nap after serial nursing all morning. There have been a couple of times where he’s even fallen asleep without it. I don’t have to bring it along with us to play group any more. I don’t have to worry that we might not have enough milk along, and that he will be upset or hungry. Nursing – just me, no tube – comforts him when he is hurt, angry, or frustrated. That is so very healing. Nursing a toddler after nursing a baby with IGT is an absolute delight.

I hate low supply, too. Most days, I can live with it, and some days I don’t even think about it any more. I can look at my misformed boobs in the mirror and not feel complete and utter loathing for them. I no longer have to smother the urge to fling the SNS across the room, sobbing my heartbreak out while my baby arches his back and cries for food. We have more than enough milk in Linus’ freezer, so I’m not forced to wean him on to some other kind of milk or off of the SNS completely. That’s something I never dreamed could happen in the early days. There are even days that I can proclaim myself thankful for IGT. What? Yes, really. 

When does it get to me? When I start thinking about the exhaustion of doing this again. The anxiety over whether or not we’ll find another milk donor in time. Balancing the desire to give Linus a sibling and my very deep-seated fear that, emotionally, I won’t live through ‘failing’ to produce enough milk again. When someone tells me, “Oh, you won’t have problems next time.” I smile and nod, knowing that they can’t possibly know how much their words sting.

They sting because it feels as though they think I didn’t do or try enough this time, and that’s why it didn’t work. Or, my favourite is when someone tells me they had low milk supply, but they just took some fenugreek and drank more water. They can’t BELIEVE how lazy women are to not try something so simple as that, because they really believe that is all it takes to solve chronic low supply. Or the ones who don’t believe primary low supply (LMS as a result of the mother) really exists. It’s too rare. You can’t have it because it’s rare.

I smile and nod anyways. Sometimes I educate, but mostly that’s just too painful, because they are so willful in their beliefs. I understand. I used to think those things, too. It’s why my baby spent the first 11 days of his life starving, wasting away. 

I smile and nod because they can’t know the perverse number of pills I’ve downed in order to make a measly half supply. They can’t know how many times I hooked up that damn pump after nursing my baby, only to throw the bottles back into the pump bag 15-20-45-x minutes later because they don’t even have a single drop of milk in them to wash out. They don’t know the times I have cried my heart out, begging the universe, a god I don’t believe in, somebody, ANYBODY listening to please just make my breasts grow and fill with enough milk to feed my baby. They don’t know. They’ll probably never know. Maybe they think they are being helpful, encouraging. I know they mean no harm. But even 14 months later, it can still hurt.




(Nursing in the Kinderpack, no sns and sound asleep).Image(Children’s Museum in Seattle)



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On my Linus’ last day of being under one, we:
-went and played at the Best Start Hub
-walked home with Linus snuggled up and sound asleep in the Kinderpack
-changed a few cloth diapers
-baked a double batch of chocolate chip pumpkin cookies
-had a little meltdown when mama said no more cookies
-nursed and snuggled
-said sticky and stinky a bunch
-snuggled up and took a cozy nap together
-played with the trains on the train table
-ate salmon and rice and boiled veggies for supper
-played and cuddled some more
-watched some Muppets on YouTube


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We are rapidly approaching the boy’s first birthday. Rob and I were looking through photos of his newness. What a blur that time was. Those pictures, the ones of his starving little body, make me tremendously sad. It feels like such a great injustice that I should be saddened by the photos of my precious boy in his earliest days.

But I am. I am saddened by them. People don’t like to hear that. He was (and is) so beautiful. So fragile. I read my early blog posts and documentation of his early days, and my heart breaks. How little I knew. At the same time, my intuition knew. It knew what my brain and heart couldn’t admit. I hadn’t heard of IGT. 

In spite of that, I have a distinct memory of discussing the non-growth of my breasts while I was pregnant. I was standing in the sunlight of the Bodhi Tree, feet warmed by the dark, smooth floors. It was after a breast cancer class I had been attending was finishing up. Breasts were a common topic, for obvious reasons. One woman had reconstructive surgery done to regain some symmetry in her figure post-cancer-removal-surgery. I joked that my breasts were quite uneven, and I hoped that the ‘boobie fairy’ would show up and fix that with my pregnancy and with nursing.

That day never came.

Most days, I am just happy that we have a freezer full of donor milk to get us through. On other days, I look enviously at the full, veiny breasts of the mothers I see everywhere. I daydream about a breast transplant in which the milk ducts and ‘factory’ of milk-making are preserved, and I, too, can have fully functioning breasts. I dream about my next pregnancy, and all of the new tricks and creams and potions I will try. All for a want of glandular tissue.

But back to my starving baby. It feels good, healing, to see him these days. He has a double chin and little rolls on his thighs. It doesn’t stop the heartbreak of those pictures, though. Looking upon his dry and cracked, thirsty, thirsty lips, the guilt is crushing. I would give anything to go back in time and tell myself all of the things I know now. To save us some of the pain of those struggles.

We are planning his first birthday party. It will be small, since we hardly know anyone in this new city (and one of the two families we do know is expecting a new baby into their lives any day now). I am looking forward to it, nonetheless. I have carefully pasted together invitations for it. Dutifully sewn a “Happy Birthday!” banner and embellished a “Linus is 1” shirt. Pinned recipes and ideas to my Pintrest board.

I love crafting. It makes me feel as though I have accomplished a great deal. So much gratification and satisfaction. I worry about not doing ‘enough’ or being ‘enough’ sometimes (and IGT/Low milk supply totally dug me into a very, very deep hole with that predisposition in mind…one that I am just now digging myself out of). Doing these small things eases that niggling feeling. 

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Oh, Mr. Linus. I love taking you to the splash pad. I have taken many littles to the splash pad over the years, but it is nowhere near as enjoyable as taking my own boy. 

You gingerly dip your toes into the water and then suck them back up into your body. Eventually you become brave enough to stand in the water. Slowly, you reach down to splash one hand in, hanging on tight to my arm with the other. Sometimes you will sit in the water and chew on your turtle, but not often. So cautious are you.

These are such precious days, and so fleeting.

You say mamummamummamum when you want me. Nun-nun-nun-nun-nun when you want to nurse. Hidad when your papa comes home. You pull yourself up on everything with such ease these days. I recall when it was so much work – such a challenge – to even get your thumb into your mouth. Where did the days go? Your two bottom teeth have almost poked their way out of the gum, and I’m in denial that you’ll soon be walking. You can stand on your own for half a minute. It’s very impressive. Somehow, you go to bed with a dry diaper and wake up with a dry diaper. It mystifies me that you can do that at 8 month old while nursing all through the night.

It seems to me that this baby stage should last longer. Your sweet cooing and little dove chortles should last for longer.

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Things I love about Montreal:

  • Melon et Clementines

These ladies are awesome. It is a fabulous store and the women who run it and work there are so warm and welcoming. It is one of the first places I went when I arrived here, and I am so thankful I found it.

  • Bummis Mommy Group

Again, very friendly people working in the store and it attracts my types of people…lots of doulas and APers in there.

  • Architecture

You can’t say Montreal isn’t beautiful. You just can’t.

  • Mother Goose Story Time

In French, English, and Spanish! Linus mostly enjoys the part where they dump the MegaBlocks on the floor, and he crawls over and finds one to chew on, but the adult interaction and learning new rhymes and the post-Mother-Goose Patisserie visits are fun for Mama. 

  • Parc Lafontaine

Pretty. Lots of people out. Lots of duck families live there.

Things I don’t enjoy about Montreal:

  • The French Language

I suspect I would have loved Montreal when I was in university. I would have had time and energy to learn French and fully immerse myself in the wonder that is this incredibly different culture (at least from the rest of Canada). But with a baby and a husband that works full-time, I don’t have the time, energy, or even the desire to learn. The attitude around here is what has totally curbed my desire to learn. Even with a ‘bonjour, I’m sorry, I just moved here and don’t speak any French’, I get nasty looks or poor service (or no service at all). I avoid going to the store because we live in a francophone area, and I know I’ll have to deal with French or explain myself. I avoid going anywhere that I might have to talk to someone. I am exhausted from being a mama and I often feel like I hardly have the brain cells to express myself in English, let alone try and pick up on a language I don’t speak and have never even learned the basics of.

  • The size

I grew up in a small-ish town (7000 people or so). I went to university in a small city (250K, 15 minute drive across the city). I did live in Seattle for a year, but I went to school in the same neighbourhood, and mostly stuck to the one area. I do not enjoy living in big cities. I do not enjoy trying to raise a baby in a big city. Despite my very best efforts, I have found no real community here. It is very frustrating. Beyond that, we cannot and will never be able to afford $500K for a condo with no backyard. I want a backyard where I can set Linus down and know if he eats the grass, he’s not also ingesting dog waste (our park is also a dog park – beautiful as it is, it is full of urine and feces).

  • Affordability

I said it above, but we will never be able to afford to buy here. We’d have to move to the suburbs on the South Shore, and, having spent a month living there, it is not some place we want to be (both in terms of location and accessibility and holy french-ness).

It’s definitely not a long-term residence for us. It just won’t work in terms of our goals. We’re enjoying it while we’re here, though!

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6 Month Likes

Oh, my sweet Linus. You love cardboard. We have a cardboard box full of your toys that you love to sort through. You take everything out, put it in one pile, and then go through that pile and make another pile. In amongst those toys is a little piece of plasticized cardboard that you love to chew on. It’s your favourite object in the entire boy.


You are just such a sweet boy. You think the most random things are funny. One of your favourite activities is holding your muslin blanket over your face – it’s utterly exhilarating to you. You can say bababa, dadada, gaga, mmmm, and sometimes the occasional mama sneaks out. This month, you have started to reach for things you want, including mama. 


If I go anywhere, your little eyes follow. We call you little owl. You are motoring along now, too. If you want to get somewhere, you get there with ease and speed. You crawled off the couch today. Oh, I felt so bad. A cry and a nurse and a snuggle and you were fast asleep and happy again. One night, in the middle of the night, I didn’t realize you had woken, and you rolled off the bed, too. Poor, sweet boy. Thankfully you were okay. Imagine my horror when I realized my knitting needles were laying beside the bed, right by where you fell. Those got moved quickly.


You LOVE food. I mean love. You enjoy it so much, too, “MMM”ing all the while. Favourites are bananas, mama’s oatmeal, avocado, mango, sweet potato, and squash. With meat, you bite down and grunt. It’s so funny. You bite down with so much effort that you actually shake. We laugh and then you think it’s funny, too.


You’re very into your Sophie giraffe, your worm rattle, and cardboard. You’re also really into a sample-sized lotion bottle.


I love you so much. You are the greatest thing to ever happen to me, and I am so blessed to be your mama.

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6 Months

We have been breastfeeding with the SNS exclusively with donor milk for 6 months. I am humbled, amazed, proud, thankful, and overwhelmed with gratitude for the mamas who have made this happen for us.

I am thankful and proud of Rob for being so very supportive of our tangled breastfeeding journey. Never has he suggested we just go to formula or complained about the cost of shipping milk or suggested we bottle-feed. Never. I am very lucky to have his support.


Life in Montreal has been pretty uneventful for us. There are the student riots, and when I tried to go to Le Leche League with Linus with other day, all of the buses were packed with people, so we couldn’t go…turns out someone had set of smoke bombs in the 4 metro hubs. But we aren’t really involved in that business. The student protests have been kind of fun because, since they’re out of class, our local park is flooded with people our age and younger who are making music and sunbathing.

We have noticed that Montrealer men who fall in that demographic are a little vain (for the purpose of stereotyping, anyways). They lie out in our park next to the stinky drained pond with their reflective tanning boards and way too much cologne. Linus likes to look at them (or at least at their shiny boards).


We haven’t done much more exploring of Montreal since we’ve been here, though. Our typical haunts are Centre Greene (LLL) and Melons et Clementines in NDG. Sometimes we stroll down Mont Royal in the area near our house for something to do.


About a month ago, I left Linus alone with Rob for the first time…to go get a root canal. They survived. I survived. But boy, was I glad to get back home to my lovebug.


We also ventured cross-continent to visit my mom in Seattle. It was such a nice visit. Rob was at a conference in Austin for Rails, so we went to stay with her for two weeks. We shopped the 2nd-hand stores and lazed around chatting on the couch and on her front stoop. It was perfect. Linus loved Yeta. Yeta mostly loved Linus. They both love food and want anything anybody else is eating.

In 3 weeks we are headed to Regina to visit and attend a dear friend’s wedding. Rob is also going to MOSO, another conference in Saskatoon while we are there. It’s shaping up to be a nice amount of busy and a nice amount of relaxing so far.

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