I've done a lot of reading, praying, soul-searching about it the last several months, and I've decided that I want to give it a shot.
There are a lot of things I'm worried about having a negative effect on my ability to produce milk, specifically smaller breasts and PCOS. And even though there are a lot of different ways to try to induce lactation, even ways without any sort of medications, I've decided to go the full-blown medicated route. And that means getting back on a birth control pill.
I know. I never thought I would be doing that ever again. But I am, and here's why:
- As mentioned above, I am concerned that I have some obstacles that will make it hard or impossible to induce lactation. Using the birth control pill and domperidone to simulate pregnancy gives me the best chance for breast tissue to develop and my bubbies to get into the best condition possible.
- I consulted a Catholic bio-ethics group, and given that I am not ovulating on my own, essentially "broken" when it comes to my reproductive system, I can go on it without having to worry about abstaining from marital relations. This certainly isn't about preventing pregnancy; it's about providing for our future child in a way that is very important to me.
- Speaking of "broken," I'm already broken in the lady part area, so I essentially don't care about the possible side effects synthetic hormones might have on my body. It really can't get much more broken than it already is.
- It would just be so awesome to be able to breastfeed. Chances are small that I will be able to produce 100% of baby's needs, but I've decided that if I can produce some, it will be worth any risk I'm incurring by choosing this lactation induction protocol.
Dr. K at PP.VI would not prescribe the BCP to me, and on one hand I see why, but on the other, I'm disappointed. Again, clearly my body isn't ovulating/functioning, I have factors that could make induction more difficult, and the goal is to provide life-sustaining food to my future child, not to prevent pregnancy or mask systems of a troubled reproductive system. We didn't even have a conversation about it, just an email from the nurse team that Dr. K "doesn't prescribe the birth control pill." End of story.
I went to my physician's assistant, who prescribed the BCP for me no problem. This actually made me uncomfortable, but relieved. We had a long discussion about which type to prescribe me. At one point, I asked about natural vs. synthetic hormones, and she said something about how she doesn't see a difference between the two, and she believes BCP to be an excellent "treatment" for "tons of things," including PCOS and acne. After really clinging to a philosophy and science that says the opposite is true for so long and still believing that BCP is not a treatment for anything, just a band-aid that masks symptoms, it was hard to hear that from someone I entrusting my health to.
So yes, I'm doing this. I'll start the protocol once my domperidone pills arrive, and I'll be in this stage of the protocol anywhere from 3-9 months. The timing of our match will determine how long I stay in this stage; I might not even make it to 3 months (squee!).
So yes, Operations Bubbies is underway. Please please please let this be successful. Please let my body do something motherly for once!