Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FOR BREASTFEEDING!  Pervs!!!
Aahhaa!

So now that he his less floppy, and well HUGE! Weighing in at 14 lbs 10 oz! I have been trying new positions with him. And we are finding great success with this. I am able to get him into the cradle hold now for both breasts, and the coolest part is that at least on Lefty, he can now latch himself on!!!  Righty is still a bit of a challenge as it is so much rounder, but he is doing really great. Now that I can pull him closer to me I find he stays latched longer as well. Still pops off especially when he dozes, but his session have become longer overall!

I also noticed something that I had not before...I am no longer watching the clock. I don't know when that stopped really.. I just latch him on, let him go until he shows signs of being done, or just passes out completely. I also am not paying attention to how much supplement he gets. Some days it's alot, some days its a little. We really just kind of go with the flow now.

Nighttime feeds are getting a TINY but easier. He still has that funky latch at night (honestly that is the strangest thing) but we are working on it. Last night he did a 7 hour stretch! OMG! My boobs were SCREAMING at me! That's what woke we up at 4, and I woke him up to eat! He took both breasts, got em fairly empty, and passed out until 6:30. Took most of righty, fell asleep again. Fed him again at 7:30, emptied both and took 3 oz of formula. Its noon now, and he has only had Righty at the docs office after he got his shots. Hes still passed out. Of course, that was one helluva ordeal for him. He barely cried though!

I had doc check for tongue tie (just to be sure) he said, nope he's fine. He agreed he has a tight upper frenulem, but is confident that as he grows it will only get easier for both of us. He was proud that despite all the troubles we are still at it!

I am planning on posting a 2 month milestone ticker on the ORG on Thursday... I don't know if I am allowed as we are not EBF... but I don't care. Its a HUGE deal for me and I wanna brag at least a little!

Monday, August 30, 2010

YAWN...

Tired. Ugh. Long night with the tiny. I don't know if it was because he took a late nap, or is going through a growth spurt or what, be he had me up every hour on the hour last night. We got one 3 hour stretch, from 9 to midnight. But I didn't get to bed till 10, so it was a mere 2hours for me. Blech.

Anyhoo, nothing much changed on the BF front. It is still a struggle, he is still not satisfied from me, and that's that. I have decided to have Doc check for tongue tie tomorrow at his 2 month appointment. I know he has the tight upper frenulum, but perhaps more anatomical issues as well. Reading my Low Milk Supply book it sounds like he may also have a high pallet, which isn't any trouble in real life, but makes it hard to stay latched. I hope there is something that can be done. At this point, even if the dopmeridone works, what good is a full supply if your baby cannot stay latched long enough to take it? And no, that damn medicine hasn't gotten here yet :(

So yeah, I need to get back to pumping. I know I  keep saying that lol... but I haven't managed to do it yet. Its just such a hectic timing issue. Because Dalton has NO predictable daytime sleep OR eating schedule, I have no way of knowing when is a "safe" time to pump. Not to mention, the 3,000,000 other things I have to do in a day. I can feed him till hes full, he will fall asleep, and he may be up in 2 hours, or 2 minutes. I never know. And he can take 4 oz of formula and BF, and It can be less than an hour before he's screaming for more food. I don't give him formula unless he has at least attempted to BF first. He always gets milk from me... I just have no way of knowing how much. Nor do I know if he is really hungry afterwards, or just being a fuss. Even after 2 months he's a bit difficult to read when it comes to hunger signs. So, trying to throw a pump in can be very tough.

I think what I may do is pick 2 consecutive days...if I can find them, and pump my brains out with power pumping. I need to get my WIC checks first though so I have ample formula on hand. I only have 1/2 can that HAS to last until Wednesday or we are screwed. I don't dare try to pump and BF just yet... as it takes my breasts about 12 hours to adjust to pumping. And I really do not know how low my supply has gone these last 2 weeks. I can't take the chance of running out of food for my little guy.

At least on Thursday we can celebrate 2 months of breastfeeding!!!  Not full, wonderful, breastfeeding. Hard, frustrating, heartbreaking, mind numbing breastfeeding. But we are still at it. And every single day he has received my milk. Every single day. Go me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I wish that I could say he was Exclusively breastfeed. I want to say that, but still, no. Now, I haven't pumped in about 36 hours. I just keep putting him to the breast. Whether or not this is gonna kill my supply I guess we just won't know. But he seems to be emptying my breasts well, as long as I am getting him on every 1- 1/2 hours or so.

He is back to his 6 hour stretch at night again. Which means he goes down around 9, and not a peep until about 3 am. Its LOVELY to sleep like that but there is a catch to it. The 3 am feed never goes well. For whatever reason, at this hour he completely forgets how to latch on, and just makes a huge mess of it all. Its not an engorgement issue, as I do not get that swollen any more. Usually we fight it for a good 20 minutes before he finally realizes whats going on, and then he eats. It has been VERY difficult for me not to cave and give him a bottle and just pump. But I have been persevering. This is the only time he can eat from my breast and actually get full... I want him to know that feeling of being full from the breast so he begins to trust it again.

Which brings me to my next idea: I think I may start doing his supplement BEFORE we BF, and here is why... I was reading in my Low Milk Supply book that it can help the baby gain confidence at the breast. After a while he will understand that MOMMY is making him full and happy, not the bottle. This can be especially effective for kiddos like Dalton who tend to pass out on the breast quickly and never finish a feed. I *think* that he has come to understand that if I just suck on Mom for a bit and make her happy I will get my baba and I can feel full. Well, I aim to change that if at all possible. While I realize I may not have a full supply, I know that I have MORE to offer than what he (or the pump) takes.

I still cannot believe that at 7 weeks (today!) it is still such a huge battle for us. I really looked at the 6 week mark as the moment of reckoning... and it was not. I am now setting my new goal for 12 weeks.. 12 weeks and Lord help me if he hasn't caught on by then? well, it just may not be worth it anymore. But I have said that before, haven't I??

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So this walking is nice. Yes yes, there are little aches and pains like my hemmies (freaking ouch) and the back of my heels (raw) and my shins (splinted) and my hips (how fucking old am I anyway?) BUT all in all its very nice to excerise again. And I realized that it has been since I left California over 6 years ago that I have engaged in any sort of aerobic activity. So I got 6 years of unused sloth muscles to overcome. Not to mention carrying around the extra 50 lbs which tend to slow me down just the tiniest bit.

SO I have been SO bad about pumping. I really think my supply is feeling the hit. When we are BF'ing good I hate to pump because he really prefers a full breast. I need to SOMEHOW convince myself of the truth, which is I WILL make enough milk to feed him at least something, and pumping can only do good rather than harm. I hate the pump. And I make any excuse I can not to get near it. And ironically, I also hate to BF ALL day because I never get a thing done. And again, will use the formula as a crutch. I am my own worst enemy now lol. I sabotage myself.

And in the back of my mind, I keep hailing this stupid domperidone as my possible saving grace, because after all, if I have LOTS of milk I can both PUMP and BF and never have to worry, right? RIGHT. *sigh*

Monday, August 23, 2010

It doesn't matter. We hit the 6 week mark, we are still breastfeeding no matter how little or much it may be. And we did it.

I am enjoying the relaxation of just feeding him the way I know best. Sometimes its the boob, sometimes its the bottle, sometimes its both. He is NOT lacking in nutrition in any way, and damnit thats the best I can do!

I was very naughty and didn't pump last night. So this morning around 5 when he woke up for his second feed (he was sleepy last night!) I was not as full as I expected to be. I am not sure if it is because I was lazy about pumping this weekend, OR if I am reaching that point that I am not going to feel that engorgement any longer. Either way, it was a bit unnerving. But he ate and ate and ate. And then took another 2 oz of formula. I was a bit frustrated cuz he really fed well from both breasts, but I figured he was extra hungry from sleeping so long. BUT then at 6:30 he was fussing again, and spit up at least the 2 oz I fed him, lol. So I felt a little better! NOT that he spit up, but that he obviously got overfull and he would have been content from my milk had I just let it ride (will i ever learn?) I know he must have done well, because I only got about and ounce when I pumped afterwards. And most of that was from Lefty, who never wants to give up the milk anyway.

The domperidone shipped on Saturday from New Zealand... well according to the email anyway. It says 7-14 days to arrive and I am really hoping its on the lesser end of the estimate. I am very curious to see what this stuff can do for us. I must really be thinking about it, because I dreamed last night I had a rich MIL (some random person, lol) that bought me like $1500 worth of the stuff, lol! The dream was weirder than I care to remember. But that part was cool. I only ordered 100 pills, which will last a mere 10 days if I take 90 mg a day. So I have about 3 days to decide if its working/worth it and need to order more so I don't have a lapse in my schedule. Sure hope it lets me know straight away!


2:00 pm

I think he may done with another growth spurt. He was chomping down 4 oz or so every 2-3 hours (or less) and since this morning has only BF'd (3 times) and got one 4 oz bottle of BM/formula mixed! Hmmm... so either hes not hungry, or we have magically crossed over to "I make enough to feed my Babysville." Huh. Hmmm... ????

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wow what a great BF day! The pain is G O N E. And he is latching like a little vampire! Still not staying awake very long, but I take what I get!

We BF most of the day today! We were out and about, and I BF'd at Andy's shop.... then gave him and EBM bottle at Kohls, and got home and nursed and nursed. And few bottles in between. I didn't even pump until about 30 minutes ago (LOVED the pumping break!)

So is it ironic that things are going smoothly now that I stopped stressing out about it?

Oh, and the domperidone is on its way.

Friday, August 20, 2010

So things have just been working themselves out I guess. I am pumping as much as possible, offering the breast to him mostly for comfort, and just letting it ride. Ironically, I find it much easier to bottle feed him at night then BF. I know that's a bit different than most BF mom's roll, but it works for us. That way he gets fed quickly and back to sleep quickly so I can pump and take advantage of that higher nighttime output. I am back to sleep within an hour of him waking up, and that's fine by me!!! He sleeps better, I sleep better, and we are happier in general. Now, if I could just break him of waking up at 6:30 am, lol.... things would be great! I would love that extra hour of sleep!

And of course, or Lord and Savior always has a plan. And I see his plan starting to come together! We got some financial news last night that is going to put even more strain on our already tedious situation. With much heartache, I must return back to work. I will try to get my job back at Wal mart working nights and weekends part time. I liked that job honestly, it was fun. I don't feel a bit bad about working again, but I am gonna miss that evening time with my boys and ESPECIALLY with my Andy. But, we must do what we must do. Gotta have money to live no matter what.
Why not get a full time job you ask?
I refuse, as does Andy, to put our kids in daycare. Not because we think we are cool, but because 1. Its too freaking expensive
2. Finding reliable people is near impossible
3. We believe the babies belong at home with their mommies.
4. Yes, we REALLY believe that babies belong with their mommies!

Also, I may get the chance to do some part time work back at Marsh helping with logs and such. This would really be awesome, as they pay well and fair and i LOVE my girls to death!

So how does this relate to BF? Well, say our BF was going along swimmingly.. and he never had a baba or formula... imagine the impact on both of us having to be forced suddenly into being separated for long hours? It would be a hard and absolutely devastating transition. Well, as it is, our nursing relationship is very similar to a working mom's. BF when we can, pump when we can, supplement when we have to. And of course, Andy can feed him without any issues whatsoever. And as good as this little man sleeps, Andy won't hardly be bothered at all for the short time I will be gone!

So, it looks as if (and should I have EVER doubted) God has been setting us up for this all along! I cannot wait for the day I RELAX and let the Zen feelings of trust in MY LORD take over before panic sets in, lol! If any of us ever reach that level of consciousness, I just don't know.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Here we are! The 6 week mark! I still cannot believe how fast this time has gone... if my pregnancy had flown by this fast I might have considered another..umm.. no lol.

So here is a review of the last 6 weeks...

Dalton still is a terrible BF'er.

I still barely pump enough to give him even 30% of what he needs.

We have battled the following: Thrush, bad latch, tight frenulem, low supply, thrush again, plugged duct, milk blister, more poor pumping output, more low supply, more bad latch, tears, frustration and more.

I have not put him to the breast since yesterday evening. And to be thruthful, I am not sure if I will at all.

I am going to power pump for the next few days in an attempt to get my supply up. I will order the domperidone tomorrow... too bad it takes 7-14 days to arrive.

I will smile and know that I have done my best.

I will cry when I think of my dream shattering before my very eyes.

I will be thankful for the time we shared.

I will try again, even though it may be in vain.

I will look into his eyes at every feeding, bottle or not, and thank the Lord above for a healthy, beautiful child.

I will cry again, most likely.

OOH and on a great note, my right breast is starting to really feel better. That awful ache and pain from the blister (and I believe the clogged duct behind it) has really subsided. It may not be gone completely, but its so much mroe tolerable than it was yesterday. I will keep popping ibuprofin!



PUMPING UPDATE:

Huh... so I have power pumped for 3 hours. I have pumped 4 (5?) times in 3 hours. I have 7 oz of milk to show for it!!!! 7 oz / 3 hours mean 2.3333 oz per hour I am pumping. If Baby can remove more than that, it means that I may be producing 3-4 oz per hour? Lets lowball.. if I can pump 1.5 oz per hour every day (or feed, whatever) then I would be producing 36 oz per day!!!! Low supply my rear end! That's ample!! Not spectacular, but ample. If he were to actually stay active at my breast, there would be NO need to supplement this child whatsoever. If I were to continue to keep my breasts empty, then I would make even more... meaning I may not have a low supply issue at all. What I have is a lazy baby with a crappy latch.

Also, while watching the pump, I notice that I have not only an adequate let down, but a frequent one as well. I let down anywhere between 2-4 times per 15 minute pump. And the milk flows for anywhere from 4-10 minutes. And I mean flows, not just drip drops.

How do I remedy this? How do I get him to be an active nurser?????

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Honestly... why does it have to be SO hard? Why won't he latch half the time? Why am I always in pain? Why will he only eat for 2 minutes from me, and suck down a bottle in 5? Why am I putting myself and him through this?

Money?

Posterity?

Bragging rights?

The "right and good" thing?

Is it worth it? really and truly.. IS IT FUCKING WORTH IT? Because at this moment, it's not. I don't wanna cry either from pain or frustration. I have put my 6 weeks in, I haven't given up!! Where is my prize? Where is this beautiful bonding experience I have been working so damn hard for? Where is this miracle that these BF women insist happens BY NOW? Where is my ample milk supply, my healed and functional nipples, my starry eyed gazes and milk drunk expressions to coo over?

Damn right I feel sorry for myself. After all I went through in the pregnancy, and all I have endured for the last 6 weeks I think today I can feel just a bit sad and self-serving.

All I want is to put a hungry baby to my breasts, watch him get full, and cuddle him to sleep. Nothing more, NOTHING less.

OMG I am gonna have a 6 week old tomorrow!

So, I didn't BF much last night (meaning the late night/early morning feeds.) for whatever reason, he latches horribly in the wee hours, and honestly I wasn't prepared mentally or physically to endure that pain. So I bottle fed and pumped, which was just as well. The pump doesn't rub my nip, so when we woke up for real this morning my nip was feeling better. Not great, but better.

I guess that blister was causing me more pain than I realized... even with the open wound it hurts less than when he was latching on previously. Lord I cannot wait until that pain is GONE. It really puts a damper on BF ing for me. I anticipate that pain and start clenching my teeth, lol. So by the end of the day, I have some seriously sore teeth on top of everything else.

He is nippin' and nappin' today. I hate when he does this... I want to pump tp help my supply along but I don't dare as I never know how long he will be out for. Inevitably, if I pump and empty out the girls he will wake up lol. Then he just gets mad cuz the milk is gone and he's not willing to wait around. He is a supply Killa' fo sheezy.

And he's fussin.... off to clench!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ok so, I said I was gonna stop. I can't. I didn't BF all night and decided to pump instead, which was fine as my nip is extremely sore (more about that in a paragraph or two.) This morning he was fussies after his bottle. I KNEW he had enough to eat, but we were laying down and he kept wiggling to my breast and trying to nurse. OMG it just broke my heart, and filled me with love, and made me cry and made me laugh all at the same time. So I nursed him despite the pain. He didn't take much, but he drifted off to a happy place and sat content for the next hour in his little chair, just happy as a clam in the sand.

I took care to pay close attention to how my breasts reacted to the pump. And again, even after a 20 minute pump session with compression and massage and getting about 3 oz (total) my breasts were still firm. Nothing like when he nurses from me. So it's a fact... that pump just cannot replace the baby's suckling. And it proved another thing to me, something I have not wanted to admit but I think it's time I do...

I HAVE A LOW SUPPLY. There I said it. My breasts have a capacity, and it will not be exceeded despite my best efforts. The surgeries took their toll, and I must face this as truth and stop denying it. I have done all things right from the beginning and I know this. I could feed and pump around the clock for 3 weeks and I will still never make more than I do now. But there is a light at the end of this long and painful tunnel.... And that is I do not have to provide all his nutrition by myself. I can supplement, I will supplement, and he will be better for it in the end. I am going to nurse for the comfort, for the love, for the weight loss, for the absolute bonding of it. I will (try) not to stress any longer about being his sole source of nutrition. I will be calm and cool about the little I have to share with him. From this day forward, I will make every possible effort to ENJOY the BF, rather than fight it.

So about that TMI nipple... I posted previously about that blister I had. At my post partum appointment today, I had my doc drain it. Yeah, it hurt. Ummm, ok it really really hurt. Thank the Lord it was not infected. All that came out was a large crunchy piece of colostrum and a little bit of blood. I am thrilled its gone, but not thrilled about the healing process. Of course, to get that duct flowing again, I have to nurse him, and of course, that's gonna hurt worse than I can even bear to think about. So happy I have some pain meds leftover from the Section!! I popped a percoset when I got home, and I will take an ibuprofen as well.... Whatever it takes to keep him at the breast!

So, in conclusion: I am NOT going to stop BF. I am going to get my mindset in the right place. I will start to pump again to help the supply along and help supplement him. I will order the Domperidone on Friday and try that as well. I will remind myself that REGARDLESS of how much I make, nursing him is ALL I ever wanted to do. It was never about nutrition, it was about the emotions. And is about the emotions.

Finally, I will thank the Lord that I make anything at all, and that even though its been more difficult than I ever imagined I am still doing it. That's a little miracle in and of itself!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The latch dance. Sometimes you partner is Fred Astaire, sometimes your partner is Chris Farley. Yesterday and this morning, my partner lived in a VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!!!

My nip feels bruised and beaten. He has been clamping down after latching... and woweeee does that smart! He's eating longer which is great but it almost feels like the first week all over again. My nips are ok, its just the surrounding area. I think the thrush isn't helping either.

Lefty is getting smaller and smaller and producing less milk. I think I need to start pumping again. I hate it, but my supply is showing signs of becoming minimal again. I ran out of blessed thistle and can't buy anymore until Friday... the fenugreek I think has run its course. 6 weeks of it... I think my body is getting used to it.

Which brings me to my next idea... i have tussled with it since day 1, but I think I am going to take a chance and order the Domperidone. I am nervous about it, as:

A. I don't want to become dependant on a medication
B. It's a bit shady to order
C. Long term affects are not documented in any way
D. Its expensive and may not work

But the chance of it working and giving me a full supply is very tantalizing indeed. I keep thinking if I just get that jump start on my supply then I have a chance of BF'ing exclusively. If only there was enough milk to make him full and happy, then he would be obliged to BF like a normal baby and his nursing alone could keep my supply optimal.

Truth is, neither of us trust in my breasts. I think he nurses for comfort, and for a quick snack. But he has come to expect that bottle at the end, and truly I use it as a crutch myself. I know he needs it, so I am more apt to end a BF session (or rather, quit re latching/waking etc...) knowing I want to get up and do some things around the house. I may nurse on demand, but I admit I am not patient enough to keep him there as long as he needs to be. Nor am I patient enough to continually rouse him to make him finish. I know I am not special in the way that I have other children and responsibilities... most mom's do as well. But I am unique in the fact that I am a bit high strung. And I hate to admit I have a bit of anxiety as the session wears on, and I am looking at my dirty house, thinking of dinner, dying of thirst, etc.... Because his latch is so poor, I am still unable to nurse him in a carrier. Hell I can barely nurse him sitting down with pillows and every other comfort. Once he achieves that good latch I try to remain as relaxed as possible and just let it happen. Easier said then done most days.

Well, 3 more days and we will have met the 6 week mark. It's kind of like D Day for me. I promised myself that I would not stop until that day. And while we have had improvement, we are still SO far from where I thought we would be. Even with all the "AHA" moments we still struggle daily. I am not ready to give up... but I am going to have a very good chat with myself on Thursday. I will reevaluate my priorities, my feelings, my drive behind this whole thing. That should be a long, rambly post indeed.


11:30 ish... Would like to say that there is NOTHING more painful than nursing your child for two hours straight with only about 10 minutes of break time, only to have them still be hungry and guzzle down 3 oz of formula. I fucking hate this. WHY GOD? Why????

7:20 pm. Well... looks like I wont make it to the 6 week mark. I am done BF. I cannot do this anymore. I am feeling too much frustration and angst, and its getting unhealthy. I will continue to pump, but I am done putting him to my breast only to be dissapointed over and over. Its time to be done now I think. I will elaborate more tomorrow...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

!!!!!

OMGOSH! Im so excited! This morning was awesome!

He slept his lovely 6 hour stretch (love this kid!) and when we woke up my boobs were fuller then they have EVER been. I mean, I thought I was going to burst. They have been full before, but this was crazy full. I had to pump a little to get him to latch on. At first, I thought we were gonna have a repeat of previous mornings, but he surprised the hell out of me! He latched on and ate for 10 minutes straight! Then to lefty for 8 minutes, then back to righty for another 5. And then the miracle happened. HE GOT FULL. AND SLEPT. For another 3 hours!!!!

And I noticed something really cool too... when he emptied my breast, he had it done in record time. By the 3 minute mark I already felt "less full" then I do with 15 minutes of pumping.

We have had great nursing all morning long... hes fussing for a top off so Im gonna give him a few oz of formula! Oh wow if we keep going like this I may not need it at all!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Good grief. So I decided to try again this morning after my last post (I love that I am blogging about this, it keeps reminding me NOT to give up!)

Anyhoo, I was anxious as could be because I just didn't want to fight it. Before I latched him on, I watched a few videos about latching, and noticed something I had not previously noticed: these women were pulling their babies to the breast, open mouthed, and allowing the baby to latch on. Ok, DUH moment for most of reading this I am sure... but let me explain why this was so profound for me.

All the LC's and books and drawings I have visited/seen/read say to "cram" all the boob you can into the babies mouth when it opens. USE THE SANDWICH! STUFF THAT BOOB IN! DONT FORGET ABOUT THE AREOLA!!! So for 5 weeks I have been trying to jam his mouth full of boobie, only to have him spit it out, or lick it, or gag, or whatever. And if successful, he would back up off the latch quickly. Hence my neverending stress over it not working!!!

Huh. So this morning I though, well shit. If these tiny babies are just gently latching with little or no force then maybe he can too? AYUH. Like, instantly he just latched himself on with no troubles. Nice healthy comfortable latch that he ACTUALLY KEPT for over 10 minutes on each breast! I was able to let his head go for the first time, let him relax (and me as well) and let him suck away!!! Are you FUCKING kidding me? For 5 weeks I have fought this? HOW many women are getting this same awful advice I had been given? How many????

And as for the sucking, well it was awesome! 8 minutes of active, nutritive sucking! Well, on righty anyway. Lefty is just akward no matter what... and barely makes milk anyway. He's more of a practice boob LOL!

So, may this trend of easy latching and good sucking continue! And may the one step forward, two step back progression end. I want to see forward motion only from here on out!

WOOHO!!!

5 WEEKS 1 DAY

Yesterdays nursing went from bad to worse. By the time Andy got home around 6, he was just done latching on altogether. He even bit me!!! And with that little tooth, REOWR did that smart! BUT, I think he just isn't feeling very good. He slept a 6 hour stretch last night, and when he woke up around 3 he was congested and gassy. After he pooed, he spit up almost all of his meal. He ate a little more, spit again, and then again. Poor little dude. I think the combo of stuffies and wind made him very unhappy. After I got him changed and settled he was up every hour after that.

I didn't nurse him at all last night, just pumped. I probably shouldn't take those breaks, but honestly the dissapointment of him not nursing well (or at all) really makes me upset. And I didn't want to feel upset.

This morning I managed to get his nose clear, finally! I can't believe the amount of snot a tiny little baby can hold in their head! He felt much better after that. I am still debating on whether or not to nurse him. Believe it or not, it makes me nervous now. Like a mini anxiety attack just thinking about it. If he rejects it, or just sucks twice and passes out it makes my heart hurt. I KNOW it's not something that I am causing or that he is causing either. It's just the crappy luck we have with BF. But it hurts just the same. I dread the thought of becoming an exclusive pumper, especially with my medeoker milk output.

I posted my troubles on the LLL forums... and of course I get the same old tired advice. Links to Kellymom, clip the frenulum (they don't clip upper frenulums... he wouldn't be able to move his upper lip) and oh try a wet washcloth! After 5 weeks I think I have exhausted every bit of imformation and support in regards to our issue. There is simply nothing left to try, short of the chiropractor. And I just don't think a chiropractor can make my child wake at the breast!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wow how the time has flown by. So cliche, I know. But it just blows my mind how quickly they grow.

Last night we had more great sleep! I love that he sleeps good (when not going through the growth spurts, lol.) I really hope he stays this way. I remember 6 weeks was when Everit did his 180 and turned into the non-sleeping monster!

Nursing went good... he is staying latched on longer now. Not much longer, only a few minutes but I call it improvement. I did supplement 2 oz after his feeds, and then he had 3 oz this morning at around 7:30. 5 oz isn't bad at all. I'm not keeping great track, but I think he is getting around 15 oz per day of formula now. Much less then it was!

I know he is getting more BM then formula now by his poo's. They are more yellow and seedy then they were two weeks ago. He is now going only once a day, maybe every other day. But they are profuse when he does, so I know he is still gaining and doing well. Not that he needs to keep gaining LOL! Good heavens he's huge!

Yesterday he rolled over. Not once but twice! From belly to back. It may have been accidental, but it sure looked like he made that choice! I will put him on his belly again today and see what he does.

Oh, and last night, OMG so sweet! He sleeps between me and Daddy at night. Usually he hovers in the middle... but last night he wiggled and wiggled until he got his face right up against my breast, and then fell asleep. He did this every time we layed back down! And this morning, instead of him letting out his HUNGRY! scream, he woke me up by rooting and rooting at my breast trying to nurse my tank top LOL! I thought it was just precious. I cannot wait for his latch to get "normal" so we can lay down to nurse. I can't do it now, he just pulls off my nipple and chews me to death. Hopefully one day!

2:00 pm... what a crap day for nursing. He has slept all day long. Eat sleep eat sleep eat sleep. Not good sleep... unsettled, cranky, half sleep. He won't stay awake at my breast for more than 3 min. (ugh again?) and barely stays awake for the bottle.. but since the bottle is easier he can suck it dry while he is fast asleep. I am getting a little worried, even though I know tommorow he will be spry again, lol. I know its just a few sleepy days, but It's still worrysome. I need to get a pump in, but the boys just don't let it happen. I did manage to get the living room cleaned and somewhat re-arranged though.. I probably should have eaten lol. Maybe I will get some food later and then again maybe not.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Woohoo! Sleep! HOLY moly did we sleep! Got a 5 hour stretch, then a 3 hour stretch, then ANOTHER 3 hour stretch after that!

Honestly, I can't remember how many Oz's he took last night lol... I think maybe 5 total? Its blurry, we were in sleepy heaven!

The 3 am and 5 am BF sessions were frustrating. He was too tired and/or lazy to latch on good. He kept doing his old latch of licky licky licky my nipple. Makes me WONKY when he does that. That flicking feeling is so annoying. So I fed him till my patience wore out, and topped him off after that. I was gonna pump, but I opted for sleep instead lol.

This morning at 9 when we woke up, he fed pretty well from both sides. He got another 2 oz after that. Then we fed again around 11 ish... no supplement this time. We rolled to the grocery store and fed when we got back around 1, and another 2 oz formula. From 1:45 till about 2:30 we nursed on and off, and he is now in the swing sleeping.

I guess he is in growing mode! All that food he ate last week is now getting used up to grow grow grow! I am thankful that the eating phase is done for a bit... thats exhausting like nothing else can be.

Oh, and the ding dang thrush is back again. Glad doc gave us a HUGE bottle of Nystantin. I think we are gonna battle this for the duration...

And finally.. this is odd but here goes. At the end of my pregnancy, I noticed that I had developed a bump on my right nipple. It looks like a blister. It really has not bothered me at all with nursing or otherwise. I was reading online about milk blisters, saw a pic and went WHOA! That's MY blister exactly! Now how odd is it that I got it before I nursed, and it still has not bothered me, nor popped? I tried the hot compress and nursing thing yesterday, but it didn't do anything at all.. so I decided that I will have my doc take a look at it next Tuesday at my 6 week checkup. If it is a plugged duct, I would like for him to open and drain it if possible... Maybe that's the ONE duct that will bring my supply to fruition, lol. I know hopeful thinking! I sure don't wanna have to heal from it, but if I can bring more milk to my baby, then so be it!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

So perhaps we turned a corner? He has been nursing successfully since yesterday afternoon! He is eating at least 15 minutes, and he is actually sucking that WHOLE time! Here is what I think changed:

He has been a little congested, but I could not really see anything in his nose, nor could I suck anything out. He didn't seem to be struggling to breathe at all, just making the boogery sounds. Then, a TOTAL DUH Mommy moment occurred! The saline nose drops! I put a few in, and sucked out quite a bit of snot. After that he was nursing great! So this morning I will do it again as I noticed he sounded a like raspy when he woke up. But we nursed all night long and he took maybe 3 oz total all night of formula!! Woot!

We have been up since 7, and have nursed 2 times already, with a few short "comfort" nurses in between. I have not made a bottle yet!

I know he is ready for his morning nap, but he is not really wanting to lay down without me... funny... now that I know he nursed so well, I am actually thinking its just ME he wants rather than more food. I may be wrong, but I hope this is the case!!

I had an appointment with the Lactation nurses today at 2, but I had to cancel it because I don't have anyone to watch the boys. They are allowed to go with me, but last time they were just too much to deal with. They are good boys, but I need to concentrate on me and Dalton rather than telling them to hush the whole time. If things continue to derail, I will make another appointment. But I am cautiously optimistic that we may be finally heading down a good path.

Praying for the best, and prepping for the worst!

11:00 am... after a morning full of BF'ing he is now sleeping soundly. No bottle as of yet! I hope he is sleeping from being full and content, rather than hungry and exhausted. I felt good about BF this morning... he was doing his on and off sucking and sleeping pattern, but I was simply more patient about it than I have been. If this is the way he nurses, then so be it. I guess I am so desperate to have a quick, successful feeding session that I am calling failure without realizing that he is going to BF the way He wants. And like I have been reminded over and over, he is still very very young and we are still learning.

On a good note, I do have renewed faith that I will be able to get to 6 weeks. And then 7, and then 8. ANd God willing, many many more!

1:30 pm... He napped until about 11:30, so an hour total. We nursed and nursed until almost 1:00. I put him down for maybe 20 minutes that whole time (and managed to get dishes done, lawn sprinkler moved, and feed the boys in that 20 minutes!) He was still hungry though :( I made a bottle of 2 oz BM and 3 oz formula. He sucked it down. I put him in the swing and I *think* he may actually be sleeping for a little longer this time. Lord I hope so. I really need to pay attention to Everit. He is starting to lose it.

WOWEE! A 2.5 hour nap out of little man! Soo happy! I got a shower, and did a bunch of things that needed done. Huzzah!
When he woke up we nursed, and he was content after that for close to an hour! Then we nursed again and I topped him off with about 2 oz of formula. He was super happy and chilled all evening long till Daddy got home. I nursed him again, for about 30 minutes, and then Andy asked to feed him. I had a moment... looking at Andy feeding him and realized that yes, supplementing is not ideal BUT... look how awesome it is too see him with his Daddy. Andy was singing him a song very quietly. I got teared up watching them together.

About 8:30 he was fussy, So I nursed on my left and he stayed there about 10 minutes before passing out for his first (hopefully) long stretch of the night. I am debating whether or not I should get a pump in... I may just rouse him before I go to bed to empty out righty.

All in all, a successful day.

Monday, August 9, 2010

So its 2:00

And we have not even had maybe 10 total minutes of successful sucks on the breast so far. Thats being generous. And pumping is yielding nothing... I got a whole ounce from BOTH breasts on my last pump.

Every time I sit down to BF my 2 year old decides to throw a fit, need a snack, color on something, tear something up, or just sit and whine at me for nothing. I guess he's finally starting to show that jealousy we have been waiting for.

LC's still haven't returned my call. I hope they do soon... it's the last thing holding me together right now. That tiny glimmer of hope that maybe our relationship can be saved somehow.

Really, he hasn't eaten much at all today. From bottle or breast.. a few sucks, sleeps for 10 minutes then up awake again. I know its normal for them to go through phases like this, but it's so frustrating. Stopping every 10 minutes, thinking its feeding time. I havent managed to get a thing done as usual, and my poor Everit just wants attention.

I have been tearing up all day long. Every time I hold that bottle in my hand it just makes me fall apart again. I just do not understand why it's so hard? Why isn't this working? All I wanted was to BF my baby.... I am not asking for money, or fame, or anything that I don't need or deserve. Just to feed my baby the easiest, healthiest, and least expensive way. The natural way.

And he's awake again. *sigh* I haven't managed to fold the laundry I started... its a miracle I got food this morning to be honest. Looks like I won't be eating again until dinnertime.

As my Everit loves to say, Lifes a Fish.

Ha. Not that I blog so often, lol.. but I need to deal with this somehow.

So I introduce: Our Breastfeeding Journey.

After losing my BF relationship with Everit when he was about 5 weeks old, I felt an emptiness and sadness that I could not digest. I felt I had failed him, and failed myself. When I got pregnant with Taylin (God Rest her Soul) I was determined that I would succeed this time. After losing her, we were lucky enough to conceive our last little man, Dalton. Throughout the pregnancy I devoured all things BF. I ordered books, researched online, spoke with Doulas and LC's and peers. I was going to be successful no matter what it took.

Now, keep in mind that I face a difficult issue with BF. Having breast implants cuts my chances of success.. not by a whole lot, but supply was the issue I assumed I would be facing. Turns out supply was to be only one factor in our never ending troubles.

Dalton was born on July 8Th, 2010 Via planned C Section. He was a whopping 9 lbs 8.6 oz at birth. Don't ask me how I grew such a giant baby, lol... but I managed. BF'ing went great the first few days. The LC noticed his latch was shallow, but was confident that with practice it would improve. I also began pumping the first day, as well as taking fenugreek to boost my supply. By the 3rd day (the day I was discharged) my milk was mostly in and he was at that time getting full off my supply.

At his first check up at 5 days old, Dalton had lost weight. Alot of it. He was 8 lbs 6 oz. Now, because he was so large at birth (and my Doc is not a whistle blower) there was only minimal concern. He said keep nursing, and see what happens in a few days. It was after this appointment that I noticed Dalton just was not an active sucker. And that my nips were creased and bleeding and cracked. I could get through the pain, but I knew his latch was getting worse and not better.

Two days later at his weight check he was down to 8 lbs 4 oz. My heart sank to my toes. I knew it was time supplement. I cried buckets on the way to Target to buy the bottles and formula I had prayed and prayed that I would never have to see again. when we got home, I fed him his first bottle. I cried SO hard through that. Harder then I had ever cried before. And when he guzzled those 3 oz down, my heart broke even further. He was so hungry... and I was just not making enough to feed him.

So On day 7, I began the grueling BF, Supplement, Pump cycle. It was so exhausting. Luckily I was still riding the new baby endorphin high...(and the pain meds were probably helping too, lol.) I still don't know why I didn't just give up right then and there. Something kept driving me, as it is today.

Week 1...As we supplemented, and I pumped, I noticed that my breasts just didn't seem to have as much to offer... and again his latch was horrific. I set myself to pumping every 2 hours on the clock, and working in an extra 10 minute pump here and there when I had the chance. I was getting 4 oz on the best morning pump, and a measly 1.5-2 oz on the evening pumps. Dalton started EATING. And I mean EATING. He was taking 4-5 oz per feeding. The formula was flowing indeed. And I was pumping my brains out trying to get enough to feed this child. My breasts never felt full, unless I slept a long stretch (5 hours or so.) It was so hard to face the reality of low supply. I also added blessed Thistle at this time to my galactogouge regimen. I'm still not convinced it did anything, but I am afraid to stop taking it. I also started drinking 3 cups of mothers milk tea per day.

Week 2...I visited with the LC's during this second week, who noticed that he had a very tight UPPER frenulum. This is much like a tongue tie, only on his top lip. Because that frenulum is SO snug, he is unable to properly flare his upper lip out. This of course causes a poor, shallow latch. He has to work twice as hard to maintain his latch, which exhausts him and hurts me. And due to the sad latch, he is not removing milk or stimulating my breasts properly... hence the minimal supply. Pumping was probably the ONLY thing that kept my supply existent. It was bad news, but not entirely horrible. It was something we could overcome with time and practice.

I made the executive decision to stop BF for a few days and pump exclusively. Not only for my supply, but my nips and our sanity. He was getting about a 60/40 Formula/BM (respectively) feed. He was sleeping better, as was I. But there was NO improvement in my supply whatsoever. It just stayed on the same sad path.

Week 3... after a week of NO BF my nips were feeling better. We had company coming into town, and were going to the inlaws to visit and have some fun. I was NOT going to lug that stupid pump around with me. I said to myself "this is it, Joee... time to BF." So that morning I latched him on... and much to my surprise he accepted it happily. Again, the latch was not superior, but MUCH better than it had been a week ago. I decided , what the heck. I will BF this little guy all day and see what happens. He latched on for the rest of the day, and though he never acted "full" and I had to supplement, I was over the moon happy. We continued to BF day and night, supplement as needed and I pretty much stopped pumping altogether.

Week 4...After a few days I noticed I was feeling FULL after 2 hours of not BF. And when I latched him, he was gulping greedily. I was like, OMG yes! we are doing this! THEN it started... he would only suck actively for maybe 3 minutes... then he would fade off to a flutter suck. I would unlatch, and he would refuse to re latch again... not resisting the breast, just not latching. He would "chew"on my breast. I had milk pouring out of both breasts, and it would just dribble out of his mouth. We latched, and re latched, and changed diapers, and burped, and danced and sang and maybe after 20 minutes he would re latch again and suck for another 3 sad minutes. Our nighttime routine became bad. He was up every 1/2 hour to an hour.. even with supplementing he was just unsettled. He wanted to stay at my breast. But he would pass out as soon as he was on. He never fought the bottle, but his facial expressions really showed how he felt. He would rather be on the boob.

Now, on a good note, his latch is good enough now that I am not in pain, and my nips are in fairly good shape. But I cannot manage to get him to stay awake long enough to empty me. I believe with all my heart that the milk is there, and ready to take... but I cannot get him to finish me off no matter what I try.

Yesterday: 4 weeks 3 days old. Despite the fullness in my breasts, and ample milk to offer, he is not sucking beyond the 3 minute mark. After a long and desperate night, I woke up defeated. He decided that between 3 and 6 am he was not going to latch at all. Again, not resisting the breast, but just chewing. I fed him his bottle, which he sucked down quickly and I cried. And cried. And cried. He was awake and alert most of the morning. I latched him on at least 4 times.. all with the same exhausting results. I switched sides about 4 times during the last feeding, as my breasts were sore and hurting and needed to be emptied. He took more than he had before (I thought) but he still took another 3 oz after that from Andy. I relived the heartbreak from the morning, and cried again.

I decided another BF break was due. So we bottle fed him the rest of the day/night and I pumped every 2 hours again. My breasts were not so thrilled at the pump, lol. Sad results... a mere 10 oz between last night and this morning. That's only 2 feedings for my chunk butt. And my full feeling is gone already. I think my boobs hate the pump. Can't blame em. Its barbaric.
He slept great. A four hour stretch... OMG that was lovely. I feel rested, and he must be as well because he is sleeping the morning away. I think he was as exhausted as I was!

4 weeks 4 days (today): I woke up and pumped, fed him 4 oz of formula, and he went to sleep after a bit of fussing from a gas bubble in his tummy. Wow, a morning nap! What a treat! He woke up about 2 hours later. He seemed hungry, so I gave him Righty. Fantastic Latch! It was beautiful! I was excited! He was gulping, lefty was burning (not leaking though) and all was well... 4 minutes later, he was OUT like a light. NOt rousable in any way shape or form. So now we are current. He is sleeping like an a little angel. I wish I could feel confident that he got full, lol. But I think the tired is simply outweighing the hunger right now. I will offer the breast to him when he wakes up, and keep on keeping on. I have a call into the LC's to schedule another consultation with them.

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