Friday, October 29, 2010

Among other things... 

Yesterday I did not (and still do not) remember if I missed my 3 o'clock dose of meds. I panicked around 6 pm and thought oh crap I didn't! But then second guessed myself. Then panicked again. I took em to be sure. Then I was scared to take another dose around bedtime... and panicked again. And thought about taking them. Then balanced the issues between too many meds and not enough. I went with the lesser of two evils. A little lost milk vs. overdose... it was kind of a no brainer at that point. But I woke up with a raging headache which tells me somewhere in there, I missed a dose.  In conclusion, I am a freaking idiot. I am gonna buy one of those huge pill organizers now... with the days and the times on them so I can't screw up again!  HA!!!

SO last night Mr. Man decided that at 10:30 pm he needed to start his nursing marathon, which was off and on clear until 1:30am. Latch on, get a few drinks, pass out. 5 minutes later stir, latch on, take a few drinks, pass out. I marveled at my breasts and how they managed to accomodate him all night. Let down was quick and he was able to get what he wanted for that period of time. After that we got a stretch until 4 am, and I sat up to feed him so he would get a full belly. It worked until 6 am when we got up for the morning. We nursed untl 6:30, did hid usual morning supplement of 4 oz, and he is back out again. He is content, I am exhausted. And so the world turns once more.

On the COOL front, today I get to pick up a Baby K'Tan carrier to "try out." I am rally excited as it is very moby'ish, yet also a sling style as well. I have been daydreaming about a sling wrap for some time now.. and this one appears to be the best of both worlds! How COOL of her to offer! Thank you again, GJ Caring Hands Doula !!1  You are good peoples! I wish I could have just ONE more baby.. I would hire you in a second! And have a VBACII at home in a tub!


Marathon nursing I suppose is theme of the day today. He is not napping, and nursing like a mad man. Crying again.....

And nope he's out.

Wow... this is like some newborn nursing here. Must be YET another growth spurt? Teething? Grape flavored breasts? Who knows.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ahh yes... finally my breast feels a little better today. Still sore to the touch, but more of a bruised feeling than a sharp pain! So happy I am on my way to healing! And so far, not a sign of thrush. I really think that grapefruit seed extract is helping some. I still expect us to get it, but maybe not as severe and surely not as quickly. Ha... famous last word's I am sure!

 Now as far as my supply goes.... well I don't know just yet. Yesterday afternoon *seemed* a bit improved. Dalton was less fussy and we were able to get back to minimum supplements. I am not too quick to judge though, as he sometimes has days where food is not a priority. Last night we were able to go without supplement again (thank goodness!) so I think things are looking up. I am going to get some more pumping in today as it surely cannot hurt! As soon as he naps I will do some power pumping again.

Now that I feel like I have kicked the sickness part of this I am going to put my home back together today. I have been "getting by" with surface cleaning since before the Halloween Party and my house looks like something out of a hoarders episode right now. Ok,  maybe not THAT bad... but still not a pretty site. I wouldn't let my Mom come over and see it like this! If you can't show it to Mom, then it needs some TLC.


So I got 1 oz so far today.. and thats with nursing every 1.5 hours!!!!  Looks like the milk is making its return!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I still have the red sore spot. Although, not as bad as it was. I wore just a thin tank top with no support last night and I think it helped. the WORST part is how sad and sorry my milk supply is. I hate that I worked SO hard to get up to a full healthy supply to have it plummet so quickly. It's breaking my heart. I will pump and pump and nurse and pump again today. Once this duct unplugs and/or the infection cures I am PRAYING my supply returns.

So here comes the "I feel sorry for myself" tirade:  It's unfair that I have to battle this again. I feel like I paid my breastfeeding dues. In the back of my mind I know that I am paying penance for the vanity, but I really feel like I should have had that all paid back now. I am reaching out and trying to share my story... I have not given up at all. I just wish it was my turn to have a healthy overflowing supply. I won't lie... I want an oversupply. I want to feed my baby and still pump 4 oz. Pipe dreams are not healthy I know... but if I keep shooting for the stars, MAYBE I will get just above the atmosphere.

And now a prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, please bless my breasts with abundant and overflowing milk for my child. Please heal my breasts. I pray this in your Name. Amen.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Woke up to a very sore breast again. I think maybe my nursing tank was putting pressure on the spot and making it worse. So I am going sans bra today hoping it will help heal faster. I really cannot tell if I have a plugged duct or not. It seems like my letdown is really suffering this morning... so it may be. I am going to do some warm compress treatment and a hot shower and then nurse.. I hope it relieves some of the pain. I will also try to get a pump or two in as well... but only if Dalton is fussing at the breast again. If he seems content then I will let him do the work. He does a much better job anyway. SO MUCH for a freezer stash lol.... guess I am gonna have to wait a little while for that. But it does not look like I will be entering the work force any time soon either, so even if I get just 12 oz or so put away in the next two weeks I should be covered for CLUTCH!!!

I do feel better today though... other than this stupid headache that won't go away. I was able to go to sleep at 7 last night with baby boy. He was up at his usual 12, 2, 4, 5, 6 and finally 7 am. But that was 12 hours IN BED. I also opted to not nurse side laying... I wanted to stay off the sore spot as much as possible. I think I ended up on my right side most of the night though. It habit for me to turn towards him so I know he is safe from Daddy's elbows!

I will update throughout the day should anything change.

10 am. 

Pumped like maybe an ounce after a marathon BF session... the sore spot feels better but that  may be the ibuprofin kickin' in.  Milk supply is SHOT. Freaking shot. So sad.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Yup. For sure. I feel like HELL this morning (yes, that quickly from my morning post.)  I have been feeling over tired for days, but I always attributed it to something else. But righty is redder than before and hot to the touch on the red area. And Dalton is fussing like crazy at the breast, even though I am still having a good letdown. So, yeah. I called the nurses to get the OK to get the prescription for antibiotics refilled, but I just called and refilled it anyway. I know what it is. No need to drag the kids into the doc for this one. Especially on this UBER crappy weather day.

So, pump/nurse/pump and try to relax as much as humanly possible. And get ready for the thrush. Fuck.


Not that I didn't already know, lol. But the doc agreed (over the phone thank goodness) so she approved my refill and I am back to square one again with breast drama. My right nipple is tender too. I cannot believe I have to go through this again. But I am well prepared this time! Got all my ducks in a row and I will combat this quickly. I am really hoping that my grapefruit seed extract will do me some proactive justice. I am gonna up my dose to 3 a day again. Wish I could afford prebiotics. I may just pick up some yogurt today and start eating a bowl a day as well.

I guess when you ask for more milk, you gotta pay the price. *sigh*

OOOH a mystery on my blog. I woke up with a sore spot on righty. Its on the side of my breast. When I look at it it looks like 3 fingerprints. Now, when we side lay at night to nurse I hold my breast up for him. I really think I must have fell asleep last night and kind of bruised my breast a little by laying on it. I don't feel ill (although I was very very ill Saturday night, but I am sure that was food related.) My letdown is not affected thus far. I just pumped an ounce after feeding so all systems are go. I am gonna watch it today, and take advantage of my pump. I plan on power pumping/nursing to be proactive just *in case.* Kellymom says that if you catch mastitis early enough, pumping and nursing can remove the infection before antibitoics are needed. Praying this is the case for me. I KNEW this weekend at the Grandparents was gonna be a killer on my breastfeeding schedule.... ALTHOUGH...

I NURSED at the garage sale. In front of everyone, strangers and family alike. I just threw a blanket over us and went for it. I was SO stinking proud of myself! But it was busy and we really did not nurse enough this weekend. He was feisty at the breast yesterday and twice I had to cave into formula again because he was simply too impatient to wait for a letdown. He has his moments. I know the oddity of the schedule caused some issues for him.

And with my power pumping today I am starting a freezer stash. I have always just supplemented him with the fresh milk. But here we are barely taking any formula (7-10 oz now baby!) and I think its a great time to build up a stash. Andy and I are having a night together on November 15th for the CLUTCH concert!  FREAKING WOOT!  And I would be SOO stoked to have only breastmilk for Dalton to enjoy while we are gone for those 7 or so hours!  REMINDing myself to test the waters in a week or so and make sure he will drink defrosted milk... I know some babies are not down with the flavor.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I am so tired and worn down right now. I haven't felt this exhausted  in a very long time. I feel like perhaps I may be coming down with something, but its been almost 4 days and still have nothing that screams "your sick!" save for a little gastro-intestinal unhappiness. And I can easily attribute that to not eating very well lately. Which is directly related to not feeling well. Ah, the circle jerk.

Its more than just a "need some extra sleep" tired. Its that deep down ache of pure fatigue. Every joint in my body seems overexerted. I am starting to wonder if this is maybe a side affect of my recent herbal explosion. I really really hope not, because I am LOVIN the milk being so plentiful. As is Dalton.

Well, no time for whining now. Today is "G" day... the last day to get prepped for Grandma and Grandpa's EPIC garage sale. I am dropping Everit off at a friends house because yesterday he decided it would be cool to escape from their yard. It shaved about 15 years off of my life looking for him.. never again! So he can go play with his little girlfriend, Dani. And I can enjoy a less-stressful day of hard work.

7:00 am... lets see if I can manage to get 3 tired little boys fed, cleaned, dressed and out the door by 7:30. Looks like I get to skip YET another shower, lol. Peeew.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So thanks to the ladies on the Everything Breastfeeding Board .  They confirmed that yes, all this silly sleeping nonsense is indeed a phase, and shall too pass. I am comforted by this. Last night was a little better, I feel more rested than I have in a few days. I also was more calm and patient last night then I have been. Well, until 5:30 this morning.I hate when he gets me up that early. I need to be up to get things done, but OH what I would not give to sleeeeep a little bit longer. On the other hand, what a neat feeling to know that my baby boy needs me, needs my milk, and loves to nurse. Somehow that makes it ok. Even in the throughs of my early morning temper tantrums (yes, I have honest to goodness temper tantrums) I realize that he is not trying to torture me, but rather just lovin' hims mommy.

Everit was up a few times last night too.. and with NO guilt whatsoever I forced Andy to get out of bed and deal with it. It took me 2 years and another kid to prove to myself that I do not need to be the ONLY person doing night time parenting, but I have crossed that boundary line and I feel  better for it. Andy may not, but I certainly do.

Everit was (is) the worst sleeper in the history of children. It was not until he was nearly 20 months old did he sleep through the night. And when I say sleep through the night, I mean this child would wake and cry upwards of 8-10 times per night, every night. Co-sleeping never helped. Stuffies, music, and every other sleeping solution failed miserably. The only thing that worked on him was the infamous "Cry it out" method, which is painful for everyone involved.  He really left a scar on my psyche... and I feel like sometimes Dalton pays for his brother's inability to sleep peacefully. It is a never ending battle I fight within myself to remain calm and cool and not let the frustration boil to the surface.

But in all honesty it has been 3 consecutive years that I have not slept through the night myself. No exageration there... not even a mild exageration. If I wasn't dealing with a screaming child I was dealing with pregnancy insomnia. I have not had the pleasure of even ONE full, uninterrupted nights sleep since I became pregnant with Everit 3 years ago THIS WEEK. I try to take it easy on myself and not buy into the guilt, as it is very obvious I have a reason to be a little cranky in the wee hours of the morning!

This week will be trying, as Grandma and Grandpa are having their garage sale this weekend. We have 2 short days to price items, organize, hang clothes, make signs and clean out the remaining cupboards. Whew. I am So thankful in so many ways I am able to help (and be helped financially) but I am gonna be a pile of exhausted goo by Sunday.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

OR something else?

Before I begin let it be known that as a third time Mom I have come to expect the unexpected when it comes to sleeping patterns. I realize that they change daily, and am not in panic mode. But the last 10 nights or so it has been pretty rough on me. I am starting to wonder what the hell is going on here!

Dalton goes to sleep easily around 7-8 ish. He sleeps great until 1 am, when it all falls apart. He is up every hour on the hour. He is not screaming in pain or even really crying at all. He is just wiggly and grunting and rooting and whimpering and making Andy and I completely nuts. I have been latching him on in the side lay position and he will take a few drinks then pass out cold. An hour later it starts over again. And then again. And again. LAST NIGHT this all started at 10:30! Long night.

I try not to give him any supplement at night for two reasons:
1. So he understands that nighttime is for sleeping. He was doing 7-8 hour stretches, so I know he can go that long without starving to death.
2. So he comes to know that boobies are for nighttime. I don't want to be up making bottles at 2 am. I want to give him a snack (or a meal) and let him go back to sleep.

So I caved the last 2 nights and gave him 3-4 oz. in the hopes he would get super full and stay asleep for a few hours. He sucked it down, and I thought OK that's it! He is just extra hungry and needs a full belly. Nope, he is up in an hour rooting and wanting more milk. Latch him back on, 2 sucks, and he is out like trout. For an hour.

I don't mind breastfeeding at night. I am able to doze off while he eats. I will feed him every  hour if this is what he needs. But I am suspect of hunger only because he is not awake and crying which were his previous nighttime hunger cues. I am guessing this is comfort nursing? Keeping in mind the fact that we are still working towards a "normal" breastfeeding relationship, I have read that many babies get most of their milk at night. Perhaps this is what most nursing moms and babies do then?

On a strange note: Since taking those new herbs I have noticed that my palms and arms are itchy. Weird.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Now I love me some DPD... and I love what it can do. But it is such a slow acting medication. You get small bursts of milk production around the week marks. And apparently, at 6 weeks of being on the meds it all levels out and you get what you get. If this is true, then I am definitely never going to be an EBF Mom. As I have said before, I am going to accept BF for what it is. But I am driven to do all I possibly can to make DAMN sure I did my absolute best to make this happen for us. And when he weans I want to look  back and know I tried my hardest.

So I was taking Fenugreek 4x3 and Blessed Thistle 4x3. I did some more research and found I could up that dosage safely, which I did. I also purchased Alfalfa and Marshmallow Root. So, here is my regimen currently:

DPD 4x4
Fenugreek 4x4
Blessed Thistle 3x4
Marshmallow Root 3x4
Alfalfa 2x4

64 individual little pills and capsules. Damn. That's alot of herbs. But if it makes a difference in my milk production then its worth it to me....

And how is it going you ask?

Well I started this Friday morning. I have been diligent about taking them. I didn't notice anything remarkable, but with the party and all I was a bit distracted. Yesterday afternoon I was holding Dalton... just playing with him and whatnots. It wasn't even 1.5 hours after I fed him last (we had a marathon nursing day, it was nice.)  I put him down and Andy said, "Uh babe.. look at your shirt." I looked and WHAT WHAT? BOTH breasts were leaking. NOT just Lefty, Righty too. And I was NOT engorged, did not have any of my normal reasons to be leaking!!!  Which means.... ummm... I don't have a freaking clue what it means. But I was stoked! I really am hoping that meant there is more milk being made! Of course, it could just be that I am finally tuning in with Daltons needs. I am not as convinced of the latter though.... I feel as though I have been in tune with my baby since he was conceived! It is so very odd. But I think it's yet another "normal" thing to leak at random and curious times. Hooray for normal breast behavior!!!! (Did I just type that?)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

So yeah, Exclusive Breastfeeding is the goal, naturally. But I realized how fortunate I am that Dalton can switch easily and happily between breast and bottle, human milk and formula. I see alot of other Moms on my birth boards having a rough time getting one or the other to happen. But we are easy peasy in that department. I can bust out a boob or a bottle and he is content either way! Not to mention Andy gets the opportunity to feed him, bond with him, etc...  I really DO have the best of both worlds!

But last night something so sweet... we had a HUGE Halloween party yesterday (I may blog about that later) and I really didn't see him for most of the party. He was getting passed around like a hot potato, and loving every minute of it! I never heard on squeal, screech or cry out of my baby. He is so content!
Anyhoo... after the party was done he was ready to nurse but I had some things to do so I tried giving him a bottle. He outright rejected it... which I found SO odd because I  knew he was hungry. I though, meh he must be over the people and the noise. We went to our bedroom and I tried the bottle again... NOPE. So I offered him boobies, lol. He LIT up like a street light! Smiled, cooed and waved his hands back and forth making the cutest face ever!!!  We nursed for a good 1/2 hour with the fan blowing on us (it was So hot in the house!) He passed out cold on the pillow for about an hour or so.

It's those little moments like that... so poignant and downright yummy. I want to keep those feelings inside of me forever to revisit whenever I need them.

He has nursed and slept all day. It has been SO nice. I love my baby so much.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Its that time of year again.. where we honor our lost little one's. Besides my own experience, I have a plethora of friends and family that have suffered the loss of a child. It breaks my heart to know SO many have suffered.

To my sweet Taylin Jo: We love you SO much and KNOW for a fact you are here watching over us. There has not been one day gone by that I haven't thought of you...who you would be today, what you would look like? While I wouldn't trade your brother in for the world, I would love more than anything to have just ONE more day with you. We will see you at our mansion in Heaven my sweet baby girl. And there we will rejoice and dance and sing.

Here is Taylin's Story.

And while I could not POSSIBLY remember all of my friends and family's losses, I will list here who I can recall and we will light a candle and say a prayer in remembrance

The Benson Family (Taylin)
Alicia (Issac)
Grandma and Grandpa  (Jeffery)
Aunt TT (Rebecca Lynn)
Holly (Love bug)
Juli Bowen (many, many losses)
Carly (Baby C)
All of the ladies on

And finally, to those whom I may not know by name or face but am forever linked in sadness.

Dear Heavenly Father, please bless these families who have suffered with the loss of a child. We know you never take a soul that doesn't need to be taken. We know that you are a loving God and we trust and believe in your reasoning's. You are Almighty. Hold us all in your arms today Lord Jesus, and keep us in comfort through all our days before we reach your Heavenly Gates.  AMEN.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

that my child is completely normal.

I have posted about his fussy crazy nursing before... and I could always attribute it to low milk supply... frustration on his part. THEN I thought well, here's the milk and WOW it must be letting down too fast. Frustration for him yet again.

and After researching and reading other experiences I believe that YES it is normal nursing behavior. Looks like alot of babies just fuss and pull and talk and whine at the breast. I guess it is because of all the afore mentioned reasons... maybe the milk is too ample when they just want to comfort nurse. Maybe its too slow when they are particularly hungry. Maybe they sucked in some air and have to burp. Maybe they are just being little pills because they can.

Either way you look at it... my baby is normal and so is our nursing relationship! So fuss on my boy, fuss on... I am ok with that. As long as you keep nursing for as long as you want then I am a happy camper!

I think I have decided to purchase a nursing necklace. I have to run it past Andrew first, but Daltons little hands are just all over the place. He is starting to pull away whenever he hears his brothers voices, or catches a glimpse of something he wants to check out. I think the necklace is really made for babies just like him!

Here is the one I want:

Now to justify the purchase!  MUAHAAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

So I am a huge believer and fan of the paranormal. However, I have never really bought into the ORB aspect of it. I have seen a few compelling things, but felt like they could have been easily explained away. But in the true fashion of the unknown, it takes a personal experience to make you think twice!

So I took this pic sitting on my couch...there is a window sitting behind me but the blinds are shut tight. There was no flash in this pic. I took several pics sitting in the same spot, and pointing in the same direction. This was the only photo that had this anomaly in it. I realize there could be several explanations and am open to all opinions. But I did gasp a bit when I saw this on the camera... and my first thought along with my faster beating heart was, OMG this is Taylin playing with her brother. So whether it is or not, I was comforted by the possibility. And If it is indeed a true spirit Orb what a blessing indeed. I know our passed loved ones watch us all the time... I don't need proof for that. But it would be cool to have another pic of my daughter.

Without further ado... this is the cropped and close up pic...

What makes me really feel strongly towards this being "other worldly" is that there is NOTHING else in this pic to indicate lighting issues, Sun rays, dust, bugs, etc... I also think its odd that you can see his face through it clearly... and I am not entirely sure if that is the way a true Orb manifests. Looking online I found conflicting opinions about that.

Here is the photo in its original state:

You can see that there is nothing else around... no shiny spots... no red eye, no.. anything. The Orb is very bright, and seems to be illuminating on its own. Also, in the close up shot it looks as if it is casting a shadow on Everits brow.... again I cannot be sure what that means.

So I little bit of Spooky to kick off the Halloween Holiday! I am pleased that there is even the possibility I captured something so special. And if it is just a sun spot, well.... that's ok too. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Here it is... my whole breastfeeding journey written out in story form. I won't stop blogging about our relationship entirely, but I do feel like I have hit that place where I can now focus on other things. Now that the hard part is over, and I have become accustomed to writing almost daily, I am excited to incorporate the rest of my life back into the blog!

Against all Odds… a Breastfeeding Success Story

Joee Stephan, age 32.

Grand Junction, CO

My story begins at the age 0f 21. I had my breasts augmented (implants) after realizing that God was only going to bless me with an “A” cup. Not acceptable in my opinion. My implants were placed through the bottom half of the nipple. It has since been proven that this placement method can be (and in my case is) as detrimental to milk making as a full reduction. A few months after a seemingly successful surgery, my left breast became swollen and hard. It was determined that my body was rejecting the implant and had become infected. The implant was removed and I had a drain placed for a few weeks. When it came time to replace the implant I chose to have a larger one placed in my right breast as well. Hello, vanity! There was no further issue after the last surgery.

I had my first son when I was 25. Breastfeeding was not something I had strong feelings over one way or another. I latched him on a few times but in a short week he was fully Formula Fed. I remember that I never did feel my milk “come in.” I never felt engorgement, and drying up was a non-issue, as there was nothing there to begin with.

Fast forward 5 years later to the birth of my Second Son. Call it time, maturity, whatever, I was determined to breastfeed this time around. I was sure that IF I wanted it bad enough my milk would be there and we would breastfeed and that would be that. I did little research during pregnancy. We made it a short 5 weeks of partial breastfeeding before I threw in the towel. I DID have milk, but very little. I tried Fenugreek and Mothers Milk Tea only to find that I was not able to make even 25% of what he needed. I also did not have or obtain a good breast pump. Again, I never felt engorgement and drying up was easy. What was horrible though, were the guilt feelings I had once I quit. I felt as if I had done myself and my Son a major disservice. I was emotional to the point I felt like I was mourning a loss. It was at that point I decided I would be successful for the next child.

8 months later I became pregnant again. I was THRILLED and began researching and absorbing all the information I could about breastfeeding. I was in total shock to discover how little I knew about it. It was SO much more than just feeding your little one. It was a bonding mechanism. I understood why I felt so terrible before, and was even more determined to make it work this time. Sadly, at 15 weeks gestation our little girl passed away. After a short and devastating labor she was born silent. At the time there was no way to console that loss or justify it, other than trusting in My Lord. About 2 days after her birthday, I noticed my breasts were swollen and painful. The day after that, I was leaking milk. Something clicked in me that day and my drive to be a successful breastfeeding Mom became damn close to an obsession.

5 months after we lost our baby, I fell pregnant with my newest Son. It was a difficult pregnancy with many, many obstacles. The most difficult being I was to have a repeat C Section. This terrified me… I was SURE that it would cause my milk to delay and things would not get off on the right foot. When I checked into the hospital, I had a PLAN: A breast feeding plan. I made sure everyone who walked into my room knew this plan from top to bottom. The plan was nurse as soon as humanly possible, begin herbs immediately, and pump after every feed from the start. I found that I had SO much support in the hospital for this. Not one nurse even mentioned formula to me. I was loaned a hospital grade pump during my stay, and was able to start pumping right away. Much to my delight I was able to take that pump home with me! I was SO grateful and felt so blessed. My baby’s latch left a lot to be desired. He was not flaring his upper lip and was making that awful sucking sound. My nipples were sore on the first day. He had a very strong, eager suck. He would fall asleep easily. Keeping him awake to eat seemed to be out greatest challenge. I assumed everything was well (as did the nurses) because before we left the hospital my milk was starting to come in. At release my very large (9lbs 9 oz. at birth) Son was down to 8 lbs. 7 oz. I was a little nervous about the weight loss… but my doctor assured me that bigger babies tend to (and safely can) lose a little more weight. I walked out of the hospital confident that we would be just fine.

At home things were going ok. I was breastfeeding constantly. He would suck three times and pass out. Wake up, repeat. Over and over. My nipples were cracked and red and sore. I had read this was normal, and kept refusing to think anything negative. I just kept nursing and pumping and praying. His latch was still terrible, but I kept my mantra going. At 5 days he had a weigh in. He had lost another 3 oz. His stools were green and mucous. My heart fell to the floor. I knew then my supply was not ample, and I had to supplement. I cried… no I BAWLED on the way to the store to buy bottles and formula. It was devastating. When we got home, I fed him his first ever bottle of formula. He sucked down 3 oz. and fell asleep for nearly 3 hours. It was the most heartbreaking day of my life. I was not only losing my battle, I had been starving my own Baby. I must have cried for two hours straight. My Mom and my Husband kept coming in, holding me, and I would just cry harder. I am not sure if they had any idea how painful that was for me. Even now as I recall that moment I am tearing up.

A few days later we did another weigh in. He had gained a few oz. back and was slightly jaundiced. Doctor was confident we were doing just fine and he was healthy. It was hard to believe him at that point. I really felt as if I had failed my baby. I began a grueling routine of Breastfeed, supplement, pump. Over and over. 24 hours a day. It was exhausting to say the least. And on top of it all, he was still a terrible latcher. He still passed out after 2 minutes of sucking. Something was not right here… so I called the Lactation consultants at the hospital and got an appointment. After observation of my sons latch, it was determined he had a tight upper frenulum. Basically, his upper lip is tied and he is unable to maintain suction while latched on. In addition, he exhibited signs of a high pallet, which make it terribly uncomfortable to take a deep latch on the breast. This news was refreshing in that it was NOT just my imagination that things were going badly. It was difficult because this issue was not correctable with anything except time and patience. Time was hard to come by having a two year and a 7 year old at home with me. Patience has never been a virtue of mine. Through the week I rarely latched him on. I pumped and pumped and pumped. But I missed the breastfeeding part of it. It was at this time I decided that I was either going to commit myself 100%, or I was going to quit. In fact, that same evening after yet another failed attempt at a good feed, I said that was it. I won’t pump or latch him on again. I bottle fed him through the night, skipped pumping and just slept. The next morning I was for the VERY first time in my life, engorged. It was painful, and oddly exhilarating. I was giddy with excitement that my breasts were finally doing what they were meant to do… make milk.

The next month brought a host of problems I had never anticipated. I figured that we had been punished enough with the low supply and the latch issues. I could not have been more wrong. We got out first case of thrush, which seemed to go away with Nystatin. My nips were constantly sore and I really attributed that to his poor latch. A week later, I could not latch him on without screaming in pain. I realized that we must have thrush again, and began the Nystatin treatment. That night I became engorged to the point I could not pump anything but a few drops. Latching him on was not even an option, simply too painful to even attempt. I had a large “vein” in my breast that was painful to the touch. Then I saw the white dot on my nipple. A plugged duct. I worked and worked on it with heat compresses and pumping. Finally I latched him on and endured the pain in the hope he would drain the breast. He was able to get enough to give me some relief that night, but the next morning it started again. After 2 days and pressing from my husband, I went to the doc. They prescribed antibiotics for an assumed infection (mastitis) and told me to use the Gentian violet for the thrush. 18 hours after the first application of the purple medication (and lots and lots of giggles) I was able to latch him on without crying out in pain. I will never forget this moment. He looked at me, smiled the biggest smile you ever saw on a baby, and began to nurse. He ate greedily and I was able to observe the most precious of all things… my milk drunk baby. As his eyes rolled back into his head and he fell of my breast in a total coma, I cried harder than I had the day I gave him his first bottle. Only this time it was tears of joy. I had my final Epiphany then… we are going to do this and we are doing it 100%. When we stop, it will be on his terms. Nothing else will get in our way.

Since that moment breastfeeding has been a source of joy in our lives rather than stress. Somewhere around the 12 week mark the whole process just sort of “clicked” for us. I suddenly realized I was no longer watching the clock at feeding time. My nipples had not been sore in weeks. His latch was not only improved, it was perfect. I was able to understand when he was hungry and when he was nursing for comfort. I stopped feeling the quilt over the supplement feedings. We were nursing in public, nursing in front of family members, and in front of the neighbor kids. We were nursing in different positions. The rules seemed to loosen up somehow. We found a flow that worked for us.

I will not sugar coat it and say it has all been roses as it hasn’t. My supply is still low. We have our good days, and then we have our BAD days. I made the decision to take domperidone for my supply. I tried a 2 week trial of it and it made a HUGE difference. After a short (and not welcomed) hiatus I purchased a full 4 month supply. Today, at the three week mark, I am making more milk than I ever dreamed I could! I may never hit 100% supply, and through all of this I realized that exclusive breastfeeding is not what I was seeking all along. It was the bond of the relationship. We have that and it can never be taken away.

Nothing on this earth feels better than putting my sweet baby boy to my breast. Nothing is sweeter than him making his polite “nursing face” and smiling when he gets close to me. I have never been as proud of myself as I am now. Against all odds, I am a breastfeeding Mom.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Let me begin by saying YAY MILK! I feel full and happy and sassy... and without any doubts whatsoever I can say YES! Milk is increasing 10-fold! I believe the 4x4 dosage is working it's magic!

And here's the downside to this: At breast fussiness. Previously the fussiness was due to not enough milk, and I now believe that it may be related to an overactive letdown, lol. Lord we cannot win. I was reading some articles on kellymom about overactive letdown, and It sure does seem as if this is exactly what Dalton is doing now. The sputtering, the back arching, talking, fussing, etc... and the most frustrating thing is if he is even remotely tired or feeling crabs, he gets pissed off and starts to refuse the breast. Not entire refusal.. but I do have to fight with him to get him to stay on and get full.

So WTH do we do now? We retrain I guess... I am getting more and more confident that I am getting closer to making 100% for him. It will now be the process of making him TRUST again. And I need to start trusting too...

I really should be recording the supplement amounts per day so I can see the decrease. But if memory serves at all, I believe there was no more than 10 oz supplemented yesterday!!  I remember making 2- 4 oz bottles that he took only 1 oz from and I had to chuck. In fact, I believe he only took 2 full supplement bottles yesterday... one in the morning (he's always super hungry's in the morning) and one around 4 in the afternoon that I had Ryan give him so I could finish  making soup. I didn't make him another bottle until we got to my In Laws last night... he took 1 oz and that was it.

This could be it!  OMG!!! 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I have milk. I have alot. Last night I pumped after a few hours of not BF (Daddy gave him supplement while I was at the store and then he passed out for the night)  I pumped 3 oz!!!  At night! After only a few hours! Amazing, right? I thought so!

But last night's feedings were simply brutal. I am confused beyond all belief. We nursed and nursed for a good hour off and on between 12 am and 1 am. During this, Everit decided to freak OUT and I was up and down trying to get him back to sleep. Dalton was dozing in and out of session, but he was still nursing fairly well. Around 1:50 he woke up again and I tried to get him to latch, he was NOT having it. Like, not at all. I was tired and irritated so I warmed up those 3 oz and he sucked it down and fell asleep till 5 am.

I latch him on and he's eating away, we doze off and on. I flip us over and latch him on to Righty, he nurses till we both doze off. This was about 5:30 I think? At 6 am he is crying hysterically. I again try to latch him on, he won't have it. I say screw it and get out of bed and take him to the couch to nurse (side laying can be awkward for us, but we are working on it...) and again, he is popping on and off, just being a fuss. Then he started crying again. After another failed attempt at getting him to calm down and nurse I caved and gave him supplement. He sucked down 4 oz!!!  I have sore nipples and I am exhausted. What a night.

BUT AGAIN>>>>> What the FUCK causes these bad nursing days/nights/whatever? After all this time it seems to me we would just have a nice flow 24/7. It breaks my heart when this happens because I feel that tingle of failure all over again. Makes me sick to my stomach. and of course being exhausted doesn't help one bit. I think I managed to eek out 5 hours of sleep total. PANIC!!  Frustration!  MEH!!!!

Getting a hold of myself.....


Breaking down some possible reasons:

A. He is older now, requiring more OZ per feeding... while I am making  MORE milk little by little, he is also upping his requirement as we go. Hoping we meet in the middle SOON.

B. We are at the 3 month mark which is notorious for Growth Spurts. I assumed we were through the worst of it last week. But its very possible he is not quite done.

C. Side laying may not be optimal for us just yet. It IS awkward, particularly with Righty. Maybe he just hasn't quite honed his latching skills in enough to remove all the milk he needs from this position.

D. Mommy's impatience. I gotta admit I am not patient, especially when I am over tired. I forget that babies feel your stress and react off of you. I must find a way to remain calm when things are less than awesome.

Well there I go... 4 solid and valid reasons. How silly of me to assume that things would just be roses and puppies ALL the time. I know better than that!

OKAY I feel better after talking it out with myself. Damn I love this blog.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

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OK OK!!  BWHAAHAHA!!  Ryan is SO the serious little Owl wondering HOW he got this family... LOL.. and ask Everit what he want to eat on any given Day? PAMCAKES!!  And yes yes, Andy and I do say herp and derp. Even on teh regulars.

I was like a kid in a candy store pickin' up my big OL box of drugs from the post office LOL!  My friend and I sat down and popped 400 of those suckers out of their blister packs and into a pill bottle. I love that HUGE bottle of DPD!  I am a total dork, and I know this. I claim it even.

SOOO... I was doing a spot O research... Since I do have an ample supply I think I am going to go with the 4x4 regimen for a while. See how it pans out for me. I see my milk increasing every day, just a little more. I think that without question this is working for me. So I will go for the 160 mg per day.

Yesterday Mr Man took about 14 oz of supplement :0 . And I think 2 of those oz were unnecessary as he was really needing to poop. When  he has to poo he tends to over eat (I think in attempt to push it out?) So he kinda spit most of that back up again. I have VERY little formula left and not a DIME to buy anymore. Maybe I just won't buy it? HOW cool would that freaking be I ask you???

PUMP PUMP PUMP. MUST PUMP. ARghghgh.. must pump. PUMP. Send me JOEE PUMP YOU IDIOT VIBES!!  K thanks.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I am really not sure if these are even worth asking. So I will ponder them here on my little blog of bliss. I realize these behaviors are normal (not worried) but I wonder how many other Moms deal with these little quirks?

1. WHY is he so darn wiggly?  I know babies are wiggly. But he is so wiggly at the breast sometimes it makes me crazy. Pushing, pulling, squirming, talking. And all the while he is popping on and off the breast. He's not refusing it in any way. Just wiggly. It happens at different times of the feeding.... sometimes during letdown, sometimes in between... my guess is he is either getting too much milk or not enough.

2. WHY the good and bad nursing days? I know we just got through a growth spurt... and he was starving for 4 days. Understandable. But I really never know what to expect from nursing one day to the next. He can start out BF'ing beautifully, peacefully, and by noon he is wigglin' and fussin' and milk is dribblin' all over the place making a huge mess and frustrating us both.  On those days I am SO grateful for the pump and the supplement. Even Mommy has a limit on patience. Some days start out that way, and he goes on to nurse without issue for the rest of the day. It's strange.

3. WHAT is with the breast preference? Righty makes more milk no doubt. But Lefty has no let down problem, and really does have more to offer than he as the patience to take. When I pump after a feeding, Lefty always has more. I know he doesn't make more, there's just unclaimed milk in there. I work and work with Dalton, we always do Lefty first...but some days its just not worth the trouble.

If anyone who reads this has some input or stories to share about their LO's odd behaviors, comment! I woudl love to hear what you go through!

OK and the DPD update!  I honestly do not know HOW much more milk I am making... but I know this...

When I ran out of DPD we had to supplement like crazy... I am talking 20-24 oz per day he got with a bottle.

One week after I started back on, we were weaning down a bit. 14-18 oz per day.

Almost at the two week  mark!  I am counting yesterday as the first day out of the recent growth spurt... appx. 12 oz of supplement.

Here are the subtle differences that are indicating to me I am making more milk:

*Leaking after 6 hour sleep stretches from BOTH breasts.

*Dalton gulping at every feed... whether it was 1/2 hour or more hours between sessions.

*Longer letdowns... from around 3 minutes previous, up to 10 minutes current.

*Pain, tingling in breasts after the 2 hour mark... as if they are getting full and letting me know.

*Engorgement at the 6 or more hour mark.

*A strange confidence.... I know there is milk. I just KNOW. May not be all he asks for, but it's there.

I am so excited to see how much more this medication can do for me!!!