Well, almost. Time is flying by. I cant believe it is February and he was born in December.
Update on BF
I originally wasnt going to post about this, as it can be a somewhat controversial topic and I didnt feel like getting any crap for it. However, I sat & thought about a few things….like why did I start this blog in the first place? One reason was so others wouldnt feel alone. Another was so I could get my feelings out. After pondering this, I realized I wanted to share bc these reasons alone are far more important than dealing with any possible trolls.
Baby boy had his tongue & lip ties clipped at almost 5 weeks old. After a few professional opinions and doing some research, we concluded they were most likely interferring with his (breast)feedings. He had trouble latching, gumming, thrashing, etc. After clipping, positive nursing progress is supposed to be almost immediate. Well, the day after the procedure we were still seeing the same behaviors, and I felt somewhat discouraged. I did feel a deeper latch on one side, but the other showed no improvement. Thrashing, squirming, tugging, all continued.
The lactation consultant and MD who did the procedure began to explore other potential issues since the clipping wasnt the cure to us BF. Come to find out I have low milk supply (I am now pumping about 15 oz per day, should be about 30 oz) paired with a very fast let down. I began taking supplements such as Go Lacta, Fenugreek, eating oatmeal & berries, lactation cookies, amongst other things daily. This doubled my supply to 15 oz -I was only pumping about 8 oz a day prior.
Although an improvement in supply, this did not help the fast let down or thrashing around, or poor latching on one side. To top it off, he started spitting up, choking and gasping for air when breastfeeding or drinking my milk from a bottle. Our pediatrician recommended we put him on a special formula and add rice cereal to breastmilk to thicken it up a bit. We consented.
He does amazing when he drinks the formula, but I still didnt want to give up the breastmilk entirely. He is able to drink this formula through a Dr. Browns bottle with no problem, but could not use it for breastmilk even with the cereal thickening agent. I went on to try Avent, Tommee Tippee, Playtex, MAM. None worked. He gasped for air so badly once that he couldnt catch his breath. Hubby and I decided its not worth him choking to death for some breastmilk. Just when I was about to throw in the towel, my mom bought us a NUK Simply Natural bottle. It is a God send. No choking, no gasping for air, no discomfort. He even thinks it is a boob, suckling it and smiling all gummy like.
This said, he has a NUK bottle for all of my pumped (cereal) milk, and Dr. Browns for his formula. I do not let anyone feed him breastmilk as I have to be careful and stop him occassionally. Pumped feedings take considerably longer, but I will continue as long as he is comfortable. 4-5 ounces of breastmilk literally takes an hour compared to 20 minutes for formula. I let him on my breast after my let down so he can handle it without choking badly. He barely touches the one breast still, not only by his doing but by mine too. It is just plain old uncomfortable. This makes for one lopsided woman. Lol. Side note-I had the nipple on this side pierced MANY moons ago (a.k.a. Teenage rebellion years) and it hasnt been the same since. Possible culprit.
Our feedings are complicated, but we are working through it in our own way. I should say that this post isnt looking for advice, instead it is for the reasons I listed above-to relate with others. If you are feeling pressure to feed a certain way, this post is for you. I too, felt that way and know how crappy it feels. But we must remember, a fed baby is the best baby. I think I forgot that from time to time and compared myself to others expectations.
Needless to say, this whole feeding experience has been full of learning for me. I am getting used to how we do things, and prefer not to stress anymore about it being textbook perfect (since there is no such thing anyways). No, I never thought I would be triple feeding 2 months postpartum, but I am. The good news is that is not nearly as hard as it was a month ago. Silver lining.
It all goes to show you never know what something is like until you go through it. Yes, I could change my diet, and try other things too Im sure, like medication for reflux and what not, but for now I am choosing not to go that route because the truth is that wont change how fast my let down is, the thickness of my milk, the amount of milk I produce, or his latch. And I am not sacrificing all of the foods I like as selfish as that may sound. I feel that I sacrificed enough over the years just to simply get him here-my body, mind & soul for years…It is time to enjoy him now.
So, we will continue our new “normal”-taking a few bottles of formula a day, followed by a few bottles of breastmilk, followed by our middle of the night nursing sessions.