Monday, February 28, 2011

Breastfeeding and a really important lesson of the day

It's been awhile since I posted about breastfeeding. Some of you may disagree with that, lol, so, if so, feel free to stop reading because that's what this is going to be about. I have positives and challenges to discuss.

Because I am the consummate optimist (what?! Don't laugh!), I'll start with the positives. First, baby E and I have now surpassed how long the kid and I made it in our nursing relationship. I had thought I'd nursed the kid for 6 months, but as I looked back in scrapbooks, etc..., I realized he was really more like 4.5 months old. We went on a 4 day camping trip and I forgot part of the SNS, meaning I couldn't nurse him that weekend (well, couldn't feed him via nursing and he was never a comfort nurser, so it didn't happen at all that weekend). And, by the time we got back, I was just kind of over it. He had never been a die hard nursing fan, and that, plus us not doing it that long weekend, and the biting he'd been doing, I just didn't ever go back. At the time, I was fine with it. Later, though, I was really sad about it and regretting giving up. So, the fact that baby E and I are now into our 5th month, is big! My goal is to make it 15 months minimum with him - we're a third of the way there :)

We've started doing sign language some with baby E (have been for the last 2ish months) and I think he knows the sign for "milk" now. He has the same reaction when I sign it as he does when I assume "the position" to nurse. I love it that he gets so excited for me to nurse him!!

Challenges...The first one is baby E doesn't seem to like to nurse from the right side. He'll do it, but he repeatedly pops off. He sucks, sucks, sucks, pops off, babbles, babbles, then repeat. It's kind of hurting, to be honest. And he doesn't do it on the left side. So, idk what's going on with that... Anybody have any ideas/suggestions??

Second, and biggest, I'm really struggling with the inducing part of breastfeeding. I've been on this medication for 2 years. That's a long time and a lot of money (@ about $40/month for the domperidone, plus about another $20/month for the herbs). And it seems like what I'm making just isn't making it worth it. When I pump, I'm lucky to get 5ml at a time - total out of both breasts. The end of last week, it was more like 2-3ml. This morning it was about 1ml. It's SO frustrating!!!!!! At one point I felt like I was probably making about an ounce/feeding when I was actually nursing him (based on how much he'd take from the bottle, how long he'd go between feedings, etc...). I have a hard time believing that's still the case. I never get that physical sensation that says I *need* to feed him anymore. I feel like I could probably go all day without pumping or nursing and I'd never know any different. Also, he has increased what he wants from the SNS, but hasn't really increased what he takes from the bottle. It's just so disheartening. I so wanted my body to do just this one thing right. Sigh...

I know that if a momma came to me with all that, I would tell her that it's okay to stop, if that's what she needs to do. I would assure her that stopping the meds doesn't mean she has to stop nursing. I would assure her her baby would still love her. I would remind her that thanks to 6 other mommas (and counting!), baby E will still get breastmilk. I would assure her that she wasn't giving up. I would assure her she wasn't a failure... I just can't believe those things about myself right now. I may soon be ready to stop, but I'm not yet. I just needed to vent my frustrations a little. So, thank you for "listening". Also, any suggestions, encouragement, advice, etc... would be greatly welcomed!

Today's lesson - it's possible to give yourself a hickey with your baby's pacifier. On your face. I'm pretty sure it only happens when you're severely sleep deprived. And it's hard to cover the hickey up with make-up.


Dorothy Hoppe said...

The pop off thing is normal. They get to 4-6 months & they get busy and don't want to stay on the boob. The only one side thing is common too. M is more likely to do that on the left than the right. Unsurprisingly righty makes more milk. Maybe even with low supply you babe can tell there is less of your milk so he plays? It can also be a sign of teething or ear trouble so if there are anyother signs of those a visit to the ped might be in order. GL! BTW, Breastfeeding alone is challenging, Breastfeeding with low supply is probably 1000x's harder. No matter how long you go you are doing awesome!

Becky said...

Thank you for this reminder. I *know* the pop off thing is normal (when I'm talking to other mommas), but for some reason I forget to apply that to myself! And you're right, the right side does make less milk than the left, so that makes sense as well. Also, thank you so much for the encouragement!!!!!!

TTABaby said...

So I know I'm a few years too late but I got 1oz max per day for my daughter. For our second that we are waiting for I plan not to induce but only use the feeder. I'm still debating if Ill seek breast milk.