Saturday, January 7, 2012

Oh, Domperidone...

So, I took my last Domperidone. I've been titrating down the dosage for a month or so. I noticed I was getting low and had to decide whether or not to order more. At about $50-60/month, we'd spent a lot of money on the medication. I mean, it's been, geez... probably 2.5 years that I've been taking it.

Also, I never saw what I'd consider a significant result. I mean, I don't really know how much milk I was able to produce, but I'd be willing to go out on a limb and say it was certainly less than an ounce per feeding (maybe up to that much when he was little, before I went back to work). It just seems like a waste to be spending the money for so little, uh, output.

I also stopped pumping a few months back. Because of my hectic and unpredictable work schedule, I just never knew when I'd have time to pump. Or where I'd be when I had the time (Kroger parking lot anyone? Random church parking lot? Not ideal locations). One time, I was sitting there pumping (with a hand pump because I don't have a car adapter for the electric one) and someone pulled up and parked right next to me. Super uncomfortable. And, again, the output was so tiny (less than 5ML always), that the effort just didn't seem worth it. So I gave myself permission to just stop.

But here's the thing, I feel guilty about stopping the medication (and pumping, too). Here's the main reason - we're continuing to give baby E donated breastmilk (hopefully til he's at least 18 months - so another 3 months). So, all those mommas are still doing their part (the endless pumping). And, yes, I realize that they're also feeding their babies, but if they weren't committed, or at least willing, to also in part feed mine, they wouldn't have to pump as much or as often.

So now I'm feeling like I've shirked my responsibility. I'm not putting in the extra effort that they are. To feed my baby. It's already one of those things I "should" be able to do on my own. One of those things that I so wanted, want, to do on my own. I already rely on others to do it. And while of course I appreciate them beyond measure, I still carry that guilt, that feeling of pissed-off-ed-ness at my body for not doing what it "should" have be able to do.

I keep telling myself that it's okay. That baby E has a full belly. That he's happy. And that's what's important. But that nagging voice telling me I'm a failure just won't  go away.

Damn the mommy guilt. Damn the infertility. Neither of them ever seems to go away. Neither of their effects ever seem to lessen.

Today's lesson: It's interesting how pervasive guilt can be. How it can show up in places both expected and unexpected. It's also funny how some lessons show up over and over in your life. They seem to keep showing up until you really and truly learn them. Note to self: Learn the damn lesson already.


Anonymous said...

I've been thinking a lot lately about how/when I'll quit taking the dom. I think I make a decent amount of milk, as I. still gets the same amount of supplement at 8 months (well, until just the last couple days when he's upped the amount) that he got at 4 months, so I think my supply is keeping up with demand for the most part. I don't like the weight gain (20 lbs now and counting), but don't want to jeopardize what I am making. So do I wait until Isaac is barely nursing once or twice a day...when he's two maybe? I don't know. If I could get the weight gain under control, I'd take it as long as he was the least bit interested in nursing, but I really don't want to be 40 lbs heavier by the time it's over (and no pregnancy to show for it, lol).
Anyway, you shouldn't feel guilt, although I know exactly what you mean. Adoptive nursing is wonderful, but those feelings of frustration with your body not being able to do what you want it to do is still there.

Emms said...

Please don't feel guilty! As a mama who pumped and donated, I pumped because I wanted to ensure that my supply stayed where I wanted it to. I donated because every little one deserves to jave liquid gold, and when my freezer was full, it was donate or throw it away. Tossing it was NEVER an option, but at the time neither was cutting back on pumping. Thank you for realizing what we put into it, but the effort is something we would do anyways, and it is our pleasure to be able to share. It is so important to us who donate that someone gets the overage. If they tried that is great. But I never asked! It was unimportant, what was impirtant was that those mamas wanted thier babies to have liquid gold and i could do that for them.

So dont beat yourself up too much. We appreciate you taking the milk!
Hugs mama

Emms said...

Sorry for spelling errors... Posting on my phone and its hard to re read before posting ;)

Dorothy Hoppe said...

I felt guilty when I stopped pumping too. I think it is simply mama guilt. We love our babies so much we want to do the very best for them. When we can't because of physical or emotional limitations, we feel guilty.

I felt guilty, and sometimes still do, about having a c-section, needing fertility meds, my son's birth defect (craniosynostosis) and turning him to forward facing in the car at 2.5 years when he started screaming on even short car rides. I'm just keep reminding myself, I don't have control. I don't have control over my mental capacity to keep pumping, my cervix, my ovarian function, birth defects or the mind of my toddler.

From reading this blog you are an awesome mama. You fight for children when necessary, you love them unconditionally and they are happy. Give yourself a pass on the guilt. :)

Jessica said...

Ahhh, Mommy guilt. It gets us all one way or another. I can relate to the frustration of your body not doing what you want it to do. It took three years to conceive our first. Then when she was three months, my milk started drying up. And no matter WHAT the lactation consultants told me about supply and demand, rest, water, herbs, etc., my body WOULD NOT do what I wanted it to do. For the next several months I supplemented, and formula became the meal (which I hated) and I became the snack/comfort until my milk was gone. With my second child I was ready in case it happened again-and sure enough it did, at exactly three months. I started taking Reglan immediately (I didn't know about Dom at the time) and it saved my milk. He ended up nursing until he was 18 months. We adopted our youngest in a quick "surprise to us" designated adoption. I couldn't imagine mothering without nursing, so I researched adoptive nursing and decided to try despite my history of supply problems (among others). I skipped the hormones and went straight to Domperidone and a pump. It took two weeks, but I was soooo excited when I saw that first drop of milk! By the time he was born I had a little bit of milk, and an arsenal of organic formula (I wish I had looked past milk banks, which were just too expensive). I started nursing him the day he was born, and to my surprise he latched right on with no problems. Of my three, he was the most natural nurser. He took the breast and the bottle without complaint. I ended up being able to give him four feedings a day, which I was thrilled with. We nursed until he was 8 months, and only stopped then because he was so "on the go" that he wouldn't stop long enough for a full feeding and preferred drinking his bottles on the move, too. I am so glad that I tried. It was the best and most problem-free nursing experience I had, and I think that was because I had so totally NOT expected my body to cooperate with my efforts-there was no pressure. I think we mommies are way too hard on ourselves. You have given your best to Baby E, and stopping the meds doesn't mean you are doing less than that now.

Wow, I wrote a book! Just wanted to say I've been reading your blog for a while now and have been so excited to find I have "soul sisters" in you and CallMeMama on the nursing front :)

Dorothy Hoppe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kerri said...

i've not been in your position... yet. i have pre-adoption guilt and after-infertility guilt. i'll not be ablt to breastfeed even if i went through everything you did to feed your baby. it's depressing. i still grapple with it. but since we're so early on, we still have time to research our options... :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blog. I had several miscarriages and felt like a failure. After a terrible pregnancy I was blessed with a little girl. Recently she has fallen off the growth chart and I had to start supplementing her with nasty formula!! :( I cried and cried (that sure didn't help my supply any) I just didn't understand why my body was not meant to be a mother like other women's. I am stubborn though and I have been breastfeeding still and taking fenugreek and just got my Dom in. I will not quit until only one drop comes out!!! Now it's personal just like the miscarriages and I will fight back on this too!!!! Thanks again for sharing your feelings! Sometimes it makes you feel better to know you aren't alone and others feel the same way you do :)

TTABaby said...

A little late again... What I had to remind myself of was for a women who pumps extra those ounces take a couple of minutes. For me an ounce was 15 painful minutes.