Saturday, December 29, 2012

You make me happy when skies are grey

Today is a gloomy and chilly day here.

But inside my house, I'm feeling optimistic. The bottle makes me happy. Breastfeeding without devices makes me happy. Being more relaxed with Sophie makes me happy.

I know my last few posts have been pretty Debbie Downer. I'm not sorry I posted them, it is really how I felt. But I figured you should all know the good points too, so you don't leave my blog in a funk :)

Thursday with the lactation consultant went ok. The only big problem was they'd forgotten to write down my appointment and had given my time slot to someone else. So I had to wait an entire hour. Thankfully I had a pacifier (even though I'm not "supposed" to, ha!). Otherwise I would've had to feed her and our trip would have been for naught.

Anyway, we are still nursing fine without the shields, and she got an ounce from each side. Her weight is up to 8 pounds 11 ounces. So she gained 7 ounces in a week. We've now surpassed birth weight!

But I wanted to discuss supplementing options. The syringe feeding is really a pain. The syringes get EXTREMELY hard to use after a couple days. Like calluses on our hands from filling and dispensing them. And I only had two syringes.

Since we (were) approaching close to a month old, I'd hoped she'd say it was ok to start using a bottle to supplement. Silly me. She did say that syringe feeding was not a good long-term option. Instead she suggested trying a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS). This way Sophie could meet all of her nutrition needs at the breast. It sounded really good. We tried it out there in the office and she took about an ounce of formula while at one breast. As usual, things went really well in the office. I felt optimistic.

She also suggested Domperidone to try and increase my supply. The Fenugreek should have worked by now if it was going to. Unfortunately, Domperidone is not FDA approved in the US any longer, and the practice my midwife is in doesn't prescribe it. The consultant called our pediatrician, but he has never prescribed it before and is out of town until Tuesday, so he wants to do some research to see if he is comfortable with it. For now I'm still taking the Fenugreek just for the heck of it.

Anyway, after less than 24 hours I wanted to throw the SNS out the window. It seemed to take forever for her to get her normal 2 ounces of formula through it, even with the largest tubing size. Not to mention it taking several tries each breast to get her latched on with the tube in and the formula flowing. I don't need that frustration at 2am. She latches and sucks just fine without any extra contraptions, she just isn't getting enough from my breastmilk alone.

So after a little soul searching, I decided to start using a bottle for her supplementation. She and I enjoy the breastfeeding we can do, and all these extra contraptions were ruining that. Our pediatrician gave us the go ahead for bottles a week ago, but did warn she could develop "nipple preference" but that we could work through it. Now I was willing to risk that.

I tried the Dr. Brown's bottles that we'd actually used twice before in the first week of life, but she didn't seem to want to take it, and the flow was way too fast. I think they aren't newborn nipples. I also tried the free bottle Avent sent. She didn't want it either. But she wasn't really hungry when I tried, so that could have been it. Anyway, my fabulous friend Hannah who has a 7 month old brought over her Tommee Tippee bottles for us to try. At the next feeding she took to it like a charm. I think the nipple design more closely resembles my anatomy. I still want to get some newborn Dr. Brown nipples and try that, but our last store trip they were out and I'm kinda afraid to mess with a good thing at this point. Their shape is much different than the Tommee Tippee.

I also noticed that my breasts feel more full between feedings, and she seems more satisfied and nurses better. I pumped a feeding yesterday just to see, and I got 3 ounces. So that's a little better. We're now feeding 10-20 minutes each side, then supplement from the bottle. She usually takes 2 ounces, but it varies from 1-3 depending on how she feels. So she is probably about half breast and half formula fed. And as the Lactation Consultant (LC) told me, "some breastmilk is better than no breastmilk". And I still really enjoy the bonding of breastfeeding.

I don't know if my body will ever produce enough milk to breastfeed exclusively. And if not that's just the hand we've been dealt. But I do know that the feeding routine is now SO much easier and I'm experiencing a lot less anxiety. It's hard to do something 6-12 times a day that's so frustrating. Now it's not.

I also want to thank everyone for all the sweet and helpful comments. I really appreciate it. I haven't tried the Mother's Milk tea yet. To be honest, I hate hot tea. Isn't that so selfish of me? LOL. I also tried to find donor breastmilk in our area, no luck yet. I do have a request in on a milk sharing group on Facebook. I asked the LC and she wasn't aware of any donor programs in our area.
But if I can't get the Domperidone then maybe I'll give it a shot.

And now I'm gonna write a more fun post...

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