Sunday, December 21, 2008

More answers and a decision

We saw my doula yesterday. She watched me pump. My milk is totally not in. What I thought was a HUGE stream is basically a little trickle. And when I said I was in 'discomfort' when I hadn't pumped for 6 hours... she said my boobs would have been rock hard and I would have KNOWN that my milk was in. That just isn't the case. I haven't pumped for nearly 30 hours, I've felt barely a twinge.

And all the pumping and waking up and stress over being on the pump when Aaron isn't here - worrying that Hulk will wake up and I'll have to try to comfort him with one hand while trying to hold the pump on with the other? I was actually told to pump every 1.5 hours when I was awake, and try to put him to breast 3 - 4 times a day. Surprisingly - I had trouble doing that - considering I was told to pump until nothing came out... so that would take about 20 - 25 minutes. After I finished pumping, 50% of the time Hulk would need to be fed - so I'd feed him the breast milk I'd pumped, and then try to get him on the breast - but he wouldn't calm down because he was so hungry... by the time I finished feeding him and settling him down - it was time to pump again. Oh - and when we were sleeping? I was told to wake him up every 3 hours to eat, and I should pump then. So Aaron had to wake up with me to feed him because I couldn't feed and pump at the same time. Both us us were miserable and the stress was pretty high.

It's a harsh reality to come to - but I'm not making enough milk for him. And my supply isn't increasing no matter what I've tried. I've pumped every hour. I've taken 18 supplement pills (9 of fenugreek and 9 of blessed thistle) a day. I've tried drinking a half a beer (that was a sacrifice, let me tell you). I've spent hundreds of dollars on lactation consultants and renting hospital grade pumps. I need to let breastfeeding go and just enjoy my baby.

What is cracking me up here is that when a Baby Story (the TV show on TLC) would come on that had a c-section, I would turn it off - because, you know, I would never have one. And when all the formula samples came in the mail, I left them in the garage, because OF COURSE I would breastfeed.

Surprisingly, letting it go was a huge weight off my chest. Sure, a little sad too - but I am concentrating on enjoying my little man, instead of stressing on something that unfortunately just isn't working. Of course, last night managed to be a really rough night - he just wouldn't settle down! But this is our first night of fussiness... so we are lucky. And I'm more lucky, because Aaron stayed up with him - and with the stopping of the pumping every 3 hours, I managed to sleep 5 hours in a row! I'm a new person today.

We picked up the crib today! Maybe we'll get it together and I can post pictures tomorrow.

16 comments:

Fertilized said...

"weight off your chest" made me giggle alil ...

I am glad that you are doing better. That is all that matters, Really! Have everyone you know w/o a child related to you sign up for the formula you choose ot use and you will get loads of coupons in the mail!

edie & ella said...

good for you. you are smart for doing what is best for you and your family...you gave it your all and that's all you can do...take care and thanks for the update...sam

Jen said...

Oh, good. I really think this was the best decision for you. I was stressed for you.

serenity said...

Awesome. I'm so glad you came to a decision you can be comfortable with, and honestly - you did SO well for so long. Really, pumping AND feeding a newborn? No way would I have been able to manage it. Kudos, hon.

You're doing great!

xxx

jill said...

I think I may have said this to you before but one of the most important lessons rowan has taught me is that sometimes you need to let go of your expectations. It's hard...but it is a good lesson to learn. It seems like you are doing great and that you were able to do that. I had a really hard time with my low milk supply and it took me months (literally) to let it go - but, these are the things you learn from. So, good for you - and enjoy that new little baby boy.

Tammy said...

Good for you! You are doing what is best for you and your family. It's better than being a stressed out mommy which can lead to other disastrous things. Hugs :)

Jen said...

You did everything you could possibly have done, so you should feel good that you have made the best decision for all three of you. Once I stopped pumping it was so much easier to enjoy Jillian. I'm sure the same will go for you with the Hulk.

k2 said...

Good for you!! You are such an awesome mom. Now you'll be a better-rested, lower-stress, happier awesome mom.

I'm happy for you.

Cathy-Cate said...

Hon:

You needed just that:
Someone to sit with you, watch you and help you get the big picture.

Whyever it didn't work out for you and the little guy this time to continue breastfeeding, he got a great start, including that important colostrum and you know you gave it your all.

Now you can get a normal amount of rest for a mom of a newborn, try to recover a bit from your major surgery, and let go of the guilty.

Yay, Cece and her menfolk!
Take care!

Geohde said...

Enjoy your baby. It's not such a big deal if you don't BF, although that's politically incorrect to say.

My milk never came in, and I was shattered, but it is what it is...it's not like I decided never to try., We both gave it a good shot,

xx

J

Jennifer said...

We had many issues with BFing in the beginning...we ended up having to supplement with formula...and when Jules decided he preferred the ease of a bottle, I tried pumping, but that was a nightmare. In the end we only BF for 3 weeks (with supplementing) and then switched entirely to formula after that. I was sad and felt like a failure (considering most of my friends BF for a least 6 mo with their little ones). I now realize I shouldn't have beat myself up about it...it's not the end of the world. I just focused on my little man, enjoying my time with him, and letting myself stress about other things that were more in my control.

Zephra said...

Great decision. I remember the weight off the chest feeling. Now enjoy your little man.

sarah said...

If you want, you can breastfeed for the connection. I worked for a woman who did that, and it made breastfeeding enjoyable because she knew the baby was getting her nuturiont, and they could still have the breast connection.

Rachel said...

I just caught up on your blog today and I am so impressed with how calm you sound. I am in the midst of trying to battle an SNS and it is absolutely a 2-person job at a minimum, and sometimes 3 for us (one to pin the arms, one to adjust the flow, one to get it into her mouth). I am really glad that you have made the decision to spend the time enjoying your son, and I hope that you have a relaxing week after all the hassle of last week.

Ann said...

It's been a while since I caught up here, and when I read about your difficulties breastfeeding, it was like I was reading my own story. Well, sort of. I, too, had major problems. It was a heartbreak to give up completely, but SUCH a relief! My little guy is thriving now. It sucks when our body doesn't work the way we want it to, doesn't it?

amysue said...

I echo what everyone here has said and in the end I really mean it when I say that all sorts of things you obsess on now will be forgotten by you or by Hulk later.

They grow up so fast, it's better you enjoy every moment with as little added stress as possible.