Friday, December 12, 2008

That's a good story for the baby books....

The only really challenge that we have been having is breast feeding. My milk has been slow to come in - he latches well, but gets frustrated because he isn't getting full flow yet. Which is understandable! Big baby + no milk = an upset baby! So we have been working with a lactation consultant. The first plan (that the pediatrician suggested) was just let him nurse for as long as he would without getting upset (he would get upset when he would suck and not get much) supplement with formula, and then pump for 15 minutes. I then talked to the hospital lactation consultant, and she suggested using a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS). You put formula or breast milk in this thing around your neck, and then run little tubes to the nipples, and when he sucks, he always gets something. At the hospital, with both Aaron and the LC helping - this would go awesome. He would latch on, feed for 40 minutes to an hour, and then I'd still pump just for the extra little something.

Then we came home. The big problem with the SNS is that when Hulk nurses, he is super grabby... and those little tubes are tempting for his little grabby hands. So - I first have to spend 5 minutes setting up the freaking system, then trying to get him to latch and NOT pull off the tubes. It was SO frustrating and just NOT a good experience all around. We decided to have another consult with a LC - and when I called her and told her what I was currently doing (feed with the SNS, then use the bottle to finish the feeding and THEN pump) she said - wow, that is a complicated feeding plan. And I started crying. She told me to just pump and feed him from the bottle until she came the next day. It was like this huge weight was lifted!

Her visit was awesome. She said we were doing all the right things - he latches, it's just that he is an instant gratification kind of guy. She thinks once my milk fully comes in, we'll do great. So, my plan was to try at the breast 2 or 3 times a day - but mostly, use the expressed breast milk in a bottle, and then pump - feeding him every 3 hours, and with me pumping at least every 3 and as many as every hour and a half. And has been going great.

Here comes the actual funny part of the story. Last night, I was up feeding Hulk. I just finished feeding him, changing him and getting him settled (the needs of a newborn! So easy! Eat. Sleep. Shit. Repeat. Many many many times). The weather here was REALLY kicking up - we had a bunch of rain and wind - and is was below freezing - so the rain was icing up on the trees. It was a trip to listen to while rocking in the nursery. I sat down to pump, did that for 15 minutes, and was putting everything away when the lights went out. I was figuring that would happen - but I woke up Aaron and told him the power was out (since he was up next for feeding) set my alarm for the next pumping session, and went to bed.

Got up at 3. No power. Breasts getting a wee bit sore.

Got up at 7. Breasts are THROBBING. NO POWER. I tried to get Hulk to take some sucks - but to no avail. I then remembered that we had this thing that we could plug into the cigarette lighter of the car and it converts into an outlet. Aaron went to look for it, and couldn't find it. I called my LC, as I was getting nervous about what to do. My breasts were feeling like they were going to pop off my chest! She said if possible, to go to a church or gym or something and pump ASAP - because besides my discomfort - we were kind of sending my body mixed signals. It was finally starting to get the idea - and then I didn't pump for 8 hours.

Thankfully, a neighbor had that same type of converter. So - I've been sitting in the car, in the garage every 1.5 hours pumping. Don't ever let anyone DARE tell me that I'm not trying everything to get breastfeeding to work for us!

The good news is the power is BACK!


Jen said...

Mine wouldn't eat anything from my breast until my milk came in. So we did all bottles (we did keep trying breastfeeding though) until my milk came in. Now she's a champ, as long as I use a nipple shield. Haven't used a bottle in days. You'll get there too.

We tried the SNS too and it didn't work for us.

Fertilized said...

Sounds like you are rocking this out! go you

bleu said...

Hey sweetie, one thing, go out now and get a hand pump for emergencies....seriously.

Also Bliss was completely impatient, so every time I nursed, yes every time even though it was a pain, I would fill up a syringe of previously expressed milk, or even pump off a couple ounces (once milk was in) and then when he would latch I would wedge the syringe in a corner of his mouth and depress it to give him some nice big gulps right away. It would make him calm enough to keep sucking for my milk to come down and keep him from going nuts. It was sort of a homemade SNS but some BIG gulps.
Otherwise he would get so frustrated that even when the milk had let down he would be too upset to nurse.

YOU are doing wonderful btw, truly, do not forget that mama. YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB!!!!!!

amysue said...

Oh I am so sorry you guys are dealing with this, but you are right-it will be a great story for his life book!

Tammy said...

I've been thinking about you since I heard about the ice storm. I am so glad you have made it through so far and yep, we do what we have to sometimes. Hugs to you all!

Geohde said...

My creaky old pump was manual. Electric is great, when power is on :)


J (hear you on the eat shit sequence- it continues!)

sarah said...

What mothers will do for their children!

K @ ourboxofrain said...

Definitely a good story for the baby book! Good for you for sticking with it.

I'm so glad you got power back -- I was thinking about you guys this morning!!

Jen said...

Too funny! Jillian was very similar in terms of her demand for instant gratification. I made the mistake of going bottle only for a week, and she would never take the breast after that. Oh and I hated the SNS. You need like 6 hands in order to make the dang thing work!

Deborah said...

Ouch! Like bleu said - buy a hand pump. They are also useful for when Hulk is older and you might go out without him, since they can fit in a handbag or something. I think Medela also makes a car lighter plug attachment, but I've never tried it.

emily said...

Oh how funny! I can just see you in the garage in the dark. Glad things are going well!