Sunday, March 20, 2011

Back In Business (Almost)

On Facebook, y'all may have noticed I have been struggling with breastfeeding Grace recently.

Last Saturday night was the Time Change, and a combination of the lack of sleep, Grace's 2 top teeth coming in (and her refusing to nurse for 2 days because of the pain), and an unusually busy week to follow, caused me to drop in milk production drastically. Monday I began pumping with my manual pump, with zero results. I determined the suction just wan't hard enough to match Grace's 9-month old suction. I went ahead and started Grace on formula Tuesday (since she didn't seem to object to the bottle with her teething, just nursing), only to have her categorically refuse to drink it, in any form we could concoct. I had been introducing her little by little to cow's milk (raw) for the last 2 weeks, anyhow, so we just let her drink that and water for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were all insanely busy days for me....I barely had time to think about trying to pump or nurse or up my production at all. It wasn't helping at all, that's for sure...

Finally, I realized she wasn't going to start up again any time soon I capitulated on Wednesday night, and went out late that night to Wal-Mart to buy an electric pump, hoping it would match her strength. The most expensive one they had was barely producing anything. At this point, I didn't know whether I just had no milk, or my pump wasn't working. By Thursday, I was down to 1/4 oz. per pumping session. .  Finally, Friday, I managed to see the lactation consultants at Madigan...who sent me home with a lovely (free) Medela double electric pump. I've been pumping 4-5 times a day, trying HARD to get it up to 8 they recommended....and I'm taking fenugreek, drinking a LOT of water, & having a beer each evening.

So far, so good.

Milk production is definitely UP. I can mostly see an increase first thing in the morning during breastfeeding (Grace returned to nursing--but only when first waking up in the morning), and later at night when I pump. She will only consent to nursing once a day, and the other pumpings I just give her in a bottle. But I'm ok with pumping/bottle feeding. As long as she's receiving the health benefits, I can handle one nursing session a day.                  

I guess.

*sigh* My baby is growing up.


Rachel said...

Sorry you've had a hard time! I had the hardest time nursing with Emma. She just never was a good nurser. She stopped nursing completely by 10 months. I gave her a formula from Earth Fare, an organic one and she did well with that.
It's just not easy, nursing. I can't say I've ever loved it, and I'm now nursing my 4th! But I try to go 12 months, and all mine have given it up on their own by 12 months.
Good for you for trying so hard! Keep it up as long as you can, but know that you did your best!!!
Love you!!

Herb of Grace said...

Aww... Nursing problems are the WORST. I sure hope it gets easier soon! It's worth it, though... Hang in there!