Struggles and Triumphs

I’m sure everyone is reading my title and thinking this is a political post.  As much as I could talk about politics, I’m referring to the struggles and triumphs in our home.  This has been a tough week for me.  Everything was going swimmingly with nursing….or so I thought, until this week.  I realized early on that Davis was “lazy” at the boob and liked to nibble and hang out at my breast and not actively suck and swallow, but it wasn’t until his two week check up that I thought it was a concern.  At his two week appointment last Friday, he was weighing at 7 pounds 3 ounces, still 6 ounces less than his birth weight.  Our pediatrician said he should be at least back to his birth weight by two weeks.  I nursed him all weekend and finally went to a lactation group the following Monday, at the group his pre-feeding weight was 7 pounds 8.7 ounces and after nursing him he took in a little over two ounces, I was feeling pretty good and felt like things were going in the right direction.

Monday morning I had a follow-up weight check with the pediatrician’s office.  He was back to 7 pounds 9 ounces.  The nurse I met with said to nurse him for 10 minutes on a side  since he tends to fall asleep and follow with pumping to get my milk supply up.  Monday night however was when things went south.  During the night, when I normally feel really full in my breasts and Davis is usually a vigorous nurser, on Monday neither was happening and I was feeling devastated.  He was really fussy as I wasn’t having let downs and he clearly wasn’t getting enough milk.  He will usually go for a four hour stretch between feedings at night, but was waking every 1-2 hours since he wasn’t getting much milk.

Yesterday was the toughest day I’ve had since his birth, I was feeling extremely anxious and panicked that my milk has dropped significantly and that he no longer wants to nurse. I cried when Hubby got home because I felt like things were going so well and now everything took a nose dive and I am still confused how my supply and his nursing changed in what seemed less than 48 hours.  Hubby is always the voice of reason and said that I’m doing the best that I can and that I need to take it easy, drink lots of water and pump and not worry about everything so much.

Today I was sad for obvious reasons, but I felt better about breastfeeding.  I’m still attempting to nurse Davis (even if it’s only 10 minutes), but I’m following each nursing session with pumping and giving him a bottle.  I don’t know if my supply will keep up with his demand, but like with our twins, if I can give him even some breast milk I will be happy.  I went through this same situation with the girls and I got through it and they are happy and healthy.  They aren’t any worse off with being given formula and there is no sense in having anxiety and panic over the situation.  I’m going to go back to the lactation group tomorrow and will follow up with a one-on-one appointment next Tuesday with a lactation consultant, just to see what the issue is, but I’m not going to let it devastate me any longer.  However, has anyone had a similar situation?  Where your milk supply suddenly plummets?

As far as triumphs go….Jemma and Zoe have had a language explosion.  They are talking in sentences, using phrases such as “I want….”, “Help me….” and it’s just amazing how much they say and pick up on.  They don’t miss a thing and it just amazes me that these small two year old girls know as much as they do.  They are also starting to do lots of imaginary play which is so fun.  They like to ride on a “bus” that Daddy makes out of our sofa cushions and they pretend to go to the beach, Daniel Tiger’s house, Pete the Cat’s house, and they often have to stop to use their tools to fix the broken bus.

They also have been so wonderful with the new addition to the family.  They have expressed any jealously and are so sweet to him.  They always want to give him kisses and cuddle “baby brother” and never question how much time I’m having to dedicate to him.  Even when I go upstairs to pump, they haven’t whined or cried about it and just say “bye bye Mommy” when I go upstairs.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised by their maturity of adding another sibling to the family.  I think it helps that they have each other, even though they fight with each other.  Typical sisters-not wanting to share their toys,  pulling hair, pulling clothes, wanting a certain colored plate, etc.

The girls went trick or treating for the first time this year and had so much fun. They were reluctant to put their costumes on at first, but Hubby bribed them with a piece of candy and after they hit their first house and realized what trick or treating was all about they were ready to hit house after house.

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Happy baby

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How can I be unhappy when these are my three miracles?!

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First time trick or treating, our little superheros!

Hope everyone is doing okay, I know it’s been a tough day for many.  I want my children to grow up in a world of kindness, love, and acceptance.  I hope that the future will show us that these virtues still exist.

xoxo

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12 thoughts on “Struggles and Triumphs

  1. Sending you positive thoughts! Breastfeeding can be so stressful, especially in those early days! Not to mention the hormones going through you right now!

    I don’t know why that’s happening to you. I’m curious to know what lactation says. I know that the first month or so I pumped about an hour after every feed around the clock. But that may not be the issue for you.

    I recommend the Facebook group “Dairy Queens” – they have a ton of members and are super helpful with breastfeeding issues.

    As you said, don’t panic. There’s nothing wrong with formula, your girls are healthy and thriving! Whatever happens, as long as Davis eats, that’s the main goal! Good luck! All of your children are so beautiful!

    • Thank you, breastfeeding is definitely stressful and stressing about it only makes it more difficult.
      I have a one-on-one appointment with a lactation consultant on Tues, at the group, she was having a hard time diagnosing, but it seems like he is just getting sleepy and not sucking and swallowing effectively.
      I’m up to pumping about 7 times a day, so much work, but I really want to give him breastmilk.
      I’ll check out the “Dairy Queens” page.
      Thanks for your words of encouragement.

    • Thank you Amanda! Your comment made me smile and it’s true, as long as they are fed, we are all good! I even stocked up on the same formula that we used for the girls, so it’s here when we need it. 🙂

  2. Supply tends to be the lowest at night for most people, just FYI. Also, I’m surprised the nurse told you to do 10 minutes on each side if weight is an issue – hindmilk is the fattiest, and it sounds like he needs more of that. I’d nurse him naked, tickling his feet, etc. to keep him awake, and try to completely drain one side. If you want to save time with pumping, you could even pump on the other side at the same time (i’d often set up the pump on the opposite side at the same time – bonus, let down was easier, and I built up my stash at the same time). Good luck!

    • I met with the lactation group today and she clarified why only 10 minutes is suggested, they both recommended pumping right after feeding, so by only doing 10 minutes on a side, it saves time to pump and then baby will get the hind milk as well. We are doing lots of tickling and chest rubbing! I’ll have to try pumping a side and feeding a side, sounds like a balancing act, hoping the baby doesn’t kick the pump parts off! 🙂

      • Haha, yeah, I had a hands free holder thing that was like $13 that I used to sort of balance the pump flange in place on the 2nd boob. Pumpinpal – you should be able to google it. Good luck!

  3. I second nursing him naked. Gus was a lazy little nurser, and I don’t think I nursed him with clothes on until he was like six weeks old. My milk was slow to come in, so I also pumped after every feeding in the beginning and I do think that helped. All that to say, I wouldn’t hesitate to give any future babies some formula. I drove myself crazy with nursing in the beginning, and I don’t know that I’d have the strength to do it again if I had toddlers to deal with too (let alone two toddlers).

    • I have been using the little nightgowns for him and lift them up to uncover his legs, but maybe I need to try having him completely naked. With both pregnancies, I’ve had the greatest challenge with breastfeeding-it’s so emotionally and mentally draining. The formula (same type that I used for the girls) is in the pantry and I’m sure we’ll be opening it up soon. Why do we let ourselves get so stressed about something that is small in the grand scheme of things!?

      • I kept Gus in a just a kimono shirt and a diaper forever so I didn’t have to keep undressing him completely. I remember being convinced we’d never use any of the outfits we had for him.

  4. Your family is so sweet and beautiful! Your girls are so grown up looking and my, what a beautiful little boy. 🙂

    I’m not sure I can add anything to the comments above on nursing. I’m sure the Dr already checked for a tongue/lip tie. Wait… you’re a dentist, right? So, nothing more I could add there. I just hope for your sake that he figures it out soon and your milk comes through more. 🙂

    • Thank you so much! His tongue is good but his upper lip does have a bit of a low frenum. I’m hoping the one on one consult will shed some light on the issue. I’m drinking lots of water and added fenugreek and lots of lactation cookies. ☺️

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