Sunday, August 09, 2009

Breast vs Bottle - part 2

he loves sleeping like this and I just melt at the sight of the cheeks and his cute little mouth


Remember the post about the breastfeeding?


I realised that I need to do an update, so here goes...


I'd been carrying on, pumping away day after day, and taking the Espiride. After I did that post about not feeling myself, I halved the dose (only took the morning pill) which seemed to work much better for me. I could feel things again and yet it just took off the hormonal edge :)


The pills seemed to help a bit because I started getting 20ml, then 40 ml and then a grand total of around 60ml breast milk daily.


I know - big WOW :)


I took my offerings to the NICU daily - the one nurse was so awesome. She'd dutifully divide the milk between the two babies and then top up their feed with formula. And best of all, act like it was actually SOMETHING when I felt so stupid bringing in such a little milk.


I love empathetic people.


Then Connor came home. No difference to the pumping but I did feel like since he was well enough to be home, all the milk (ha!) should go to Kendra.


So that's what I did.


The following week we started getting an indication that Kendra was getting well enough to come home (temp regulating, etc.).


This also coincided with me reading an article on breastfeeding in a magazine.


The article said something about the first hours and the first week being crucial. And even if you don't have your baby with you immediately, to start as soon as you were together.



First I got cross (with the hospital staff for not telling me the proper story) and then I felt depressed because I take responsibility for not researching enough to be informed.


Oh dear, does this emotional roller coaster ever end? I'm so not used to being up and down.


That Thursday night I texted a couple of my friends to get the number of a lactation consultant. Well, all 3 of them gave me the same lady's name. And in the article, she was quoted as a reference too.


My one friend (who currently is breastfeeding her twin girls and doing a fantastic job - the only one I know with twins who is b.feeding, by the way) texted me two days later to check what the lady said and I was embarrassed to tell her that I still hadn't contacted her.


I continued to procrastinate until Sunday night. I'm not normally a procrastinator and wondered why I was doing it with this issue. I think it's because I hate failing at anything (um, infertility!) and also, I didn't know if she would be harsh with me because I didn't want to cry some more (up and down emotions).


But then again...I also wanted closure one way or the other. So I phoned.


I left a message for the lady and she called back within 30 minutes and was FABULOUS. Objective, very clear but also didn't beat me up for not contacting her sooner.


Asked me loads and loads of questions to get all the details.... twins born at 32 weeks, in NICU, one out, the other will be out in the next 24 hours, pumping not really working, blah blah blah.

Eventually she said that from the time of the birth, I should have been told to pump every 3 hours, day AND night, whether the babies were in ICU or not. That would have stimulated my milk supply sufficiently.

Well, the bottom line was this - I could still do it but it would be a long, uphill battle, virtually impossible. For starters, I'd have to hire a double breast pump because my Phillips Avent would really only do the trick if my milk supply was adequate to start off with, and then pump 3-hourly, around the clock.


Now that plus taking care of twins = setting myself up for failure

And what a relief knowing that was. She said to me "your babies will be fine with formula" and "there's no point in looking back now" - all very true.



I'd decided to continue until a few days after Kendra was home (up to the Friday to make it a full 4 weeks of pumping - I like round numbers!) but the homecoming day (Monday) was SO hectic, I only realised at 9pm that I still needed to pump.


And thought "stuff this" - I actually don't have the energy.


So that is that.



My babies are being formula-fed and from the looks of it, they seem fine. Look at his nice, fat cheeks.



Connor went for a check-up on Thursday and now weighs 2,57kg (multiply by 2,2 for pounds) and is perfectly healthy.


And the best thing is, his mother's feeling emotionally strong!


Things I am learning on this journey

  • not to compare myself to others, especially my friend C with her twin girls
  • everybody's body is different
  • everybody's parenting journey is different

4 comments:

  1. Ack! I'm glad you're not beating yourself up and can move on and enjoy your beautiful babies! I can't believe the hospital staff didn't tell you! I was told in the grogginess right after surgery and there is a pump in all the postpartum rooms!

    If you're ever feeling down just be glad you don't have to deal with the sore, leaky nipples and engorgement when you miss pumping for appointments and grocery shopping!!

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  2. It IS nice to have my breasts back but I did have those horrible engorged b**bs – the day after I decided to stop I had to put some cabbage leaves in my bra because it was throbbing and so sore.

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  3. Things never seem to go as planned. But even the tiny amounts of milk you were able to give the babies were a help to getting them home and keeping them healthy while they are so small.

    When you feel engorged, it's alright to pump just enough to feel relief and will prevent blocked ducts from causing an infection. Milk supply will rapidly diminish so you probably won't have to do this more than a few times.

    They are both very adorable and getting so nicely filled out!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a sweet photo of Connor! So glad to hear they're doing well! :)

    ReplyDelete

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