"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." -Winston Churchill

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

She's still nursing well, but supplementing more and more. IT NEEDS TO GET HERE!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Moving Day!

We're moving from our crappy, cramped apartment and into a bigger and much nicer house today! Wish us all luck!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 1 No Domperidone.

Well, she's still nursing willingly, but I'm having to supplement more frequently already. I still have milk, but not as much. Hopefully, she'll keep nursing frequently, and when I get my domperidone, it'll rebuild my supply quickly.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My domperidone never came. I hope this doesn't spell disaster and the end of our breastfeeding relationship.
Pray to the milk goddess for me.
I'm scared I'm going to run out of domperidone. Terrified.

But, in other news, Lola has started "sleeping through the night" as in, she sleeps a good 5 to 6 hours now, and I *gasp* actually wake up very full! The other night, I was absolutely ENGORGED, rock solid, to the point of pain! It was great! I wish it was like that all the time. (Weird wish.)

As for the re-quitting smoking, it's been easier than I thought it would be. As long as there are no cigarettes around, I'm fine. But I haven't been around anyone who smokes in a few days. My biggest problem is boredom. It gets mind-numbingly boring around here, sometimes, and cigarettes were a way to break up the monotony. I still think about having a cigarette when I'm totally bored, but I don't have any, so I can't have one. And that's good.

We're gearing up for our big move (across town) this weekend. Monday will be our last night in our tiny, crappy apartment! Hallelujah!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cutting it close.

I am down to my last sheet of bubble-packed domperidone. I ordered some about 2 weeks ago. I HOPE it comes tomorrow, please, please, please.
Love this!
The Top Ten Things Breastfeeding Activists Should Stop Saying.
Thank you for acknowledging that sometimes, doing everything one can does not equal a full-milk supply.
I think I need to get tested for postpartum thyroid problems. I am beyond exhausted. And thyroid problems can cause milk supply problems for mom's who have had NORMAL milk supplies, I don't even want to think about what it could do to mine.
Now I just need to find a primary care physician to test my blood.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I feel so much better already!
I scrubbed myself in the shower, and I feel so fresh and clean.
Thank you, Lola, for being my inspiration to not smoke.
I do not want to trade my baby for cigarettes. And with the risk of SIDS increased with maternal smoking, I know it's not worth it. NOT WORTH IT!
The next few days may suck a little, but Lola is WORTH IT!

Goodbye, cigarettes. I am officially re-commiting myself to being a NON-SMOKER!

Now, I'm going to go brush my teeth, take a shower and scrub all that nastiness off of me.

Time to come clean.

I've been struggling lately with something...
Smoking. I was a smoker before I got pregnant, and I really didn't want to start again. But lately, I've been struggling. I feel terribly guilty. I've been so tired, and I bummed a cigarette from someone the other day, and I felt a surge of energy. I've been smoking a few cigarettes every day.
I know this is not helpful to my endeavors, at all. I know it's terrible for me, and my baby. I need to stop.
But, I'm trying to write an honest blog, so I had to put it out there and hold myself accountable.

Here's all the reasons I need to STOP smoking:
  • It's EXPENSIVE! 
  • It's a WASTE OF TIME!
So, there it is. I need to stop. I feel better putting that out there, but still feel terrible about it.

More resources.

I've been adding more links to my resources post. If you haven't read it already, check it out! There's a new link with pictures of hypoplastic breasts to help other struggling mothers identify the physical characteristics of hypoplasia.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Today, I want to give up.

As someone who has battled postpartum depression before, I fear that I can feel it creeping in again.
I don't know if I'm just tired, or what, but today, I feel like giving up the fight. What's the point? It's twice as hard as just bottle-feeding, it takes even longer to get out of the house because first I have to breast feed her, then I have to wait to bottle feed her because she's just full enough not to have to eat right away, and she doesn't like lukewarm formula, which is what she's stuck with if we're out.
Why can't it just be easy?

I've also been feeling a disconnect. Feeling extremely bored. Feeling like I need to get away from the baby. I just want to escape!
Maybe I just need a break. Need to go somewhere, bring my pump and just be escaped for a little while.
But, I know that can't happen right now. We have too much going on, getting ready to move from our cramped apartment to a new house.

I wish I didn't feel this down, it makes it really hard to find the strength to put forth the effort.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Well, today was no 7 ounce day, but we got up before the crack of dawn, and she always seems to take more formula the earlier we get up. I'm okay with it. Email Dr. Jack Newman today. He suggested using an SNS to supplement, but it's such a serious pain in the butt, and the tape tears me up. I can't get her to latch with the tube in her mouth without the tape, and I can't stick the tube in her mouth after she latches, because she just lets go. Then we're both frustrated and that doesn't do anyone any good. We're doing well with how we're doing it, I guess I thought Dr. Newman might have some new advice for me. *Sigh.*
The videos on his website made me cry. Mostly because I have a "nibbler" and not a "really good drinker," even though Lola has a great latch. It's not her fault, it's mine.
I hope, some day, the ache in my heart goes away.

Happy about poop...

Lola just had a BIG poop, bigger than normal, it looked more like breast milk poop than formula poop! Yeah! (Yes, I analyze every poopy diaper for content.)
As a mom with IGT, this is simply amazing! I am dumbstruck at how well everything is going. I never thought I'd be this close to having an all-breastfed baby. Sure, I may never make up that last 7-10 ounces, but we are doing so well! So much better than I've ever done before.
I am so proud of myself. I am proud of my baby. We are doing this together.
Having such great support around me really helps, too. Thank YOU!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Best day ever.

7 oz. of formula today. Can I do a little celebratory dance?

Great things.

I have to say, things are going pretty well. She is more satisfied after nursing. She makes it through the night on breast milk only, even takes only one breast at a time, and I feel slightly engorged by the time she gets to the next breast! She nurses every 4 hours at night. That's amazing! She wakes up in the morning, happy and ready to start the day, not crying and needing a bottle immediately. And this girl is NOT one to NOT speak up when she has a problem with something.
I have to say, I'm feeling rather pleased. Even if this is as good as it gets, I'm happy with it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

End of the day.

It's bedtime, and Lola has only taken 8 oz. of formula today. 3 less than usual. She's had a good number of pees, and a poop. Yay! Let's see if this trend continues.

Better news!

Lola went just over 16 hours without a bottle. She may have gone longer if I didn't have to stop our nursing session to deal with her potty-training big sister's poop-in-pants fiasco. *sigh*

That's the longest she's ever gone without a bottle since she'd been hospitalized. Yay!

Good news.

It's been 14 hours since Lola's had a bottle. That's the longest she's gone, EVER, and when I offered her one, she refused it. AND I just changed her diaper for the second time today, and it was actually wet.
Something good must be happening, because that's not how it usually goes. Usually, if she just nurses for a long period of time, her diapers are barely wet, if they are wet at all.
And she went 5 hours last night before nursing again, and my breasts were actually full. Night time seems to be the only time I can nurse on one side, only, but she's satisfied.
We'll see how the rest of the day goes.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I cried today.

I nursed my beautiful little girl and cried. Cried because I ran out of herbs and I'm afraid I'm going to set all our progress back if I don't find some. Cried because I feel like such a failure sometimes. Cried because it's so damn unfair that women with fully functional breasts can decide not to breastfeed or give up because it hurts too much, it's too much of a hassle, because it's inconvenient for them, and I struggle every damn day and I can't even say my baby gets *mostly* breast milk.
Maybe I'm just tired because she was up all night nursing. I guess I should consider it a success because she didn't need a bottle after bed time, still, but I just feel tired. Sick and tired. Tired of struggling. Tired of explaining that there's something wrong with me, and that's why I need to supplement. It's not for lack of knowledge or support, it's just lack of glandular tissue.
I know I am lucky to have such great support all around me. (Thank you)
Okay, vent over.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Oh noes!

I'm about to run out of my More Milk Special Blend, and I won't have more for a few days. I wonder it my supply is going to take a big hit or not.
The waiting game begins.

"Nursing" a toddler...

I have never nursed a toddler, although that is my ultimate goal.
I never expected my daughter, Lulu, to hold her bottle. I always held it for her, because feeding time was bonding time. She weaned from the breast at 10 months, but she continued to take a sippy cup with milk on my lap twice a day until she was 2, and she gradually asked less and less.
Today, she asked, and I was able to oblige, since Lola was asleep. It was nice to have a little cuddle on the couch like old times. I've offered her "booby milk" but she tells me, "That's Lola's baby milk."

Another Milky Mama!

At baby-wearing group today:

Lola is such a lucky girl to have so many mommies willing to share their milk! (Two more mommies offered, but she wasn't in the mood.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Well, she made up for it and drank 3 oz. That's okay. She's gaining well, and I think she's getting more breast milk than formula, even if she's taking 11 oz. of formula a day. So far today she's had 7.5 oz. I doubt she'll drink another 4 oz. tonight. So, it's still been a great day.
It's nearly 4 pm, and Lola just went down for a nap. She hasn't had any formula since 10:30 this morning, and then, she only had an ounce. Before that, she had 2 ounces at 8 am.
This is different.
Have I been forcing her to take more formula then she actually needs? She wouldn't be starving herself, would she?
I don't know what exactly I'm supposed to do now. Keep offering, even if she refuses? She's been nursing really well, the last two days, she's napped while actively nursing the whole time. She's content after feedings and alert between naps. Am I really making that much more milk? I want to feel happy, but instead, I feel worried. Worried that I'm NOT actually making that much more milk, and she'll keep refusing the bottle, and then what do I do? Have a sickly baby? Hire a wet-nurse?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cross-nursing Take Two

Lola and I went to a postpartum support group tonight, and she was being very fussy and didn't want to take a bottle. I knew Cheryl, a local doula, had cross-nursed other babies before, so I asked her to nurse Lola.
She said, "Yes."

 She was content the rest of the night.

And one for the road. :)


This may just be frustration due to my husband's insane work schedule and the fact that I feel completely smothered and bored out of my mind with a toddler and an infant and no money and nowhere to go to escape the monotony, but...
I am crazy bored. I am tired of trying to figure out what the heck my baby wants. Do you want to sleep? Do you want to nurse? Do you want a bottle? Do you need to poop?
The feeding part makes me especially crazy. It's rarely clear what she wants. She'll nurse a little, wait, and then usually have a bottle about half an hour later. Sometimes 2 ounces, sometimes 1 ounce. Sometimes, I'll make the bottle, but she won't take it until she's nursed again, briefly, I guess to re-whet her appetite?
Yesterday, she wanted very little to do with the bottle, at least for the most part. She took a really long nap, which was great because it meant I got a nap, and then, I even got to shower and put away some laundry. She'd only had 2 ounces all morning, and slept from 11 to 2. But then she woke up with a dry diaper.  I know she wants to nurse, and I just can't make enough for her to be satisfied and hydrated. But it's frustrating as hell trying to get her to take the supplements, sometimes.

Monday, May 16, 2011

2 months.

Just realized, we've been nursing for 2 months now! Happy 2 month birthday, Lola!


Last night, I leaked. I never leak anymore! I'm sure a huge part of it was that Lola fell asleep after nursing on only one side and I was totally engorged on the other side when she woke up to nurse. But I didn't leak until even later, when she was nursing on the first side again. She also nursed less frequently last night.
Could the More Milk Special Blend be working that well already? Or was it just a fluke? Time will tell.
(I actually slept with the bottle in my pillow case so I could take it right before going to sleep and again as soon as I woke up.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 1 : More Milk Special Blend

So, she took 11 oz. of formula today. April 30th, she'd taken 11 oz. too. But she weighs more these days. So, I'm slowly seeing an increase. Maybe the More Milk Special Blend will give me that extra oomph I need to at least get close to a full supply. If it does, great! If it doesn't... well, that's okay, too. We'll make it work, either way.

Stupid Guilt.

I got my Motherlove Herbs More Milk Special Blend with goat's rue today.
Weirdly enough, it triggered some hard-core guilt. I should have taken goat's rue the last trimester of my pregnancy and the first 8 weeks of nursing, I probably could have grown a lot more breast tissue.
Heck, I should have been taking goat's rue between pregnancies. I should have had a stack of domperidone ready to go when I gave birth.
I realize this guilt and regret is useless, but I can't help but think about it, anyway.

On a positive note, it's now 5:00pm and Lola has only had 6.5 oz. of formula today. I know I am making more milk than I did with Lulu. Lulu was much smaller and taking a lot more formula by now.

Oh. And Lola is lucky I am bound and determined to try ANYTHING to increase my milk supply because this More Milk tincture is NOT pleasant-tasting.


As someone who has never heard this with my previous two babies, I have to say, I LOVE the sound of my baby gulping milk. Much different than the days of sitting in silence, hoping for a swallow every once in a while.
Thank you, domperidone, for giving me that satisfaction.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Nipple confusion.

Gotta love it. Lola latches great to me, but has nipple confusion on the bottle. :)
I'm stopping the saw palmetto. I think it makes my milk smell weird or something because about an hour after taking it, she refuses to nurse. I know it makes my pee smell very strongly. Oh well, we're doing well already. Soon I'll have my motherlove herbs, maybe they'll give me the boost I need.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Domperidone, Day 28.

WELL... it's been 4 weeks since I started the domperidone.
Do I have a full supply? No.
Do I have a better supply? YES!
Do I have an awesome nursing relationship with my baby? YES, YES, YES!
Are we going to give up? No sirree.
Lola has been working hard, nursing frequently and effectively. I haven't pumped in a week, probably. (I have no concept of time...)
I'm now taking chasteberry and saw palmetto, 80 mg of domperidone 3 times a day, and will be adding a blend with goat's rue next week.
My goal right now is to not get my period back, because that ruined my supply last time. It never really recovered. If we can make it to 6 months with no period, she can start solids and hopefully we can ditch the formula!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This is why I still breastfeed. Look how peaceful and sweet and safe and content she looks.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Nursing Pictures

Here I am, age 4 or 5, nursing a toy skunk. I wasn't big on baby dolls.

I take lots of nursing pictures. Just about every day, in fact. Why? I want to cherish every moment of this nursing relationship, because I know how suddenly it could end if she ever decided she'd rather get her meals from a bottle.

For now, she loves nursing. Even prefers it. And I'm so glad she does. When she's tired, or bored, or overstimulated, a quick comfort nurse calms her right down. 
In the middle of the night, all she needs to do is stir a little, and then we both drift back to dreamland while she nurses away.
I love nursing. Even though I have to supplement. Even though it's been more difficult that it needs to be. Even though I'll never have that "exclusive breastfeeder" badge to wear.
It's okay. Maybe I'll be stronger for it, and I know she'll be stronger for whatever amount of breast milk she's getting.
I'm going to stop stressing the amount I'm making, and just live with it. I'll still take the herbs, I'll still take the medication, but I'm just going to let go and live, and enjoy my baby and my family. Because a happy, relaxed mommy is better than a stressed-out, high-strung mommy.

This is not giving up.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

10 Reasons I Still Breastfeed, Even As a Low-supply Mom.

Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (May).  This carnival is dedicated to all moms, celebrating Mother's Day today.  Participants will share various topics covering A Breastfeeding Mother's Top Ten List.  Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants."

IGT is a condition where the breasts do not have enough glandular tissue to make the amount of milk needed to nourish a child. It has nothing to do with breast size, although breast SHAPE can sometimes be indicative of the condition. For more info and a self-diagnostic checklist go to http://noteveryonecanbreastfeed.com/

10 reasons I continue to  breastfeed, even though I have to supplement.

1. Because some is better than none
Every drop of breast milk is doing good!

2. Because she deserves my best
Even if my best means she needs to be topped off after nearly every feeding.

 3. Because my mother breastfed me
I remember nursing my stuffed animals while my mother nursed my sister. I always knew I'd breastfeed my babies.

4. Because I want my daughters to breastfeed and I want my son to support his wife's breastfeeding
And when they ask me for advice, I can give it, because I've been there.

5.  Because we both get comfort out of it
Nothing says, slow down and relax like a nursing session.

6.  Because she'll have me, despite bottles being faster and easier
'Nuff said.

7.  Because milky smiles are beautiful
Is there a sweeter sight than the smile of a nursling with milk dripping down her chin?

8.  Because I can still pass on antibodies, which is important with a big brother in school
who brings home all kinds of icky germs.

9.  Because I made it through the days of gritting-my-teeth-every-time-she-latched, bleeding nipples phase, why would I stop now that it doesn't hurt?

10. Because night feedings are as easy as pulling out a boob
And, I love my sleep.

10 Milk Supply Boosting/Breastmilk Enhancing Supplements:

1. Fenugreek -supply booster
2. Blessed Thistle- works with fenugreek to boost supply, hormone balancer
3. Marshmallow root- enriches the milk (vitamin A, calcium, zinc, iron, sodium, iodine, and b-complex vitamins), boosts the effectiveness of fenugreek
4. Alfalfa- mammary stimulator, nutritive (vitamins A, C, E, and K, calcium and iron), pituatary support
5. Oats-(I prefer Steel-cut Oats) pituatary support, nutritive (iron, magnesium)
6. Goat's Rue- boosts supply and may increase breast tissue
7.  Virgin Coconut Oil-  increases substantially the amount of lauric acid nearly doubles the amount of capric acid
8. Borage oil- makes the milk creamier, high gamma-linolenic acid
9. Nettle leaf- nutritive (iron, calcium, vitamin K, potassium), antidiabetic, hypotensive
10.  Chasteberry- hormone balancer, mammary gland stimulation, milk ejection, pituatary regulation

Check out The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk for more suggestions and ideas if you need to increase your milk supply!

Other Milk Mama Diaries for Mother's Day:
Top Ten Breastfeeding Partners
Ten Things a Handy Mommy Can Do While Breastfeeding
Ten Life Altering Moments of a New Breastfeeding Mom
Nurturing Rafael: A Breastfeeding Mother's Top 10 List

Ten Things I Now Know About Breastfeeding Because I Breastfed
10 Ways to Cheer Up a Breastfeeding Wife
Aria's Habits While Breastfeeding
Top Ten Tips for Pumping and Working Moms
Our Breastfeeding Library
My Top 10 Favorite Foods for the Breastfeeding Mom
More to be added as they are posted.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Cross nursing.

Yesterday, at a walk to show support for midwives for the International Day of the Midwife, I asked a friend to do something some people might find... disturbing.
I asked her, a nursing mother, to nurse my baby.

And she, ever so generously, DID.

Lola got to experience what it feels like to nurse to satisfaction. And I didn't have a crying, hungry baby squalling at me on the long ride home.

"Hey, wait a minute... "

Now, if only I could afford to pay her to be a live-in wet nurse. :)
You can read my milk-sharing friend's blog here. :)

If you had milk supply problems, would you feed your baby donated milk? Would you let a friend or a wet-nurse feed your baby?
If you had more than enough milk, would you donate? Would you offer to nurse a friend's baby, if baby was hungry?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hard to believe the same baby who was refusing to nurse on Monday was refusing the bottle and nursing for longer periods yesterday. She only took the bottle as a last resort, after nursing thoroughly on both sides, twice. She hasn't done that in weeks, she was always too frustrated with the breast after the let-down ended.
I've upped my dosage of domperidone to 50 mg, 4 times a day. I mean, can it really hurt? If it doesn't significantly increase my supply, I'll drop back down to 40 mg, 4 times a day.
I want to get some goat's rue again. I haven't used it since struggling to breastfeed Lulu, 2 years ago, and I wasn't a huge fan because it made my blood sugar drop and I ate all the time. But the domperidone has already made me gain weight, so what the heck? Might as well try and grow some more breast tissue.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Where I got the inspiration for the name of my blog... http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/76/5/823
I know I'm not *really* a failure because I'm still trying. :)

Every Woman Can Breastfeed! A rant.

I get so mad when I hear this statement. When a mom who has been supplementing due to lack of growth, lack of wet and poopy diapers asks for advice on increasing supply and everyone shouts "STOP SUPPLEMENTING!" I become enraged. It isn't as SIMPLE as that.
Do they have any idea how badly I'd LOVE not to supplement? Not have to drag bottles and formula around with me, everywhere I go. Just pull out a boob and feed my baby, leaving her satisfied?
Do they know I've tried every herb under the sun, I've pumped like a maniac, I've nursed on demand, I've ordered medications from Australia, for God's sake. And, I almost starved my baby. If I didn't supplement, my baby would be sick, sick, sick.
So, I'm tired of hearing "stop supplementing, your body will make up the difference" because sometimes it WON'T. And that makes me, a mom who's body just WON'T, feel like a huge pile of crap. Like it's something I'm doing or not doing that's keeping my body from doing what it should.
I've worked incredibly hard with 3 different babies, trying to breastfeed. And if it wasn't for supplementing, my babies wouldn't have survived.

So, to all those moms out there with your full milk supplies, maybe suggesting cutting down the supplements would be better than stopping cold turkey. Cut down little by little, and if baby is still doing well, still gaining, still peeing and pooping enough, cut down a little more. And maybe, maybe, you'll be able to stop supplementing altogether. But maybe not. And you shouldn't have to feel like a failure if you can't. Because sometimes, you really can't.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Today, as part of the Mama Milk Diaries Carnival, I had to write a post about the 10 reasons I still breastfeed. And, after the last 2 days, I really needed it. It was good to get it all out so I could see it.
Today has been better. She's nursed well, and I've only pumped once. I need to stop trying to focus on the long-term and take this day-by-day.

Post coming soon.

Monday, May 2, 2011

1 day of triumph means 2 days of frustration...

I hope it's just a growth spurt, but Lola has been nursing poorly the last 2 days. She'll latch and un-latch over and over, it makes me crazy. And she ate about 2 oz of formula every 2 hours yesterday afternoon. Now, I get to sit and pump again, so I don't lose my supply. Ugh.
Making some lactation cookies today...