I have finally found my people!
Okay, so after reading all 10 pages of this thread I joined mothering.com for the express person of joining this tribe. I am so so thrilled to have found you (though not so so thrilled to be among those with low milk supply.
I'll try to make my story short. I gave birth via C-section at 37.5 weeks one day prior to a scheduled C-section due to preeclampsia. One baby went straight to the NICU and I didn't get to see him again for 24 hours, b/c the drug I was on (mag sulfate) made it impossible for me to get out of bed. I was in the hospital for 5 days, with my blood pressure actually getting worse instead of better. Charlie spent 8 days in the NICU and 3 on the Peds floor. The OB wouldn't let me pump for him at first, saying I needed to be resting instead (b/c of my bp). I didn't really learn to pump until 2 days later, didn't get to bf Charlie at all til he was 3 days old. Rob bf'd from the beginning but developed jaundice and lost more than 10% of his birthweight; they made me supplement with formula.
That whole week was extremely traumatic - my bp when I left the hospital was 175/115 - higher than when I checked in. In fact, I was on bp meds for 6 weeks postpartum. One of my LCs thought the drug might've hampered my milk supply. In retrospect, I also think that my horrible first week (there is much, much more to tell about the awful hospital stay but I won't lest this post grow even longer) may have resulted in some of my milk-making cells shutting down. I slowly realized I wasn't even making enough for one baby, let alone two.
Like the rest of this tribe, I tried everything, thinking that bf'ing was only a matter of determination, stubborness, perseverance, and hard work. Here's what I tried: saw 3 different LCs; tried fenugreek, blessed thistle, Reglan, Make Milk tincture (w/ fenugreek, blessed thistle, goat's rue, and borage), and am currently on Domperidone (without a prescription); used an SNS and later a Lact-Aid; rented a hospital scale, did test-weights on both babies before and after bf'ing then again before and after using the SNS (so I knew which baby had how much formula); kept detailed charts of everything; pumped up to 5 times a day for a total of no more than 4 ounces; spent 3 solid days in bed with both babies nursing on demand and only later realizing they must've been starving that whole weekend; took both babies to an osteopath for cranial-sacral therapy; listened to a CD with guided meditations and affirmations. In the process, I nearly drove dh crazy and cried almost every day. I felt betrayed my by body. And I just kept at it, thinking I couldn't give up b/c true milk insufficiency supposedly only strikes 1% of the female population.
Around the time the babies hit 3 months, it began to dawn on me how absurd my life had become, and I finally began to let go of my dream of fully bf'ing both babies. That was about the same time I started taking Domperidone, which I only found through internet research (none of my LCs ever mentioned it). For the past 3 weeks I've been taking 80mg and I'm finally able to fully bf Rob. Meanwhile, a donor angel has given me bags full of her extra frozen EBM. Charlie now gets that, along with some formula, along with whatever I'm able to pump. Every few days I will try to bf him, but it is mostly an exercise in frustration for both of us. He has never taken very well to the breast whereas Rob really likes to nurse (and does so nearly constantly - his constant demand helps my supply, whereas every time I've tried to work Charlie in, I think I have a dip).
So that's where I am for now - and so glad to know I'm not alone. In 2 1/2 weeks I go back to work, and I'm worried that I may have additional supply problems. As I face that possibility, here are my questions:
1 - I notice that some of you take much more domperidone than I do. How much can I safely take?
2 - I have a Medela PIS. Should I rent a hospital pump instead?
3 - Rob nurses very frequently (at 4 mos. he nurses about 12 times a day, maybe even more [I'm not always sure during the night since we cosleep and I don't always fully wake up to feed him]). Is this b/c of my supply issues, or may this just be normal for him? I know some newborns nurse this frequently, but I didn't know one his age might do the same thing. He seems happy and he has plenty of wet diapers. I haven't weighed him since I returned my hospital scale 10 days ago, but his weight gain seemed fine then.
4 - Given how frequently Rob nurses, how frequently during the work day should I plan on pumping? I live less than 2 miles from home and have a flexible schedule, so I can probably work it out to nurse him once during the workday, but otherwise I will be away from him for about 7-8 hours a day. Should I pump every 2 hours?
Okay, enough from me already. I'm just so so happy to have found you people!
p.s. to DaryLLL - a DO is a Doctor of Osteopathy