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My stupid, dysfunctional boobs... :(

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well, it finally happened. My milk supply is dropping...fast. Alexander started getting really fussy during the day a few days ago and started screaming every time he rode in the car. Then, yesterday, he started seriously fussing and pulling away at the breast at every feeding. Finally he just started screaming during an evening feeding. The same frantic cry he uses if he's hungry and I don't pick him up to nurse immediately, but it was while he was nursing greensad.gif

I had started pumping a little yesterday to start building up my freezer supply, so I had a couple of ounces available and I figured I'd try giving it to him in a bottle just to see if he'd take the bottle. Well, he drank nearly three ounces from the bottle and immediately relaxed. He actually calmed down so well that he slept until after 2am in his cosleeper.

I was so hopeful in the beginning that I wouldn't have to deal with low supply this time and it truly seemed like I was good to go. He has been gaining weight like crazy compared to ds1 and hasn't been much of a fusser at all. Now, it has all changed.

I ordered my domperidone last night and I hope the small amount I still have on hand will get me through till the order comes.

I've never felt truly "full" even once since my milk came in. I've just been kidding myself the whole last month. Now I have to face the truth. I just hope I can find a way to not have to fully wean ds1 as well. He really needs to nurse still.

I'll be calling for an appointment with the local IBCLC group to start up weekly feed and weighs to make sure I don't starve this baby. greensad.gif and I'm starting a pumping regimen to keep up nipple stimulation. I really hope I don't have to supplement with formula at all. If I can pump enough in addition to what Alexander gets while nursing, I should be able to supplement just with EBM.

I'm sad, angry, frustrated, and disgusted that my body is betraying me and my children yet again. Why can't this just work?!?
post #2 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by egmaranian View Post

I'll be calling for an appointment with the local IBCLC group to start up weekly feed and weighs to make sure I don't starve this baby. greensad.gif and I'm starting a pumping regimen to keep up nipple stimulation. I really hope I don't have to supplement with formula at all. If I can pump enough in addition to what Alexander gets while nursing, I should be able to supplement just with EBM.

I'm sad, angry, frustrated, and disgusted that my body is betraying me and my children yet again. Why can't this just work?!?


It sounds like you know what you need to do.  I don't have any/much advice, but I do want to say that you are awesome for going thru all this hard work, pumping, domperidone, not weaning your older DS, etc -- to feed your baby.  I have no idea why some moms just don't make enough milk, and it sucks.  It's not fair.  Hugs, and hang in there, mama.  

 

post #3 of 23
As mama, hugs to you! I'm sorry you're dealing with this... It has to be so deeply frustrating!!

As Carrie said, it sounds like you've got your bases covered, but can I make one suggestion? Be proud mama! Be proud that you're educated enough to recognize signs before the issue is unresolvable, be proud that you've come up with a good plan to tackle this challenge, and be VERY proud that you're willing to do everything in your power to try and make breastfeeding successful for your sons. Those are not small things!

Again, big hugs and much sympathy!!
post #4 of 23

Just some hugs - that sounds so hard! But you are a strong and awesome mother for working so hard to give your babe the best start - I hope it works out!

post #5 of 23

hugs from another mama who faces this same struggle. greensad.gif it is so hard.  i do have to say that pumping has really seemed to help me increase supply, as well as the whole slew of herbs i've been taking. still not perfect, but i see a difference.

 

it does just plain suck. i agree with carrie, at least you have a solid plan in place  and know where to go from here. hugs and milk vibes coming at you. 

 

 

 ( if only the mamas facing over abundance resulting in mastitis, forceful letdown, and such could collaborate with our low supplies....oh, the harmony in balance. if only. )

post #6 of 23

I have no advice but I wanted to offer hugs. You're a great mama and working so hard to provide the very best for both your sons. You're armed with knowledge, love, strength and determination. You are one strong, committed mama. My thoughts and prayers are with you. hug2.gif

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you ladies for reading my vent and responding so thoughtfully. I really appreciate the reminders that I really am doing the best I possibly can. I was so hopeful that I had overcome my issues and this would be the baby that I could just nurse and love. No contraptions. No drugs. No charting every minute of nursing, every ounce pumped, every once given by bottle, every wet diaper. But that is apparently not the universe's plan for me and my boys. I guess you're all right in that it does make me a good mama to recognize the problem and start on the path to recovery asap, but that just doesn't make me any less depressed or angry. I guess I just shouldn't have gotten my hopes up at all. If I had assumed I was going to face to same battles again, I would've had a supply of dom ordered before Alexander was born and wouldn't have spent a month on every herbal galactagogue known to man. Geez! I could just kick myself. Now I have to wait 3 weeks or more for the damn order to get here and I only have about a 10-12 day supply left from last year when I weaned off of it to get pregnant.

Wow, I meant to come back on to just thank everyone for your kind words and here I am on a rant again. Sorry.

Elevena: you are so right! It would be great if the oversupply mamas and low supply mamas could all get together and balance it out. Hugs to you in dealing with all this crap too. I'm glad pumping has helped. I hope it helps me too, but I'm not counting on much of a difference until I get on the dom.
post #8 of 23
I lurk, but hugs from another low supply mama. DS ( born at home on 8/27) is my 2nd, & I've taken so any herbs, even prenatal, hoping for a full supply this time. But I made the call to start supplementing on day 4 after a day of fussiness and way too low diaper output. It was a crappy, miserable day following a crappy miserable night! The thing that's helped me most is a list of "affirmations" I wrote myself one day while pregnant & freaking out about the possibilty of low supply, things I really believe are true like:

-Every ounce I can give blesses my baby, but nursing is about more than just milk.
-It's more than just the ounces - it's the love and determination behind those ounces.
-If I need it, formula is just food & a small part of my child's diet. The SNS (or bottle) is just a temporary tool to help us get to a device-free stage of nursing later. Neither define my parenting.
-Trusting my mama-sense to read my baby's cues & know how to care for my baby - including deciding if and when to start supplementing - is something I can take pride in.
- I have done this before, so this time I'm starting ahead - knowing the tools, knowing how wonderfully the story can end!
-I am 100% a nursing mother however much milk I'm able to make.

Wet diapers are good for us now, I think the formula is affecting pooping (even w just 4 oz. or so a day), baby seems satisfied... I'm bummed, but now that i've made the call, we've started supplementing, i'm resigned. A little nervous about Tuesday's weight check, but I figure the worst it can say is that I need to get him to take a little more supplement. I think we're on the right track.

So sorry you're back here too. Praying for peace, wisdom and determination for all the low supply mamas!
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by justthinkn View Post

I lurk, but hugs from another low supply mama. DS ( born at home on 8/27) is my 2nd, & I've taken so any herbs, even prenatal, hoping for a full supply this time. But I made the call to start supplementing on day 4 after a day of fussiness and way too low diaper output. It was a crappy, miserable day following a crappy miserable night! The thing that's helped me most is a list of "affirmations" I wrote myself one day while pregnant & freaking out about the possibilty of low supply, things I really believe are true like:

-Every ounce I can give blesses my baby, but nursing is about more than just milk.
-It's more than just the ounces - it's the love and determination behind those ounces.
-If I need it, formula is just food & a small part of my child's diet. The SNS (or bottle) is just a temporary tool to help us get to a device-free stage of nursing later. Neither define my parenting.
-Trusting my mama-sense to read my baby's cues & know how to care for my baby - including deciding if and when to start supplementing - is something I can take pride in.
- I have done this before, so this time I'm starting ahead - knowing the tools, knowing how wonderfully the story can end!
-I am 100% a nursing mother however much milk I'm able to make.

Wet diapers are good for us now, I think the formula is affecting pooping (even w just 4 oz. or so a day), baby seems satisfied... I'm bummed, but now that i've made the call, we've started supplementing, i'm resigned. A little nervous about Tuesday's weight check, but I figure the worst it can say is that I need to get him to take a little more supplement. I think we're on the right track.

So sorry you're back here too. Praying for peace, wisdom and determination for all the low supply mamas!


Those affirmations are truly beautiful!

 

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by justthinkn View Post

-Every ounce I can give blesses my baby, but nursing is about more than just milk.
-It's more than just the ounces - it's the love and determination behind those ounces.
-If I need it, formula is just food & a small part of my child's diet. The SNS (or bottle) is just a temporary tool to help us get to a device-free stage of nursing later. Neither define my parenting.
-Trusting my mama-sense to read my baby's cues & know how to care for my baby - including deciding if and when to start supplementing - is something I can take pride in.
- I have done this before, so this time I'm starting ahead - knowing the tools, knowing how wonderfully the story can end!
-I am 100% a nursing mother however much milk I'm able to make.


clap.gif

 

These affirmations are wonderful! 

 

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Justthinkin: wow! That is a really perfect set of affirmations. Thank you so so much for sharing them with me. I think you've truly helped me find a little perspective in this chaos and misery and I am very grateful.

Update: I started a very low dose of Dom last night and I think it may have kicked in already. I actually felt full...not engorged, just full...when I woke at about 5am. In fact, I'm pretty sure my right boob leaked a little while Alexander nursed on the left! And I haven't had to supplement with any bottles yet today. Yay! We'll see how the rest if the evening goes before I call today a success though.

I do suspect that I might need to buy a new pump though. I haven't been getting much milk expressed and I thought it was just me. But now that I seems like production is picking up again, I did a little test. After pumping an hour ago and only getting less than 2 oz, I hand expressed a little to see if anything would come out. Usually if I hand express when I'm not very full, just a little dribble comes out. Thus time, I had a solid stream of milk! Why the heck didn't the pump empty the breasts?!? I've heard they only last a year or so and I used it pretty heavily for about 6 months when ds1 was born. I guess it's just on it's last leg. I sure wish I hadn't bought all new parts for it already!
post #12 of 23

justthinkin-- i second or third or fourth how endearing those affirmations are. i have been hyper-noticing my own self talk lately....and trying to stay on the up and up. i'm going to work some of your lines into the mantras i have going already.... thumb.gif

i hope your babe is meeting his mark at your next weigh-in!! i certainly know the anxiety and nervousness in between weight checks.

 

eg--  i have a question. does leaking from one breast while babe is nursing from the other side signify anything other then the fact that let down has happened? i saw mention of leaking somewhere else today, and i know it is a positive sign, but wondered what it indicates to you? and hooray for the dom already jumpstarting your milk supply! hopefully your breasts are totally getting the message, and your next shipment gets there quick.

post #13 of 23
Thanks alll - glad if they help! Eleven, thx for the good wishes - we shall see. Egmaranian, so glad you're seeing positive results already!
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elevena true View Post

justthinkin-- i second or third or fourth how endearing those affirmations are. i have been hyper-noticing my own self talk lately....and trying to stay on the up and up. i'm going to work some of your lines into the mantras i have going already.... thumb.gif

i hope your babe is meeting his mark at your next weigh-in!! i certainly know the anxiety and nervousness in between weight checks.

eg-- i have a question. does leaking from one breast while babe is nursing from the other side signify anything other then the fact that let down has happened? i saw mention of leaking somewhere else today, and i know it is a positive sign, but wondered what it indicates to you? and hooray for the dom already jumpstarting your milk supply! hopefully your breasts are totally getting the message, and your next shipment gets there quick.




I don't know what it means from a textbook perspective, but I think of it as an (almost) spontaneous letdown, which my body just doesn't ever do without lots of intervention (Dom, chest compressions, etc. ). So I think if it as my breasts finally acting "normal". I don't even know if that line of thinking is on the right track, but I'm hanging into every positive signal I can find!

I did end up giving him a bottle if just under 2 oz last night. He just didnt seem satisfied until he got that. This morning seems to be better though. I always get worse as the day progresses, it seems.

Hugs to all my low supply sisters out there!!!
post #15 of 23
My little update: gaining, but still 6 oz. down from birth weight at day 10, so need to convince him to take more by like 2 oz./day. That doesn't sound easy to me, but I'm sure it's doable! May have to get DH and my mom in on "spoon-feeding" some supplement before the SNS in the afternoons when he seems to tire himself out nursing before he's satisfied.
post #16 of 23

Justthinkin ~ 6oz to gain really is not a lot. A newborn is not expected to be back at birth weight until their two week checkup...even then, as long as they're close and on a gaining curve. Keep nursing the little guy as often as possible and I'm sure he'll be gaining in no time at all.

post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
I popped at the breastfeeding clinic yesterday in hopes that I could talk to one of the ibclc's and got to spend some time with the head lady, who is super nice. I got to work with her when DS1 was a newborn and I really like her a lot.

Anyway, she thinks in probably being overly sensitive based on my past issues and since Alexander is gaining weight and has good diaper output, I don't need to be doing weekly weight checks at this time. She says I'm already dong everything they would tell me to do and congratulated me to recognizing the signs of possible trouble all on my own. We ruled out tongue tie and determined that my pump still has good suction power, so no need to replace it.

She also said the fussiness Alexander was going through was more likely related to a growth spurt than to my milk supply.

So, I do feel much better. But i'm not ready to just relax quite yet. I'll still pump as often as I can and I plan to give the expressed milk to Alexander whenever he shows signs of increased, unexplained fussiness. He hasn't gained any weight at all in about a week, but his fussiness at the breast is down. I'm just still a little on edge I guess.
post #18 of 23

eg----i'm glad to hear that his fussiness is down and that things seem to be better then you thought!

 

afm, i went to see the lc for follow up today....it was a new lady, and she was very sweet. she found a slight tongue tie, and am upper lip frenulum!!!!!

 

this is actually more exciting to me then i can tell you. every little bit helps---or hinders---the milk balance. y has an appointment to clip the ties on tuesday. i am hoping it will really make a difference with his latch and transfer.

 

other big news--- y has gained a pound in 10 days, so he is up to 11. 4 oz. (at one month, as big as poetrylover's babe was at birth. i am so amazed. she totally gets the big baby award love.gif)

she also surveyed my milk makers...and definitely identified some underdeveloped glandular tissue--- one one breast more then the other, and on the under sides of each. this also feels really good, though it is more of a confirmation of what i already knew then anything else. it feels good to have an answer, even if it is what i had in my heart anyway.

 

and before going in, i had decided i was going to "do the dom."  i am just anti pharmaceuticals in general, but i feel like the trade off is worth it. i ordered a supply earlier this week.....let's hope it gets here on the sooner side of things!

 

justthinkin-- how is your babe doing? has he jumped back up to birthweight yet? i hope you are both well.

post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Elevena: I'm glad to hear that you're getting some answers. That must feel good, even if it doesn't dolce the problem. I sure wish I could figure out why I have lactation issues. It would at least give me something to focus on.

Don't feel bad about doing Dom. I get where you're coming from in not wanting to rely on pharmaceuticals, but it can really help with production and only a tiny bit actually gets into your milk. I used it for nearly 6 months with ds1 and I truly believe it saved my bf'ing relationship with him. I really hope my order gets here before I run out of the small stash I had left from before. I might have to put a call out on the BF challenges board to buy extras from someone in the US, cause if I run out I'm sure I'll have to do some supplementing.

Good luck having the ties clipped. I really hope that makes a difference.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Oh! And congratulations on the great weight gain!!! Every ounce gained is like a small victory in my book!
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