It's been some time since I posted on MDC but what better place to turn for support and hopefully ideas. I exclusively nursed my 2 dds who are now 6 and 4 for a total of 6 years. I had nipple piercings for 10 years before I had children and when both daughters eventually refused my left breast that was a low-producer I figured it was due to slow flow and scar tissue. I do mom to mom bf support and will sit the exam next month to become a lactation consultant. It is dreadfully ironic that with the birth of my third baby 5 weeks ago I seem to no longer have the ability to nurse.
The first 2 weeks were a whirlwind of weight loss and no bowel movements, pain and engorgement, supplementers and multiple pumps, milk bank milk and domperidone, pediatricians and cranial-sacral therapy. My ds was just 6lbs 7oz with a very small tight mouth and torticollis. I have seen a number of lactation consultants, many of whom are friends and include 2 LCs who have written the very books I've been studying from. I have seen breastfeeding doctors and 2 breast surgeons. There has been no shortage of expertise but no one seems to have an answer. WHen a friend let me borrow her baby scale I realized that ds was only getting about a TENTH of an ounce from each breast. I sobbed when I realized his fussiness had been because he'd been HUNGRY! I was not surprised he'd gotten such a small amount from my smaller, lower producing breast --- but I was devastated and shocked that he was receiving essentially nothing from the breast that nourished 2 babies for 6 years!!
Where we are at now --- he gets 20+ oz of donor milk a day in a bottle. He latches comfortably, though perhaps a bit shallow on my smaller breast but at least we can do a lot of nursing for comfort, sleepy time and hopefully a bit of milk. His neck seems to have improved. I hand express from both breasts but I quit pumping when I realized my right - good producing breast - was getting dreadfully swollen and seemed to have a large blister covering nearly the entire face of my nipple. (not a bleb - and I tried many pumps and shield sizes) When I pump, express, nurse or even just have a let down this area fills with milk that cannot escape and white milk can be seen under the skin. The skin is thicker than that which usually covers a blister I can hand express milk from other openings elsewhere on that nipple but for some reason, ds cannot get the milk out. Latching hurts me and frustrates him. The blister area on my nipple may be a galactocele, though in some ways it differs from a true galactocele (it has some drainage and is on the nipple as opposed to inside the breast). I had it aspirated yesterday and had high hopes that we would instantly nurse and everything would be normal but nothing has really changed. We are seeing an ENT on Tues to rule out any sort of posterior tongue tie, but his tongue seems to have lots of movement.
This is my last baby and I am devastated that I may not be able to nurse him. It is such a slap in the face to have engorged breasts dripping milk as I feel the tingle of let down and be giving my newborn a bottle with another woman's milk in it. I am of course super grateful I have been able to keep him off formula, but still desperately want to nurse my baby.
I need some love and support -- if anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them.