Thank you so much for the support, everyone. I will be back later to reply but I just really wanted to thank you for your posts. You have all made me feel a lot better.
I think it's time for a "how are the babies?" thread. - Page 2
I had a second, much more severe hemorrhage at 4 weeks, which landed me back in the hospital for a week and killed my milk supply. DH took awesome care of our babies while I was in the CCU, where they could not visit, and they finally moved me to a mother and baby room where I could have them with me. We are back to nursing and pumping, but I have to give them mostly formula and just some milk. I am still pretty weak and not able to care for them by myself, but if someone brings them to me I can hold them all day long. I don't think my milk supply will ever get to where we need it to be, based on talking with several doctors, nurses, and lactation consultants, and I feel really, really crappy about that. It is increasing slowly, though. And my girls are healthy and getting nice and fat and are staying awake a little more than before, so I guess things are going better than I could reasonably expect, based on all of our complications.
kinza that sounds very hard! I am very glad that your girls are doing good, I know how hard dealing with premature birth alone can be but I can't image going through first the two PP hemmorages and then the supply issue.
There are several natural galactagogues that will help. Taking brewers yeast & fenugreek is really good and making a tea from any combination including Goat's Rue (I drink this as a tea alone, not with any other herb, for supply issues. It is really the best thing I have ever used for low milk supply), blessed thistle, nettle, alfalfa and anise.
Here is the wiki site with other ones as well http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galactagogue
I buy my herbs from http://mountainroseherbs.com/ where they are organic, fair trade and just an all around awesome company.
Good luck and don't give up!
Luna is not gaining well. She was 7#12 at birth, 7#5 at one week, 7#6 at two weeks, and at three weeks is only a 1/2 oz more than that (by a different scale though, midwife is coming today to weigh her on the original fish scale these weights were taken on, last few weight checks have been on digital scale with lactation consultant). It seems she has tongue and lip tie as indicated by poor weight gain, green poop, heart shape tongue, and smooshed nipples. At first the thought of clipping her tongue sounded horrifying, but right now the thought of extended pumping and breastfeeding intervention sounds even worse.
scowgrl, I soo understand on all accounts. Having them breath down your back like your doing something wrong or your baby is dieing is awful. [...] Luna had her tongue clipped today, her upper lip didn't need it. It was very fast and simple. She hardly bled or cried. Really hoping this does the trick and she is able to nurse more efficiently now.
Sending lots of love to you all, this is hard work! Still can't believe just about any yahoo can have a baby!
I am so glad Luna got her tongue tie clipped and that it was a relatively easy procedure. Thank you so much for your kind words in the midst of your stress with your DD. Evelyn is pooping and peeing so much that I am inclined to think you are right and she's just a slow gainer. DH was super skinny until about age 30 so it's possible she just takes after him. Huge hugs to you and I hope nursing is going better. God knows you are putting your heart and soul into it. I just know Luna appreciates it and is doing well.
scowgirl! I know feeding issues can be hard. Do you feel you are making enough milk? Your milk probably just took awhile to come in but also I have heard that the average baby loses 10% of their body weight before gaining it back and that it is by 2 weeks that baby should be back at birth weight. I would be diligent about taking down not only lb & oz weights at home, but recording for yourself the weight in grams at each appt and making sure that they all weigh her the same (generally it is completely nude but I know some nurses who try to rush through it will do it with some clothes or diaper on, regardless of if it is full or not). O had a lot of issues with my preemie baby when he was still getting the hang of breastfeeding and his ped was kind of a douche about it.
Also, if pumping is necessary it might be worth renting a hospital grade pump from a pharmacy or even babies r us carries them. With DS1 (preemie) the medela pump-in-style got maybe an ounce each time I pumped (this wasn't even with me nursing him) and with the Medela Lactina or Symphony I got like 5+ oz each time I pumped.
Also, if you do think you have low milk supply, one of the BEST herbs that I have ever used for increasing milk supply is Goat's Rue. I bought a pound of it (most cost effective amount, $20 for the 1 lb or $16 for 8 oz or 11 or so for 4 oz) from Mountain Rose Herbs. The Goat's Rue from there is certified organic as well. I drank 1 cup when Sebastian started his 3 week growth spurt and my milk supply doubled and he had no problem getting enough milk (as opposed to him feeding every waking second like DS1 and DS2 did with growth spurts).
triple07--thanks for the hugs and this is great advice. If Evelyn doesn't put on as much weight as we are expecting over the weekend, I am planning to make an appointment with the lactation consultants at our hospital (probably should have done this before, but I was putting it off just because I'm afraid they won't be able to do anything for me... I know this is irrational, but there it is) and I think I will also go for the hospital grade pump. I had no idea they could be that much more productive than the Pump In Style. Even if my supply is OK now, I'm already starting to worry about pumping enough when I go back to work. I also hadn't heard of goat's rue so it's great to have something I can try that has a good chance of being effective.
I get a good letdown about half to 2/3 of the time, it seems--she sucks a few times and then milk starts overflowing her mouth. Sometimes I even worry it's too much because she might cough a little. But then other times I don't get that so I'm not sure. It's so hard to trust your body.
scowgirl, try really hard not to worry if she is peeing and pooping and seems satisfied. cluster feeding is normal and her way of building your supply up. you do not have to supplement at all. is there any particular reason you are pumping? besides to see what you can get? nursing is way more efficient and a lot less stress and work. I am not a good pumper at all, at most I get 3 oz and that is with older babies. in the beginning I am lucky to pump an ounce. i have a friend who routinely overflows bottles on both sides, so 5+ounce each!s. everyone is different. also, i weighed dd before and after nursing and she gained 4 ounces! so i can pump one ounce, but she is obviously getting more than that. try not to worry! i really think how much your baby is outputting is the most important thing. if that is good, you are good! it is so hard not to stress when doctors insist something is not right, but they aren't necessarily right either.
Thanks for this--it is great to hear the experience of all of you folks who have successfully nursed their babies. I'm mainly pumping to try and increase supply, but I don't know how well it's working. Nursing is definitely WAY less stressful. The ped wanted me to try "power pumping" (5 min per hour for 4 hours) but I just got so tired and demoralized after a few sessions. I felt like such a failure, like I wasn't even willing to put in the work to feed my baby. Pumping is surprisingly tough mentally, especially when you don't get much.
I've never been able to pump more than a few drops, but never had supply issues. Big hugs to you, scowgirl. Just try to relax and enjoy nursing your LO- and drink lots of water! Especially during cluster feeds.
AFM, this is day #2 of reality- DH is at work and I am home with the hooligans--er, sweet, darling little boys & my newborn. It feels nice to be establishing a 'new normal', but wow, the exhaustion is really setting in.
Thanks--this is very reassuring (re: low pumping output not necessarily meaning poor supply). I hope the exhaustion is getting better for you! As a first-time parent I can say honestly that I have NO IDEA how all of you experienced moms do it with more than one. You deserve a medal.
OK, baby is crying... feeding time. Thanks again, everyone.
Awesome, fruitfulmomma! Charlotte will be 3 weeks tomorrow as well...I'm not sure what she weighs, but her chin(s) and thighs suggest a pretty substantial gain so far.
On another note...my pp bleeding had slowed to mostly just brown spotting until this afternoon when I passed several clots and am now bleeding like a normal period again, ugh. Is that normal?
That is exactly how I was. After about 3 weeks I thought my bleeding was done. Then every 2 - 3 days I would get AF looking bleeding for about half the day, sometime with clots, then the next day it would be back to light pink/creamy. It had been gone this whole past week and all the walking DS1 to school every day must've caught up with me because I got a little spotting again.
I think it is normal unless it smells, you start running a fever, achy, dizzy, etc. I called a triage nurse and she reassured me I was fine.
I don't have a baby scale, I usually just weigh myself then weigh Sebastian and deduct my weight from combined weight. As per that method (which can be ounces off) he is about 10 lb (birth weight was 6 12, discharge weight was 6 4) at 5 weeks. Not too shabby :) I will get a legit weigh in tomorrow at a WIC appt.
Kinza- my heart really goes out to you, that sounds so, so hard. Are you feeling better physically after everything you went through? I'm so glad your girls see doing okay. I will keep your family in my thoughts.
Scowgirl, I'm really glad that Evelyn is doing well. The same goes for Charlotte, tolovemercy, and for your little girl, fruitfulmomma! And Sebastian is growing like a weed, Triple 07! We had a slower time getting back to birth weight than we'd have liked, but I'm sure Risa is back there now. We had to go to the pediatrician 3 times for weight checks, ugh. But now things are improving. Her latch can be very lazy, so every feeding session takes quite a bit of work. As much as I adore my cuddly newborn, I will definitely enjoy some things as she gets older as well.
Anyway, it's feeding time again... I hope to check in much more often now that things are improving.
I can't believe my baby is 6 weeks already! After the first week or two, I thought 6 weeks sounded SO OLD and we'd never get there. But that was because nursing was so difficult and painful, and Edith was so hungry that she wasn't exactly the happiest camper. It sounds like a lot of other mamas were in the same boat, and I feel for you. There were times I'd cry because I just wanted to have a normal nursing relationship with my daughter - to let her nurse without watching the clock, to latch her on without struggling for several minutes, without counting swallows. So rough. But we're past that now.
Edith now has two chins, fat rolls on her arms, and a chubby bottom She is SO alert and loves being outside, and she has started smiling at people. Last night, I put her down in my bed (sound asleep) and she stayed asleep while I rolled out and went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth and got a drink of water. For a temporarily single mama (dh is military) that is practically like a vacation.
Hi All - I enjoy reading everyone's posts and birth stories. I wasn't able to reply to everyone as most often I had baby Zack in my arms. Zack was also early, he is 6 1/2 weeks old, or 47 days old. He still nurses about every two hours with occasional longer spells of 3 hours. Last night he went five hours from 9 p.m. - 2 a.m. Too bad I wasn't home until 1130 p.m. Then he was up at 2 a.m., 4, 6:30, 7:20 and 9:30. Today he went another five hours - again I wasn't home to nap as we were at a birthday party. My breasts get pretty sore waiting that long. I got out the pump and set it all up so that if he doesn't nurse after hour #3, I think I'll start pumping at least a little bit to take off the pressure.
We have our two month checkup on 8/22. I am very curious to know how he's grown. He still is either nursing or sleeping although sometimes he is awake for an hour or two. He always looks so serious and only in his sleep have I seen something that looks like a smile.
I've been working out details of maternity leave and my FMLA extended leave was denied as I started in January 2012 and in the denial letter it states that I had to have worked for previous 12 months. So, there is a Minnesota family leave option that will give me six additional weeks of no pay and/or part-time work. I'm planning on returning part-time on 9/4, so only three more weeks of maternity leave for me. Frankly, I am quite disappointed in the dismal maternity leave provided in this country and my company. In the end, I will get five weeks of 80% of my pay. All other weeks are either from my earned vacation time or unpaid.
I do have to say that other than the over-active nursing schedule, nursing seems to be going OK. I am not nearly as sore as I was with my first baby and so far I think I'm keeping up with his demand. He is certainly getting bigger. DH had to squeeze him into his newborn pj's today and declared that was the last time we'd use them. He looks so long and he's really filled out since birth - he had a lot of extra hanging skin that I'm sure would have been all plumped up if he had gone to term.
Anyone else planning on returning to work?
I have been checking back but there hasn't been any activity. Awesome weight gain! Sebastian is at 13.5 lbs at 2 1/2 m, exactly doubling his birth weight lol!
How are all of our babes doing? Sebastian co sleeps and sleeps pretty much through the night, waking to nurse maybe once or twice and still sleeps for most of the day. But when he is up for his 6 or so h per day he is all smiles, babbling, blowing bubbles (too funny when he does) and clucking his tongue (adorable, since the noise seems to surprise him often lol)
And he has dimples, which is a first of my 3 boys. I LOVE them!
7 weeks over here and she has gained three pounds since birth :) She loves her boobie juice!
Here is our birth story; http://domesticdharma.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/birth-story-of-nathalia-christine/