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Thread: Just Needed To Share With Anyone

  1. #1

    Default Just Needed To Share With Anyone

    I went in for a 36 week doctor's appointment and found out my blood pressure was through the roof, after a few hours of monitering and an ultra sound that revealed my daughter was only measuring at 32 weeks I was told I was having a baby that day. Pre eclampsia and inter uterine growth retardation (IUGR) were the culprits. My baby's heart rate would drop with each contraction so suddenly I was being wheeled in for a c section. At 5:09 my beautiful little 3 lb 7 oz baby girl came screaming into the world and it was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. Because of her size her daddy and I got to hold her for just a minute before she was wisked away to the NICU.
    So there I was, sick in bed with my newborn off in the NICU in an incubator. They brought a pump on and I started trying to get my milk to come in. There was a break down 2 days in, I still hadn't gotten to hold my daughter again since that first day and I felt like a failure. Logically I knew it would take time for the milk to come but I couldn't hold my baby when she cried, I couldn't make her better, I couldn't do anything but try to supply her with what I knew she needed and it just wasn't working. I cried years of joy when I got 8mls the next day and carried that small amount down to the NICU like it was a priceless treasure. Over the next few days it got to where I was pumping 70mls each time and I felt like I was finally doing something right.
    After ten days, 4 ozs gained, 24 hours without an OG tube, and two nights in a regular bassinet with her temperature maintained we were able to go home. She was so so small I was terrified, but with a hospital grade pump in hand home we went. See, the pump was necessary because we have to fortify the breast milk at each feeding to add desperately needed calories, and will have to continue to fortify it for up to a year. I had 6 frozen bottles of milk, 3 refrigerated bottles, and the confidence I would continue pumping the same amount, except after a day I wasn't. My stash I accumulated started getting used and instead of the 2ozs she needed every two hours I was only getting 1-1 1/2 oz at the most each time I pumped.
    She's so do small and I know how much good the breastmilk will be for her as a preemie but I'm nearly out. I'm pumping every 2 hours but I just can't keep up with her needs and it's killing me. I keep hoping it's just a slow patch and the next day it will be better and I look down and there is no where near enough milk in the bottle. I've been trying the different foods and have started the fenugreek but I just feel like a failure. All the searches I've done keep talking about nursing and I can't do that either and it just sucks. Everyone tells me not to stress, that I'm making it worse by freaking out but it's this vicious cycle I just can't get out of. Add in new mom exhaustion into the cycle of stress and the fact I spilled an oz today and I just can't help but cry. I know if I have to add a couple of bottles of formula into the mix it will not be the end of the world, I know the bottom line is getting her enough food to gain weight and be a healthy baby, but I also know how healthy breast milk is for baby.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Northern Virginia (Temporarily!)
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: Just Needed To Share With Anyone

    Mama- YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE. However you are feeling is okay to feel, your feelings are legitimate and I don't mean to dismiss them or belittle them-- but I want you to know that you are doing so much for your little one, you are giving her so much love and warmth and caring. Every drop of breast milk she receives is beneficial and filling and meaningful.

    Have you looked into informal milk sharing? The organizations that I'm familiar with are Eats on Feets and Human Milk for Human Babies. Searching for either should give your their main website, and then with links to the local group (often a facebook page). Informal milk sharing is not for everyone, but I think its definitely worth considering.

    Are you using the same pump that you were when at the hospital? If so, are you able to have it checked to make sure that it is still functioning at its best?

    What is your support system like now? Taking care of a new baby is a hard and constant work, and add on top of that pumping and bottles and prematurity-- are their people around you that are taking care of everything else? Keeping you nourished and stalked with water, and doing the laundry and dishes, walking the dog? Pumping every two hours is great!--but incredibly exhausting. Are you taking care of yourself (better yet--are others taking care of you, "mothering the mother"?). Do you have any breastfeeding moms in real life near by?

    I understand that baby has to have fortified milk right now, but is she able/willing to nurse for comfort?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,149

    Default Re: Just Needed To Share With Anyone

    What Erin.in.middletown said.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Just Needed To Share With Anyone

    I know exactly how you feel and want to encourage you not to be discouraged.

    My daughter was born 13 weeks premature due to preeclampsia. Like you I started pumping almost immediately. But my milk never seemed to 'come in', it just slowly increased. For most of her 72 day stay in the NICU I managed to produce more than what she got and was able to build up a stash of frozen milk. But a week before she was discharged her daily intake surpassed my daily output. I was averaging about 370mL and she was getting 400mL. And then when we got home I saw too saw a decrease in my supply. Currently I'm producing 350 mL, she's getting 460mL. We try to nurse four times a day but she won't always bother to suck and she never granted more than 15mL in any of the pre and post weight sessions. And I am stressing out, in fact I spent part of this morning in tears, praying for my supply to increase and for her to nurse.

    Don't feel bad for your tears and fears. Yes, we know they aren't logical, that years from now our ability to provide breastmilk for our children won't affect our bond with them or how good of a mom we are. But right now, as we go through the exhausting process of bottle-feeding and pumping, maybe trying to nurse, every diminished amount seems like a failure. Every drop spilled is a disaster.

    Sometimes I hate the fact that breastmilk is referred to a 'liquid gold'. Yes, breastmilk is a wonderful thing, especially for a preemie. But it is not the be all end all and referring to it as liquid gold can put unneeded pressure on moms.

    My daughter doesn't care whether she gets breastmilk or formula, what she cares about is that all is right with the world when I hold her. And I know that it's the same for your little one. Years from now she won't remember your struggles with pumping, that you might have had to supplement with formula; what she'll remember is that her mom loves her and put her first.

    But the sad part is that even as I write this, I still have that seed of doubt that I'm a failure for being unable to produce milk for daughter. My body failed at keeping her safe inside me and now it's failing at providing sustenance for her. I have to step back and remind myself everything I've done for her and am still doing for her. I have to remind myself that a mother is not defined by her ability to nurse.

    I'm sorry if I said too much. I just want you to know that you're not alone. Erin.in.middletown's advice is great. I will also add that you might want to look into herbal supplements to help boost your supply back to what it was. http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastf..._galactagogue/ has some good info.if your like me and unable to have your little one really nurse, look into sites about exclusive pumping. We might not be doing it by choice but the info is still good.

    Let me know if you'd like to talk further. It sounds like our situations are very similar and sometimes having someone who's facing the same challenges you are can bring relief.

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