I am new here. But in desperate need of help. I am sure this is going to be quite long, just to be able to explain our situation.
I have a 16 week-old baby girl. She was doing great bf until about 8 weeks, when she was nursing steady and then all of a sudden we started having some projectile vomitting. We were told even in the NICU that she has had reflux, however, our family physician has said in the past that he thought she was just getting a lot from me, more than she needed causing the reflux and projectile vomitting. It seemed that when this projectile vomitting began she started decreasing her frequency and length of feeds. I know that I have OALD.
Around that time I was experiencing some health complications, that resulted in needing a total hysterectomy. I knew it was coming and was told that my baby would not be able to come into the hospital with me, so my dh and I started trying to get her used to the bottle, so that she would have my ebm while I was in the hospital. Because of my health problems, I ended up becoming very anemic and having very little energy, and maybe got a little lazy with her positioning as I just have not had the strength to support her weight the way she needs to, even using pillows etc. So, fast-forward to now, I have had my total abdominal hysterectomy, still experiencing some complications and complications related to the surgery, but I want so desperately to get my baby back to the breast exclusively. She now seems to have a preference for the bottle, doesn't seem to want to work at the breast, not opening wide, very little/shallow sucks, not enough to elicit a let-down quick enough for her (only 30-60 secs to get letdown but she gets impatient). Thus we end up giving her a bottle a lot, or so it seems, best time to feed her is during the night, when she is sleepy, but even the last couple of days have been a struggle. I have tried giving her an ounce from the bottle and putting her back to breast when this happens just to take the edge off her hunger (and I'm not waiting to feed her until she is starving) but she starts screaming.
So, I have been pumping like crazy, every 2-3 hours whether she feeds or not, and I am completely exhausted. I know it is inhibiting my recovery, along with dealing with the other continuing complications and anemia. I do have enough breastmilk stored in my freezer to get her approximately another 6 months of breastmilk (I have always had a good supply, but it is also very sensitive to the whole supply and demand, thus pumping so much), but even with my large freezer stash, I so desperately want to get her back to exclusively breast, as I can't keep up this pumping schedule and I am not ready to give up. My dh is worried about me, saying that this is not good for me, and that I need to worry about my own health for the sake of our new baby and other children, but our breastfeeding relationship means so much to me, that I am not willing to give up yet. But it is definitely driving me CRAZY! I am going to try an SNS to see if her getting instant gratification when she sucks at the breast will help her to suck more strongly to elicit a quicker letdown for her.
I appreciate if you managed to make your way through this, as I know this is quite long. I want to do what is right for her and for our family, as the schedule of trying to feed her and pumping is not allowing me much time for anything else, especially healing right now. But I continue to persevere, cuz I know mommy's milk is best, and it has been doing her well, she was born at 6lbs 5oz, went down to 5lbs 7oz first week, and as of two weeks ago was 12lbs 11 oz, so she has already doubled her birth weight before 4 months.
Thank you again!