While my breasts don’t twitter, I know some of you have been following their functionality with interest. And some of you (ahem, Brian, Finch) prefer not to know about my bodily functions! Sorry guys–feel free to stop reading at this point.
Breastfeeding after reduction surgery is unpredictable. Supply can increase with each child; or may not. While I had hoped to build a full supply of milk, I did not.
Cedar: Still getting breastmilk for all her meals. I’ve been so blessed by milk donation. She nurses off and on through the night and I do not have to give a supplemental bottle from about 8pm-10am. During the day, it is challenging to get her to nurse. She prefers to nurse with both of us lying down; which makes nursing in public difficult. Ok, impossible. It is infuriating because I’m all about women’s right to nurse in public and I want to promote our visibility. Not to be. At least right now. And I will admit that I’m a tad embarrassed to feed her with a bottle in public so I often do that in the car. Cedar’s other frustrating quirk is that she won’t comfort nurse. Boo.
Me: I have weaned off some of the herbs and helps. Currently, I’m on the maximum GRAS amount of fenugreek. So, yeah, still smelling like maple syrup. I decreased my dosage of domperidone. I’m on 90mg/day. I drink at least one strong cup of mother’s milk tea with caraway/fennel/goat’s rue/nettle/oatstraw/milk thistle every day. And I take an alfalfa supplement. Emotionally, I’m still processing the experience and my disappointment. I need lots of reassurance that I did everything possible. My friends have been super positive about my processing.
I had one major meltdown last week when I’d planned an afternoon in Greer for playing with friends and running some errands. I managed to spill all of Cedar’s donor milk. My options were to buy formula or go home. I went home. And I was spluttery mad that my breasts wouldn’t make enough milk. Irrational regret and beating-up-of-self.
Still, breasts are so amazing. Did you know that your breasts can regulate the different temperature needs of twins? One breast will heat up for one twin and the other will cool down if needed. It is called Breast Biosynchrony. How incredible! Men don’t have such cool super-powers.
I’m sorry to hear that your lactation plan hasn’t gone as you had hoped. I would have been in tears over the spilled milk (ignore the cliche). I also get not wanting to use a bottle in public. My nephew is a formula baby from day one and when I’ve watched him, I hated to use the bottle even at home. I know he isn’t my kid but still, I don’t like bottles much. Liam of course used one when I went back to work, but I never gave him one myself. It was always my husband.
As for the biosynchrony. Very cool.
I would’ve cried over that milk for sure! Erik is also a lie-down nurser and I too want to be more visible about breastfeeding in public. Alex used to want to nurse everywhere (the sweet exhibitionist) so it’s hard to adjust. Erik also does not nurse that much for comfort either, unless it is in the afternoon and all is still in the house. Once it is bedtime he wants nothing to do with me! I’m so sorry nature did not cooperate but YOU did everything possible, mama, you went to the beyonds for your baby.
If it’s any consolation, without you and the lactation consultant, I may have given up when we had oversupply and latch issues. So, thanks in large part to you, Jack has been thriving on breast milk and now we both enjoy nursing. If you are ever in Greer and need milk again, please don’t hesitate to call me. If I am home, I can help you and Cedar and I would love to return the favor.
Katy, that is such a hugely warm thing to say! However, you’re a fierce mama and you were no where close to giving up.
I should have thought to call you.
I’ve never known a mommy to work so hard at breastfeeding…I’m sure you “know” this but you have NO reason to beat up on yourself. Cedar will be so grateful one day to know how hard you worked to give her a good (rather, many good) meal(s). 🙂
You wrote your piece on all the things you were doing differently this BFAR time around just as I too was about to embark on BFAR2 experience. At the time I was encouraged and inspired by your dedication. I did just about everything you did in preparing minus Domper. And our journey’s have gone similarly. Luca is going on 6 mos now and still nurses at the beginning of every feeding, although, like most babies his age, will hardly stay at the breast during the daytime b/c there’s just too many things to take his attention. I’d hoped, like you, that with ultra-preparedness, and a little luck, that I’d have a full supply this time. Instead, he “maybe” get’s 1 oz from me and then finishes off a bottle (4oz +/-) of donated BM. We’ve been SOOOOOO blessed to give him 90% donor milk so far. However, the milk is running out, so my goal of getting to a year on breastmilk may not be met.
It’s interesting that you shared feeling uncomfortable and feeding a bottle in a car. I had an experience when Luca was about 3 1/2 mos old where I’d returned home to Western PA, and had gone out to dinner with friends. The resturant was very crowded and my kids were hungry and tired. Even though I nursed DD unil 15 mos, and had nursed DS so far, I suddenly felt self conscious about nursing in public. I guess, since I felt like if I EBF then it wouldn’t be a choice about feeding my kid in public. But since I had a bottle right there, there was more room for self doubt. I went (gasp) to the bathroom to nurse and returned to bottle feed at the table. And on top of it I felt guilty b/c my bestie was across the table from me and pregnant with her first baby. I was setting bad example!
Anyway, just wanted to say keep up the good work and I’m here BFARing with ya!
Emily, I’ve wondered several times how things were going with you! I’m so glad you shared your story. It is nice to *know* someone who is going through the same emotional experience. I’ve almost run out of donor milk a few times but milkshare has always come through for me. I hope you find a source. And if not, you made it to 6 months which is incredible!! I never thought I could find that much donor milk.
Cedar is slowly starting to nurse more for comfort which is nice.
Luca is lucky to have such a dedicated and determined mama!!