ARGH!!!!!!!!

Recovering from birth & months of Hyperemesis, encompassing post-partum concerns such as nutritional and physical recovery from HG, breastfeeding support, and infant medical issues stemming from HG (infant reflux, feeding issues, prematurity, etc.).

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ARGH!!!!!!!!

Postby meg » May 06, 2005 5:47 pm

A week ago I posted to someone that bfing was going well. Who was that mommy and what happened to her and her dd?

The latch is improving. The engorgement is being managed and improving, too. Now all of a sudden I am questioning my milk supply. Starting sometime in the wee hours Moira Grace began nursing for an hour at a time every two hours and fussing like she wasn't satisfied even after these marathon feedings. This evening before dinner after bfing for an hour and still screaming for more I broke down and tried some formula. She gulped down two ounces, burped and slumped onto my chest, falling into a deep sleep for the first time all day. (She'd slept previously, but very restlessly, waking up a lot and fussing.) Now she is not a vigorous nurser and she also does do that suck, sleep, suck, sleep thing that some newborns do... dh thinks she just isn't efficient enough to get enough milk as I seem to have plenty when I try to express some milk to relieve the engorgment. (Please don't recommend pumping, btw, I have no sensation of let down and this has made pumping very difficult for me in the past. Now that I am spending nearly 12 hours a day nursing, I can't even imagine having the time or inclination to try pumping!) I do, however, feel very "empty" after an hour of nursing. It actually begins to feel painful as if I've been sucked dry. Oh, she has plenty of wet and dirty diapers which I was always told was the measure of whether or not baby was "getting enough" but with this fussiness, I'm no longer sure if this is reliable.

I feel like I've never nursed before and frankly, I feel like an utter failure. How can this be so difficult? And, can you be engorged and not making enough milk, simultaneously?

Help!
Hugs,
Meg

Mom to Anabel (7), Patrick (4) and Moira Grace (1)
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Postby emily » May 06, 2005 6:17 pm

Okay, this is what I think. I think you have a very young baby who isn't an efficient nurser yet. I wouldn't worry about supply issues. I would keep nursing her and hang in there. Give her a couple more weeks. Babies also like to suck non-stop. Does she take a pacifier at all? We used to give DD a little finger to suck on since she wouldn't take a pacifier. Dh and I both had raw pinkie fingers.

There may very well be something in your diet that she doesn't like.

Hang in there. I am so sorry. I know how rough it is, but knowing and being in the midst of it are two different things.

Emily
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Postby aaronsmommy » May 06, 2005 6:21 pm

Could it be a growth spurt? She's about 2 weeks old, time for a good one, and sure sounds like typical growth spurt behavior. I used to always think something horrible was happening when Aaron would go through one, then it would just even out. If you are pumping large amounts and she seems to empty the breasts, then I'm sure she is getting large amounts too.

Here's a link about growth spurts from my favorite bf website. Sound familiar?

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/growth-spurt.html

Hang in there, remember, it does get easier.
Aimee

Aaron 12/4/02
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Postby bibliojo » May 06, 2005 6:22 pm

Meg,

I'm wondering if Moira is going through a growth spurt??? If so, just keep on feeding her and your supply will adjust to met her demand. Sorry I don't have anything better to suggest. I do hope things settle for you soon!

Joanna
2 HG pregnancies
Lukas - February 2003
Katya - October 2006

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Postby CathC » May 06, 2005 7:23 pm

Another vote for a growth spurt! I'm sorry it has been so rough!

Blessings,
Cathy
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Postby meg » May 06, 2005 8:32 pm

OK, so it's obviously been awhile since I had a newborn. A growth spurt! I remember those. Somehow I forgot that they started this early. I seem to remember big growth spurts at 3 months, but I forgot about 2 weeks.

Emily, I do think that you're right, too, though. Moira Grace is not efficient at all, as I mentioned in my post and not a big fan of the finger or the pacifier. I think this is why she wants to hang around on the breast all day. :(

She has a doctor's appt on Monday so hopefully that will confirm that she is gaining weight and give me a little boost. My ped just joked that first time parents want to know everything, second time parents do know everything and third time parents seem to have forgotten everything! I guess that is true for me. :lol:
Hugs,
Meg

Mom to Anabel (7), Patrick (4) and Moira Grace (1)
HG Survivor
HG Free since 4.22.05!!!
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Postby Brenda » May 06, 2005 9:23 pm

Meg,

I know what you mean. I breastfed my dd for nine months had overactive letdown, thrush and oversupply. I seem to have forgotten EVERYTHING about bfing. I agree about the growth spurt. Spencer did that for a few days and now he is back to every 2-3 hours. Last night dh and I went out and I had some beer and he slept REALLY GOOD LOL. I only had 2 drinks over 4 hours but I still felt guilty. I just talked to the LLL lady and she told me not to worry that the rule is that if you are sober enough to drive, you can bf and not to pump & dump.

As far as her falling asleep, here's what I do. You may have already tried them. I strip Spencer down so he is cold. If that doesn't work, I take an ice cube to his foot when he stops sucking for a few. It sounds mean, but it has been working and his is much more efficent. The LLL lady also said they consider weeks 3-4, the worst and not to give up. (I mentioned formula was sounding soooo nice).

Hang in there... I'm thinking about you.
Brenda
Isabella HG Baby #1 11/21/02
Spencer HG Baby #2 4/16/05
Victoria HG Baby # 3 12/19/06
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Postby Kadinga » May 09, 2005 12:13 am

Meg,

I hope your doctors appointment has gone well. I was reading your thread and thought "growth spurt" like the other ladies.

I also wanted to say that I sympathise with your engorgment issues. My boobs turned into monsters overnight (F-cup bras had to be let out as far as the straps would go and then only barely covered my nipples) and the only way I could get back to 'normal' size was to stop using the pump and only feed one sided with a flannel soaking up the drip from the spare side while I fed. Thankfully the drip stopped after a week, but DD continued gaining weight on single sided feeds until she was 4 months old. Meanwhile, there was mastitis, thrush from the mastitis meds, severely grazed nipples..... but I seem to remember that I later felt that it was worth it. Thank heavens for a DH who sat next to me chanting "you're doing and good job, you're doing a good job, you're doing a good job".

A trick that I learnt for the sleeping problem was to nudge her (pretty firmly) under the chin when she started the half-asleep twitchy suck.

Once again, I hope things are working out

Amanda
2 HG darlings; Heather, September '03 & Henry, May '06
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Postby meg » May 09, 2005 12:41 pm

Well, Moira Grace was born 7 lbs 4 ozs went home from hospital 6 lbs 12 ozs and at 2 weeks, 3 days weighs in at just 6 lbs 13ozs. :( I am feeling pretty discouraged, my other dd and ds were up well beyond their birth weight at this point. The ped is not overly concerned. She is alert, has wet and dirty diapers and her bfing seems to be improving, not getting worse. She has another appt in 2 weeks so hopefully she will have gained then.
Hugs,
Meg

Mom to Anabel (7), Patrick (4) and Moira Grace (1)
HG Survivor
HG Free since 4.22.05!!!
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Postby nomore » May 09, 2005 1:18 pm

Meg,

I would get in touch with a lacation consulant and talk to her about this. She can evaluate if she thinks there is a problem with supply or any other problem with breasfeeding. They can also weigh the baby BEFORE she nurses and again right after to see how many ounces she is getting. I had supply issues with Madison int eh beginning and she lost a lot of weight and was getting dehydrated. We ended up supplementing, which actually wasnt too bad. It took nearly 2 weeks for my milk suppky to come in, when I could finally feel "let down". We only worked with a pedi last time, but then I met a lacation conusalnt at a new moms group and learned SO much more. I wish we had tried some of her ideas before we did the supplementing. I will DEFINELY give her a call after another baby.

Im thinking about you.... new Mommyhood IS so tiring, espeucally on your poor HG depeleted body. Sending you big hugs....

Robin
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Postby Brenda » May 09, 2005 1:43 pm

Oh Meg,

Try not to be discouraged. I just asked DH what he learned in nursing school and he agreed with your ped. He said sometimes it takes a week or two to gain back the birth weight. It sounds like you are doing great if she is having wet/dirty diapers. Try not to let it get to you. Keep reminding yourself that until week 6-8 bfing can just plain suck. I am typing one handed so I won't repeat, but look at my miracle post in the new moms folder. I am hoping it helps you. Also, if you get a chance and won't mind me calling you, e-mail me your phone number. I have such a hard time e-mailing and posting because I am aleways bfing and one handed and my brain goes faster than I can type. But if you are avoiding the phone or don't want to be disturbed, don't worry you won't hurt my feelings. I just want to stay in better touch with you.

Hugs and I am here if you need me.
Isabella HG Baby #1 11/21/02
Spencer HG Baby #2 4/16/05
Victoria HG Baby # 3 12/19/06
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Postby Kadinga » May 09, 2005 9:49 pm

Meg,

Checking my records...it actually took two weeks for my DD to start gaining weight - before my mastitis etc started. My visiting nurse really badgered me about "starving my baby" and I cried and cried, so I'm feeling for you.

Robin is SO RIGHT about the value of lactation consultants. I rang mine who talked me back from the edge and rang me every day to reassure me that starving babies don't sleep and don't wee and don't poo and seeing as mine was doing all these things I was okay. If Moira Grace is behaving otherwise normally, she's probably going to be okay, but it would help to have an LN helping you with this.

I don't know how it works where you are, but I was able to do a "Day Stay" in the hospital with the LN devoted almost entirely to me (she only left when DD was asleep and definitely not feeding). This changed EVERYTHING for me. Before I went in I also kept a feeding diary for a week where I wrote down everything that DD did, feeding, fussing, sleeping, wees and poos.... the lot, so that if someone wanted to tell me that I wasn't trying hard enough I had my efforts written down to vindicate me.

Try and fit in a relaxing bath or something similar (I know it sounds hard, but do try) as tension won't help you either.

Best of luck

Hugs

Amanda
2 HG darlings; Heather, September '03 & Henry, May '06
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Postby meg » May 10, 2005 3:00 pm

Thanks, ladies, for the support.

Moira Grace and I have spent quite a bit of time with the LC at the hospital and also one affiliated with the pediatrician. They really helped to improve Moira Grace's latch and also to solve my engorgement problems. The general consensus (among the ped, the LC and myself) regarding her lack of weight gain seems to be that it is a problem of efficiency and not supply. The consensus ends there. The ped wants me to try to nurse her every two hours for 15 to 20 minutes on a side and then if she is just "hanging out" rather than actively sucking, take her off the breast to encourage "active nursing." If being taken off of the breast wakes her and she decides she is hungry after all, I'm supposed to offer her 2 ozs of formula which she sucks down with no problem, burps and nods off to a contented sleep. The LC wants me to allow her to nurse when she wants for as long as she wants, concentrating on a good latch and keeping baby awake. Of course, she also wants to do all that weighing before and after a feeding stuff which makes me so anxious - like I'm being tested each time I try to feed my child - are we successful or have we failed again? I don't know what to do. I want to bf, but I also want a healthy baby. I've sort of compromised by letting her nurse on demand at every feeding but the one around 10 or 11 at night. She always seems to sleep for a long stretch after that feeding which is great except that she needs more feedings to get her weight up so we offer her formula after she nurses for as long as she wants at that feeding. I figure we're getting some extra calories into her for that longer stretch of sleep, and yet I'm not confident that this is the right thing either. I'm just hoping that she'll gain some weight soon...
Hugs,
Meg

Mom to Anabel (7), Patrick (4) and Moira Grace (1)
HG Survivor
HG Free since 4.22.05!!!
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Postby HGx3 » May 10, 2005 11:28 pm

Hi Meg!

I am glad you sought out the help of a LC, that is the BEST thing you can do when you are determined to nurse. I agree that it is NOT a supply issue, she just isnt efficient yet. It can take up to 4 weeks for bf to get established and weight gain to be significant. I had this prolem with Josh. No weight gain at 2 weeks, but by 4 weeks we were in great shape!

Lauryn was a very lazy nurser at first. I had to MAKE her nurse. She would suck/sleep. You may need to make dd very uncomfortable at feedings so that she is awake. Before nursing, take off her clothes so that she is not snug as a bug. Rub the back of her head vigorously and call her name when she begins to doze. You will see improvement in nursing sessions in no time as she learns her routine, and the engorgement will improve too.


HTH! Dont get discouraged,this is very normal!!!!
Huge Hugs,
Lisa
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Matthew, 2001
Lauryn, 2002
Joshua,2004

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Postby Kadinga » May 11, 2005 4:52 am

Meg,

I'm sure you're well aware of how negative LNs can be about any use of formula at all, but for what it's worth my SIL gave her son one top-up feed of formula a day, just before a longer sleep just as you are doing, and he eventually didn't need the formula at all any more. She nursed him up to 4 months and then had to stop because of an unsupportive work environment in Indonesia, but her son grew very succussfully and at 4 months of age was almost the same size as my daughter was at 12 months!

It sounds like you are doing what is best for Moira Grace, you, and your family, which is what is most important.

Good luck

Amanda
2 HG darlings; Heather, September '03 & Henry, May '06
"To understand and be understood makes our happiness on earth" (German Proverb)
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