Thursday, October 22, 2009

The truth about breastfeeding (dun duh duhhhhhhh!!!!!)

I'm really glad that God sent me to a family with sisters.

When my water broke I called Katy and asked her if my water really broke (partly because google didn't really know) she said it did. She was right. I probably wouldn't have gone to the hospital if I hadn't talked to her. My appointment with Dr. Man was the next day at 2:30 in the afternoon and I sorta figured I'd just talk to him about it then. Thomas was born at 2:19 the next day. Waiting for the Dr. appointment would have been a bad choice.

When my boobs weren't making milk I called Sarah and asked her what was wrong. Of course she could only tell me her experience, but it turns out that her experience feels exactly like mine.

When my milk came in I told my mom that my colostrum was getting watery. She told me that's because it was milk not colostrum.

And by "my milk came in" I mean "after squeezing and playing and pinching so I could to get the kid to latch on I was able to express almost a whole drop of fluid." I still haven't felt "full" or engorged or really even productive forget about leaking milk everywhere.

I spend 15-20 minutes pumping with the super-duper heavy-duty $1800 hospital pump and get a combined 1/4 -1/2 ounce of milk if I'm lucky. Sometimes I get nothing. Baby Thomas will eat suck for 30 minutes at a time, but I sortof don't think he's getting anything after the first 5 minutes. That's because when I pump I can see the milk coming out. Usually it's like 5-10 productive sucks then 20-30 unproductive sucks. But that's only for the first 5 minutes. After that it's nothing. He's just sucking because it's so dang much fun for everyone involved. He is always still starving after sucking for at least 30 minutes (usually more like 45 or an hour).

The milk I do get is the thickness of watered down soy milk.

Compare that with someone like Lindsey who has so much milk she needs to buy a deep freezer. Me? I literally spent 15 minutes trying to figure out how to get the 3 drops of spilt milk off my counter and into a bottle for him to be able to eat. Because those 3 drops were a big difference to me.

So, to every Lactation Consultant who will tell me that it's "just supply/demand" I say "mmhmmm.....and so is the price of gas." (snicker snicker snort - I'm so funny.)

Fortunately Lactation Lady never said any such thing. She's really supportive of anything I want to do and I don't feel like she'll tell me I'm a bad mom for using formula. And I'm not.

I'm not giving up, or quitting, and I know it's only been 2 weeks. But I'm no longer going to spend 2 of every 3 hours trying to feed my baby. I'm not going to invest in a $300 pump to try to suck 3 drops out of my boobs. I'm not going to deprive myself and my baby of a much needed good night's sleep. And I'm certainly not going to starve my child (I promised him I would never let him starve during my major emotional breakdown).

What I am going to do is give the kid a bottle when he's hungry and sick of sucking on my dry boobs. I am going to enjoy feeding him. I am going to hold him while I feed him and tell him that I love him. I am going to watch Josh feed him and remember that my baby is loved by his daddy. I am going to enjoy the freedom that comes in the form of a bottle of formula. (Josh, your turn to feed the kid, I'm going on a walk.) I am going to remember that the formula probably has more nutrients than my particular brand of water-milk. I am going to breastfeed him when I have something to give, but I will not deprive my child of food because I want my body  to provide him with everything he needs.

And all of that is fine by me.


  1. Hi- You don't know me, I accidentally linked to your blog through my cousin Kira Palmer's blog. But I got sucked in to your story because I can so can relate! I also had fertility problems, then after we had our long awaited baby I had no milk! I also starved my baby for a week until it was discovered.

    Then my doc told me I wouldn't make milk and while I was in tears in her office, she said " Leave here, go to Walmart and get some bottles and formula and start enjoying your baby". I did just that and it was such a relief actually. I finally began to enjoy mealtime (I also did that supplement contraption for a week-yuck)!Not to mention, my husband loved feeding her and I really enjoyed the freedom.
    The system worked so well for us that I actually opted to go that route with our second child. Some women gasp! But, hey, my kids are healthy and happy, off the charts on growth and reaching their mile stones on time if not early. They are bonded to me because I am mommy and am home raising them every day!
    Just wanted you to know that there were others out there with this situation and it will be okay. YOUR BABY WILL BE JUST FINE!!!

  2. Good for you! I hope feeding time will be so nice for both of you!

  3. Hi Amy! This is Jamie's old co-worker, you interviewed for my position. Congrats on the new little one! He is adorable! I'm so excited for you. Reading your stories has brought back so many fun memories of being a new mom! Enjoy every minute of it, they grow up way too fast. I just want you to know I had the same problems with breast feeding. I would pump forever and nothing would come out. It was frustrating. Abbie has done just fine on formula. She has only gotten sick about 3 times and she is off the growth charts. I even had people tell me how horrible of a mother I was because I wasn't breastfeeding. Don't listen to them, they are just jealous because they don't have the time to enjoy their child like we do.

  4. Oh Amy! We all have our obstacles don't we? Who would have known this breast feeding thing was going to be such a pain in our rears!? I know you've had and heard all the advice there is to give, but I must add that actually enjoying our babies is(AHEM)just a little important. Doing what feels right and what is best for you, your baby, and lets be honest your sanity (me too) then you've made the right choice. Now just move forward and enjoy it.

  5. You are a GREAT MOM!!! I didn't "give up" either but my situation was a little different. I produced a LOT but Jerimiah wanted NOTHING to do with me breastfeeding. I pumped for about a month and after a month I decided that was TOO much work (pump 15-20 minutes, feed 15-20 minutes, then about 15-20 minutes later start the whole process over again)...he's going to grow up just fine and nobody will EVER ask him on an application "Did your mother brestfeed you?"

    GO AMY!

  6. I can only imagine the relief of letting go of all that stress! You deserve a pat on the back for doing what's best for your guys.

  7. You gotta do what works for you. You worked so hard to get that baby you better enjoy him. If this is stressing you let it go :)


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