Friday, May 4, 2012

Adventures in Baby Feeding

Fair warning that the following is both long and an exercise in TMI.

Somewhere in the evolutionary chain there was a break.  I say this because there is no reason why it should be this hard to do what should be natural - feed your baby.  I have titties.  Titties should make milk and shuttle those milks to said baby in a natural and painless manor.  Nope.  Evolutionary fail.

Lets start from the beginning.  In the hospital I thought Sam was latching well (with the aide of a nipple shield) but had no clue how to tell if he was getting enough milk.  When we got home I continued to do all the things the lactation consultant had suggested, but as the days ticked on Sam was more and more inconsolable.  He would scream and cry till he would pass out.  He continued to loose weight.  At around 2 weeks of age the Dr told us to start supplementing with formula to help get his weight up.  Enter into our lives the wonderful wonderfulness that is Similac.  If only it were cheaper.

I realize that most women don't speak of formula with a sense of love and comfort.  But for me, that's exactly what it was.  I knew hidden somewhere inside that angry badger was my sweet little Sam.  He was so hungry.  And it was a hunger that I simply could not satisfy.  Immediately after the beautiful box of mixy goodness came into our lives my sweet little baby returned to us.  He stopped crying non stop with those horrible giant tears streaming down his face.  He started sleeping restfully.  We started to get some sleep.  It was wonderful.

But there is always a drawback.  Now that my precious pigeon pea knew the glory that was FOOD, he grew impatient with my breastfeeding efforts.  I would put him to my breast and he would suck hard and give me the most hateful looks when the milk wasn't there.  He sucked so hard that my nipples started to bleed and still give me those hurtful little eyes that told me something was not right.  The only thing that would make it all better was the bottle of Similac crack.  We bought a breast pump to give my poor nipples some relief.  That's when I learned of my evolutionary fail.

After doing a little research I discovered that women with PCOS infertility can sometimes experience unusually low milk supply.  After almost 10 weeks of trying to fight the good fight, I am ready to accept that I am one of these women.  When I strap on that breast pump I am lucky if I get 2 oz combined.  Most of that comes from the right boob.  The left one I'm lucky if I get more than 10ml.  No wonder he was so angry.  And on the rare occasion that I do put him to my breast to attempt a natural feeding again I pay the price for the next few pumping sessions.

Sorry, but I warned you this was going to be an over share kind of a post.

But the story doesn't end there.  Oh no.  That would be too easy.  Yes, I just said easy in relation to the bloody breast pump horror story.  See, Sam has reflux.  So every time he would eat some to half of it would come back up.  Vomit on us, the couch, the bedding, his clothes, etc.  And the little whimpers he recently developed let me know that this was something causing him some pain.  I've had acid reflux before, so I know it's not pleasant.  On the good Dr's suggestion we added yet another change.

Enter into our lives the new and improved Enfamil AR!  You know it's better because it has a little ducky on the label.

This formula has rice starch mixed in to help it thicken slightly and stay in his tummy a bit better.  He's been on this new formula for about a week now and I'm happy to report he doesn't spit up nearly as much as he had been.  This formula is of course harder to find, you can't buy it in bulk, and we had to buy faster flow nipples for all his bottles. . .but at least we have a happy Sam.  So far so good.  Hopefully this is the solution we need.  Cause this poor baby has been through enough. 


  1. Aww, poor you guys. I didn't realize your supply was so low, that's about what I was getting when I pumped for those two months before mine dried up. I kind of wish I'd just stopped pumping earlier considering all of the mental anguish it caused me. And my boobs didn't bleed. esh. Did the PED tell you to hold him upright during and after the feeding? Cus that will also help him not lose his lunch.

  2. Yeah, we hold him upright while feeding, burp often, and hold him upright for 10-15 min after eating before laying down to sleep or play. I keep pumping and feeding what I can for now. We'll see how long I can keep this up. As long as I don't put him on my boob I don't bleed or have pain while pumping. But with each passing week I see less and less milk in the collection bottle.
    Whatcha gonna do? It is what it is and at least I tried. That I can say and never feel guilty about no matter what grief people give me about not whipping out a tit.

  3. Good for you for trying so hard! Here's some unsolicited advice (because new mothers don't get nearly enough advice...) The number one thing that made pumping work for me was how much water I was drinking. I noticed a huge difference in production just based on my water intake. More water is definitely better! Like as much as you can possibly drink...

  4. I do drink a lot, but it can't hurt to drink more. Every little bit helps, right?