Friday, December 19, 2008

Feeding Woes

I'm really having a rough go of it right now.

The breastfeeding thing is not going well and I am a fucking mess.

After my milk came in, things seemed to be going better. After a day, Ruby had gained an ounce and I was soooo happy and excited and feeling so good about things.

But feeding her continues to be a struggle. She's sleepy all the time and no matter what I do, she's just not being a good eater. (I've done everything - strip her down, burp her, change her diaper, ticker her, talk to her, blow in her face, put a cool cloth on her) She seems to want to fight with the nipple. She grabs at it and shakes her head and then latches on and sucks but only momentarily before she throws her head back again and spits it out and then frantically tries to find it again. Over and over and over. And then when she finally gets on it and starts sucking good, she usually falls asleep. It's just gotten worse and worse and yesterday she didn't feed well at all.

So no big surprise that when I weighed her yesterday she was down 2 ounces - which caused me to nearly have a nervous breakdown.

We called the midwife and she instructed me to immediately go out and get (rent) an electric breast pump and start expressing my milk. She said to breastfeed Ruby for 10 minutes on each breast and then top her up with a bottle of expressed milk. She said I should only need to do this for a week or so until Ruby gains some weight and then wants to eat more, at which point I can put her back on the boob exclusively.

So out we went into the freezing snow and cold last night at 10pm to the late night pharmacy and got all the stuff I needed.

The first feeding went so well. I gave her the boob for a little while until she wouldn't take it anymore (and it got too frustrating) and then I pumped and gave her the bottle. She took the bottle so well! She just sucked the milk back so eagerly which made me realize that there is no way she's been getting enough up until that point.

During that initial pumping I got a good amount of milk out and had some leftover which I put in the fridge.

But then when I tried to do the same thing at 2am, I barely had any milk! I was so disappointed because I had felt so good about the first pumped feeding and thought we were on the road to having a solution. Luckily I had the leftover milk from the first pumping, which I topped her up with.

Since then, I've had to top up the past two feedings because not enough milk is coming out. I'm so frustrated and upset. I just want to be able to do this!!! My boobs don't feel hard and full anymore, they're soft and mushy like before my milk came in.

I don't know why my milk supply went down so much. I did buy a new sports bra yesterday evening which I wonder now if it's too tight. I took it off early this morning and am just going bra-less. I've also tried to get more fluid in my body because perhaps I'm not hydrated enough?? I just don't know why it's happening but I'd do anything right now to fix this.

If she doesn't get enough milk from me I'm going to have to top her up with formula and I really, really don't want to have to do that.

On top of all this, Steve is back at work and I'm here alone trying to make it all work. It's hard using a double electric breast pump while trying to make sure Ruby is happy. The midwife told me that Steve needed to be home today to help me because this is getting really hard (and I'm still not feeling 100%) but he just couldn't call in sick... And he doesn't quite seem to understand why I'm sooo upset about it. He keeps telling me, "don't worry", "it will be fine", "you're doing great" "why are you crying??" but he doesn't know what it feels like to be in my position.

Why does it have to be so hard?

I'm so frustrated and upset.

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