Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pumping Woes

I'm proud to say that E is fed breast milk exclusively. In the NICU, he was fed fortified breast milk, and then plain breast milk but 2 feedings a day of Enfamil Enfacare for the extra calories and iron. He never really needed the extra calories, he gained weight like a superstar, but he was really very anemic (barely escaped a blood transfusion in the NICU) so he needed the iron. He got off that when he hit 40 weeks, and has just had breast milk ever since.

I was a superstar pumper while he was in the NICU. About 4 weeks postpartum I was pumping 60 ounces a day. It was fab. I had a huuuuge freezer stash. I mean huge.

When I first brought him home, I totally thought nursing was going to work. I attempted nursing at all daytime feedings, but followed up with a bottle because he was still really small and I didn't want him losing weight. So I was still mostly pumping.

Then, the poop hit the fan and I found out about M's affair, and my milk supply went poof. Gone in an instant. I started taking More Milk Plus immediately and that got it back up, and I was even able to freeze a little. I'd say I was pumping about 35 oz/day. But that stuff is expensive and when it was gone I didn't buy more. I did okay for awhile but stopped having anything left over to freeze. Then M and I had a nasty fight and I needed to thaw some of the frozen stuff. So I bought some fenugreek and have been taking that 3 times a day religiously. It didn't help a whole lot.

Now I'm going on 5 months of pumping exclusively - I stopped trying to nurse after I found out about the affair - it was just too stressful at that point. I've tried since, but E rejects the breast. I think he doesn't recognize the texture as 'food,' and then since it takes a minute for let down he just gets frustrated and pulls off and screams. He'll latch with a nipple shield, but is very slow and will take almost a full feeding from a bottle after 30-45 min of nursing, so I don't think he's getting a whole lot. It's frustrating. So therefore, I'm still EP'ing.

Now that I'm going back to school, it would be sooo nice to have a freezer stash so I could just leave it at my sister's house for when she watches E. My big NICU stash got thrown away by M. I tried to have his parents bring some out when they brought my stuff out here, but they didn't ice it properly for the duration of the trip and it was all melted when it got here. *sigh* I wanted to donate it, but M didn't have time for nonsense like helping other people. Anyway, I'm considering asking my OB for some Reglan, but am concerned about the side effect of depression, since I'm on Zoloft and feeling fabulous on it. I don't want to feel un-fabulous quite yet. The fenugreek wasn't so helpful - I got a suggestion from the fabulous @earth_mommy on Twitter to try a combo of fenugreek and saw palmetto. Or I could just cough up and buy the More Milk Plus again, but it's just so painfully expensive... but it did work for me.

Today I've just been focusing on drinking lots of water and pumping faithfully every 3 hours. Hopefully that on its own will help, and then whatever I decide to do in addition will help get me a freezer stash!! This whole pumping thing is certainly not for the faint of heart... it's a ton of work!!


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