Saturday, July 26, 2008

Slowly removing my breast crutch

19 days old

I just can’t keep the schedule of pump after feeding. I just don’t have the time nor the output. Yesterday I tried very hard to pump after every feeding and only got 1.5 ounces expressed towards the end of the day. I was tired, cranky and dreaded the pump. My breasts felt spent and I wound up taking a Tylenol to help with the soreness.

Today I only pumped four times and was able to express close to 12 ounces! Of course she needs minimum 20 ounces but that is progress.

I’m a bit nervous about weaning her off the SNS tube. Actually, it’s probably not weaning her off it but weaning me off it. With the SNS tube, I’m assured she is getting a specific quantity of food. With just the boob, I really don’t have a definitive answer.

I suppose I could just keep using the SNS tube but it is oh so tiring. It takes forever to tape the bloody thing to my boob and then I have to make sure that when she latches the tube is also in her mouth. I’m praying that this coming week, I’ll produce enough milk and BG will latch and suck efficiently that we can wean and not worry about lack of food.

I tried today thinking on the weekend with my husband around, we could deal with any tantrums that may arise. Unfortunately I think it is still too early. Plus my husband was called to work at the last minute so I was essentially on my own with the weaning.

I tried to substitute one feeding with just breast no breast +SNS. She took to both breasts and fed fairly well for 40 minutes. I could tell she was getting food because she swallowed every 3 sucks. I thought that was a good sign.

3 hours later, I should have given her the SNS tube but I was being overly ambitious and tried again. Unfortunately, this time around, she didn’t seem to be happy with the slower flow. After an hour, she was cranky and was beside herself. I wasn’t sure if it was gas issues as she kept arching her back, crying and then a few minutes later passed gas or if she was hungry.

I tried to comfort her and warm her belly in the hopes that a poop would settle her down. No poop just lots of toots came out. Each toot came with a terrible gas face. Maybe a warm bath would settle her tummy troubles.

I gave her a bath. She shrieked and turned red. I gave her an after bath massage. She shrieked and hollered. I warmed her belly with my hand. She shrieked more quietly.

Her diaper was clean I tried soothing her. The next thing was to feed her. I feed her on the breast with SNS and she drank 2.7 ounces from the SNS alone. I guess she was starving.

Of course, that disheartened me about the whole exclusive BF’g but I put it in perspective. She’s used to the tube and breast which means the flow is different. I just need to start slower. Every day I plan to do one feeding without the SNS tube. Within a few days, I’d like to increase it to two feedings and continue until we are off the SNS tube.

I will continue to pump and store for feedings from hubby and to increase production. We plan to introduce the bottle to BG in a week and a half. This helps hubby participate more, gives me a chance to rest my breasts that have been working overtime and gets BG used to the bottle for when I go back to work. In a perfect world, I would not want to return to work but who lives in wonderland?

I am hemming and hawing about bottle feeding expressed breastmilk. On one hand, I know the important thing is giving BG the breastmilk over formula. I’m reaching that goal, or at least that is what it looks like. For the last 5 days, I have only given formula for 1 or 2 feedings in small doses (less than 1 ounce). The majority of her feedings have been breast milk alone. Today we have yet to give her formula. Giving myself a pat on the back. You’ve come a long way in a short time, PG.

I love the feel of BG breastfeeding. Yes, towards the end of the day, my breasts feel spent and used but that feeling of having her so close to me is sublime. Yes, I know it’s the oxytocin that is released when she feeds. I am an addict.

I’m afraid if we introduce the bottle, she’ll prefer that over my breasts and she’ll lean towards the bottle. My friend said that as long as the bottle is given by daddy more often than mommy, she’ll naturally prefer mommy and mommy’s boobs. It’s a comfort thing for her.

Who knows. There can be worse things, I suppose. The main goal is get the breast milk to BG. I remind myself this as we head into the next stage in my BF’g saga. I’ve jumped up to making milk regularly. I’m learning her hunger queues and her schedule. This week, I hope to move towards moving away from the SNS + breast and just go breast and continue increasing my milk production.

By the way, BG was satiated after that 2.7 ounces of milk but continued to wake herself up with terrible gas until her 9pm feeding. My theory is she was so hungry before, all that crying increased the air intake she ingested as she was turning different shades of red which is definitely something she gets from her fair skinned freckled dad. I’m hoping the major gas has subsided.

First non-SNS feeding
Was successful, at least I thought. I pushed it and tried for a second that didn’t go as smoothly.