A plea for sanity

5 Oct
2010

I am spent. I don’t know how the heck I can possibly keep pumping for another 4 months. I’ve been pumping at work for 5 months and I am so tired. I am stressed out constantly about not having enough for the next day. I’m using a hospital grade pump, on domperidone, drink a ton of water and it’s not enough.

This morning Bronwyn decided 3:30 would be a good time to wake up for the day. All she wanted to do was nurse. When that happens there isn’t enough to pump in the morning. I’m not going to deny her in the middle of the night. I can’t keep this up anymore.

I. AM. TIRED.

I feel like a failure. I’m snapping at my husband, and becoming resentful.

If I quit though, I will resent that too. I feel like my body is letting me down. Just like it let me down in labor. I had a fully natural birth planned, but had to abandon that due to pre-eclampsia. I ended up with pitocin and an epidural. I regret that still. It was necessary at the time, but I still regret it. Just like if I have to go to formula I am afraid I will regret it. (This is NOT a bash on supplementing or formula feeders, nor is it a bash on medicated birth, please don’t read it that way).

With my supply being so temperamental I’m afraid that if I supplement during the day it’ll dry up and the breastfeeding will be done completely.

I don’t know what to do.

I just know what I’m doing isn’t working.

Oh, to top it off, I just found out today that my supply for domperidone can no longer ship to the US. I don’t have enough to last til January.

FML

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  • http://babybabylemon.com babybabylemon

    I had to supplement, first because my supply was low, then because I couldn't pump enough at work. I also took domperidone, still didn't help enough. We are still nursing, he is 14 months and I stopped taking domperidone 6 weeks ago. You can do it! I think a smidge of formula here or there won't kill your supply. Also, have you tried http://www.1drugstore-online.com? That's where I got it after I couldn't get it from inhousepahmacy.com. ((hugs)) Hang in there!

    • http://bringingupbronwyn.com BringUpBee

      I will check out that new site. Thank you! I'll keep pumping as much as I can, and if it comes to formula I will do what I need to do.

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  • http://www.RosevilleFamilyDentist.com Dr. Steve

    Sorry you're having a bad day :-(
    Jana and I had the same feelings when she wasn't producing enough milk, except she couldn't produce enough from day one. I guess that was a blessing, because it forced us to get over it and accept it early on. (insert "Serenity" poem.) Just do the best you can do. It really will turn out OK. We now have a happy, healthy 6 year old and very little memory of the whole pumping/formula thing.

    • http://bringingupbronwyn.com BringUpBee

      Thank you! Just a few words are so helpful and encouraging. I know that in a few years none of this will matter. That's what makes it so hard for me now. Knowing that I'm getting so worked up over something that probably isn't that big of deal, because I didn't meet my own expectation.

  • http://www.kellynaturally.com kelly

    You probably have already, but have you tried eating oatmeal each morning and feungreek tea throughout the day? If not, you could try.
    You could also consider finding someone who could donate their frozen milk to you, if you're comfortable with that.

    If not…

    There are reasons for formula. And this, I beleive is one of them. You have done everything you can to nourish your baby. And for eight months have provided her with the best nutrition, while working – which is laudable. Many, most women don't make it that far. You are NOT a failure. You are a success.

    But back to your decision making… whenever you have a decision that feels like a crossroads, take a step back and imagine yourself living with one decision – for a week. Think of yourself feeding baby formula while you're at work, and nursing at night. See how it feels in your mind. Then think of the alternate scenario – keeping the status quo, or switching to donor milk during the day. See how that feels.
    Then make a decision.
    (continued in the next post… it says I talk too much, haha!)

  • http://www.kellynaturally.com kelly

    (…continued from previous comment…)

    And remember, that neither of those decisions are final. You can always start one, and then alter it or stop it all together. Also keep in mind that when we are feeling down, our ability to reason and consider things equitably in our minds is much harder. Things look darker when we feel dark. See if you can do something spirit lifting for a day, then come back to your decision after a breather. Each day is a new day… and four months will pass in a flash, no matter which decision you make. You'll hit 12 months and have a whole other slew of things to worry about (like keeping your new walker from falling into everything).
    ((hugs))

    • http://bringingupbronwyn.com BringUpBee

      I have tried every galactalogue I have ever heard of and then some. Oatmeal didn't do much for me and Fenugreek wasn't enough, but I still take it along with the domperidone.

      Thank you for your kind words. Most of me knows I'm not a failure, but there is a teeny tiny part that likes to make it's way to the surface and undo all of that. I'm exploring my options and will do whatever is necessary and try not to feel bad about it if it's not my ideal solution.

  • http://lifestiniestmiracle.blogspot.com Erin

    That is so hard! I had the worst time with breastfeeding. Fact is, I had a 9lb 9oz boy who I couldn't feed. I didn't produce enough and I couldn't keep up with what he needed! It was horrible, I felt that same way you do! That mommy guilt is a killer! When I went back to work at 4 months I still couldn't keep up, and I had to supplement! Good thing the doc started him eating cereal and baby food at 5 months! I still couldn't keep up! But you know what…no matter what happens you are an awesome mom, and she is lucky to have you! And no matter what you chose to do, it will be the best choice for both of you! Sometimes the stress of it all is what can have an affect on the supply!

    And don't worry I didn't take your post as bashing any side, just a worried frustrated mama! But know this, it's so common these days that you are not alone!

    • http://bringingupbronwyn.com BringUpBee

      Why do they make this so tough?! It's such a catch-22, the stress messing things up, leading me to stress more. We didn't even start food until 6 months, and it's been since then that things have just plummeted.

      I'll do what needs to be done, to make sure my child is fed, I just wish I could make the guilt go away.

  • Nichole

    I'm so sorry that you're having a tough time. I know how emotional this is and you have done an amazing job of staying committed this long.
    If you reach a point where you decide you need to explore other options, let me know. I could pump 4-5 ounces every night for B if you want it.

    Huge hugs. You have so much to be proud of already.

    • http://bringingupbronwyn.com BringUpBee

      Your offer has me in tears right now. Thank you friend.

      I'll call you tonight, if that is ok and we can talk about it? Having some sort of backup would be a life saver.

  • Courtney

    Hello, I just read your post and my heart is aching for you. I too, commited myself to giving my DD breastmilk the first year of her life and it was df. a hard struggle since I went back to work when she was 12 weeks. I used the fenugreek when I needed and actually my Lactation Consultant was also an herbalist and made herbs to help with Milk and I found those more helpful than the ones u could buy a GNC or whole foods. I know there were times I would stress SO much over how much milk I would have and somehow, it always worked itself out. Sometimes, when I was an oz or 2 short, i would divide the bottles up evenly then i would add a little water to the milk to make all the bottles an even 5oz or whatever it was.

  • Courtney

    CONTINUED….By nine months she shouldnt prob take more than 12 oz a day while you are gone so I would just power pump, as much as you can, and try to pump on the weekends after she nurses in the morning and build ur supply back up that way. I know how heartwrenching it is when you pump for 30 mins and end up with like a 1/4 of an oz….i remember ALL to well. But dont get down, think positive….you can do this. Stress is the biggest killer on your supply, when you are pumping listen to music, look at her photo, call and check on her….and even lean forward and massage massage, esp up at the tops and you will help let down more milk. PUmp for ten mins after the milk has stopped and you usually geta second let down….email me if you have any questions, i would love to help!!!

  • http://thelungos.blogspot.com The Lungos

    Everyone's journey with this different. I struggled to produce enough for my first baby and I pumped and pumped and pumped and still couldn't get enough. We started supplementing around 8 weeks and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise once I accepted that she was going to take formula. I still nursed her as often as I could and I pumped ALL THE TIME, but I wasn't as stressed about it and it let me enjoy our nursings so much more. Instead of worrying if she was getting enough, I just enjoyed it. And if she was still hungry, dada gave her a bottle.
    This is what worked for us. I hope you find what works for you

  • http://formerlygracie.com Grace

    For what it's worth, I was never able to produce enough milk for either of my kid and had to supplement along the way. I was able to go a couple of months longer with my youngest. Experience helped, but ultimately she rejected me. She refused, refused, refused and it didn't take long for me to dry up. I almost died that day!

    I felt like such a failure, especially with so many people selling it as the most natural thing ever. No one tell you how hard it is! I won't tell you what to do, but I will leave you with this. You're job is to be the best mommy you can be for Bee and you can't do that if you're beating yourself up. If not being able to produce milk is tearing you up, the stress is NOT worth it. I know. I've been where you are TWICE.

    You are awesome and don't you forget that for a moment!

  • CrunchyVTMommy

    aww hugs sweetie. and why the hell has it taken me so long to get here. Anyway I am in the same boat as you. No advice to offer but Ill be standing by to watch what you do and possibly try it myself ;-/ Best of luck and Ill be here.

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