Thursday, June 19, 2008

Not Bad, but Not Good

Well, we just got back from our doctor's appointment, and the news is not bad but not good either. Elias has gained weight this week, but still not enough. He has gained 3 ounces each week the past 2 weeks, and he should be gaining more like 5 to 7. Soooooo, we're still not there yet. The doctor said, though, that he still is healthy, vigorous, and hydrated, so we really just need to keep doing what we're doing. The doctor was encouraged by my story of my supply increasing the past couple of days, and said that should help turn things around. Elias' one month appointment is on Monday, so we're not going to take any action until then. If his weight gain still hasn't increased by then, we'll probably have to start supplementing.

I think our big problem is that Elias still won't stay awake to eat, which I'm sure is hindering him from being able to take in enough food. So in order to try to help that, I'm going on Nipple Shield Boot Camp this week. I really think the nipple shield is stopping him from getting the immediate gratification of the milk as soon as it lets down, and I think this might be contributing to him falling asleep at the breast. I've been hesitant to do this before because feedings already take so long trying to keep him awake, I haven't wanted to make them even longer trying to get a good latch and THEN trying to keep him awake. But I feel like it just has to be done. So I'd really appreciate your prayers for this... I'm kinda dreading how this is going to go.

In other news, though, my sister and her family are going to be visiting this weekend, and I'm pumped!!! Elias will get to meet his Uncle Matt and his cousins Patriot and Azlan!! They'll arrive tonight and leave Saturday evening. I know that fun times will be had by all, and hopefully I'll have some majorly cute pictures to post on Sunday!

Edited to add: We just spent the past hour trying to feed without the nipple shield. We just can't get a good latch, and I have no idea what else to try. Why is it that billions of women throughout history have been able to successfully breastfeed their children and I just can't figure out how to do it? I'm so frustrated because the milk is in there and I just can't seem to get it into Elias. He did eat some during the hour of trying, but not enough to be satisfied, so we finished the feeding with the nipple shield. Even then, though, I'm not sure he got enough because he falls asleep immediately as soon as the nipple shield enters his mouth. I guess we'll just keep doing this until eventually we either get the latch right or we end up having to bottle feed because my child can't get enough food to live on from me. I'm so discouraged.


Julie said...

Hi Joni-
I had to use the nipple shield on one side with Graham for the first few weeks. I just quit using it cold turkey and he did okay. Have you tried pumping for a minute or two and then putting him to the breast? If I were you, I think I would try to meet with a lactation consultant again. They may have new insight and encouragement for you. Exhaust all of your options before you have to supplement because that can be a slippery slope, as I'm sure you've read. Email me if you have any questions. Hang in there, nursing will get easier and you will be so happy you stuck with it. And congrats on the new job and upcoming move, so exciting!

KarenD said...

All I can say is that I can relate and I'm praying for you.

Kristy said...

Hang in there Joni! I'm sorry it has been so difficult. New transitions are always rough, I'm sure if you keep trying without the shield he will eventually get the hang. It's just so hard to learn new things! You are a wonderful Mommy and Elias is so lucky to have you. Have you tried rubbing his cheeks or tickling his feet to keep him awake? That always worked with Price. Hope it gets better soon!

Corrie said...

My best advice for you is...DON'T be too hard on yourself. Clara would only latch on to one breast, but REFUSED the other. I couldn't very well go around with one empty breast and one engorged breast! I did the nipple shield and then just pumped and pumped and pumped until I couldn't pump anymore! At first I had the same thoughts you are having...discouraged, down on myself, frustrated, disappointed, worried...but then I realized that I didn't have to spend Clara's first two months of life upset.
I admire you for being so dedicated to breast feeding exclusively. IF it gets to the point, though, where you are spending more time frustrated and upset than you are enjoying your sweet boy, you WILL NOT be a bad mom or a failure if you supplement! You have to do what is best for Elias, you and your family!
Those are my two cents!

Jeannie said...

I know you are getting tons of seasoned advice from your readers but I wanted to make a suggestion (it might go against what you are advised from your lactation consultants). What about pumping after he has had his fill or falls asleep to the point of not being able to wake up. Then, you can always offer this milk to him later. Better to supplement with your own breast milk than to use formula. Especially since, like you said- the milk is there!

Continuing to lift you up in prayer!