The feeding has been going pretty well, with a few blips. We're breast feeding, then supplementing while I pump at each feed. Just before Christmas I weighed Pob and found out she'd lost 200 grams (approx 7oz) over the last week, so we went on a feed-Pob-up binge, offering her 150mls after each breast feed to see how much she'd take. H would force feed her at night to make sure she got a big feed, and when we got back from the country we found she'd gained 750 grams in a week. Which I think means that the measurement the day I found she'd lost weight was probably off as I think it's close to impossible for her to have gained that much in a week. But it's all good as it meant she is back on the curve and I don't have to freak out (again). Since then she's been steadily gaining 100-200 grammes a week, and taking anywhere between 50 and 120 mls after each feed.
I've started to really enjoy the breast feeding itself. While we were away over New Year, and then a few times since, she has woken up early a few times, and I have taken to bringing her into bed with me and dozing while she feeds for an hour or so. These have been very much the kind of calm, loving, affectionate breastfeeding experiences that I'd really wanted. I'm so very glad I persevered with this, even though it continues to be a pain in the arse, and to massively restrict my movements with her. My friends ask why don't I stop pumping, and just breast feed and supplement with formula, but (i) I'd rather she got breastmilk if possible and (ii) I'm not sure I'd have enough milk for her to tolerate breastfeeding without the additional stimulation of pumping.
The pumping was going pretty well, such that we were only on formula for one feed every 3-4 days. I stopped taking any supplements before Christmas as I couldn't see what effect they were having. I started again in early January, but didn't see any impact so I've now stopped and am fairly sure I won't go back to them. I am still on Domperidone and will start to taper off it once I decide how much longer I'll persevere with feeding.
I say 'was going' above because it's been a bit of a crappy few days with the pump - my supply dropped about 20% from what I was pumping over the Christmas break. Not really sure why. This was then compounded by my rented Medela Symphony breaking on Sunday night, so I had to go back to first the Lactina I still had (rental, hadn't returned it yet, have now) and then the Pump in Style while I waited for a replacement. All I can say is ouch. My nipples may never forgive me, that Pump in Style is tough. Once I got the replacement Symphony going today I could barely feel it compared to the irriration of the Pump in Style. If you're finding this post while deciding what pump to use, all I can say is, shell out for the Symphony, and goodness knows don't bother with a Lactina. At least a Pump in Style is portable, the Lactina in my experience purports to be 'hospital grade' but gives less stimulation than the Pump in Style.
The fact that the feeding has been going well, and has become quite enjoyable, means it's hard to stop. I always thought I would stop before I went back to work, and I've decided to return to work at the end of April, in three months time. It will just be too hard to maintain feeding given my hours and the potential travel. But now I've worked this hard to get this far, I'm really reluctant to stop. I know I couldn't pump through my kind of work, but I'm wondering if I could maintain enough supply to still do a morning and/or an evening feed, although I suspect my supply will tank if I start to cut back on what I'm doing. Also, I don't want to start tapering down the feeding until I have to. Possibly late March, I'm not really sure. We'll see when we get there.
I know there will be benefits to stopping, but the benefits are mostly about me, and not benefits for Pob. It would allow me to cut back on the domperidone, which will help curb my appetite, which means hopefully I could start to lose some of this weight. Currently I'd have to buy a new wardrobe to go back to work in as I can't fit into any of my suits! My boobs would hopefully shrink a bit which would make running possible. I'd have a bit more time - time I could spend doing a bit more of a variety of activities with Pob as well as time to finish writing thank you cards, etc. I might even manage to cook dinner for H at some point.
So I want to continue with the currrent regime not just because I'm enjoying it even while I resent it, but also because it seems to work best for Pob, to give her the best possible nutrition. I don't know how much longer that will stay true, but it's true for now. Of course, there's the additional drive which is that we can't start to reliably try again for number 2 until I've had one normal cycle, so at some point that will become a strong driver to stop. Perhaps the strongest, since I want to at least try for another one because I think that's best for Pob. It will be easier to stop if I feel it's doing something for her.