Well, there are multiple breastfeeding posts I could have written if I'd had time in the last few days. The worried early post because although Junior was sucking really well, he was sucking constantly so presumably was hungry. The joyful post last Sunday morning when I had buzzy, lumpy breasts and could see that colostrum was changing into milk - I never had this clear a transition with Pob and didn't have as much. The starting to get worried post when his suck seemed to deteriorate. And the close to throwing in the towel post I feel like writing this morning.
Having started off as a great little nurser, on Sunday he started sucking less well. I could see his latch was poor and my nipples were already shredded, but whatever I did I couldn't get him to take a decent mouthful of boob. On Monday I said to H I wanted to start pumping when we got home as I was concerned his suck was no longer powerful enough to increase my supply. Then he got jaundice, which eventually required 18 hours under lights overnight on Tuesday, and bottles had to be used so they could measure the volume he was getting. I was able to pump all he needed bar 10mls, which I felt pretty good about. They weighed him and he'd lost weight to day 3 as normal, but had stayed flat after that so I thought that was a good sign things were turning a corner.
They sprung us from the hospital on Weds lunchtime, and I thought he was doing ok, but I was concerned enough to get a lactation consultant in on Thursday evening. By then he was having a top up after every feed, but only about 20-45 mls, and all expressed milk so not too bad. I was depressed to be pumping again but thought we should be able to fix this quickly as i seemed to have enough milk, he just wasn't getting it out of the boob well.
The lactation consultant was great - the first really well informed one I've seen. She told me to start the domperidone as I didn't have enough flow to keep Junior interested on the boob - there was very litttle 'productive sucking' when he was on the boob, and none at all if I wasn't doing breast compressions. So I started. She also suggested to start using an SNS rather than bottles as he was clearly developing a preference. So I struggled through thursday night trying to use the bloody SNS, which he kept spitting out, or milk would spill out of his mouth. By the end of the night I was using it to finger feed at least some of the supplement. Latching was still crap, and involved lots of screaming and pulling off constantly. That's continued through the last 24 hours, and last night the 2 feeds involved up to 90 mls of supplementing, meaning that for this morning's feed I had to finally supplement with formula as I was out of breastmilk.
And I weighed him and although it's the first time on our home scales and I know consistency in measurement is important here, he's lost weight since he was weighed on day 5.
The difference from last time is that Pob was refusing 1 breast completely at this stage - he's close to that but not there yet - and that she was having a lot more formula. Although by the end of week 2 I could mostly keep up with her so that's not far off where we are now.
I am angry and sad and not sure what to do. Because I'm trying to ensure he's fed very regularly - that was one of my many mistakes with Pob - and because the whole feeding process is taking about 2 hours by the time he's latched on and off lots of times, fallen asleep on the boob, had his nappy changed twice, I've pumped and finger fed until he's happy to settle etc., I have pretty much no time in between feeds to do anything, and I'm only getting about 3-4 hours of sleep. Which means very little time with Pob, which I hate.
Until some time last night I had the sense that this could really work if I tried hard enough. I thought I had more milk than I did this time last time, and he had started off being such a good feeder. I'm sure it's theoretically possible to make this work, andI remember last time by about 4 months how happy I was that I'd persevered with breastfeeding, but I'm not sure it's worth trying that hard. I cannot do what I did with Pob, it's not fair to her. So I dunno. It's all a bit crap really.