Confirmed supply issue!
So, breastfeeding is all about supply and demand, right? The more baby demands, the more a mom’s breasts supply. In an ideal world anyway. Lately, Phinehas has been eating for over an hour – quite content and he’s actively eating. But when I try to give him a bottle after his meals, he still takes a good amount – at least an ounce. (That’s alot at this age.) And he doesn’t have nearly the number of poopy diapers that they’d like (which could just be him or it could be a sign of issues.) In the back of my head I wondered “Is he not getting enough to eat?”
I made an appointment with a Lactation Consultant at the hospital. She weighed him naked, then I fed him for 10 minutes. His total weight gain? 1/5 of one ounce! That’s practically nothing. I fed him for another 10 minutes – on the other side. His weight gain on that side? Nothing measurable! That is nothing! Phinehas has been eating and eating and not getting very much at all! Which is why he’ll eat for over an hour – his tummy isn’t getting full!
In fact, his weight was up from a week ago, but not up by as much as they’d like. Which is another indication that he isn’t getting enough to eat. It takes food and calories to put on weight (just see my hips for proof of that!). She thinks he’s actually burning more calories than he takes in by nursing that long when there isn’t any milk to be had.
The Lactation Consultant believes that he isn’t getting enough because I’m not making enough – not because he isn’t demanding enough. His latch is good. His sucking is good. He’s doing his part. I’m just not doing mine. I’m not making enough because of my past breast reduction surgery – I simply don’t have the number of milk ducts that ‘normal’ moms have. So, she put me on a plan:
- Feed him, but just for 10 minutes each side. Whatever he gets, he gets.
- Feed him 8-10 times a day. Don’t go any longer than 3 hours between feedings, including at night. Yes, I now have to wake him to feed him at night. -A couple of times a day, try to feed every 2 hours to get in 10 feedings a day.
- Pump for 15 minutes after each feeding.
- Supplement after each feeding with 1.5 – 2 ounces of formula or breastmilk. (1.5 ounces if 10 feedings/day and 2 ounces if 8 feedings/day).
- Start taking Reglan for 2 weeks, a drug that has a side effect of increasing milk supply.
- After Reglan, try Fenugreek herbal supplement.
- Start eating more oatmeal. It even counts if it’s in a cookie!
Our goals are:
- Get the ducts that are there to produce more milk.
- Create a demand that my breasts can keep up with.
- Get Phinehas the nutrition that he needs to keep growing.
I gotta tell ya: this is a long process. And it isn’t one that my husband can help very much with, so it’s a little frustrating for him too. It takes about 5 minutes to wake him up, 30 minutes to feed him while keeping him awake, 20 more minutes to pump and clean up. So by the time I’m done, about an hour has gone by. I then wait 1-2 more hours and repeat the process. All throughout the day. It’s no wonder I’m not getting much sleep! My prayer is that the Reglan works. If it doesn’t, I’m 90% sure I’ll stop pumping. At that point, 95% of his nutrition will be coming from formula anyway. It isn’t worth the extra 30 minutes 10 times/day (300 minutes = 5 hours!) to get him that little bit extra. Yes, it’s nice for him, but it’s killing mom. And that’s no good. But I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet.
Learned a new word today – Thrombocytopenia. Okay, I didn’t really learn it; I was told it and had to google it later to look it up. Basically it means I’m a pregnant chick with low blood platelet counts. Happens to about 7% of pregnant ladies. I haven’t had much blood work up ran up until this point, just:
- The initial blood tests to confirm the pregnancy at 8 weeks
- Gestational Diabetes test at 28 weeks (don’t have it)
- Blood work up a week ago “just cause” at 37 weeks
- Blood work up today at 38 weeks
Apparently, my platelet count was low last week and even lower this week. Not dangerously low, but getting lower. The doc said that the impacts of low platelets is that anesthesiologists get really hesitant to put in epidurals when it gets to be around 100. Mine was 118. So if I needed or wanted pain meds, my only option is to be completely put to sleep. I would like to, in an ideal world, go without pain meds, but considering that I knew I was going to be induced next week and that a c-section is more likely with inductions, I want options. If I do have a c-section, I don’t want to have to be completely put under.
All of this means that my doc wants to induce starting tomorrow. It’ll likely take a couple of days. Wednesday will be to start prepping my body. Thursday will be to actually induce labor. It’s possible that Wednesday’s activities will start labor on my own, which would be great. But probably not. (Side note: if he’s born on Thursday, he’ll scare a birthday with my soon-to-be 1 year old niece.)
- I’ve lost 3 pounds since last week. She was happy with that cause it’s a sign that bedrest is working at flushing extra fluids out of my body. Makes my total weight gain about 28 pounds. Not too shabby.
- Blood pressure is still high-ish. 144/92, so a little higher than it was on Friday. Not the direction we want.
- I was afraid that he was breech again. But he wasn’t.
- I’ve been having contractions, but I just don’t know it. In fact, I was having one while she was examining me, but I had no clue.
- I can feel my belly getting tighter at times, but only when I press my fingers on it. Not because I feel anything on the inside.
- She said “You must have a high pain tolerance.” I replied: “Let’s not assume that please.”
- I’m dilated to 2 centimeters. Again, not a big deal.
So here we go! This could be my last night as a non-mom. Or I might have 2 more nights to go. We’ll see!
Day 2 of really obeying the “You’re on bedrest lady!” command from my doctor. First day that work was involved. I worked a full day from my bed, which isn’t ideal, but totally doable in these types of crises. So grateful that I can do that rather than burn through vacation or sick time! Here are my realizations from Day 2:
- The less active I am, the more active he is. This kid is moving like none other today!
- I’m a little afraid that he’s flipped though. There’s a big lump under my right rib and I’m afraid it isn’t his hiney, but his head. Breech is not what I want my doc to say tomorrow at my appointment!
- I love that I have the ability to work from home in a crisis, but I’m certainly not as effective here. I like having 2 computer monitors and co-workers that I can physically talk to if I need to.
- I re-heated some french bread pizza for lunch. Turned out really well. I was afraid it would be soggy, but it wasn’t after I put it in the oven for a few minutes. Delish!
- Spaghetti makes for some of the best leftovers. So great the way the flavors all blend together.
- Facebook has too many games. I hate them cluttering up my NewsFeed, so I’ve started hiding them.
- There are so many recipes on pinterest that I want to make and it’s making me anxious to be in my kitchen again.
- This wasn’t something that I did today, but I’m excited about. You know those little mini candy bars that Hershey makes? Well, I designed my own wrappers for them and wrapped a package of them up. They have our son’s name and a design on them. If anyone visits me in the hospital, they can have a piece of chocolate. I guess we don’t have an option to change his name!
- I have 2 bananas that are too ripe for my liking, but I don’t know what (if anything) to make them into. I’m not a big fan of banana bread and I only have 2 little bananas, so I’m not sure I can make anything significant.
- We forgot to tell our air conditioner & heater that I’m now home during the day. So it got quite chilly in here until I turned the heat on.
Today was my first day of really honoring my doctor’s “You’re On Bedrest” command. I did cheat a tad bit to go to church – we didn’t go to service, but I did run in for 5 minutes to return library books (a few weeks overdue) and check out 5 more. If I’m gonna be in bed, I needed some more reading material. It’s that important to me. But I’m stocked up now. And I spent the day in bed or on the couch. So grateful for a laptop.
So, here are some thoughts that I’ve had while on bedrest for 1 whopping whole day.
- How do people do this for more than 1 day? This gets boring.
- How do women do this when they have kiddos already? As bad as I feel about ignoring Jeff, what if I had to ignore kids too?
- Our frig & freezer was made for this moment. Due to some events of the past week, we got tons of food in the frig. We’ll be able to live on leftovers this whole week without even breaking into anything in the freezer. The only thing I had to send Jeff to the store for was milk.
- Leftover spaghetti is particularly delicous! Lately, I’ve been making “homemade” sauce – taking Hunts $1.00 spaghetti sauce and adding spices (oregano, chili powder, garlic powder and sugar), simmering them in a crockpot for a few hours to make it something that I really, really, really love. It’s a great mix between homemade and store bought.
- I had some crazy dreams last night.
- I dreamt about Denzel Washington being tortured in Mexico. Kind of like I was watching a movie. I hate torture scenes.
- In my dreams, I also had to change a baby’s diaper. A really bad, messy, green runny diaper. The baby was a girl. I think it was my niece Capri, but I’m not sure.
- There aren’t a whole lot of really interesting things to do on bedrest.
- I hope to be a mom of boys – maybe not only boys, but it’s pretty certain that I’ll have at least 1 little boy. So, I’ve been visiting “Mom of Boys” blogs linked to Kelly’s Korner.
- My favorite blog for boys & crafts & projects is “I am Momma, Hear Me Roar”
- Our internet is flaky. Well, it might not be our internet because Jeff never has problems. But Jeff doesn’t use wireless either. So maybe that’s what I’m really experiencing when it stops working for a moment or two. Grateful for Netflix that buffers.
- I don’t get the fascination with baby legs – those legwarmers on babies. Maybe they’re meant for only girl babies, but even then, I don’t get them. They look funny to me. But I ADORE overalls on boys, so maybe that’s my thing.
- We had some crazy weather yesterday – nothing drastic for us, but looks like lots of wind. So much so that Jeff hosed his car off because there were lots of leaves attached to his car.
- I’ve been collecting samples of newborn pictures/poses that I like. With this baby, we’ve got a gal coming to take his picture, so I’ve been trying to give her ideas of things that I like and things that I don’t like. I’ve decided that I don’t like the super posed ones. Where kids are in crocheted bee hat with a stinger or propped up on their hands.
- I dislike blogs that play music. It gets in the way of the movie that I’m probably watching at the same time.
- I’ve been craving Tuna Noodle Casserole lately. Not something fancy, but the kind my mom made while we were growing up. Thing is that Jeff would hate it. So I’m thinking of making it once I’m on maternity leave since that would make great lunches for me.
I’m not a mom of preschoolers yet, but it is the age that I dread the most. And I really dislike using the word ‘dread’ when talking about my child(ren), but it’s honest. It just seems like such a high-maintenance timeframe. The author of this article at (in) courage agrees, but she also gives encouragement. Not encouragement that says “these are the best days of your life”, but more so “This is hard, but temporary and really worth it, in the end. You’re doing great!”.
Not the best case scenario, but not the worst either. Went into the doctor’s office today as a follow up from Tuesday’s appointment where my blood pressure was high. It’s still high – 140/87, but at least it isn’t getting higher, right?
I’ve learned over the last week (thanks to Dr. Google) that when it comes to pregnancy and high blood pressure, there seems to be 2 classifications:
1) Pregnancy-induced Hypertension (PIH)
2) Pre-eclampsia, which can lead to toxemia
The difference between the 2 seems to be not your blood pressure reading, but whether you have other symptoms as well. And I don’t. Pre-eclampsia comes with protein in the urine (none for me thanks!), blurry vision, headaches, sudden weight gain, swelling (particularly in hands and face). I don’t have any of that, so it’s just PIH that I got.
It means no more going into work. Taking it easy while I’m here at home. Resting when I can. Putting my feet up.
It also means that she wants to induce me during at 39 weeks, which is the week of the 23rd. We don’t have a date yet – we’ll schedule that at my appointment next week as they like to only book them 7 days in advance. So, I’ll be a mom sometime in the next 2 weeks!
Just watched a live birth. I’m terrified now. As part of our birthing class, they give you a log on to a website that goes along with the book that they use. On that website, they have little videos that illustrate concepts in the book. Things like diagrams of babies in the womb, what breathing exercises really look like, what positions you can try for labor, what nursing looks like.
Some of them are birth stories. Not the ones you see on TLC – but really, actual birth stories. Where you see babies coming out. Yes, nudity is involved. I just watched a couple of them. Now I’m freaked out. How do women do this!?
Many blogs and mothers that I talk to express a concern about how much they worry. About their kids. About their homes. About their marriages. But really alot about their kids. And I can see how that’s easily done – there is so many good things that you want for them, but you can’t control them. You can’t make them make wise choices. You can’t make them happy. You can’t always figure out what their needs are. It isn’t from lack of trying, but it just is.
I’ve realized that I’ve spent much of this pregnancy worrying – particularly in the last few weeks. Since finding out that he’s on the smaller side, I worry about his health. My health. How can I not be feeding him enough? He’s still inside! Am I not doing something right?
Then a week-ish ago, I find out that he isn’t just small, but he’s in the wrong position. So, now I worry about more things. Should we try to flip him? Should we wait and see? Since he’s small, that just compounds things and gives me more variables to consider.
Then Tuesday, I got relief from those 2 concerns. He’s small yes, but he’s not losing ground – he’s growing at the right pace. He’s just a small guy. And he’s flipped on his own! Another answer to prayer.
But at that same appointment, I had a high blood pressure reading – 140/85, which has never been true of me. My previous pregnancy high was 120/75. And that reading was after I had seen him on the ultrasound and had the relief of knowing that he was healthy and head down! So the blood pressure should be no big deal, right? Scheduled a follow up appointment for Friday.
But last night and again today after work, I stopped by the store to use their in-store blood pressure machine. Both times my blood pressure was 160/86. That’s high. Really high. And that’s with me resting as much as possible at night. But again, nothing more that I can do other than keep resting, drinking water, keeping my eye out for other symptoms. Which there aren’t any – no headaches, no blurry vision, no major swelling, no crazy weight gain – in fact, I’ve lost 3 pounds.
It just occurred to me this afternoon that I’ve spent so much time worrying and it’s kind of wasted time. What wasn’t wasted was the time I’ve spent researching and preparing and educating myself. But was wasted was the time spent worrying. Stewing. Marinating on what was occurring. My worry meant that I was taking ownership of my future rather than letting God direct the outcome and leading me. That’s wasted time.
No longer breech!!! Yay! But, in the interest of full disclosure, I feel movement everywhere. Up top. Down below. To the left. To the right. So I kind of have the feeling that he’s still quite mobile and could easily flip back. I haven’t “dropped”, so he isn’t yet anchored into place. But you know what? I can’t worry about that. And there’s nothing we need to do now to get him head down – he’s already there.
He’s still measuring small – in the 30th percentile, but again, that’s okay with me. He’s keeping pace, which is what I really wanted – I didn’t want him losing ground. They estimate his weight at 6 pounds, 3 ounces, which is a total guess based upon head and thigh bone measurements. So there’s quite a bit of wiggle room in there. Could be smaller. Could be bigger.
The only “bad” news is that my blood pressure has spiked up. It’s always been right about (or under) 120/80. Today was 140/97. Not too good. But there wasn’t any protein in my urine, so there isn’t any concrete evidence that I have anything bad going on. She does want to see me again on Friday to recheck my blood pressure. In the meantime, I’m on bedrest when I’m at home. No problems there!
I feel a little bad because I made Jeff come with me and he didn’t need to at all. But then again, if the results would’ve been any different, I’d have been glad to have him there.
If you need me, I’ll be lying on the couch with my feet up! Doctor’s orders!