Nursation

Once again I am just so sorry to be writing about this so much. Really it is for me to process and gather my thoughts. I find I have too much time to sit and think about things (ironic, right?) but not much time or ability to do anything about them.  I am living in the microcosm of my own small world right now and it is rather strange.

So. We have been able to do two before/after weights for Ben when he nurses.  He gained 12 ccs one time and 14 ccs one time.  So, between 1/3 and 1/2 an ounce. I had approximately 20 ccs available (in one breast) at that time. He is getting the "easy" milk and I'm trying to help him out as much as I can by squeezing it down for him.  But then he just gives up. Which is fine, I know it is hard work for him.

So if he goes home on breast milk plus 2 bottles of formula a day, I'm trying to figure out how to make this work. I know he won't be able to nurse exclusively; and even if he could I'd still have at least 2 feedings a day where I would have to pump since he wouldn't be nursing. If we decide to nurse, then feeding for at least a while will be 1. Nursing, 2. Pumping, 3. Bottle feeding (with either formula or milk, if I have enough milk).  That sounds kind of crazy, right?  Because I will be bringing home a "newborn" from the hospital, so he will still expect to eat at least every 3 hours. Nursing takes a good 20 minutes (at this time, I realize it might take less time as we both get more practice), pumping is at least 20 more, bottle feeding is who knows how long, then washing pump parts and bottles and sleeping and eating and burping and changing diapers...see what I'm saying? It sounds kind of crazy.

Or. Or I could pump exclusively.  Part of me thinks this is a good answer.  Plenty of people do it, there are thousands of people on an online forum that I belong to who pump exclusively.  Some have to supplement with formula, some make 50+ ounces a day and put half of it in the freezer (totally crazy right?).  I'm worried about his weight gain (or lack thereof) and I'm worried about getting myself or him burnt out from trying too hard.  Pumping allows me some control with knowing exactly how much he is eating, and also saves quite a lot of time without having to nurse.

I do like nursing though. I mean it's hard sometimes, but sometimes (only sometimes) it is easy and wonderful and happy for both of us.

So, I don't know. What I do know is that my pump and I will continue our love/hate relationship for probably a significant amount of time after Ben is born.  Even if breastfeeding works out awesome I'll still have to pump at least twice a day because of the formula thing.

I think I am getting close to 11 ounces per day total (including what he gets when he nurses twice a day). Ben is up to 13 1/3 oz per day.  Drat! :)  However, on the forum I mentioned above there is a woman whose milk supply was pretty close to mine (she also had a preemie), she was making 10 oz per day in week 5, up to 15 by week 7, then increasing up to 30 by week 12.  So...that's pretty exciting, right?  I'd be pretty thrilled to be up that high. But either way, my small 10 ounces per day does make it worth it I think. I mean that is still enough to get the antibody benefits.  Most of the ladies, however, don't see much of an increase after 7 weeks post partum. It does still go up, just slowly.  I am starting my 7th week today. I know anything can happen though and it is still out of my hands.

Anyway I know this is the most boring post ever. I'll make it up to you...sometime. Here are some pictures!

Mercedes with her first hair do other than the "poof" which is just her hair picked out. This is a finger twist, which kind of took forever because this girl's hair is SO CURLY.  Her curls are like 1/8 inch in diameter.  All the twists have to be small in order to stay put. I think this will work better and look nicer when her hair is a little longer, and also maybe when I have some more practice. :) I am trying to take better care of her hair. There is a lot to learn!  It has definitely given me a new appreciation for my stick-straight white person hair. 

Here is Ben yesterday. He is 5 lbs 10 oz! Getting sooo big!



Comments

  1. Looks like he's doing great to me!

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  2. Wow he's getting so BIG! Sam was 5lb 12 oz- crazy to think she was that small once *tear*.

    Also, won't he get stronger and better at nursing as he gets older?

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    Replies
    1. I know right? He is getting huge! I think he will get stronger and better at nursing, but the staff at the NICU said he will probably still come home only nursing twice a day. I'm still hoping that he will come home before his due date...we shall see.

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  3. All I have to say on the nursing/pumping question is this. Remember that you don't have to do whatever you start out doing forever. Make a choice "for now." Try that for a while, then decide whether to continue it.

    One of my children, I had to pump exclusively (or switch completely to formula) because she couldn't latch. For me, it helped to say to myself "I'll keep pumping until after [the next appointment]" Sometimes that was 1 more week, sometimes it was 2 more months. Then when I hit that date, I would make the decision again.

    That sounds awful right now -- You mean I have to keep deciding this forever? -- but the freeing part is realizing that you aren't "giving up" on an option forever. Hang in there. You'll find the right balance for the two of you, whatever that may be.

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    Replies
    1. You make a very very valid point - thank you for the reminder that we can always change things if it isn't working!

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