Friday, March 28, 2008

Frustrations

I've been wanting to post since blogging really helps my emotions - and of course the emotions after birth are just insane! But I haven't had any time at all.

I have some major frustrations. I had always planned on breastfeeding. Only. Formula was not even in my mind. Sure, I knew there could be a possibility, but I didn't think about it. I wanted to think positive and I thought if I didn't think about formula, then no way it could happen! Well, I have to supplement with formula. That alone depresses me a little, but I could deal with it. But what I have to do for each feeding is very overwhelming! First, I breastfeed. At first, I was breastfeeding one at a time, which took forever. Next, I have to formula feed. Again, at first I was doing that one at a time and to feed both it took like 2 hours! I did begin to tandem feed, which helps a lot, but it is still a struggle and can be difficult! My last part of feedings is pumping. I hate pumping. Actually, I think I hate having to do all 3 things. Why can't I just breastfeed???

My milk isn't all the way in. I get about 2 tablespoons per pumping session. I'm mad at myself for not pumping more in the hospital. I'm mad at the hospital for not fully explaining how much I needed to pump. I didn't even get to see a lactation consultant until the next day because I didn't get to my room until about 8 pm! I'm also mad that I had no idea just how sleepy my girls would be. I knew babies were sleepy the first night, and for most babies that is ok. But mine were also sleepy because they were little and have stayed sleepy until recently!

In one way I wished I would have only breastfed in the hospital, but Maya needed to put on weight. Sofia needed to get her jaundice resolved because she was borderline high. I keep wondering if I had done things differently maybe my sdupply would be in? But that is all over with and I can't change it.

Now I am taking a supplement - More Milk Plus, and I rented a hospital grade pump. I am SO sick of pumping though. The girls have now become more fussy so it's very difficult for me to pump after I feed them when they are fussy. I also feel bad because I feel like I don't spend enough time with each of them. I hold them for feedings every 3 hours, and I hold them for a little while after they feed, but then I put them down, pump, and sleep. Sometimes I don't sleep since the whole routine can take 2 hours!

Which leads me to my next frustration. Which, it's actually not too bad because my husband is really wonderful and I couldn't do this without him. But he has frustrated me a little. The pediatrician has told us that I do need to take care of myself and I need to sleep. He suggested for the night feedings we take shifts. So, we tried it last night. I did the 9:00 feeding, Hubby was to do the 1 am feeding, and I would do the 5 am feeding. After I fed the girls, I got to bed around 11:30pm. The girls were pretty fussy - this time of night is their fussy time. At about 1:30 I wake up because Maya was fussing. Hubby was with Sofia in the living room, feeding her. I got up to see what was going on since it was feeding time for both. Hubby was frustrated with Maya since she had been up all night. He had tried feeding her some at 12:45, she didn't want it, etc. Now, he didn't want to deal with her.

Well, welcome to my world!!!!

There have been plenty of nights where I let him sleep because I wanted him to at least be partially rested in order to do errands and things. And the girls are often fussy. Sometimes they don't sleep much between feedings! So, I fed Maya some more, rocked her, and put her to sleep. I think hubby did feel bad - it really didn't take much to get her to sleep - but I was just so frustrated!

The other thing that frustrates me is when he gets plenty of sleep - like 5 hours straight - and then the next day acts all sleepy. I'm sure he is sleepy, but I have had much less sleep and it is just frustrating to see that.

Now, don't get me wrong. He has been GREAT! I couldn't ask for a better husband. But nobody is perfect, and those are just 2 minor frustrations. I can't imagine what I would do if I was married to someone who didn't help at all.


I'm going to talk to the pediatrician more next week about reducing the formula intake, but I think he wants me to keep it up until my supply comes in. But then, is keeping them on formula going to make my supply not come in? I don't want them to start losing weight though.

8 comments:

Fertilized said...

i am thinking of you - it's all too frustrating I'm sure. and lack of sleep and 2 babies does not help matters. wishing you better progress

Blue Pearl said...

I agree with you that pumping in the hospital would have helped. I also agree that supplementing with formula is ultimately going to affect your supply. I think you should trust your instincts more than you trust the pediatrician on this issue. It may take more time on the breast initially. I think the problem will be that the girls will prefer the formula b/c it's not as much work as b/f for them ---immediate gratification. It's a dilemma when you are worried about weight. But b/f seems important to you and it's obviously important for them. You can do this. I'd encourage you to trust your instincts and trust your body. So far it's done a lot of good work. Have you read Infertile Pediatrician? I think she is also working on supply. Some of her ideas might be helpful for you. Good luck.

Novel said...

Poor you - one new baby is exhausting enough and the first one is always worrying. You have TWO to deal with AND a new father LOL. He does sound like a good man, if a little clueless at the moment.
Do look after yourself. You are Number 1 in these little ones' lives. Go with your instinct about breast feeding. The more they feed, the more milk your body will produce. I am afraid there is no easy answer to any of this.
God bless you all.

Donna said...

Trust your instincts. Once I did that it all got so much easier. I had a jaundiced premie and with the help of my lactation consultant I ignored the doctor who said to supplement. He was very jaundiced and breastmilk is NOT the cause and it IS the cure. Call Le Leche League. They are your very best bet to get through all of this and end up completely breastfeeding only within just a few days. Supplementing is the fastest way to reduce your supply. Pumping is not the same as that baby at your breast stimulating the hormones that biology has set up as part of bonding. You do not produce the same hormones with a pump and it is a case of diminishing returns. Just let those babies nurse all they want, as long as they want, as often as they want for a few days and things will turn around. They will not starve while this is happening. LLL can talk you right through this. Additionally let the babies sleep next to you in the bed or in a cradle right next to you. Do not get up to feed them as it disrupts all of you too much. Eventually, you and they will learn to nurse in your sleep. My youngest did that for 6 months after he was about 8 weeks old. You learn to make it all work and then you will get much more sleep. Breastfed babies after 8 weeks don't need burping and so you don't even have to do that. Once you get the feeding solved, you will sleep better. I promise you. Hang in there. Breastfeeding is the easiest thing in the world AFTER you get your milk and they settle in provided you don't try to put them on some sort of schedule. Read Dr. Sears books on breastfeeding, the fussy baby, nighttime parenting, etc. They are worth gold.

Theresa said...

I hope things get easier! You are doing a great job. Hopefully the supplement you are taking increases your supply soon.

Brian, Melissa and Nathan said...

You sound exactly like me 12 months ago and I was only dealing with one! I BF'd, bottle fed and pumped every 2-3 hours. It sucked and my emotions were running like crazy. I cried at least 3x a day and was racked with guilt over not being able to BF 100%. I couldn't even imagine having to do that with two. My hat is off to you. I was constantly frustrated with DH too, but he got up and did feedings and changings so I couldn't really understand why I was always so annoyed with him. The first 4-6 weeks with a newborn can definitely strain even the best of relationships. If you, DH and the girls can make it to that point, it will be so much better, I gaurantee! Hang in there.

Paula said...

Hi there and hang in there!

Personally I though I was going to die from lack of sleep during the first couple of months with my first baby. And I hd one... No wonder you're exhausted! I think it is fantastic that you want to continue breastfeeding and with the help of a lactation consultant, you have a great chance of succeeding.

I talked to a mom who had done the tandem nursing with her twins and she said it had taken quite some time to master it, but it was worth it.

I really wish ou good luck and congratulations to your little girls!

(Click my name for some sleep tips that really took my through the first time with a new baby.)

Anonymous said...

The first few weeks are absolutely the worst! My girls were 37 weekers also, and what I have learned from almost every twin mother is that a lot of twins may be fine with their breathing etc, but when it comes to sucking, they are very behind and need a lot of catching up. My girls are almost 5 weeks old and it has been hell at times. I got just as depressed about supplementing with formula and not getting enough milk. I rented the hospital pump right away and have been pumping 8-10 times a day since I came home with them. My suggestion is to start taking Fenugreek 3 times a day 3 pills ( 9 pills total, it helped me a lot. I also take more milk plus and mother's milk tea but don't know if it makes a difference. When I came back from the hospital I would only get 1oz every 3 hrs after nursing them from the pump. Now I get 3-4 oz every three hrs, which is still not enough for them because they now eat 3 oz each every 4 hrs or so, but at least I have seen my milk supply go up significantly every week. I hear with twins it takes sometime 5-8 weeks or so for them to ge the whole BF thing and until they start nursing a lot and suck strongly, we have to keep doing what we are doing. I now have to supplement with formula only half the feedings, most of their food is BM for the day. I am having an LC come in to evaluate their suck today and see how close they may be to exclusive bf. PLease remember that you are doing the best that you can, it will get better mentally too...trust me... I just remind myself that this is m=not me failing them. The best way to increase milk supply is for the babies to BF fully frequently and suck strongly. Till that happens, the pumping is the next best thing we can do. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know and I can try to send you my email address... BTW, I remember you had PCOS right? I have PCOS too and I know that can affect milk supply.

Alba