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Old 09-13-2009, 10:48 PM   #1
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I'm SO upset! Updated and in tears

I recently had surgery (gallbladder removal), and at the time was told I'd just not be able to nurse half that day. I really was worried about it pre-surgery, and considered putting it off until ds was older so it wouldn't be much of an issue, but after talking to the docs, peds, etc., decided that it was a simple enough procedure and at most, baby just would miss a few feedings that day at most.

Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. Two days after the gallbladder surgery I was rushed into the ER due to a bile leak. I had to have emergency surgery to flush my body, was hospitalized for four more days, and heavily medicated for a week beyond.

Pumps have never worked for me this pregnancy, so ds was forced to learn to take bottles/formula. He struggled the first couple days, but as time went on, adjusted and ate well. I did what I could in the hospital to keep my supply (pump and dump) using the medela hospital grade pump. Even with that, I was only getting minimal milk pumped.

Now I'm home and trying to start nursing again. It is difficult, as I have a tube coming out of my stomach (hopefully to be removed tomorrow.) DS wants nothing to do with nursing (the little that I have tried.) I'm able to manually express drops of milk, so I know he must be getting SOMETHING when he sucks, but at this point he either isn't getting enough or is just not willing to do the work to nurse. I can't push it too much, b/c it is so hard on my body at this point to even try.

I just don't know what to do. I want him to stay ebf, but I'm feeling like my supply is quickly diminishing, I can't pump to keep it up, and don't know how to force him to nurse when I can't really do it now anyway.

I'm heartbroken and angry. I should have listened to my gut and put off the initial surgery to begin with. But I didn't, and now I don't know if I can somehow get ds back to nursing, or at what point I give in and figure he is going to have to switch to formula permanently.



Update: It's gone. My supply is gone. I can't get anything to come out. I got one drop out of one side this morning. I'm bawling. I looked into the fenugreek, but couldn't do it b/c of peanut allergies and diabetes risk. I tried to pump manually, as well as occasionally nurse him to keep the supply there, but the pumping did nothing, and he just wasn't interested in doing all that work for nothing.
I love nursing him, the way he rolls his eyes as he eats, and how he holds on so tightly to my hand with mine. We don't vax, so he needed my milk for extra antibodies.
I don't know what to do now. I just can't stop crying. I can't believe I don't even get the option to bf anymore. I'm so mad at myself for getting the surgery in the first place. I'm angry that we'll now have to buy formula, which is an extra bill that we'll now have at the time that I have lost my job and we can't even afford the bills that we've already got. He has to have a special formula due to milk allergy, it costs a fortune, and I'm just filled with anger and sadness.
Anyway, thanks for listening.

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Last edited by FallBabies; 09-15-2009 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:05 PM   #2
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Re: I'm SO upset!

first of all, you just had your surgery and you need time to heal. don't stress out! that may delay the healing process.

second of all, don't give up! have you talked to a LC or a LLL leader? they will have great resources on how to get your supply back up and running and getting your LO to nurse better. have you tried fenugreek to increase supply?

third of all, i know exactly where you are coming from. i've been doing the same thing. i had surgery for the detached retina about 2 years ago and i am almost 100% sure that this pregnancy has aggravated it. i've ignored it for 6 months. i am scared for the same reason you are.... but one of the LLL leaders on facebook told me that YOU need to be healthy for YOUR baby. that is the first priority. so i've made up my mind to get surgery soon (i am traveling to japan so i will be getting the surgery beginning of october).

sending you boobie dust!
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:43 AM   #3
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Re: I'm SO upset!

Don't beat yourself up! There is no way you could have anticipated this...

Contact your local WIC/LLL and get them involved. And I would get an adiri bottle to feed him formula/pumped milk.

These are the most like natural nipples available today... might help him transition back to breast.

Why is it that you "can't pump"? Is it painful? Do you need an expensive pump to make it work? My local WIC gave me a very nice electric pump when DD hit 3mo... maybe that's an option.

Is donated milk an option? Giving him breastmilk in the bottle may also help transition him back to breast.

Breathe! Your supply CAN recover. All it takes is to get him to suck. So keep offering! If he's too upset to nurse when he's hungry, feed him a little formula or water and then offer again.

Hang in there! I hope everything is better soon!
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:44 AM   #4
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Re: I'm SO upset!

Jamie- I can't pump b/c I don't produce for a pump. With the twins, I produced gobs of milk. I could fill a 10 oz bottle in a few minutes on each side, and still keep going.
This time around, I can't get more than 2 oz; this is while regularly nursing. I have tried manual pumps and electric. In the hospital, I used a hospital grade, so I thought for sure that would get more. It didn't; when I first went in (and was engorged due to not nursing), I got 2 oz on one side, less on the other. It only decreased as each day went by. Now I'm getting drops. Pumps just don't do anything this time.
He was always a very efficient nurser, so it definitely is a pump issue, not a supply issue. Well, NOW it is a supply issue, but it didn't used to be until this darn surgery.
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:24 AM   #5
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Re: I'm SO upset!

So sorry for everything you are going through. I just wanted to let you know that even if you are not getting much when you pump, it will still help increase your supply. You need that extra stimulation regaurdless of what actually comes out.
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:45 AM   #6
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Re: I'm SO upset!

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Originally Posted by livn4him View Post
So sorry for everything you are going through. I just wanted to let you know that even if you are not getting much when you pump, it will still help increase your supply. You need that extra stimulation regaurdless of what actually comes out.
Agreed.

There are also some herbs or even Dom that can increase your supply, if relaxation and drinking tons of water does not work.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:20 AM   #7
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Re: I'm SO upset!

what about supplementing at the breast?
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:34 PM   #8
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Re: I'm SO upset!

So sorry! Totally understand what a pain this can be. When my second daughter was 10 months old my appendix burst. I had to have emergency surgery that night. I will always love the friend who took my two year old and my ten month old, never had a bottle baby, that night why my hubby slept on a hospital couch. In the hospital they didn't bring me a pump for two days. Thank goodness for morphine! I don't know how I would have managed otherwise. When I came home I tried to nurse as well, but it was a no go. I also had a drain hanging out of my body and my body just would not produce milk anymore. I think with trying to recover from the trauma it just put milk production on the bottom of it's list. It was totally frustrating. I agree. You can keep trying to put him on and that may work. If you do have to stick with a bottle though, forgive yourself. It will be ok! I recovered, little miss sunshine is doing great at almost three, and daughter number two now gets the benefits of nursing.
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:11 PM   #9
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Re: I'm SO upset!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallBabies View Post
Jamie- I can't pump b/c I don't produce for a pump. With the twins, I produced gobs of milk. I could fill a 10 oz bottle in a few minutes on each side, and still keep going.
This time around, I can't get more than 2 oz; this is while regularly nursing. I have tried manual pumps and electric. In the hospital, I used a hospital grade, so I thought for sure that would get more. It didn't; when I first went in (and was engorged due to not nursing), I got 2 oz on one side, less on the other. It only decreased as each day went by. Now I'm getting drops. Pumps just don't do anything this time.
He was always a very efficient nurser, so it definitely is a pump issue, not a supply issue. Well, NOW it is a supply issue, but it didn't used to be until this darn surgery.
I have the exact same issue. I can only get about 2 oz when I pump... it's frustrating... but it's still worth it! The electric pump does help me at least in that I have carpal tunnel and it's painful for me to operate a hand pump for long.

Every ounce you can get will help boost/maintain your supply and it will give your baby the breastmilk he needs. Even an ounce a day is better than nothing!
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:37 AM   #10
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Re: I'm SO upset! Updated and in tears

Thanks for the words of support. There just isn't anything there anymore. Nothing.
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