So the saga continues....
Unfortunately, for anyone reading today's post, I'm little more than a milkmaid these days, every hour seemingly spent either breast feeding or pumping; this almost constant latch and attach leaves me little time for other life pursuits. So, that's what you get to hear (more) about, the trials and tribulations of trying to get a (late-term) preemie to fatten up.
But is it the chicken or is it the egg? Is it that I don't produce enough milk? Or that the baby girl is not yet able to really suck it all down? Well, to try to find out, for the third time I dutifully went to the doctor's office (this time to the Premature Infant Nutrition Clinic) and had baby girl weighed before she fed, and then immediately after. The weight change tells you how much volume she consumed during the feeding. The last two times we've jumped through this hoop she's gotten 40 mL, about an ounce and a third. When I asked how much term babies typically consume at each feeding they answered between an ounce and two ounces. I ask you, is that not the same as what baby girl is getting??
It is, clearly, but the fact remains that she is not gaining weight so we've now been instructed to attack the issue on both the chicken and egg fronts. I am to take the herb fenugreek, to stimulate milk production, and I'm to pump after EACH feeding, also to help with milk production. (But is there not, perhaps, enough milk NOW?)
Baby girl is now to drink a bottle of formula (the issue of nipple confusion seeming to have evaporated since our last office visit) after every feeding. As much as she will drink.
All of this news did not sit well with me. At all. I, of course, burst into tears, like usual. I neither want to feed my baby formula, or pump, or be made to feel that I am inadequate at producing what my baby needs. Thank you, but no.
The doctor then goes on to mention that age could be a factor, but is not normally in women who have previously breast fed infants (which I have, twice), and she THEN goes on to mention a prescription drug that helps stimulate milk production, but that there may be depressive side effects.
Wtf, lady? I'm three weeks postpartum and dissolving into a puddle in your office, do you really think it's a good idea for this old woman to take that drug? I do not.
So that's were we are -- me popping herbal pills three times a day, pumping whenever I mange to force myself to, and the girl sucking down the formula each feed like it's baby crack.
Will I lose her to the bottle? I hope not. Will I be able to produce more milk? I hope so. But if not, the only side effect that I've experienced from the fenugreek is that my sweat is beginning to smell like maple syrup.
Who doesn't love pancakes?