The Decision to Bottle Feed

It didn’t take me long to decide to pump and bottle feed Owen. I couldn’t go on forcing my Breast on his face only to be screamed at every time. Clearly, this child wants to get the bottle. I mourn every day that I won’t be a Breast feeding mama. This also means I am pumping still and supplementing with formula. I decided not to stress myself with a rigid pump schedule so I pump 4 times a day, still producing between 20-25 ounces of milk. I’m on Domparidone to increase supply so it’s likely helping. I am starting to wean off it and will get a good idea if my supply drops. 

Now, the big question mark looming over my head is, how long do I pump? I am mostly taking this day by day, week by week. If I could maintain one or two pumps a day so he reaps the benefits, OK. Or maybe I need to be pump freed finally & liberate myself. I haven’t decided yet. Every day I want to quit. And every day I want to pump until at least 6 months. 

So, maybe I need an end game plan. Work out a weaning schedule so at six months of age he will be on Formula and Solids. I bought HiPP brand which is a German company. Their formulas are made of Organic Milk, non-GMO and doesnt contain the refined sugars. I feel better about feeding him this formula if I have to feed him any type. And I’m a lot more relaxed these days about feeding him formula. But I only ever really get that full sense of satisfaction in nourishing him when it’s my breast milk. But given the summer I’d really like to be out and about and traveling around and enjoying it I really need to detach myself from the pump for order in order for that to work. I really don’t wish for my entire year at home to be spent stuck to my pumped. I really do feel a sense of regret about how things turned out because he was able to breast-feed when he was born. I feel like Innoway my lack of knowledge and lack of doing my research on breast-feeding I really did this little guy some series in justice. I know he will be fine regardless of how he’s being fed as long as he’s being nourished but pumping and using formula was deathly not in my game plan. And I’m having a really difficult time letting go of what the game plan was.

I see all these tank tops and shirts I bought for the summer thinking I would be breast-feeding him and I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness. How naïve I once was to think that something so natural would just come to me.

I still have moments where I look at them and think oh maybe I will shove my boob in his face today and see what happens. But I shy away because I don’t want to be scream at and get him really upset. 

That is my feeding update for now I will let you all know how things work out. The more I think about it the more I am wondering whether I really just want to wean him off breastmilk entirely. I figure another month or so and we will be on to solids.

I’ll send a baby update very soon!

Xo

My Breastfeeding Woes

I need to vent. To get my thoughts & emotions out to my blog universe and maybe some advise?

I think we are done trying to breastfeed yet I can’t utter the words. Yesterday he latched on a few times while I walked around and jiggled him around for distraction. Today, he screamed bloody murder!!! Just how long can I go on like this? I’m fighting with my emotions of wanting the best for him, naturally. Of getting off my pump. And wanting sanity and calm for us both. I feel like a yo-yo not sure what to do. Quit entirely? Formula feed only? Breast milk combo? Keep trying at Breast???

I contacted the speach pathologist again and she will see what she can do to see me earlier in the day. Doing this when he’s tired and winding down for bed and while the reflux is at its worst isn’t ideal for our success. She said she will get back to me. That will be my last ditched effort. If she can come for a few feeds, and it still doesn’t work out then I’m done. Bottle fed he will be. I’ll just manage a breast milk and formula convo until I decide to go to formula 100%. I never wanted this. 

As a mom who has her second shot at motherhood. A long journey to get to where I am at and the heartache that ensued, I wanted to do every thing right this time. I wanted to do my absolute best to keep this child healthy and happy and Breast feeding was in the plan. And I just can’t let it go. I feel like I’ve failed him and I no matter what I do to fix it, it’s not being fixed. And there are no do-overs. This is it. This is the one shot I have and I don’t wanna screw it up. 

10 Hours

Thats how long my boy slept with no night feed. Holy smokes and a pancake! When I woke to his cries I was expecting it to be around 3am the latest but it was 5:45ish and he’d fallen asleep last night at 7:30! unreal. 

So I start to wonder what I did different? And can I do it again tonight?? He had a bottle of milk between 6-6:30. He had a bath, massage, pjs. Then I have him another bottle but not a full one at 7 pm & he was passed out by 7:30. 

Must try again tonight!

As you read…bottle…im sure you can pick up that Breast feeding isn’t established at all. Im still struggling through nearly three weeks gone. I have a few more tricks up my sleeve like not fighting him at the breast, bottle feeding at Breast, trying sheild again and to finish feeds at Breast so that maybe he will comfort nurse or nuzzle that MIGHT trigger some thing. At some point this kid has to give no? And if he doesn’t then Ill move on. I don’t have much of a game plan. Nothing concrete anyway. I plan to keep pumping, feeding him at breast when I can and will. And hope for the best until I give up. The reason I haven’t given up is that every day he latches on and feeds. It’s just not for long enough. So I can see he can do it. If he couldn’t do it at all I would have thrown in the towel a long time ago. 

Here is some baby eye candy! 

 

3 Month Update!

My little boy is THREE months old today! Holy Wow!

I can’t believe some days the time that’s passed and all that we’ve been through.
Owen is getting so much fun these days. Lots of smiles, lots of babbles…he’s super cute. I couldn’t have asked for a better baby! He’s waking on average once a night – some times twice. But how can I complain? I’m actually not exhausted all day.

A lot has happened in his development in a month. He’s able to rest on his forearms, roll over, talks lots, follows us with is eyes, smiles lots & lots. He’s now grabbing his toys and sucking on his fists, fiercely!

I didn’t update on my breast feeding adventures. But they’re some what improving and some what not. Today’s not a good day so I won’t update based on today’s events but I started to push him hard at the breast as of two days ago and we started to turn a corner. Still a very, very slow process and two weeks later I really felt we’d be some place better. Today has been BAD and I broke down in tears a few times and have been ready to give up. I just hate that he’s upset each and every feed. Infact soon as he knows its feeding time he goes right into yelling. :( I know he can breast feed. Infact he’s shown me he can. I just can’t figure out why it’s so up and down after two weeks. Anyhow I’ll see in a weeks time where we are at. If we are no where closer I may have to reevaluate whether I keep pushing him on breast or continue to pump or wean onto formula. Time will tell.

Here is my munchkin!

   

     

Speech Therapist for Breast Feeding Difficulties

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OK so the time finally came and went, the speech therapist came by Friday night to do suck training on my little guy. What can I say than I LOVED her! She was super sweet with Owen & extremely patient. She was meant to work with babies. 

She assessed his suck at first by allowing Owen to suck her finger. She then tested to see what his range of tongue motion was & what was going on inside his mouth.  She concluded that he ate with no suction, did not bring her finger where it had to be (soft pallet) and happily that he didn’t suffer from a tongue tie!

First, his suck. Using her finger she felt he didn’t bring her finger back to where it needed to be which his soft pallet. This would explain the nipple pain I endured from day 1 of his life. She triggered his natural reflex in his mouth to bring her finger back to where it needed to be. She said she can’t understand why it works, but it just does. All babies have this trigger spot and it fixes their natural reflexes. 

The next thing she did was put his bottle of milk in his mouth to see how he ate. While his tongue was in the right place, milking the nipple (another clue he’s not tongue tied) he was using his tongue to hold the bottle in his mouth. He has nearly no suction. This totally explains why he couldn’t get my nipple into his mouth and keep it there long enough to do anything with it and why after weeks of using the shield, it started causing me so much pain. His lack of sucking basically led to a way of eating that caused a lot of friction in the shield. She actually said that the shield shouldn’t be used for fixing nipple damage as it actually just keeps things as status quo for the life of the shield’s use. So…she worked her  “magic” by activating the right muscles in his jaw by poking certain spots on his cheeks and he started to suck properly! Next was putting him on the breast. This was a tough process where he fussed and cried a lot. We used the side laying position. She used the shield three times and then that was it. She said I didn’t need to use the shield anymore. He was breast feeding! He finally had suction which I now realize was a part of why why I tried putting him on myself he kept letting go. There was no suction to keep him on. He did cry quite a bit and hard. This was some thing the lactation consultants always told me not to allow happen or else he’d have negative association to the breast. Glynnis said that wasn’t accurate. And she was right. He was lacking confidence in breast feeding and she said all he was doing was protesting and he showed fear of his abilities to breast fed. He calmed down really fast so she said he wasn’t really all that upset to go from 100 to 0 that fast. By the end of the hour, he had breast fed! He’s not efficient and bobbed on and off but, he was doing it. 

The plan now is to feed twice a day at the breast and slowly increasing how often he’s on the breast. At first it’s very likely I will need to top him up until he can efficiently feed. I got him on the breast three times yesterday. The first two times he didn’t protest but the third time, he wasn’t having much of it. His latch isn’t great. I don’t feel like he’s bringing the nipple all the way back most of the time so, my right nipple is very sore. This morning I fed him and it was a struggle. I’ll try again later this evening. She did say some days and some feeds won’t work out as hoped & that’s ok. I can just bottle feed. I have decided however if his latch doesn’t improve by end of tomorrow, I will be asking for Glynnis to come back. I’m too affraid to have nipple damage again. And I’m starting to feel less confident today. 

All in all, huge improvements. This hasn’t happened since he was born. And luckily we caught it while he still has his natural newborn instinct. She said after three months their eating becomes purposeful and not instinctual and it’s harder to train. 

I really wish I knew Glynnis ages ago like before I got into pumping. I just have to hope this will work in the end. It would be priceless to me. 

Owen turned 11 weeks as of Saturday! He’s lots of joy. He holds his head up really well, he’s very alert to things going on around him, he’s starting to laugh and he babbles tonnes! Love this cutie!!





 

Owen’s Time To Shine! And feed update. 

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Owen is now 9 1/2 weeks old which is crazy! I can’t believe how much time has passed! He’s currently around 12lbs and 22.5″ long!

He’s been sleeping longer stretches of time over the past week (yay!) and being so playful. He coos and yells while he gets his diaper changed. I don’t know what it is about getting changed but he absolutely loves it. Soon as the diaper goes back on he’s protesting! 

Today we made big progress. He entertained himself on his play mat for all of 30 minutes! This felt so good. I could be productive while he is awake. I hope this lasts. 

Feeding hasn’t gotten better yet. I should say, breast feeding. As a last ditched effort I hired a Doula on advice from a friend who had problems too and great success. She came over on Monday and assessed his suck and he’s not pulling back to his soft pallet. So we have an appointment with a lactation consultant who is also a Speech Pathologist on Wednesday of next week. She will assess him and us and do suck training on him. I’ve spoken to two people now who have worked with her and they both had immediate results. One of those women had a very similar situation to me and very quickly got to exclusive breast feeding. I am still pumping with some formula suppliments. After this final attempt I will either be breast feeding or I will decide if I wean him entirely off breast milk or I reduce my pumps from 6 to 4 and suppliment with formula. I’ll have to take it day to day and live with what I can manage and handle. 

Aaaaaand I finally got to have some photo fun with my son. Here are a few fun shots of my boy! ❤️



Two Month Update!

It’s been a really long time since I’ve had an update. I feel negligent. Truth be told, I don’t have a lot of spare time. 

Owen is growing like a weed! He’s 11.5lbs as of today’s check up! He seems to be growing on average 1lb every two weeks. This kid eats a lot! Feeding has been interesting and partially why I have not much time. Feeding him by nipple shield became painful. He seemed to compressy nipples and thus irritating them. So, on advise of my lactation consultant, I’m now pumping and breast feeding some of the time. Mind you, he’s getting really used to the bottle and preferring that. We suppliment with formula since his appetite is huge. I have a hard time pumping often given he needs more of my attention now that he’s awake during the day. Also what comes with this is constant cleaning and sanitizing bottles. Wow does that take up time!

One of the lactation consultants suggested he may be ever so slightly tongue tied (I doubt it) and so we are waiting on a referral to see a Pediatrician. At the same time will address his night grunts to rule out any health issues. This kid grunts half the night keeping us awake and some times waking himself. Mostly its a phase for kids and they grow out of it by 12 weeks but some times a health issue. The other thing the LC brought up was that he favors his neck to the left and she thinks he may have muscle tightening which could cause latch issues. So we are seeing physiotherapist at the hospital on Thursday to be assessed. 

So issue is: bad latch. He won’t open his mouth wide anymore to get a pain free latch. He also prefers to latch with shield. I’ve had him latched a bunch of times with out it but I find we have to fix latch first or else he will damage my nipples again. 

If this doesn’t resolve I’m stuggling with pumping. I don’t think exclusive pumping is for us. It’s a lot of work and i find it stressful. Stressful about if ingot enough milk for him, loosing even more sleep and not spending as much time with Owen as I’d like. It’s also a major pain in the neck to be out of the house long. Every day I wake up wanting to quit and just formula feed. And in the same thought I feel guilty and mourn the loss of breast feeding. Wanting nothing more than to give him the best. It’s a strong internal struggle. In despise pumping but want him to get breast milk. 

Other than feeding woes, happy to say we get a bit more sleep at night. He’s up 2-3 times. Once the grunting stops, daddy and I will sleep even better. He’s figured out day and night so, he’s up lots in the day. We feed, play and nap. He loves his activity mat and toys that play music. He smiles lots at me and coos. He talks lots on the change table. He loooooves a diaper change. Gets really upset when the diaper gets back on lol. He’s able to roll from belly to back during tummy time. He loves to watch faces, especially new ones. He loves light…always catch him staring at the TV, lamp, thinks ceiling lamps are the best. 

This kid is awesome. Soooo cute. Love him to pieces! I can’t wait for him to be more interactive and start laughing. 

Here are a few shots of my boy!



Thoughts about the first six weeks

It’s been quite amazing how time has flown by! Each week that goes by with this little man I fall more in love with him. Every week he changes and it amazes me how much so.

I thought I would touch a bit on the first six weeks of being a new mom and what that really entails. Everyone tells you how little sleep you’re going to get. People joked with me and said don’t get too used to sleep and to get ready to wake up every two hours. And we all kind of laugh it off and I say well yeah, maybe not my baby but the truth of the matter is, I find that people don’t really talk about the complexities and the challenges with having a newborn. Everyone tells you how much sleep you’re going to lose but no one really tells you how difficult it is to wake up from what feels like the depths of hell and have to take care of a newborn. The first week, Owen slept on me. I slept two hours in a course of 24 hours. That’s not waking every two hours. That’s two hours of sleep! I look back on that week and I am so happy we are past it. I spent a lot of time crying and hoping he would lay down in his basinette so I could get just ONE hour of sleep. I felt uneasy on my feet and my head was swimming. Sleep is getting easier but I’m still sleep deprived each and every day. At least once an hour I think about how I can squeeze in a nap. That’s how all consuming the thought of sleep can be. At week six, his night time sleeps have been longer and more consistent. It means we go to bed between 8 & 9 pm. The one thing that keeps us awake and restless sleep is all his grunting and outcries. This baby makes SO much noise at night!

The other things no one talked about was how hard breast feeding would be. It’s only once I spoke out to friends did I learn nearly everyone saw a lactation consultant more than once, soothes cracked nipples and some, flat out have up. I’m still struggling through nipple shields. The sheild a were amazing but now it’s causing me pain again. My nipples burn and hurt so badly that I’m seriously considering weaning Owen onto formula six weeks and counting and I dread each feeding. I saw the lactation consultant again this week and there was no quick fix. I hoped there would be some thing we could work on. I’ve been on verge of quitting breast feedings for a while. But I want it to work so badly and want to give my boy what’s best so I keep at it.
Owens neck favors to one side. The LC believes his muscles are stiff causing the tilt and perhaps is what’s messing up his latch. So we are seeing the hospitals neonatal physiotherapist next Tuesday the 17th to asses his neck. She also suggested he might be slightly tongue tied however, he’s tense and so therapy may fix all of it and maybe he’s not tied.
We definitely need to look at his neck so that’s a no brainer. But as far as feeding is concerned, it could be weeks before his neck is adjusted and I can’t keep feeding him status quo.
So I’ve been pumping today and mixing with formula. I’m not sure what I’m going to do but I am starting to lean towards bottle feeds. It’s not what i wanted. I’ve wanted to BF so much. It’s led me to many tears thinking about giving up. But being in agony at every feed and dreading the feeds just isn’t fun. I want to enjoy my time with my boy. So, we will see how things go. I’m really just playing it by ear. Letting go of my hopes and dreams of feeding him breaks my heart and it’s caused me to hold on as long as humanly possible. Long as I feel comfortable enough.

Here are a few photos of my pride & joy!

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One Month!

Owen has kept me mega busy lately so I’m sorry for posting so late. My Mother In Law was also here for the past ten days for a visit and an extra set of hands so I haven’t been online as often.
Wow, a whole month. I’m amazed. I think back to that first week and how overwhelmed and exhausted I was and I don’t recognize either one of us. Lots of trial and errors, Jaundice, Breastfeeding issues. I’m still mostly exhausted but no longer overwhelmed
Wondering “what do I do with this little person???”.

We are still not sleeping much. Infact, since Owen’s Jaundice has cleared he’s been more awake and his sleep schedule went out the window. He still won’t sleep more than about 1.5-2 hours after end of feeding and some nights I sleep two hours. He makes so much sounds and cries in his sleep so I wake easily. I have to learn to ignore it all and sleep through it knowing when he really needs me, he will let me know.
He has been quite alert the past week and he has started smiling over the past few days. Feels so great to see that smiling face! He has been smiling and giggling while on the boob for a while now. I find that fascinating!

I’m still using a nipple shield to nurse and painfully trying to wean him. He just won’t have it. Very frustrating. My left breast is producing less milk too and feels bruised so I’m pumping that side and feeding on the other. I really hope this “click” on breast feeding happens soon. I’ve had moments every day where I want to quit. And then I feel guilty and have to remind myself that breast is best.

Owen has been growing at a fantastic rate. I see a big difference from week one. It’s really neat to see him grow and develop.

Here is a photo of my handsome boy today!

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Two Weeks Old!

I keep meaning to write an update but life has been pretty crazy. Owen has been keeping me very busy this past week but one thing I am thankful for is we have finally ditched the breast pump! While breast pumping was quite affective of getting fluids in him for his jaundice, it was taking up a lot of my time pumping and cleaning the pump parts.
I still plan on pumping to get a reserve frozen but I want to be done in terms of daily feedings.
I’m still using the nipple shield. On day three of exclusively breast-feeding. My nipples are less sore and things have been going much much better so I’m a very happy camper. I really want to ditch the shield so next Wednesday I have an appointment with the lactation consultant and that is what I’d like to go through with her. While the shields have been amazing at getting me to where I am, it is quite cumbersome to have to put it on instead of just latching him on. He has this wonderful tendency of screaming for the breast and sometimes when I’m fumbling with the shield it gets really frustrating for us both. Transitioning between breasts is also difficult because again we go through the screaming fit because Owen isn’t getting what he wants. The other issue is beating around people or in public it makes me very nervous because I’m not one to put that much display in front of everybody. It will be wonderful once I can just latch him on discreetly and not feel like I have to hibernate for 40 minutes when guests are here.
His jaundice levels keep coming down. His last blood work was done this past Wednesday at our lactation appointment and the number once again came down. He has been a lot more alert this past week and feeding really well peneplain very well so there shouldn’t be any concern. He still a little yellow not as bad as he was before but I’m still always concerned and not convinced that the numbers are coming down. I think for my peace of mind I just need to see that he is no longer yellow.

This past week was also my first week along with Owen and we had a lot of ups and downs. I’ve had a lot of emotional ups wings and down swings. The last two nights I have slept in bed with his cot next to me and while I’m still not getting a very restful night sleep I am getting more sleep. I find it very difficult during the day time to nap when he naps partially because I am really awake and the other issue is that between having to eat and shower and get other things done sometimes it’s just not possible.
This week school however is going to be me sleeping in at least it’s not napping throughout the day. The other reason I haven’t been really napping during the day is because when I wake up from a nap and feels like I’ve been run over by a truck. It’s very difficult to feel that grogginess and having to feed and care for him shortly after waking up.

Week three brings us a few new things on Wednesday again I have lactation consultant so I do plan to try to revisit feeding without a shield. This coming Sunday my mother-in-law is flying in for about 10 days to visit with us and to help around the house.

Here are some photos of the little tyke.

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