SLEEP. As most of you know, I ran into quite a problem while breastfeeding Finley. What it breaks down to, is that I sleep-trained her right into starvation. A friend of mine once lovingly joked that my sleep training skills are “legendary”, and I suppose that’s true. My 3 youngest kids all take naps like champs and are in bed by 6:30PM. Brady is our rooster, so he wakes us up at 7AM on the dot, Avery sleeps until 8:00AM, and Finley….well…..she’s her own story. She would pull a Rip Van Winkle on me if I let her.
PEACE. Somewhere around 3 months old, Finley decided that she LOVED the peace and quiet of her crib. She just lays in there staring up at the ceiling, feeling the satiny edge of her blanket. She would stay in there “napping” for 5-6 hours at a time during the day, and for a full 11 hours at night. There was never any crying when she was hungry, or even when she needed her diaper changed. She was just….content.
DEMAND. Breastfeeding is 100% based on supply and demand, and my Itty Bitty wasn’t creating any demand. And by 5 months, my milk supply ended up almost completely non-existent. She was only taking about 1 ounce at each feeding, even after nursing from both breasts. It was a tragedy. The motto is “never wake a sleeping baby”, but it was time to start waking her up.
FRENZY. After learning that she was actually LOSING weight, I went into full milk supply frenzy mode. I started pumping 5-8 times per day, taking Fenugreek until I smelled like a waffle house, and waking Fin up every 2 hours. I held off on waking her up at night to try and preserve my own sanity, but I just wasn’t seeing results fast enough. I decided that waking her every 4 hours at night would be sufficient.
AWFUL. Fast forward a month, and my milk supply was improving, but still abysmal. Fin was taking about 2 ounces at each feeding when she should be taking about 5 ounces. It was time to pull out the big guns. I rented a hospital grade pump, and dedicated nearly 3 hours every day to pumping. I was also taking every milk increasing supplement possible, drinking lactation smoothies, getting skin to skin time, sipping MilkMaid tea, and learning “breast compression” techniques. Yep, it’s as awful as it sounds.
DOCTORS. I tried seeking out help from a few doctors. There is an anti-nausea medication called Domperidone that as a side effect, causes women to have increased lactation. As soon as I read about it, I was like “SIGN ME UP!” I went to three doctors, hat in hand, and asked them for a prescription for this miraculous medicine. They all looked at me like I was some drug seeking degenerate. “Hmm…..this is your 6th trip to the emergency room this month, and you’re asking for Percocet? VERY suspicious!”
So, I did what every other Mom with access to the internet did….I ordered the medicine online. GASP! I know, shame on me. What can I say? Desperate times and all….
TO BE CONTINUED. I’m still patiently waiting for the Domperidone to arrive, and I have continued the insanity of trying to increase my supply naturally. Fin takes about 2 ounces from the breast, and 3 ounces from a bottle at each feeding. She is growing and happy, but my ultimate goal is to get my own milk supply back up to where it needs to be. Fingers and toes crossed!