Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tuckered Out

Hey there Humble Readers...

Tuckered out seems to be my constant state of being these days. 

Pippin has hit his 4 week growth spurt a couple days ahead of schedule, so I'm not getting a lot of sleep these days. The other night he was awake every hour and a half or so. Add in the fact that in less than a week Ginny has cut four teeth.  It's been challenging, to say the least. 

Breastfeeding is not happening, at least not in the traditional sense.  Pip is still getting close to 50% breastmilk and 50% formula.  I'm pumping every three to four hours (usually 15 minutes a side), and he's getting every drop I have to give him. 

Pumping and exclusivly bottle-feeding was not what I had planned, of course.  Our little man started out so well at the breast, that I had high hopes, but the effects of the jaundice combined with the realities of my life with a newborn and a toddler brought a different reality. 

With the jaundice, Pip became an incredibly lazy eater... a trait that has still lingered, even though I have tried every trick under the sun to keep him awake.  He simply eats a little, and then dozes off, only to wake up 5 or 10 or 15 minutes later ready for more.  He even does this with the bottle. 

Struggling to keep him awake to eat, then ultimately bottle feeding, and then having to pump meant that every feeding was taking an hour and a half.  This routine was completly impractical, and honestly impossible to maintain.  Something had to give. 

That something was breastfeeding. 

I know that he's still really young and we may yet be able to get him onto the breast.  I still try once a day.  I am hoping that perhaps this growth spurt and his increased appetite might prove helpful in this regard. 

I also know that a nursing baby will get more and better milk at the breast, than what a pump can draw out.  It was a choice I had to make. 

I'm trying to keep the feelings of having copped out at bay.  I'm constantly reminding myself that Pippin is growing like a weed, and he isn't hurting for food.  I'm also working hard to remember that I'm providing half of his dietary needs without medications or supplements, and that is such a huge improvement over what I was able to provide Ginny. 

I don't know how long the pumping and supplementing will last.  Ideally, I'll be able to get him on the breast and have him stay awake.  But if that doesn't happen relatively soon, I'll have to take a hard look at how long I can continue pumping.  The pump rental is expensive, not to mention that it's still taking a long time for each feeding/pumping session, even without actually breast feeding.  I'm tentatively looking at our 6 week doctor appointments as a possible weaning point, but we'll see. 

Both wee ones are sleeping just now, so I'm going to try to catch a few zzz's myself.  I hope you all are keeping well.


  1. Oh, poor Mama! I hope you got a good long nap in!!! I say 'bravo' on the bfing front! Ideally, a baby will get more from the breast than a pump... but a pump will get more than a sleeping baby will. I think you made the only choice you could considering the circumstances, and you're doing a heroic job at it! So great that you're able to make that much milk! Color me jealous. ;)

  2. I admire your sticktoitiveness! Try not to beat yourself up too much if you have to wean earlier than you'd like. You're doing great!

  3. I feel tired for you. It sure isn't easy with oe, I can't imagine how hard it is with two?! You have to do what you can and we all know that's your best. :)

  4. 1) You are amazing. Please, please, please don't beat yourself up over bf'ing issues. You are doing an amazing job at getting him your milk and at a huge cost to yourself.

    2) You're right, he may get his latch back (Graham eventually did), but he may not. If you end up needing to go all formula because that's what's best for your family, there is NOTHING wrong with that. I'll tell you what G's pedi told me... "I was fed formula as a baby because my mom was a bra burning feminist. She never tried once to nurse me. You know what? I love my mom dearly, she was a great mom and I did make it through medical school and don't have any major health problems. So, obviously, formula didn't ruin my health and rot my brain. If it comes down to choosing between a healthy well rested mom and breast milk, I say you give him a healthy well rested mom, there's no formula for that." But, if you decide to keep pumping... make yourself a hands-free pumping bra (yes, I do just mean cut little holes in your bra so you can stick the pump suckers in there). Suddenly pumping time will become pinning and blogging time and it won't be nearly so tiresome. (Speaking from experience...)

    3) You might want to go back and edit out Ginny's real name... It's a beautiful name, but I know you've been very protective over not sharing real names here.


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