Monday, June 28, 2010

It still talks....

I'm sure you will all be happy to know that my pump still talks. Ever since the baby arrived, I have been fairly torn about whether or not I should pump. I struggled with milk supply when I had Micah, and one of the mistakes I made was letting things go too long before I began to pump. I swore that this time, I would not make that same mistake.

In the hospital, before we even arrived at our room, I requested a pump. I had everything set up and ready to go "just in case." Much to my surprise, the baby latched really well at her first nursing session. She fell asleep for about 6 hours after that, but the lactation consultant said that they advise moms of preemies who will be exclusively pumping not to begin pumping until the 6 hour mark. She further suggested that if the baby latched well again and stayed on for 20-30 minutes, that she felt that I should hold off on pumping and only pump if the baby refused to latch or nurse.

Right at the 6 hour mark, we had another great nursing session. The baby continued to latch at least every 3 hours for 20-60 minutes each time. She had the requisite number of wet diapers (and stools, too), and by morning everyone was telling me how well she was nursing and how perfectly everything was going. In the back of my head, however, I kept wondering if it was just too good to be true. I mentioned my supply issues and my concerns, and most felt that if I were to face supply issues, it would likely not crop up for a little while as I should easily be able to meet the baby's early demand...I just might start to fall behind later. It made sense to me, so I decided to trust the "experts." Besides...I always hated pumping, and in the early days, you pump and pump and NOTHING comes out until after your milk starts to come in - who needs that frustration?

At the end of day two, I began to get nervous again. It was our first sign of trouble...salmon colored urine in the diapers. It is a sign that the baby is passing uric acid and not getting enough fluid. Once we saw that with Micah, everything went downhill quickly, so I was fairly concerned. We spoke to the nurse and to the doctor, and everyone pretty much told us it was "nothing" - just feed the baby more often. I asked about supplementing and I asked about pumping, and everyone felt that the baby was doing a great job on her own and I should just trust that it would be okay.

The salmon-colored diapers continued all day on Sunday (and even this morning). She is supposed to be passing 3 stools a day, and she has barely been doing one since Saturday (she did 3 on Friday, and then 1 on Saturday morning, 1 on Sunday morning and none since then). She is definitely hitting the requisite number of wet diapers, but I think my supply might be the issue. we called our pediatrician and we are going in later today for an appointment, but over the phone they said I should start supplementing.

So, this morning, after she nursed on one side, I bit the bullet...and got cozy with my pump. And yes, it still talks. I think it is still pretty salty, too. It started out telling me to "Let it go" and then it called me "Whacko." When my pump switched to the faster pumping setting, it started to tell me to "back up" - since it was hurting, I decided the pump was asking me to turn down the tempo to a lower speed, and I happily obliged. Then it started to say "back hoe" - I'm thinking it was trying to make conversation about our upcoming renovations?

After all of that pumping...I barely got 5ccs. I hate pumping! I know that I did breastfeed shortly before pumping, and that the pump does not do as good a job getting the colostrum out, but I just find the whole process so discouraging! I ended up giving the baby all 5ccs, and I called the pediatrician to discuss her salmon-colored diapers. The pediatrician who had answered the phone read me the riot act about not supplementing yet, and how it was necessary and the baby would get sick and dehydrate...so after giving her the 5ccs, I caved and gave her another 10ccs of formula. I decided that maybe that would be all she would need to "get over the hump" and I would wait and see what they said at her doctor's appointment.

At 2:30, we headed to her appointment. We saw a different doctor, and he thought she looked great and maybe put on an ounce or two. I was just thrilled she is no longer losing weight! We discussed the salmon-colored diapers, and he thought that it was not a big deal before my milk came in, especially since she was gaining weight. He thought her color looked good and everything else was perfect. Naturally, after our long discussion about her lack of normal urine, he checked her diaper and...you guessed it - a beautiful yellow-colored urine-filled diaper! The little stinker made me into a liar...or at least one of those crazy, hypochondriac parents. I am pleased to report she has had two more normal diapers since our appointment, so it looks like all the extra nursing (or perhaps the touch of formula this morning) did the trick. Now, we just need to get her pooping again...she has not pooped since about 5:00 am on Sunday morning. I'm sure when we have a nasty diaper, I'll be regretting WISHING for more poop, but what else can I do? We will return to the doctor on Thursday for another weight check. Hopefully, she'll continue to do well.

In the meantime, Micah shows absolutely NO INTEREST in his sister. I did manage to snap a few photos of him nearby - I'll try to post them soon. We've been doing well during the days - she is nursing easily and so far I'm trying not to worry about my supply. DH and I have been trying to take turns caring for each of the kids, and my parents have come by a few times to help out with the baby. She seems to get very sleepy in the late afternoon/early evening, and then is wide awake from about 10:30 until 3:00 am. Last night, she just did not want to be put down, and I was exhausted - since Wednesday night, I had only had 5 hours of sleep - TOTAL. I finally just latched her on, propped myself up in bed, and the two of us took a 3 hour nap together that way. Yes, I know it is a bad idea to sleep in bed that way, but we needed our rest, and I just could not figure out another way to make it work because she wanted Mommy and no one else to hold her. Hopefully, tonight will be easier, but we shall see.

She has been nursing VERY frequently all day today. The little lady has such sensitive skin - she has completely scratched up her face with her fingernails, and every time she rubs up against something she gets these terrible abrasions/rashes that can last 3-12 hours.

Okay - that is our update for now!

1 comment:

Prather Family said...

That is great that you have such a good nurser. I'm sure that pumping here and there won't hurt and might help your supply a little. I hope you can get some rest as well. Still waiting on Twoey's name...hint hint. :)