It’s been over two weeks since my last project relactation post, and as you can imagine, a lot has happened since then. Though it’s mainly been trudging along through the daily grind of nursing, pumping, and supplementing, there have been a few highs:
- I found a source for domperidone and started taking 10mg 3x a day (so a total of 30mg a day) on day 34. For me, it wasn’t the miracle drug that other mothers praise. However, I do think it helped speed up my milk production noticeably (It might have worked better had I taken a higher dose, but I had side effects — headaches and dizziness — at even that low dosage).
- Wyatt was able to nurse without a nipple shield on a regular basis.
- On day 38, Wyatt only took four ounces (120mL) of formula. That’s just one supplemental bottle! On days 47, 48, and 49, he took even less than that: around two ounces (60mL).
- On day 45, I set a new record for pumping: 496mL, or 16.5 ounces.
Unfortunately, there have also been some lows:
- Since Wyatt was willing to nurse without a nipple shield, I tried going without it entirely for two days. He bruised and cracked my nipples, so I had to take a couple of days off of nursing to exclusively pump and let them heal.
- Wyatt and I traveled back “home” from the States last week. He refused to nurse for most of our travel day and I didn’t get more than a couple of opportunities to pump for over 24 hours, so my supply is still trying to rebound from that.
- A couple of days after we returned home, Wyatt began teething in earnest. He’s been early at everything, so naturally teething is no exception. 😉 Though he has been more interested in nursing, his clinginess has made it nearly impossible for me to pump when my husband is away at work. My supply suffers further.
- Since his interest in nursing increased with teething, I tried cutting out pumping and just nursing him as much as he wanted. Unfortunately, this exercise showed me beyond the shadow of a doubt that his tongue tie is still a problem. I’m not willing to try having it corrected for a third time right now, so I have had to make changes to our nursing and pumping routine.
I came within inches of throwing in the towel on day 49. Wyatt was fussy and clingy all day, napped only in fifteen minute increments, refused to nurse a few times, and I couldn’t pump because I was alone at home. Luckily, after Steven had been home for a few hours, I gave nursing another shot and Wyatt (grudgingly) consented. He even needed to nurse to sleep that night.
After many attempts and despite my hopes, I have realized that Wyatt and I probably won’t be able to have an exclusively nursing relationship. He can’t effectively remove milk in any reasonable amount of time. He falls asleep before getting a full meal, leaving him without all the nutrients he needs and me with milk still in my breasts (bad for maintaining or increasing my supply). It would be selfish of me to keep making him work so hard when it is physically not possible for him to exclusively nurse like a normal baby without tongue tie.
With that being said, I think I have found a little routine that works for us. He nurses first thing in the morning, then gets bottles of pumped milk when they are available or formula when they aren’t throughout the day. I pump every 2-3 hours during the day instead of strictly every 2 hours, which is more manageable when we’re home alone. He also nurses for any night wakings.
This gives us the best of both worlds: we get the bonding and oral development of nursing and he still gets all the milk he needs to grow properly from his daytime bottle feedings.