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Friday, January 22, 2010

Tell me there's hope!


This is a call for help to my pro-bre.astfeeding readers. 

The reason I am sitting here blogging (instead of party prep) is because I am pumping brea.stmilk. Something I do about 22 hours a day it seems!  I am on the verge of quitting the pumping and switching completely to formula.  The twins do not nurse at all.  They are scheduled for surgery on their posterior tongue-ties for February 8th.  But seeing as how they will be over 5 1/2 months old at that point, the possibility of learning to nurse is slim-to-none.  They do not even latch on anymore.  Their latch wasn't good when they did latch-- due to the posterior tongue-tie. 

So, here's the deal, I took the twins to their four month well-child checkup today (even though they're five months).  The pediatrician said he doesn't recommend they undergo general anesthesia and have this procedure unless I'm going to nurse.  I want to nurse.  Really I do.  I'd love to chuck this pump and all the bottles out the window and nurse these babies at least a year.  But even my lactation consultant thinks the chance of them learning at this point is not good. 

If the twins need the surgery later for say speech problems, it will be much safer in a couple years versus as babies. 

I'm about to throw in the towel.  Obviously, we'll be praying about this decision over the next few days.  But I would like to know if YOU know any success stories of older babies learning to nurse that have never previously had a successful nursing experience.  And by older, I mean 2 months or older.

9 comments:

Laurie/Mom/Grandma said...

Oh, I feel for you. I wanted so much to nurse Sara for a year or more, but when she was six months old and weighed only 10 pounds, the doctor made me add formula. She gained two pounds in two weeks and never wanted to nurse again. My milk was just not rich enough. I know you wanted a positive experience with an older child starting. Sorry. Just know I'm thinking of you. I totally admire what you are doing and would never think less of you as a mother if you threw in the towel. So much better for the babies to have surgery later.

Lisa said...

I'm afraid I have no good news either. My son Lee refused to nurse well from the day he was born. We tried and tried and cried and cried, but after six very unfulfilling (breastfeeding wise) months, we gave up. I thought I was broken, and that I couldn't make enough milk for my babies. What a blessing Annalisa was for me, when she latched and nursed like a pro! I learned then that not all babies are the same, and it doesn't mean you have failed or are "broken" if you aren't able to be everything for everyone. I will pray for you too, and hope you find the answers you need--and the comfort you need too!

A. said...

I don't have much advice since I've never dealt with PTT, but from what I've read it seems like there are many many cases of peditricians, or other doctors, who won't use GA and just clip it. Have you had second or even third opinions about that?

Maybe if the prcedure was less invasive you could get them clipped now and see how it goes. Otherwise, if you have to wait for some major work to be done, then I can not see how you could go on with SO much pumping. Maybe for one baby, but boy you must be drained.
You're already doing the right thing..praying! I'll do the same for you.

Nikki said...

Amy-
Due to the strong posterior tongue-tie, they have to be under anesthesia because a slight wiggle and cutting just 1 ml too deep, or too low, or too high could have drastic consequences. Normally he does the clipping in his office with local anesthesia.

And thank you Lisa and Laurie for the kind words of encouragement. It means a lot to me.

Cynthia said...

I pumped and fed my twins breastmilk until they were about 6 months. I just couldn't make enough anymore at that point. Mine never latched on well AND I was too paranoid about how much they were getting. They started on 1cc in the NICU as 2 lb. babies so I learned early on to be a freak about how much they ate. By the time they were strong enough to have nursed- I had a SYSTEM down and I wasn't going to mess with it!

You've made it clear to 6 months BFing- I think that is AWESOME, especially when you have to pump for two. If you decide the time is right to let it go, you will NOT be harming your babies. It will all be okay and they'll still grow just fine. Make the decision that works best for your whole family.

jenny said...

Nikki - I don't have any good stories for you either, but you have been a champ pumping so much for those boys. They are very lucky to have such a devoted mom. No matter what you do, you've done more than most would have. Good luck!

Laura said...

Nikki - I'm going to offer you some encouragement, but maybe not what you are looking for. My oldest (Michael) wouldn't latch on, so after about 5 days of nursing, I went to pumping for about 7 weeks... then tried nursing him again. We nursed for about a week, but it was non-stop nursing, and it was never quite right. So at two months, I switched him over to formula, and we were both so much happier.

With Emily, I nursed her to about 14 months, until I had to quit because of some health problems. However, when she was 6 months old, and I was lamenting to her pediatrician that it was getting difficult (due to my increasing health problems and testing and pumping & dumping), her doctor patted my leg and said, "As a doctor, I encourage my moms to breastfeed for the first six months. Anything after that is a bonus - so if you decide to stop, neither I nor most other doctors will think less of you." That was so reassuring to me, to know that I had reached a very important milestone in the eyes of her pediatrician...

You've done awesome... I only pumped for 8 weeks, and oh.my.word, I still remember the chaos and work that involved. Six months of that? You are truly superwoman, Nikki.

Praying for you and your babies, whatever you choose to do. :-)

Nay said...

I just want to tell you that you will ALWAYS be SUPER-MOM in my eyes! I simply cannot imagine having to pump that much and still have other little ones to take care of. YOU HAVE DONE YOUR ABSOLUTE BEST! You're a wonderful example to all of us of a dedicated and caring mother. I know you'll make the right choice for you and your family, whatever it is! Your babies are lucky to have a mom as wonderful as you.

NibblesandVittles.com said...

nothing is impossible. it just isn't. those boys COULD latch fine after some intense encouragement.... or they might not. the only way ot fnd out is to try. but of course the only way to try is by putting them under...

I think I would (obviously) give this one a lot of prayer. nobody would fault you for quitting of course! but that isn't what matters - it matters what YOU think. you're the only one that should be really making that decision. ykwim? so I guess I would ask... is it important enough to you to give it a go and put them under? even if it doesn't work? or is important enough to you to let go now and not put them under and never out know what could have been?

whatever you decide will be the right thing.

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