Thursday, April 29, 2010

Adventures in breastfeeding

I was planning on writing a long backstory about the first 12 days of breastfeeding.

But that would take awhile. Maybe one day I will... just not today.

Yesterday I found out that my prolactin levels are super low (prolactin is the hormone that is essential for lactation). I'm at an 88 when I should be at 160 or so.

So our nursing issues are definitely ones of supply - this was confirmed when our lactation consultant came over for an evaluation. Griffin's latch, muscle development, and tone are all good. That was all great to hear since latch was a huge issue with Penelope... but it means that there's no quick fix for our problems. Jaye (or LC) weighed Griffin before and after nursing and he only gained .5 oz - so that's pretty much all I produce (total from both sides). No wonder he lost so much weight, .5 oz a feeding isn't nearly enough. Even with all the herbal supplements I was taking, my supply hasn't increased, disappointing to say the least. Jaye would like me to see an endocrinologist to see if they can figure out *why* my hormone production is so low, but we don't have insurance (thanks to my unemployment) so that's not going to happen anytime soon. Maybe one day... I wonder if endocrine issues would be the cause of my inability to take hormonal birth control. Hmm.

There's really only one option I have to increase my prolactin levels and that's taking the drug domperidone (which isn't FDA approved). It's an anti-nausea drug and one of its side effects is to increase prolactin levels. I can order it from a pharmacy in New Zealand but it will take a week or so to get here... my LC has another client who might be willing to sell me her supply of domperidone (she can't take it, it gives her headaches).

After doing some research we've decided to try the domperidone. A 3 month supply is less than a month's supply of formula, so we'll be "saving" money.

I'm hoping it works (quickly).

In the meantime I'm still pumping, nursing, and supplementing. We were lucky to get some donated breastmilk and we have some formula samples that should hopefully hold us over until my supply increases.

It's been exhausting. For all of us... Penelope was having trouble sleeping in her big girl bed so we put her back in the crib for the time being. She did so much better last night. We're pretty sure it was just too much change all at once. A new baby, a new room, a change in routine... all a little too much to handle at once. So we'll keep her in the crib for another few weeks and then try again.

I'm really hoping that the domperiodone works quickly so we can get into a new routine. I miss the activities we used to do - like music, playgroups, parks, etc. But having to pump every few hours puts a damper on social activities. I think Penny really misses her friends, she's been throwing more tantrums lately. And while temper tantrums are normal at this age, the frequency of her tantrums has increased exponentially since Griffin was born.

I know she'll adjust and everything will go back to "normal" - it'll just take awhile.

I have a lot more to say, but not the time - will try and update later. And I'll try and take new pictures...

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Penelope's Growth

6 years: 50 inches, 47 lbs
5 years: 48 inches, 42 lbs
4 years: 43.5 inches, 41.0 lbs
28 months: 39 inches, 33.1 lbs
26 months: 38.5 inches, 32.1 lbs
21 months: 37 inches, 31.8 lbs
18 months: 35 inches, 30 lbs
15 months: 34.25 inches, 28.8 lbs
12 months: 32 inches, 27.1 lbs
9 months: 30.5 inches, 25.1 lbs
6 months: 29 inches, 21.2 lbs
4 months: 28.5 inches, 17.13 lbs
2 months: 24.75 inches, 12.12 lbs
At birth: 20.75 inches, 7.15 lbs

Griffin's Growth

5 years - 3 feet 11.25 inches (47.25 inches), 51 lbs
3 years - 3 feet 5.25 inches, 40lbs
18 months - 34.5 inches, 27.13lbs
12 months - 32 inches, 26.5lbs*
10 months - 31.75 inches, 23.4 lbs
7 months - 29.25 inches, 21.4 lbs
5 months - 28.5 inches, 17.9 lbs*
4 months - 28 inches, 15.5 lbs
3 months - 27 inches, 13.10 lbs
2 months - 25.125 inches, ?? lbs
1 month - 24 inches, 10.13 lbs
At birth - 22.5 inches, 9.1 lbs
*with diaper

Izzy's Growth

2 months: 23.25 inches, 10.8 lbs
At Birth: 22 inches, 8.11 lbs

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