Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mommy report:Back to the tube

(Fair warning, possible TMI...I don't usually talk much about breastfeeding, but for the purpose of explaining the situation, it's necessary. I'm not all that comfortable with it, but maybe sharing will allow some good advice from some of you.)

So after an exciting discovery that Braska had gained 2 oz over the last 12 days, the afternoon yesterday started going downhill. She started acting a bit irritable and uncomfortable to start with. As I did my general analysis of the possible causes (yeah, I'm that way), I realized that previous to the 4 days that she's been sans tube, she had been consistently on it for 3 days, during which we'd filled her as full as possible. I had meant to have her weighed at the end of those three days, but I didn't get up to the dr's office to do it. That's important in that I think she probably had gained more at that point and is now down a little to the current 11 lbs 14 oz. I'm judging from how she fits in her clothes and her demeanor. The other factor is that while she's been nursing and taking solids somewhat better than normal the last few days, I have been worried and now feel sure that she still is not getting enough fluid since my milk supply is down.

Last evening while we were at Randy and Karen's she got quite fussy, and in a different way than usual. I started reviewing all the recent situations and was concerned that she was just plain hungry and possibly starting to feel dehydrated. She ate pretty well before bed, so I thought I'd address it further today. Two things changed that. First, I got up to pump at about 1:30 am (yes, after seven months...still pumping during the night...grrrrrr). It had been about 4 hours since the last time, instead of the usual 3 hour cycle during the day, but I only got about 40 cc or just over one ounce total. That's not a good sign, per past experience. This has happened the last couple nights, with the total decreasing each night. But she has been doing pretty well nursing during the day, seeming to get plenty each time, making plenty of loud swallowing sounds, which she didn't do previously, so I hoped that she was taking in enough. Then, she woke up at about 3:00 am. This is important because she doesn't wake up at night. And when I got her up, after I'd just pumped less than 2 hours before, she was anxious to nurse, so I let her try, and she seemed to be taking in some. That is, until she spit up everything she'd just had. She started throwing a fit, but made no tears. This was much the same as the last time she was dehydrated, although not as bad as then, thankfully. I woke up Muncher to walk with the screaming baby while I got things ready for the re-tubing. Once we got the tube in and food started, she calmed down and went back to sleep. I filled her full then and once more during the night, and this morning, although she's not back to her playful self, she's better and seems to be "juicing up" again.

So it's back on the tube for now... if it turns out to be more than a week or so, we'll have to walk the tough decision road toward the G-tube. In the meantime, I'm working to increase my supply to see if we can try it all over one more time. Here's hoping!


  1. You are a good momma

  2. RK, you're doing great. Really, really great.

    I don't have advice, but I hope you figure it out.

  3. You are such a great mom and such a trooper RK. Braska is so lucky to have you to be so diligent this long!! Way to go! As far as advice, all I can tell you other than what your lactation consultant would tell you is to try to relax a little. My mom told me when I had maddy that aside from the basic water intake and regular stimulation the one thing that she always found that effected her supply was stress. I know that with all that you have going relaxing seems like an impossible task. But, between pumpings get in a little and float. If you need some company or someone to play with Braska, you know where to find me! Karen

  4. Grandma C and Cate--Thanks for the kudos. Much obliged.

    Karen--Stress?!? What stress?!? In my life?? I don't know what you might mean. I wish I could take more time to do some quality pool floating, but it's not making it into the schedule. Hopefully soon.

  5. You are a fabulous mom. The whole pumping thing is so hard and kudos to you for doing it (I did it too for 9 months and then I had a medical thing happen). Karen is right - stress plays a huge part. I hope you are able to get your supply back up - good luck.

  6. I know this must be so stressful for you...sounds like you're doing a great job though. I pumped for 9 months and it is a lot of work. I had supply issues toward the end too, so I know how frustrating it can be. Hope things work out for you guys.

  7. Wow. RK. I really hope things turn around. I only lasted pumping 18 weeks. When G went on the tube I started formula right away--but then G wasn't nursing AT ALL. I felt like all my work was leaving me little time with G, so I can't say I was bummed to stop. Although, at the same time, I felt very guilty and upset that it hadn't gone the way I had always imagined.

    I know how stressful this all is. I am hoping and praying for you. That things turn around. Have you tried the teas? The supplements? You've probably heard all that before.

    I wish I knew what I could say to help you. Please know you are an amazing mom and you have so many champions out here.

  8. That's a cute little girl you got there. I am glad I ran across your blog.


Thanks for your comments! I love the feedback!