Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The well is running dry

A few weeks ago when I took Carter to see his pediatrician about his purple feet, just as usual, the visit started out with a weigh-in. He had just been there the week before for his 4 month check up and weighed in at 13 pounds, 3 ounces (10%). The Doctor was pleased with his weight gain at that appointment, but at the following weigh-in, he was down to 12 pounds (and something ounces - I don't have those records). Surprised by a pound of weight loss in a week, she thought that maybe the weigh-in the week before was incorrect, that possibly he was full of poop (which I guess makes a big difference). Not too worried at the time, she had us come back for a weight check. If Carter was still not gaining, then we would weigh him again after he nursed to see how much he was getting.

For the months that Carter has been alive, I've never really worried that he wasn't getting enough or that my supply was dwindling. He always had a good amount of wet diapers and the kid poops like no other (well, like Logan. These kids are very regular) and I never felt like I was loosing milk - I leaked and felt a good letdown at each nursing. Even during his colic episodes, I never thought he was hungry because I would set him up to nurse and he wasn't interested. I can also tell the difference between eating and comfort nursing and knew when he was latched on after a crying spell, 90% of the time it was for comfort. On top of that he's a pretty frequent eater, at every 2-3 hours. So, without this weight check, I would have always thought he was getting enough to eat. Everything else added up.

Yesterday afternoon we went in for his weight check. He weighed in at 12 pounds 9 ounces. Not really a great weight gain in a week and a half. So, we nursed. Our timing was a little off as he last ate an hour and a half prior, so he wasn't too hungry. But he did eat. It was more like a snack. After 7-10 minutes of nursing, we weighed him again. 12 pounds 10 and a half ounces. He only got an ounce and a half.

Of course I had a million questions and the nurse couldn't answer any one of them. She said that our Doctor would call me in the morning to discuss the next steps. I left the office feeling deeply sad. Sad that this could possibly be the end of nursing.

Holding back tears all afternoon, I spent the rest of the day on the Le Leche League website and on KellyMom both of which gave the same advice for increasing supply: More frequent nursing. So, if I was going to try and save my milk, I would have to nurse Carter every hour. Also, start taking fenugreek to increase the volume a bit. Both of which I am starting today.

I am now waiting for the Doctor to call back so we can figure out what to do. I hate waiting...


Anonymous said...

Fenugreek really worked for me, and I was pretty skeptical that it would. Good luck.

Kari said...

Don't be alarmed if you start smelling like maple syrup...if the tablets are too much for you (ie maple smell becomes too strong) you can also get a fenugreek tea.
Good luck!

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

I had a lot of trouble producing enough milk. It was heartbreaking to hear that Monkey wasn't getting enough, I cried for weeks. It's tough. I don't have any magic suggestions I do hope things get better.

angie said...

Hoping the best! Whatever happen though don't be too hard on yourself. You are doing the best for Carter - whether that means you continue to breastfeed or supplement. He knows you love him!

erica said...

I second Angie's opinion :)

Also I found that eating one bowl of oatmeal in the morning, and snacking on almonds through the day, boosted my supply so much. Of course I also found a FANTASTIC lactation boosting cookie recipe ( which I never got to use since at that time, Nyki started using my nipples as chew toys and I stopped nursing altogether. LOL. Hope it helps you though!!