Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An actual, verifiable source of worry

So So.ren is a little germ factory (or, more accurately, carrier).  He has had one cold after another all winter long because he goes to this indoor rec center with his nanny and the other kid in the sharecare, which, from a germ perspective, is maybe one step removed from daycare.  Well, he infected me with this latest cold, which gave me an ear infection and a cough.  

I thought my magical breastmilk would prevent Se.bastian from getting sick, but no luck.  He's now a sick little guy, coughing and wheezing and being really tired and not really eating much.  We've been to the doctor three times in 24 hours (on their advice -- I'm not THAT crazy) to get him checked.  He's taking lev.albut.erol from a nebulizer, and we're now adding some steroid to that plan.  If he gets worse, the next thing is the hospital, where they can give him oxygen.  

I'm not really sure how we could have prevented this, since I can't not touch So.ren when he's sick, you know?

In other news, I definitely have a bigger milk supply this time.  For one feeding at night, I've started just pumping (while someone else gives the baby a bottle of pumped milk and/or formula), and I am getting six or seven ounces then, after not feeding/pumping for four hours.  I did this with So.ren, too, and would only get three or four after not pumping/feeding for six to eight hours.  So wahoo!  Something is working.  It's hard to say what since I am taking 947 supplements, doing acupuncture, eating various alleged lactogenic foods, etc.

Also, I broke down and had a little booze the other day at an Oscars party.  Ahh, champagne.  So refreshing.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Because Niobe asked

Check out this post.  And check out the links in the post.  Then post your own eye color on your blog.  It's nifty to see everyone's eyes!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Insult to injury

We had the housecleaners here today, and they poured out the breastmilk I had just pumped.  (I keep the bottles/horns out for two or three pumping sessions before refrigerating the milk and washing the accessories.)  When I asked where they were, the cleaner said she had poured it out because "it was only a little."  A little for her, maybe!  Anyway, since we are already supplementing a few ounces a day with formula, this did not send me into convulsions.  If this had happened last week, I would have broken down and cried and perhaps not stopped until placed into an induced coma.

In other news, I am freaking myself out about the fact that Seb.astian doesn't make much eye contact.  I think it's improving (ie, he does more and more each day), but I consulted Dr. Google on all kinds of autism-related queries, and now I'm totally insane with worry.  I think that perhaps I need to (a) step away from the Internet and (b) see some sort of professional about my tendency to work myself up over medical things.  In the meantime, it would be nice if my little boy would start gazing at me lovingly and with massive smiles all the time.  I recall doing this with S.oren, too, but I think he started smiling shortly thereafter, and my fears were assuaged.  Se.bastian has broken out a few smiles for us that seem real, but then he goes back to looking at the wall, and I start to freak out again.  Gah.  I know he's only one month old, but still.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Did I say a month? Make that four weeks.

Well, I thought I could get to Saturday on breastmilk alone (for Seb.astian, not for me -- though I hear breastmilk can be used for a variety of ailments), but I'm revising that to four weeks.  Which is today.  After bragging on here about his weight gain, it has dropped off a bit despite constant feeding, and so I think it's time to supplement.  Also, I can never leave the house because I'm always feeding or pumping, and I am neglecting my first child big-time.  So tonight, we start the formula chasers, at least until I get the donor milk.  I'm aiming for a 2/3 breastmilk, 1/3 formula split for the next month if I can swing it (and if my supply doesn't crash).  That should be possible since I am not going to drop any feedings or anything, but we'll see.

Today, I'm going to a new-moms group in my 'hood.  There's a local wine bar that has "wine and wh.iners" Wednesdays -- ie, you drink wine and bring your kid.  I haven't had a sip of booze in, oh, 10+ months, and I don't think I'll break down today, given that alcohol supposedly reduces supply (despite popular lore), but maybe next week.  I do love me some chardonnay.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Better than last time

Well, it may not be sustainable, but my feeding/pumping schedule has let me exclusively breastfeed Se.bastian for more than three weeks.  He's still gaining well, though I really need some sleep.  He was born at 8 lbs, 4oz.  His lowest weight was 7 lbs, 7oz (a nearly 10% loss).  He's now 9 lbs, 4oz, though I think that weight today might have been slightly inflated by a recent meal.  So let's say it was really 9 lbs, 2-3oz.  Much better than with Sor.en, who dropped a full pound, didn't gain and/or lost weight often in those first few weeks, and was already being supplemented by now.

That said, this is the result of feeding very often and pumping after all or almost all sessions, then feeding S. the pumped milk within 24 hours.  We're now trying to stretch out his pattern a bit, which he is totally up for -- it is HARD to get him to eat every two hours.  It just remains to be seen whether my boobs can maintain their supply with more time between feedings and pumping sessions. 

My goal now is to get him to one month (2/21) on my milk alone.  If I need to supplement with donor milk or formula at that point, then so be it.  I have an Internet friend who is going to send me 100-200 oz. of her excess milk, so that will be nice to have.  So.ren keeps bringing home germs, and my main concern is to get Se.bastian through these first six to eight weeks with the best health possible.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Photographic evidence

Here's a photo of my little guy from today.  His thick rug has thinned out a bit but still looks like a baby toupee.  Admit it: he's cute.  

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Attention, media

"Implant" is not a synonym for "transfer."  You'd think that the TV interviewers (Ann Curry) and publications (New York Times) would notice that whenever they talk to a fertility doctor or the octuplet mom herself, those people consistently say "transfer."  Transfer!  Transfer!  Gah.

Real update to come.

Friday, February 06, 2009


For the past week, I've been feeding at least 10 times a day and pumping for about 10 minutes after each feeding.  And this hard work paid off, at least for the moment, since Seba.stian was up 10 oz. over that week.  Since I'm taking every supplement known to man, I can't figure out exactly what caused this increased supply, but I think it might be the acupuncture.  Google "acupuncture" and "insufficient lactation" and you'll see studies and protocols.  Or maybe it was the More Milk Spe.cial Blen.d, which is the foulest-tasting shit on the planet and involves grain alcohol but which some people say works well on low-supplyers.  Or maybe it's the Meta.mucil, which -- I'm not joking -- one woman on the MOBI (Mothers Overcoming Breastfeeding Issues) board swears doubled her supply.  (I figured it couldn't hurt to take it.)  In any case, I can't keep up this schedule of feeding, so tonight we're going to let the little lad sleep a four-hour stretch and hope it doesn't foul up my supply.

I had my post-operative appointment this week and was pleased to find that all of that horrible reflux paid off.  You see, the reflux kept me from eating after 3pm most days, which meant I didn't gain that much weight.  And lo and behold -- it's all gone already.  Now, that doesn't mean I look normal -- I certainly do not.  But at least I don't have to worry about the actual poundage.  Then again, I think that with So.ren I was one of the few people who managed to gain weight while breastfeeding, so I shouldn't count my chickens, etc.  

Having two children under two is tiring because it requires man-to-man defense, but it isn't as bad as I would have thought.  So.ren has rallied and is very interested in his baby brother, and we hope that his memory of the "before" time is fading away already.  

So, all in all, things are very good right now, even if I'm so tired I can barely string together a subject and a verb.  Stay tuned for more from the low-supply battlefront.....

Sunday, February 01, 2009

One step forward, two steps back

We weighed Se.bastian on the rented scale today, and he was back over 8 lbs.  Then, for no apparent reason, my supply dropped off a cliff.  What the fuck?  I was still nursing constantly, pumping, taking supplements, etc.  I hope it'll be back to the old level tomorrow.  I'm sure being stressed about it doesn't help.  My current goal is to keep him exclusively breastfed through Wednesday, which would be two weeks.  We can then supplement, though I'll keep up the nutso feeding/pumping schedule for another week to make sure I max out my supply, such as it is.