You can do this!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-11-2014
You can do this!
2
Tue, 02-11-2014 - 11:25am

Exculsively pumping is very hard and for the mothers that stick to it, they deserve utmost recognition.  We want what's best for our babies and will do that at much cost, which isn't limited to lack of sleep or any kind of social life.  If you need a little inspiration, my story may help...

On October 9, 2013 my husband and I welcomed our son, Peyton, into the world.  Born at 28 weeks, Peyton was very premature and weighed just over 2 lbs (I suffered from severe preeclampsia.) After my emergency c-section, I was put on fluids and was fine for a few hours.  However, unexpectedly the fluid I was given went straight to my lungs and I was sent to ICU for 4 days, WITHOUT seeing my son.  I was very sick, an emotional train wreck and the last thing I was thinking about was breast milk.  My LC came into the room 2 days after Peyton was born and explained that it was important for me to pump at least every 3 hours and to send anything I produced down to the NICU for him.  Breast feeding was important to me so I tried my best but it was insanely difficult. 

After being released from the hospital on October 15th, I used my own Medela Advanced pump and kept a log while doing it.  My breast milk production was so low it was almost immesureable. I was literally getting 1-3 mLs per session.  My thinking was that if I pumped longer I would get more but I quickly learned that that wasn't the case.  After pumping for 45 minutes and still producing lackluster results, I knew I needed my lactation consultant more than ever.  Since my son was still in the NICU, I would talk to her regularly and got suggestions on what I should do.  Fenugreek (9 pills- 610 mgs each a day), renting a hospital grade pump (Medela Symphony was awesome), drinking plenty of water and doing double pumping sessions became routine for me. Constantly watching the clock and adjusting all of my outings and sleep schedule was an everyday occurance as well.   It was an incredible amount of work, especially since the hospital where my son was is 30 minutes from my house. I also had some set backs and Peyton's NICU nurses, although sympathetic to my situation, told me they needed to mix some formula with my milk since there wasn't enough. That was a total blow to my confidence but with the support of my husand, family and other moms I was able to persevere.    

After 70 days in the NICU, Peyton was finally able to go home.  Today, he is 4 months old and has quadrupled his body weight.  I like to think that he flourished in the NICU not only because of the amazing care he received but because of my milk.  

I want to let any moms that are struggling with milk and pumping that you're not alone.  If you're thinking that it's too difficult and you're at the end of your rope, seek help from an LC, friends and family.  However, if you have decided to stop altogether, don't beat yourself up about it either.  There are some situations where EPing is virtually impossible and milk production becomes a daunting, heartbreaking venture.  In circumstances like that, do what YOU think is best for your baby and don't let anyone make you feel bad about it.  

Suzie- first time mom to Peyton James Smile

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2013
Tue, 02-11-2014 - 2:29pm

Suzie, 

What an incredible story! Definitely inspiring. I cannot imagine how challenging it was to be in the ICU and have your little guy in the NICU, especially for so long! And your sacrifices to pump breastmilk for him are just a huge demonstration of a mother's love.

I had HELLP syndrome and pre-ecclampsia. But after reading your story, I feel fortunate that neither hit me until 39 weeks. But they hit me hard and unexpectedly and I too had an emergency C-section. So much for my all-natural birthing plan! :) 

I use a Symphony, too! Yes, I love it - smooth and efficient. Not very "portable," but oh well! 

Thanks for sharing your story. I really enjoyed reading it and found it very encouraging.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-10-2014
Tue, 02-11-2014 - 9:29pm
Beautiful story. This gives me hope since I too am EPing since my LO does not latch!