Saturday, April 7, 2012

weight check woes

Yesterday we took Penny for her 2 week appointment.  I have been exclusively breastfeeding, and unlike last time, I thought things were going well.  One week after she was born she weighed 6lb 3 oz.  At yesterday's doctor appointment she should've been back to her birthweight (6lb 10oz).  So at her appointment when she weighed 6lb 1oz, we all freaked out.
Do you guys see that?  She was way below where she should've been.  This put Penny in the 3% for weight.  This is not good. 
When the nurse weighed her, DH and I instantly knew this was going to be a problem and a big deal.  After the nurse left but before the doctor came in I nursed Penny (it always takes a while for the pediatrician, but she's really good and worth the wait).  When she came in she was her usual fast talking self, and when she looked at the chart electronically and saw her weight, she became very serious.  She thought it was good that I was feeding her, we could weigh her when I was done and see what she took from me. 
The Doctor gave Penny the full check up and besides her weight, everything was good.
So we weighed her after I fed her.  How much did she gain?  Half and ounce.  Half.An.Ounce.
So as we are getting ready to go, the nurse who weighed her stepped out and told the doctor.  The doctor was so concerned that she instructed the nurse to get a bottle and have us feed Penny right then and there.  The Doctor came back in with a whole new set of instructions.  She was very concerned that we don't have a lot of wiggle room to figure out Penny's weight situation.  She gave me detailed instructions about feeding Penny for 5 minutes on each side, and then pumping (to increase my supply) while DH or someone gives her a bottle of however much she'll take. 
I felt awful.  Now, I've been through this before, with Macie.  But I just thought that since Penny's diapers were looking normal (lots of pees and poops.  Macie had gotten to the point where she had crystals in her diapers and a brick dust looking type of output), that she was doing fine.  I had just gotten used to the idea that Penny was going to be dependent on me, solely, for her food.  I liked leaving the house and not taking anything other than the hooter hider.  I was really sad, and almost lost it a few times in the dr. office, but I was able to hold it together until we got to the car.
And here's the thing with pumping to increase my supply.  I spent 3 months doing that with Macie, and it just.didn'  I hated it.  I spent hours hooked up like a cow while other people cuddled my sweet baby.  I don't want to do that again. 
Just to see, I skipped a feeding yesterday while Penny had a bottle and I pumped.  Combined?  I got less than one full ounce. 
So, where does that leave us?
I am going to continue breastfeeding.  I am going to give Penny all the milk I have.  5 minutes on each side.  Then, I am going to give her a bottle.  however much she'll take.  And that will be all.  In addition to how I feel about pumping, DH is going back to work on monday, and I don't see how I can take care of a toddler and baby while pumping.  One time would be fine, but that just made it a 40 minute feeding session each time.  So I don't logistically think I could pump every time even if I wanted to.
We are going back on Wednesday for a weight check, and then the following Monday to see the dr. again and evaluate her weight gain. 
This is scary.  I hate feeling like I'm not enough, BUT, I love knowing that at least now she's going to eat everything she needs.  I just want her to be healthy no matter what.  And I'm not stopping breastfeeding.  I'm simply supplimenting with formula. 

Completely un-realated.  Happy Easter.  We had our Good Friday service last night and I'm blown away by Christ's sacrifice.  If you haven't made plans for tomorrow morning, find your local church and stop by.  You won't be sorry you did.


Alyson said...

I am a total stranger who just stumbled upon your blog. I could have written this blog post word.for.word. My girls are 18 months apart, and our baby is now six months old. This was me last October down to every last detail...pees and poops, happy newborn, but the weight gain wasn't happening. At the pediatrician's office my daughter also got less than an ounce after I nursed her. I know the stress and disappointment you are feeling, and also experienced it with my first born. Women who don't experience supply issues can't understand. I just wanted you to know you aren't alone. Like you, I gave my daughter as much milk as I could and happily supplemented with formula. It was either that or hospitalization due to failure to thrive. Best wishes to you from a stranger!

Kasie said...

Just a visitor who has walked in your shoes with 3 babies! Finally, with my third, my friend told me to look into herbal supplements for me to increase supply. I inmediately began researching it and sent my hubby to the health store to pick up some fenugreek caplets. He came back with a combination pill, and It was amazing! My supply increased considerably and I was able to stop supplementing after a week or so. I hate that there is not more education with pediatricians about herbal supplements. They are very safe and beat formula! I would encourage you to check it out and give it a try. The ones I used were called Lactation Ease, but there are several kinds on the market, along with individual pills of fenugreek, thistle, etc. Best wishes :)

Bethany said...

This EXACT same thing happened to me. I thought everything was going great with breastfeeding because she would latch on great and suck and suck and seem happy and content afterwards....but at her 3 day post going home visit they did the weigh/feed/weigh thing and she had gotten less than 1 oz....Eeek! She had jaundice too so there was NO time to wait and see if it got better on her own. We kept breast feeding and supplemented with a SNS( thin tube threaded into her mouth attached to a syringe of formula) so she would keep breastfeeding, but at 2 weeks she still wasn't at birth weight and we discovered it wasn't my milk supply, but for some reason that we still can figure out she just could not suck effectively. We switched to me pumping her bottles but I felt like suck a failure! As guilty as I felt though, switching to a bottle was the best thing for bonding with her because when we were breastfeeding it was SO stressful and she would fight the SNS and I would cry and it was just bad. Bottle feeding her made it so much more relaxed.
Sorry for the long story lol...I don't usually comment with my whole breastfeeding saga, but I just wanted to let you know you aren't the only one! Have a great Easter weekend!

Melinda said...

I also just stumbled across your blog and I had supply issues at first as well. I would HIGHLY recommend finding a lactation consultant in your area. She made all the difference! I was in her office weekly for the first 3 or 4 months but we finally got everything worked out and I was able to nurse for 15 months! Good luck!

I Believe in Miracles said...

I am so sorry you are going through this. UGH>>>>>

Praying for you friend. Hope the next weight check goes much much better.


Unknown said...

I am a silent reader, but I wanted to click over from google reader to let you know some babies are just small.

I am on my 3rd baby. He was 6lbs 2oz at birth (full term). Was 6lb even at 1 week. Then we switch doctors.

He only gains about 3.5 a week, which is less than average. But he like your daughter has plenty of wet/poopy diapers and is very happy content.

I don't produce well with a pump. So I just nursed as much and as often as he wanted. I followed his clues not the doctors. I took him for weight checks for a while then stopped because even though he was gaining the same amount all the time the dr still wasn't happy.

He is 10 months old, still breastfed (he is eating right now) and still small. Babies come in all shapes and sizes.

I read an article in the middle of the weight checks by I believe it was Dr. Jack Newman that said to look at the baby, not just the scale. So that is what I do.

Hope that helps.