I do not want my baby eating formula
Hello, my name is Stephanie.
I am 31 years old with a son named Vincent who is 21 weeks. I have been having so many problems, but I know my body is perfectly capable of producing. I do not want my baby eating formula but I am not producing. If you don't mind I would like to tell you everything that has happened.
He was born August 9th at 7:20pm, I had a cesarean. I have had two other children at much earlier times in my life, they were both cesareans as well and it was decided this would be for the best with him. I was not able to put him to my breast right after he was born but I was able to hold him in the surgery room until they had to wash him, etc. He started breastfeeding the next day, it wasn't perfect or anything but we started as soon as possible. Two days after he was born we decided to have a circumcision. This left him groggy and more tired so he was asleep the entire day until 10pm that night.
The hospital where I had him (UPMC of Pennsylvania) did not give me a pump that day. I was unable to breastfeed or pump for two days. A doctor came who was worried about my stress and lack of sleep and it was decided that he would spend one night in the nursery in order to (hopefully) make myself sleep.
I slept for less than four hours. I had two lactation specialists help me learn to latch and do breast massages to help the milk and continue to feed properly. They showed me three different techniques to holding him while feeding, we adopted the "football" technique relatively quickly and soon I was hearing the tiny little swallow sounds that told me we were doing it right. I intended from the very start of my pregnancy; to feed him with breast milk and zero formula.
After we got home I still wasn't making enough milk to feed him on my own so it was decided he would use formula during the night while I slept and during the day if needed. His pediatrician told me to go home that day and sleep for at least six hours if necessary. During that time dad took over with a bottle.
Slowly my milk started to dwindle. At first I thought it was in my head, that I was worrying too much and it wasn't really happening. Then there was a horrific accident, dad accidentally let Vincent slip out of his hands after a bath one night and Vincent fell on his head. We were rushed to the E.R. and I was completely torn apart by my rage with dad and my terror about my son.
He had a bunch of tests done, during his scan I actually nearly fainted so I was put in the waiting room while they finished up blood tests and so on. The next morning at 3am, they told us everything was all right and we were ok to go home.
I hadn't been able to nurse all night. That day at twelve noon they called us back asking us to come in as soon as possible and even arranged for an ambulance to pick us up. As it turned out there was blood in his brain they were unable to see the first time they had gone through the results.
We spent the night in the hospital (Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh) and I pumped that night, making three ounces without any trouble what-so-ever. I was unable to breastfeed because of all of the things he was attached to on his bed. By this time I was so stressed out I was barely able to go to the bathroom, I don't know how I managed to pump without any trouble. He is doing absolutely fine now, we've had two checkups and nothing has happened. He shows no signs of any serious damage what-so-ever.
I'll try to speed the story along though, I am sorry for taking up so much time I just don't want to leave anything out.
Time goes by, I live with a very annoying roommate that decided hanging around me while I tried to breastfeed my son, would be a great idea and he thought he was being subtle with the glances and such. It made it very awkward and I stayed in my room more and more without leaving unless I had to. I live in a two bedroom apartment with a creep, my boyfriend and our son Vincent. Dad, Vincent and I share a room. My stuff is in the closet to make more room on the floor for Vincent and his toys and activities. It doesn't bother me as odd as it sounds and it is more private now.
Greg (dad) lost his job and WIC was being extremely pressuring about the breastfeeding aspect. I told them time and time I had to supplement formula because of everything that had been happening, the pressures I was facing with my supply getting bad, the shame I felt because I was unable to be the mom I wanted to be, money was so tight and I was scared of the financial situation constantly. At the time, I wasn't aware that most of the breastfeeding supplies I had been using could be written off as a deduction when I file taxes for the year.
On the drive home after the horrible accident with Vincent our roommate decided to point out that we were basically living off him, pushing even more shame and guilt on me.
Eventually our pediatrician had to actually write them a note stating that I needed to have formula and I was breastfeeding as much as I could. (WIC wanted to have it one way or the other, either all breastfeeding or all formula) WIC eventually sent over their own lactation "expert" who did nothing but give me wrong advice and gossip about her husband when he was her college professor. Her "advice" was that my nipple shields were too small so I got bigger ones. It turns out they were too BIG and the bigger ones were really hurting me. I have smaller ones now not that it matters.
I went to another specialist, this time people who actually knew what they were talking about. I went to the Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh which was a big help. They helped me with my technique and watched me for about 20-30 minutes while I sat in a very comfortable chair and breastfed Vincent in a quiet, private room with dad sitting with us. He did great but I wasn't producing enough. They actually weigh the baby right before and right after the feeding so you can see what you are doing sort of. They also provided me with some new techniques and suggested a Supplemental Nursing System and even went as far as to show me how to use one that I was allowed to bring home. It was snipped with scissors though so the tube actually cut into my nipple during one of the feedings so we called WIC to see about getting a better one.
They insisted on sending over the chatty lactation woman again and I was so upset and tired and annoyed I just said forget it. She said she brought it over but when I said I was too sick to talk to her she literally refused to actually bring the SNS to me. I haven't talked to her since and am hoping I do not have to.
Greg's job is waiting till after the new year begins to start even thinking about letting him work again. My roommate stresses me out far too much. I am very anti-social and do not like to go out when I do not have to.
My insurance (medicaid) was discontinued because I moved to a new county. I am originally from Texas having moved because I was living in a horrible environment with a very mentally and sometimes physically abusive partner. Greg is my high school sweetheart of 16 years now. He's been with me through absolutely everything and after we moved here to get away from all the bad things in Texas (including no work) I fell very deeply in love with him and on Thanksgiving we made it official.
Vincent is our son, we adore him just as any parents should. I want nothing for the best, I know breast milk is what he should be having. Not boiled formula powder from a can. I know I can produce, I have done it before I know I can do it again.
We are an extremely poor family. He has what he needs and not much else. I am so stressed I cannot begin to tell you how deeply ashamed I am, how much I absolutely hate myself for not being the mom I have always wanted to be. I pump every hour for 20 minutes everyday.
I am trying to learn new hand techniques to force lactation to come back. I used Fenugreek for three months and it made me so sick I couldn't stand it any longer.
I know I can make milk. I know I can stop feeding him formula entirely. I want to do this so badly, not being able to feed him at all now physically hurts me. I look at the pictures his daddy took of the first day we latched and I can literally feel an aching hollow piece inside of me longing for that again. Please, I need help I am willing to do almost anything. I have no money, I can't make any financial plans of any sort. I am not able to do anything other than beg at this point but I'm willing to put aside any dignity I have left to make this work. Please, if someone can help me please please contact either me or dad.
This is a link to an album of Vincent on imgur I have just made. I was unable to post the pictures because they were too large otherwise. http://imgur.com/a/Tib2M#0
If there is any way I can please get some help to fix this and resolve this issue please let me know. Thank you if you actually sat and read this whole sob story. I am going out of my mind trying to make this work but without family or friends it feels impossible.
My family turned their backs on me when I put my first up for adoption saying I was a bad person for doing what was right for them at the time. Greg's family are petty and fight with one another about money all day every day. Greg's father sent gifts the day he was born and sent $100 for Christmas and that is it. When we talk about getting help with diapers, food or anything else he tells Greg to "ask the universe for help".
Greg lost his mother to breast cancer and I lost my father to skin cancer.
I can't get him cute toys and sweet clothes but I want to at least be able to do this much for him. Please send either of us word as soon as you are able to if you are able to help.