I'm so glad I'm not alone in all of this

by Gilly
(Castle Black)

After reading the many comments on here and hearing the frustration and sadness in them that echoes my own, I can say that while I don't wish anyone pain, it's nice to know I'm not alone in all of this.

Somewhere out there are other women who are going through the same thing and we all wonder, "Why don't my boobs work?" Yesterday after trying to nurse for almost an hour and then having my kid suck down almost five ounces of formula immediately afterwards, I made a decision: I'm going to stop focusing on my boobs and start focusing on my baby.

Maybe like some of you who posted, I had a couple of things going against me: for one thing, I have tubular breasts. I never knew there was a term for breasts like mine- they seemed shaped differently than everyone else's and never seemed to grow much. They were very far apart and the nipples were huge and puffy. This is because the areolas herniated due to a congenital disorder.

For another thing, my baby got bottles from day one in the hospital. He had a low sugar issue and the doctor gave him a bottle of Similac Advance to raise his sugar, and then also suggested supplementing his feedings with formula due to a case of jaundice.

Before the baby came, I took two classes on breast feeding and after he came, I took another one. I asked three nurses if my son was latching properly and they all gave me affirmative answers. I spoke with two different lactation consultants; one in person and one on the phone.

The lactation nurse in the hospital was very helpful. She instructed me on the use of the hospital grade pump I brought home, and gave me good ideas on how to pump. The lady on the phone basically told me that I wasn't making enough milk to make a trip to my house worth her time. Nice. I took herbal supplements which helped a bit, but not enough to make a lot of difference. I even ate oatmeal (which I really hate) every single day to support my lactation.

As of yesterday, the most I have ever pumped in this past seven weeks is a little over three ounces. I pumped that the day before yesterday because my kid was asleep during a feeding period. Most of the time, I get less then one ounce when I pump. Today, I've gotten a total of four ounces all day.

Right now, my mindset is that I have a limited amount of time with my son before I return to the workforce, and I don't want to spend the remainder of it being miserable because my boobs don't look right and don't work right.

So, there's my story and I hope that anyone reading it can take heart if they are having similar issues: You aren't alone and you have to make the best decisions for you and your family.

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