Friday, January 29, 2010

First Pediatrician Appointment

Well, it decided to snow yesterday morning and while that's all nice to look at....the thought of dealing with snow PLUS the twins PLUS getting out of the house PLUS hailing a cab PLUS getting their car seats in a taxi for the first time?! Whoa.
Not to mention I can't carry anything, not even the diaper bag. Chicken is a rockstar Sherpa, once again.

Thank goodness the snow stopped, the sun came out, we managed to leave the house on time right after a feeding and a diaper change. We didn't leave anything behind, had everything in the diaper bag we needed, got an awesome cab driver who didn't curse under his breath that we were taking so long to load up AND we got there in time!!
Whew! Grunter and Whoop Whoop like their car seats and have not fussed in them the entire two times they've been in them, so this is a good start.

In fact, when we undressed them on the table at the peds, the nurse remarked how chilled out they were and that most babies were fussy at this point. We have nothing to compare it to, so we'll take her word.
The have both gained back their birth weight in only 6 days PLUS Max put on an extra ounce! Yeah babies!

They look great, but have to go back in only 5 days to be checked again because they are right on that cusp on preemie/not preemie (born at 35 weeks and 5 days, where 36 weeks would've crossed that line).
So far, so good.

A big concern is that my milk hasn't come in and it's been a week. I have now been advised to pump on a very strict pumping schedule every 2 hours. Unfortunately I have been very absorbed with breast feeding them and perfecting this rather than concentrating on pumping. It should have been the other way around because they are still so small and while they are feeding, their suck is not strong enough to bring in my milk. Now, I should only try to breastfeed them every 3-4 feedings and just pump, pump, pump. Damn, I wish I'd know this DAYS ago.
I'm in a bit of a panic mode now because I am just at that crossroads of "it might be too late".
She advised me to get some mother's milk tea, which I did and I'm drinking that 3-4 times a day now, hydrating like crazy, putting heat on before and ice on afterwards, dropping the pain med Perco.cet and 'trying' to get some rest. This is quite difficult when you pump every 2 hours as it really only gives me 1.5 hours of sleep at a time.
It's day 8 now and I know that many things could delay your milk coming in: a C-section (check) Perco.cet (check), thyroid problems (check), excessive blood loss at birth (check), so I really do feel that I'm in a race against time.

If anyone has a similar story or can give me advice, please please please tell me! I need reassurance that it's not over before it's only begun. It's already breaking my heart that I can't breast feed them every feeding and we have to supplement with formula but I know this is the for the best in the long run.

Chicken thought it would be really funny to suckle me and I kicked her. Not funny. Not funny at all!! I never imagined your nipples could hurt so bad. OUCH.

WooHoo for hands free pumping! I can blog again!


Anonymous said...

hey mama puffer!
Just you have breastfeeding consultants over there in your wonderful country? Or do you have a good midwife? otherwise there is still LLL la leche league (, which offer tons of helpful hints.
years ago a co-worker was also struggling with low milk flow after a c-section and her daughter being a preemie. hth, xo , moni /berlin

Anonymous said...

..sorry, I hope this time the link will work...I found a story that might be interesting for you...

Anonymous said...

..grrr, third time, I hope this will do, sorry again, xo Moni said...

I gots nutin in the advice arena but I want to say "your doing a great job mama and it's going to work out!" Keep up the pumping and those boys will be at the boob full time before you know it.

Sending you lots o' milk vibes right now.

Two Moms, Two Monkeys said...

Hey puffer! It is sooo NOT TOO LATE. I didn't even start pumping until the third day after the twins were born because #1 nobody would bring me a damn hospital pump, and #2 I was so out of it from all the blood pressure meds that I couldn't even sit up.

It took me about 10 days for my milk to really come in and then it was like overkill! I highly suggest you get a hospital grade pump. Not one of those that claim to be hospital grade just because you can dual pump. A REAL hospital grade pump. I got mine on ebay and I swear that thing could make anybody lactate. When I would start to slack and see my milk supply drop (like right before I came back to work) I would add in a few extra sessions on the high setting and I was back on track! I have the Med.ela Lact.ina Se.lect and got it on eba.y for $200. Its ugly and big but totally worth it. I bought a handsfree pumping bra (tube top) and use that so that I can still be hands free.

I also heard oatmeal really helps increase your milk supply. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

...her is the L aleche league telephone number. and this i my last post for today. promise. xo, Monika

If you are unable to find a Group or Leader near you, 24-hour breastfeeding help is available toll-free in the US from the LLL Breastfeeding Helpline-US at 877-4-LALECHE (877-452-5324).

ps: the baby I mentioned in the post above is now 10 and her mama was able to fully breastfed her (no added formula, she added veggies from month six on, though) for 10 months....

cindyhoo2 said...

Sounds like you are doing great mamas puffer and chicken. Your blog always make me smile lately. It makes me hope for twins... In a nice, comforting way.

My advice from doing intensive reading about bringing in a milk supply ( so clearly this is untested by me): breastea, blessed thistle, fenugreek, oatmeal, hospital grade pump and pumping every 2 hours. Then there is tons of stuff about relaxing and visualizing your milk letting down--- this part may be utter rubbish much like the "if you just relax" ttc advice. Sounds like you are on track.

sandra said...

I had a c-section and blood loss and my little one was in NICU for 5 days and didn't get to suck to bring my milk in. I took fenugreek and blessed thistle and that brought my milk in like whoa! Also pumped every 3 hours (which meant no sleep). Let them nurse as much as possible. Supplement with formula after they have nursed- that way you are getting a lot of suck time. Hang in there.

Two Moms, Two Monkeys said...

Forgot to mention that you also need to eat enough calories for you and the babies (I think its 500 extra calories per baby). I always find that on days that I eat every 2 hours or so (yes still - and the boys are almost 10 months old) I always get like 1-2 ounces more per pumping...which totally adds up. I still don't rest so I don't think that plays into it too much, how are you supposed to rest when you are pumping, bfeeding and you have TWO babies! ha!

Remember, I wasn't even able to nurse directly for 3 months! and now the boys are almost 10 months and exclusively on breastmilk, one nursing still and one I nursed until recently (he got his tooth) so now I pump for him. So it can be done. It will get easier as they get bigger and can help stimulate your milk production.

Lastly, I mentioned you could buy the pump on ebay, but if you are short on funds and need it right away you could always rent one from a medical supply company. I decided to buy one because I knew I'd be pumping long-term and I really liked the one they lent me from the hospital.

Email me if you have any other questions. Congratulations again...your boys are beautiful.

B and D said...

Congratulations to you guys! I am a long time reader and mostly a lurker (although I think I've commented a while back. I think) since I have little internet time these days, but I wanted to let you know that it is definitely not too late!! My story is slightly different because my milk came in on day 3. However, my son was born at 38 weeks and was jaundice. The hospital insisted on supplementing with formula to flush his system since my milk still had not come in at that moment. And the dumba** nurses did not instruct me to pump after his feedings, so when we got home he wasn't nursing enough to stimulate my supply to stay (and being a new mom I had no idea what was happening). About 10 days after coming home we went back to the pediatrician and found out he had lost weight (another 1.5 ounces) from when we had left the hospital. I was devasated and convinced that a)I was the worst mother in the world and b)that breastfeeding was probably over. It wasn't at all!!

I met with a lactation consultant the next day and here is the plan we created: nurse, supplement, pump every three hours. I rented a scale so I could take his before and after nursing weight to see about how much he took in (if you do this, make sure the scale will give you tenth of an ounce increments vs. rounding- the scale I had was Me.dela) so I could supplement the formula better (he'd drink whatever and too much would either come back up or cause him to sleep forever). Within just a few days I was pumping more and more breastmilk and using that for supplement vs. formula. Within 2 weeks the formula was gone and the pumping was phasing out. Now I pump just once a day for the sake of keeping a little extra in the tank and I just freeze it for future use (mix with cereal, etc...). Mother's Milk Tea and Fenugreek are things that twin and triplet moms I know take and have had much success with (esp Fenugreek). Drink tons of water and make sure you're eating (oatmeal and almonds are good milk inducing additions).

Most definitely rent a hospital grade pump if you can't find one to buy. I rent the Me.dela Symph.ony and it is absolutely wonderful!

I'm happy to give you more info on the schedule I followed if you're interested!

glamcookie said...

Pumping and Fenugreek got my milk coming in like crazy. At this point, I think I could feed about 4 babies! Sending you lots of luck!

Bella said...

Great weight gains, babies!!! I'm sorry about your milk...I have no advice, but I really hope it comes in quickly. Don't beat yourself up, though, this isn't your fault...your body may just need some time to recover from all it's been through. ((HUGS))

tireegal68 said...

HI Puffer and Sherpa Chicken and Grunter and Whoop Whoop! I see a children's book in your future with those names!
No booby advice from me i'm afraid - but just gotta tell you how impressed I am that you took the babies in a taxi and strapped them into their seats and they were all chilled out after that ordeal! You gals are doing great!
I think the advice that the others gave was great. I don't know any mothers who have not worried about the whole nursing thing in the first few days and weeks and so many do really well. Hang in there. PS how can you eat, pump and sleep all at once? Now there's a trick. No wonder women are so much better at multi-tasking than men! Hang in there!

Mommy and Mamita said...

I’m glad to hear that they boys are doing so well and gaining weight. In terms of the breastfeeding, with Tyler, I had preterm c-section without going into labor, just like you, and it took a week for my milk to come in and then initial production was pretty low while he was in the NICU for the first two weeks. Once he came home, I was able to breastfeed exclusively without supplementation.

I don’t agree that you should pump instead of nursing. Nursing and physical contact with the babies will almost always promote better lactation than pumping, even with small babies. However, because you are supplementing and because you have twins, you need to pump in addition to nursing to promote as much milk production as possible. You should try to pump or nurse every 3 hours. Once the milk comes in, try to nurse and then pump afterwards when possible to help kick start the production.

Dani and Dru said...

I agree get a lactation consultant ( if you havent already ). There is a GREAT breastfeeding forum on They are awesome! Sleep when the babies sleep and stopping the percocet will help immensely too. I second the fenugreek! that and oatmeal help a ton. Depending how desperate you are to nurse there are perscription drugs you can take.....if needed/wanted. Whatever you do DO NOT GIVE UP...Breastmilk will help those babies thrive even more!! keep up the good work!!!

Carey said...

Our insurance covered a hospital grade pump for me - and when that ran out, I rented one from a local LC. Check into that - it's pretty common for twins and preemies for insurance to cover it I think. You need to get a hospital grade pump. My LC had me pumping every 2 hours and putting the babies to breast when I could. They were not able to successfully BF for several weeks, but I pumped every 2 hours + supplemented with formula and it all worked out. Eventually, I was able to exclusively BF.

Also, HELLP can delay your milk.

It's not over... and don't beat yourself up over the formula. You don't want that stress added to everything else. Get yourself a good LC - they will help with everything, including your nipple pain :) Breastfeeding is HARD - esp with twins.

Keep up the great work mamas!!

Rachel said...

I'm confused. The babies are gaining weight already - what's the problem?

I just looked through the comments and there is lots of useful advice, but mine is pretty simple: find a lactation consultant (and e-mail me if you need help finding one: longdistanceinfertility (at) gmail). I am not at all convinced that the pump is better than the babies on your breast (when I had milk issues, I was told lots of skin-to-skin, keep her on the breast as long as she wanted, and pump immediately after finishing breastfeeding to up supply - even if you don't get anything. My LC was also a huge fan of leaving the pump out and pumping for 5 minutes whenever you walk past rather than marathon-20-30 minute pumping sessions).

The last little comment is that breastfeeding, especially twins, really doesn't have to be all or nothing. If you can breastfeed them a couple of times a day they get your immunity, the comfort, the good associations, and then if they also need formula, that's not such a big deal. Don't let them push you into giving up on breastfeeding even if it can't now (and may not ever) be exclusive.

jessie said...

I don't have the experience with twins but Holland didn't do a good job at bringing my milk in (lazy nurser) and I didn't find out until his 1 month appt that he wasn't getting enough. I started pumping like crazy at that point and shortly after started making enough to exclusively pump BM for him until 6 months. It's not over but don't beat yourself up over the formula - it is NOT poison.

Inlocoparentis said...

My milk came in on day 6, and all of the lactation folks were acting like it probably would not come in. Breastfeeding is still a major challenge for me, but I'm now able (at 3 weeks) to pump enough so that we are only supplementing at one feeding. Fenugreek seems to be helping - don't lose hope! Also, I totally agree with everyone else - as long as you are feeding your babies (formula or bm) you are doing the right thing!