James had his two-week visit with Dr. Looove last Thursday. I was anxious about it entirely because my own two-week visit with Dr. Risky was exactly an hour later, and even though the two offices are only three miles apart, they are three Los Angeles miles, and every stereotype you’ve heard about LA traffic is true. To do our part, we arrived for James’ appointment about thirty minutes early, and luckily we were taken back right away for vitals.
The nurse worked fast, and James was on the scale and off while I was working on some paperwork. I heard the nurse say James’ weight was six pounds, eight and a half ounces, but I thought she made a mistake because that was less than half an ounce over his hospital discharge weight. The nurse double checked and…yep. James had only gained two-fifths of an OUNCE in ten days.
Dr. Looove walked into the room right when I started crying. Mike explained that I was upset because I’d been working so hard on breastfeeding and James wasn’t gaining weight. Dr. Looove was awesome about it, because she’s awesome in general. But, there was obviously something going on because for as often as James was eating (and filling diapers) he should have gained far more than two-fifths of an ounce. Dr. Looove brought in a bottle of formula and had Mike feed James to make sure James was sucking and swallowing correctly. The kid gulped down an ounce in about a minute, so he certainly knew how to eat. Dr. Looove sent us home with instructions to breast feed, pump, and supplement with formula. She also told me to follow-up with a lactation consultant, and to have the LC weigh James every day.
I was pretty bummed out. I’d felt like the whole breastfeeding thing was working for us, and it turned out that it wasn’t. Dr. Looove and the lactation consultant explained that it was hopefully just a temporary setback, and to keep at it. So I have been, although I am possibly even more exhausted than I was when I was the only one feeding James! Now every three hours, I nurse him, then I pump while Mike tops James off with a bottle of either pumped milk or formula. And even though (for once) supply wasn’t an issue, I’m also taking every supplement there is. Fenugreek, Mother’s Milk Tea, beer, oatmeal, you name it, I’m trying it. I also try pumping before I feed, pumping after, pumping every two hours, using a nipple shield, and using a nipple everter/latch assist. I even made “lactation cookies” from a recipe I found on the internet.
The good news is that in three days James gained half a pound and now weighs in at seven pounds, officially an ounce above his birth weight! The flip side is now that James has discovered the ease of bottle feeding, his interest in nursing directly from the source has dropped considerably. Sigh. However, I’m now making enough milk to feed a small army of babies, so hopefully he’ll come back around at some point soon.
Unsurprisingly, Annabel thinks James eating from a bottle is the greatest thing ever, especially since we sometimes let her help.
If only she’d take the 4am feeding.