Ducts in a Row

bottle-feeding her breastmilk so not to piss her off

Breastfeeding? I am. Formula* feeding? Yup, that, too. Pumping every two hours? Yes, that's me. Basically, when it comes to feeding my baby, I'm D. All of the above.

Unlike Archer, Fable was able to latch on right away... She was born with a voracious appetite, rooting the second she was placed on my chest, covered in bloody goop. At the hospital and then at home I solely nursed her until my milk came and then decided not to come out.

Unfortunately, just because my breasts are capable of mass-milk production, doesn't mean I can breastfeed. My nipples have been removed from my person so many times, they just can't get the milk out. Two ducts work on one side and three work on the other, which is frustrating for the milk that wants to come out but can't. It's also incredibly painful.

Luckily the pain subsided when my formerly GIGANTIC breasts gave up producing milk that could not find its way out. Hello, perma-engorged! So now? It's my five little ducts and me, doing what we can with what we got.

Hooray for Mommy's broken boobies!

So this is what I do: I pump every two hours so I can feed Fable two ounces of breast milk per feeding (in the bottle) I follow le breast milk in le bottle with one to two ounces of formula (depending on how much I was able to pump... I can get up to three ounces depending on how long I go between pump-sessions) and at the end of the feeding when she's pretty much full, I nurse her with what I have left. It's a complex feeding situation but it's working out so far. F's gaining weight, sleeping three to four hour intervals every day and night and pooping every 30 seconds. (Not joking. It's insane OMG.)

Yo! I poop.

I'm sleeping better than I did before she was born and somehow today was able to shimmy back into my pre-pregnancy jeans (wtf?)... Perhaps the fact that all I do is pump and nurse has something to do with it? Or maybe I just paid my dues with my last pregnancy.

All in all, I'm pretty proud of myself for turning my shoddy teets into fairly useful feeding tools. Yes, my three-step feeding isn't exactly easy but what feeding is? True, my nipples are thrashed and bloody and yesterday Fable sucked off (and almost choked on) a dime-sized scab but love is pain, man.


Love is pain.

GGC


*I compromised and am supplementing with both Enfamil Lipil and Baby's Only Organic.

37 comments:

Steph | 11:14 AM

Gorgeous girl and dedicated mama. Very nice :)

Amie | 11:19 AM

She is beautiful. I love your system. I am dealing with the opposite situation (overactive letdown). And three to four hours! I am jealous.

Issas Crazy World | 11:19 AM

I love the picture of her smiling. Might be gas, but who cares. I think it's great that you are doing both. And if it works for you and Fable that is all that matters.

Oy the poop. Alex is a pooper too. I swear to you, the kid filled three diapers is a row yesterday.

Indigo Children | 11:37 AM

What a dedicated mom you are -- fighting through all the difficulty to do what you think is best. Wow.

and I am so jealous about your jeans -- I have put mine far far away -- not sure if I'll ever get into them again.

UGH.

bmcismeanbecauseshelovesyou | 11:48 AM

YOU BITCH!!!!

you shimmied? already? hi. bub is nearly TWO FUKKIN YEARS OLD and i have yet to shimmy.

fable is perfect. your boobies are kinda working. you shimmied, for feck's sake.

you are charmed. bitch.

Amber | 11:55 AM

that's awesome, rebecca! so glad you're having a better breastfeeding experince this time around.

and she gets cuter by the minute, me thinks.

emilie | 12:30 PM

way to rock it, Rebecca!!

ering | 12:49 PM

Holy smokes what a beautiful baby! Seriously!

And I feel your pain/sleeplessness as I had twins - one who nurse and one who didn't. Ended up pumping. For a YEAR!!! We supplemented with a goat milk formula that we made ourselves. Wish we'd had a goat farm...

Good luck!

nancy | 12:50 PM

You are a superstar. She is one lucky kid to have a role model like you.

DoulaMomma | 12:51 PM

way to go - she's obviously happy!

Vicki | 1:06 PM

That smiling baby pic made my day! She is soooo cute. I'm glad you can at least get some milk. I am preggers with #3 (after having twins) and am already out of my original D's and my DD's from the time when I was pumping for the boys and into E's. And I think I will probably be in F's when my milk comes in. Holy cow indeed! And I'm a 5'3" little woman so the boobs look like I'm smuggling missles...Good luck with the continued milk production.

CaraBee | 1:18 PM

Good for you and all your hard work. Although I secretly hate you a little for fitting into your pre-pregnancy pants. She is a lucky kid!

bokker | 1:20 PM

Beautiful baby.

Um, but what I also want to say is: your eyebrows look great.

kbye.

Brooke | 1:38 PM

You rock! Super dedicated to breastfeeding, fitting into pre-pregnancy jeans, and a beautiful daughter. What more could you ask for? You should feel super-proud, high atop the world right now!

jjlibra | 2:14 PM

ok, truth be told- is your actual waist the same size as pre-pregnancy or is it because all the jeans now are low rise that you are able to fit? because if your waist is the same size as before then you must let your secret out!!! if it's the low rise then congrats still, but i will feel a little better about myself :)

maybe i'm just old and when i had my kids (14 and 12 yrs. ago) pants that came up to the waist certainly did NOT fit so soon.

thank god for low rise jeans- for more than one reason!!

Sprite's Keeper | 2:26 PM

She's absolutely beautiful! Congrats on a healthy baby and healthy if dysfunctional boobies!

Kiddos Mom | 3:11 PM

Hi there! Congrats to the family on a beautiful girl. Sounds like you are really doing great.
In regards to the pain in your nips-are you using lanolin? If not please look into it. It really, really does help.

ct | 3:18 PM

Ahh, she's so sweet. Making my heart melt.

I did the same type of routine with my daughter. It worked for 6 months and then I guess my boobs went on total strike, but it's worth it, I think. I didn't feel like I was giving up too soon when we switched her to solely formula.

I hope everyhting works out for you two. You guys both look great, so happy and peaceful.

Mommato2 | 4:34 PM

Wow - she is smiling already...so so cute!

Kelly | 5:12 PM

love the pics and the blog- makes me want to do it again. Congratulations on a beautiful family.

Mirinda | 5:43 PM

smiling pic of your baby Fable: priceless. I think I've died and gone to heaven. And oh have I mentioned I'm living vicariously thru you since I am done having babies? Ha.

That Nora Girl | 8:47 PM

I am new(ish) to your blog, and I want to say this:

1. Your kids are really beautiful.
2. Congratulations on figuring out a feeding method that works for you, even if it's not easy.
3. You look good in your recent pictures. All but a few of my own pictures of me until about four months post-partum will likely never see the light of day outside of my family. They HAVE to love me.

courtney | 9:25 PM

Oh hey, a familiar story! I had a reduction when I was 17 and also, didn't so much care about breast feeding at the time. Now I'm sorta nursing my 8 week old in that she nurses for comfort and through the night, but bottles are her main nutrition because I just can't produce the amount that she needs. Fable is beautiful and kudos to you for sticking with such a rigorous feeding procedure!

Rachael | 10:22 PM

First of all, Fable is amazingly beautiful. I want to kiss her soft baby head. Secondly, good job with the feeding. You are awesome to do the pumping and feed her all the good stuff she needs even though it's a little more work. What a lucky kid!

Jaelithe | 11:08 PM

You are seriously hard core with the nursing. I had ridiculously huge, painful, rock-hard boobs for the first week after my kid was born even WITH fully functioning nipples, so I'm not sure how you cope, but my hat is off to you.

Rebecca | 12:35 AM

WOW! I say give it a shot and then give yourself a break. I breastfed one child for two years and then I have formula fed another. Both are perfect kids.

You both look beautiful. And what an awesome mum you are.

Lisa | 3:50 AM

you made my eyes water with that line 'my nipples are thrashed and bloody'. Oh, the memories you bought back. I would've gone 100 back-to-back labours over the pain I experienced whilst learning to breastfeed. But I did it. Gosh, we women are ace.

Fraulein | 5:52 AM

This is one of the biggest reasons I wish I could have another, even though I'm 39 and I think, realistically, time is running out: I want another chance at breastfeeding. My Peanut would NOT latch on right no matter how hard I tried. The pain, the fucking pain!! She just turned 4 and I can feel it vividly just thinking about it. I bet when she's 40 I'll still remember it! I pumped, we tried every nursing position in the book, and finally after 10 weeks I gave up and went the full-formula route. I had hard-core guilt about this for a couple of years before coming to some acceptance about it, especially since she was such a healthy baby and toddler. I remember hearing, if you don't breastfeed exclusively, your baby will be sick a lot, and this absolutely was not the case for me.

So my hat is off to all of you who powered through the pain and made the breastfeeding work!

mfk | 6:55 AM

Hard. f'ing. core. You are like some kind of maternal goddess... prepregnancy jeans and all... also you must have an in with someone to have scored such a truly beautiful little girl. even if she is a poop machine :)

(and I'm sure that in 15 years she will vigorously deny that she EVER filled a stack of diapers as a baby :))

Wicked Step Mom | 7:59 AM

Wow.. that does sound painful. I am glad you are both doing well!

Dawn | 9:36 AM

I haven't been here in ages, but I'm thrilled to see that your baby has arrived.

She's a beauty and I LOVE her name.

You're a fabulous mama!

the weirdgirl | 10:43 AM

Wow, you just described my feeding schedule with my son. Except after the first few days he refused to take the breast anymore. After that it was all bottle, but still with the pumping every two hours. I felt like that damn thing was permanently attached!

She is gorgeous, btw!

Rhea | 11:44 AM

She's a little poop factory. Your poor nipples. I'm having sympathy pains.

How to Party with an Infant | 8:45 PM

OMG==just checked in and you have a baby! Beautiful pictures. Congratulations!

tallgirl | 7:07 PM

she is really beautiful. I am glad everything went/is going so well.

good for you for trying to breastfeed again and good for her for being such a champ about it.

MamaVee | 10:46 AM

There should be an award for "Most Heroic Breastfeeding". You'd be a top contender for sure.

caramama | 6:59 PM

Wow. You are just amazing, Rebecca!