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Welcome to my blog! Me and DH are 27. We met at the end of our senior year in High School and married three years later on June 25 2005. We have been TTC for over 3 years. Now we are expecting twins in June. I hope to encourage and be encouraged through our journey.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2 Weeks Old

I don't think that you can mentally be prepared for a journey like this one. The girls are 2 weeks old today and are doing well. There have been more good days than bad (which we are truly blessed by) but somehow the devil can take one bad day and turn all the good ones into a faint memory.

We found out today that our precious Paisley has a grade 2 brain bleed. The doctors are optimistic about the outcome and if Mark and I aren't there will be know way to make it through the next few months. The Lord has pulled her through so many obstacles so far why not this one. Mark and I have leaned so far on GOD this whole time and he has come through each and every prayer, how could we not? Harper has done exceptionally well and we have had only minor set backs with her.

There are so many things I have on my mind and things I wanna say and get off my chest but I can't find the time to get it all out. I will hopefully be able to tell you all about the hospital stay and delivery part very soon. Between pumping and being at the hospital i have NO time for anything.

Speaking of pumping....obviously I wont be able to breastfeed for a long time. Any suggestions. I spoke with a lactation consultant and she said that I'm not producing enough. At first I started out pumping every hour to make my body produce. Then I went to every 3 hours...around the clock. When I spoke with that lady she put me on another schedule. 12midnight 5am, 8am, 10am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm and 9pm. This was just 2 days ago I started the new schedule. I also started taking fenugreek to help with my supply. I'm taking 3 3x a day. I haven't really noticed a difference. I'm getting almost 2 1/2 oz in the 5 hr time span from midnight to 5. In the 3 hour time span I can get anywhere from 1-1 1/2 oz. Then the 2 hr time span I'm barely getting 1 oz most of the time its less than that. I hope yall (Lauren) have some really good advice. Pumping should be the last thing I have to worry about. WHY CANT MY BODY WORK!!!!

Please forgive me for not reading your blogs. If there is anything I missed please update me.

12 comments:

  1. I have been thinking of you each and every day. Sweet Paisley is in my thoughts and prayers and so is Harper. Keep up your strength momma. You are going to need it

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  2. Amber,
    Stick with the pumping. You've never had a baby before, so it will take more time for your body to build up a good supply...plus, it wasn't ready to start making it so soon. I think the amount you are making so far sounds completely normal! Do not be discouraged. I think it was a long time before I started making more than an ounce from each side at a time. Just stick with it. The BEST thing you can do for your supply is go get some decent sleep and then drink some warm coffee in the morning...those two things will help. You always pump more when you've slept and rested.
    E-mail me if you need ANYTHING! We're praying so hard for you! Update when you can. I certainly understand the busyness of it!
    Hugs,
    Sarah

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  3. I'm so glad the girls are doing well, for the most part. I will pray for Paisley's brain bleed. What a scary thing you guys are going through right now.

    Pumping... I'm not a pumper but I belong to a lot of breastfeeding groups where some Moms pump alot. I googled some stuff for you too.

    My first thought when I read the schedule is that you might consider pumping every 2 hours round the clock (with maybe the exception of a 4 or 5 hour stretch at night, because I've heard that stretch of sleep can improve your milk supply). I know Noah nursed about every hour or hour and a half for the first 4 months of his life, and he still nurses every 2 hours. So if you pump that often around the clock it'll give your body stimulation closer to a schedule of when your babies would actually be nursing. Here's something I read:

    "For the first 12 weeks of your baby's life you will need to pump every 2-3 hours, 24 hours a day to establish a good supply. If you were breast-feeding that would be the same amount of times your baby would normally eat in a 24-hour period. You will need to pump a minimum of 15-20 minutes and will need to pump 5 minutes past flow to stimulate milk production. If you don't fully empty, it can decrease your supply or lead to problems like plugged ducts and mastitis. This means if it takes 45 minutes to empty your breasts you have to pump yet another 5 minutes. After the initial 12 weeks you can usually start to drop pumps. Most choose to drop the middle of the night pump first. For most the first pump in the morning will yield the most breastmilk."


    Here are things that can help your supply:

    -making sure you get enough calories (200-400 more than when you were pregnant)
    -drinking a ton of water
    -getting enough rest
    -using herbal supplements, such as fenugreek, alfalfa, and/or mother’s milk tea (available at most vitamins stores such as GNC) or blessed thistle - please check with your doctor before starting one of these supplementations
    -some doctors have even prescribed Reglan (metoclopramide)
    -oatmeal (not the instant kind)
    -relaxing while pumping (make yourself a handsfree bra by simply cutting holes, in an old bra, just big enough to slip the pump horns through)
    -looking at a picture of your babies if you are not with your babies
    -warm compresses while pumping
    -massage while pumping

    This is what can hinder:
    -not eating and drinking enough
    -not sleeping enough
    -not pumping long enough to empty breasts
    -wearing underwire bras or bras that are too tight
    -skipping pumping sessions (especially in the early weeks)

    What do you do if your supply is slipping?

    Have a Pumpathon. You will need to increase the number of minutes and sessions you pump in a day. We suggest, if you can, every 2 hours (or as much as your boobs can take) for a full 24 hours. You will likely see an increase in a day or two.

    That was copied and pasted, too.

    I'm going to start a new comment now, this one is getting long.

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  4. Another thing that’s not mentioned in a lot of places, is Domperidone. I’m fairly certain you can get it online in the states, but pharmacies can also compound it for you (you’d probably need a prescription). Here’s a sheet on it:

    http://www.drjacknewman.com/help/Domperidone%20Getting%20Started.asp


    And Dr. Jack Newman’s protocol for increasing breastmilk intake:

    http://www.drjacknewman.com/help/Protocol%20to%20Increase%20Breastmilk%20Intake.asp

    You are also probably not having a letdown yet, which makes pumping slow and long, and you might not yield as much. That should come with time, though.


    An important thing to remember is that what you can pump is not indicative of what you can produce if you were nursing (which I know isn’t an option right now), so even if you have to supplement at some point, if you can eventually get your girls nursing down the road, you will probably be able to get your supply up to their demand by following any or all of these suggestions.



    I’m thinking of you and praying for you often!

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  5. Just another helpful website on pumping when baby isn't nursing.

    KellyMom (this site even addresses how much output you should have for singletons and twins):

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/maintainsupply-pump.html

    You should really check that site out, but here si the info on the output:

    •Aim for pumping 750-800 mL (25-27 oz) per day by 7-10 days postpartum. If you have twins or higher order multiples, aim for pumping 800-950 mL (27-32 oz) by 14 days postpartum.

    •It's useful to evaluate mom's 24 hour pumping output at 10 days. If supply is borderline (350-500 ml / 11-17 oz) or low (less than 350 ml / 11 oz), then galactagogues (prescription meds or herbs to increase supply) or other interventions should be considered.

    •The research tells us that milk production at 2 weeks is an indicator of breastfeeding outcome, so it is important to get a good start. Even if milk production doesn't start out well, however, don't get discouraged--many moms will see an increase (even as late as 9-15 weeks after birth) if they continue with regular pumping.

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  6. And another site on exclusive pumping:

    http://www.mother-2-mother.com/ExclusivePumping.htm

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  7. Oh, another thing. Sorry for so many comments.

    Your prolactin levels are the highest between 12am and 6am, so the more you pump in that time, the more milk you will yield. You might want to get your longest period of sleep NOT from 12-5.

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  8. Amber,
    I am so happy to hear the babies are doing well. I will pray for healing for Paisley's brain bleed. I have been checking constantly for updates and am relieved to see one, but understand posting isn't at the forefront of your mind. I have friends who have taken Fenugreek, and also domperidone. My friend that took both was able to increase her supply. Your body will take up to 6 weeks to get into a regular rhythm on what your supply will be. I would also suggest drinking water and staying hydrated, which I am sure you have heard from the LC. Pumping is very stressful and stress can sometimes affect your supply. My twin A was in the hospital for 5 weeks after open heart surgery so I was pumping around the clock as well. It is hard but keep up for as long as you can. But if your body can't do it, then you need to decide what is best for you. Your effort is what matters and every tiny bit you are giving your precious girls is fantastic.
    God bless,
    Margit

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  9. Hi Amber...No worries about not blogging...I have not been on much at all...Even being a mommy at home there is just no time let alone a mommy with twins in the NICU...I am glad you updated because we have been praying and thinking of you both a lot...I have two friends who went through a similar situation and I know everyday is like a rollercoaster ride some ups and downs and it is alot to take in...Thank God you work in the medical field so you can at least understand what is going on....

    As far as the pumping and milk supply....Since being infertile, having PCOS, and being on meds I knew that I would have a hard time with Milk Supply so I bought a book on it....It gave many good helpful pointers but here are some things I have done....It talks about hand expressing at least 8 to 10 times a day for 5min....I started this in the hospital but by the time I got home from the hospital I had no issues with Milk Supply so I did not cont this as I was then feeding and pumping a couple of times a day just because I had so much milk....I also took a supplement called Lactate Support by Gaia and Alfalfa 500mg from Vitamin Shoppe...You can get both of these from Vitamin Shoppe or the Lactate Support can be purchased through Amazon....Both of these I do not take any longer because as I said before I know have plenty of milk...I started taking the supplement Alfalfa about 3wks before Brycen was here and the other the day he was born...When my milk did come in I was feeding him then pumping about 120cc from each breast...From what I have read 240cc in one session is a lot of milk exp when I just fed him...So anyways needless to say I feed him by breast but do pump 2-3 times a day to freeze for later and if I dont then my milk comes out so strong he kind of chokes on it...Poor Brycen:( I still do have the supplements on hand because they say when you dont feed anymore and you just pump when going back to work that your supply can drop but as of now I dont need them anymore...So maybe this will help you....As far as a schedule Im not really sure of that but I would think the more you do it the more will be taken off the breast which will then trigger the body to produce more? Hopefully Ashley from Baby Kisses will write you because she pumped I know when her little man was in the NICU.

    Well girl Im thinking of you and will say lots and lots of prayers for your little ones:) Hugs Kristi

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  10. hey Amber! Pumping is Horrible! I feel your pain! I did it for 6.5 months after having my son and 3 after having my daughter. IT is a hard thing. The key to being successful at making milk is to get plenty of rest, minimize your stress, eat enough calories and drink at least 32oz of water a day. I know that is so hard! I know the stress part is going to be the hardest for you! But try! I really encourage you to keep trying. Also, remember that every little bit is helpful, even if it is just one ounce! You have been following my pregancy blog, big bellies and tiny toes, but I wanted to invite you to my other blog, morrisandallison.blogspot.com. Feel free to email or leave me questions there.
    I hope your girls are doing well and continue to grow strong! Good Luck!

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  11. I heard oatmeal helps..lots of water...Congrats and I am praying for your babies

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  12. Oh my, I just came across your blog - praying for your baby girls! I don't have too much pumping advice, but I did hear that you should avoid mint, because it can decrease your milk supply.

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