January 27, 2014

Increasing my milk supply (#3) Days 1-29

I think I can safely say that my milk supply is finally making a comeback!

First of all I want to give all the praises to God.  I know that without His strength and blessings, I would have given up a LONG time ago.

Operation More Milk #3:
On December 30, 2012, I decided I needed to 'roll up my sleeves', put my 'big girl pants on', 'suck it up', and work on increasing my milk supply -again.
*Operation More Milk #1 started when I gave birth to my preemie twins, May 20, 2012.  Operation More Milk #2 started when I had to start exclusively pumping for Liam on July 14, 2012 (read about Liam's 'latch issues' here).  I worked my way from having to pump five to eight times a day, seriously exhausting (pumping anywhere from 37-52 oz; yes, I have it all saved in an app.), down to only needing to pump twice a day (in mid-September and still pumping approximately 30-40oz.).  Now that was the perfect scenario.  And then I decided to change my diet.  My milk supply dropped in October (read about it hereand I hoped and prayed it would get back to "normal" but I really didn't take action right then and there.  I dug into my frozen stash; after all, that's what it was for, right?  And then I ran out...

So, here's what's gone on so far.

Day 1:  12/30/13
  • Started taking MotherLove More Milk Plus tincture, 1tsp 3x daily (straight, not diluted; drinking nothing before or after, as stated in directions) 
  • Pumped approximately 7x daily (as soon as I woke, after each regular nursing session, and then right before I went to sleep for the night).  I was only pumping about 6-8 oz during my first pump of the day, about 2-3 oz. during the daytime pumps and about 3-4 oz. during my last pump of the day (around 2-3am)
  • started drinking approximately 100-150oz of water (2-3 refills of my 54oz BubbaKeg --a Christmas gift from Chris. hehe.  It really came in handy even though I originally laughed at its' size, when I first saw it.)
  • I also ate at least two bowls of oatmeal 
  • Still having to feed Liam from frozen milk stash, to make it through the day
Approximate daily total pumped:  3-4 oz.

Day 2:  12/31/13
  • Already feeling sore and 'raw'-like from increased nursing and pumping sessions.  (yikes)
  • digging into another gallon sized ziplock of frozen milk bags.  I'm down to my last two 

Day 4:  1/2/14
  • a blister on left and a crack on the right.  the burning pain on the right side is making me think it might be more than 'just a crack'.  (oh dear...) All this pain and struggle is making me really consider giving up on pumping and just giving Liam formula.  Just having the thought makes me want to cry.  Why must this breastfeeding journey be so difficult for me?

Day 7:  1/5/14

  • We didn't have to use any frozen milk today!  Yay!  Priase God!  I hope this continues and only gets better.

Day 10:  1/8/14

  • I started taking the MotherLove tincture approximately 5-6 times a day --just about whenever I'd remember.  (I figure since the bottle says "Suggested dose" instead of "Dose" or "Directions" that taking more won't harm me.  Plus, I read, online, of other mothers having to take more than the "suggested" dose in order to get an increase in their supply.)

Day 11:  1/9/14
  • I think I may have Thrush on my right side.  The horrible stabbing, shooting, pains and burning sensation has NOT gotten any better.  It happens randomly while pumping and after nursing.  I've been using coconut oil and Lavender EO, in hopes to help soothe and heal whatever is going on.  This pain is soooooo mentally and physically exhausting!!  I'm just not sure how much longer I'll last, if this continues much longer.  Just the thought of another 24 hrs, with these horrible pains on my milk-maker, makes me want to throw in the towel already.  :(

Day 12:  1/10/14
  • Made a mixture of Coconut Oil with Frankincense Oil --for the crack, blister, and burning sensation.  The pain makes me want to jump up and down . . . and punch something . . . and scream!
  • I made it another day.  But I don't want to go another day like this.  Seriously.  But I feel so strongly about Liam and Elly have momma's milk for as long as possible.

Day 13:  1/11/14
  • My body has crashed.  I feel as if I'm coming down with something.  I'm beyond exhausted -mentally, physically, emotionally.
  • Good news:  pain on my milk-maker seems to have been significantly less (with using frank. oil and leaving it out to air dry)
  • Maybe I can go on pumping another day after all...

Day 15:  1/13/14
  • I added 2-3 cups of Mother's Milk Tea to my daily routine.  

Day 17:  1/15/14

  • Today's pumping schedule has been thrown off.  We had to use frozen milk to make it through today. 
  • Down to the last 30 oz of frozen milk remaining.  Such a sad and horrible feeling.
  • Ate the biggest bowl of oatmeal, of my life, tonight.  Praying it brings a good boost for the morning.
  • Elly nursed so much, tonight, before finally falling asleep, that I only pumped 2.5 oz (not good!  The last few nights, I've been getting about 5 oz.  I need to make more milk!!!)

Day 18:  1/16/14

  • I pumped 10 oz this morning!!  That's the most, so far, in one sitting.  I hope it continues and only gets better.

Day 19:  1/17/14
  • Milk-makers FINALLY feel like they are surviving --barely.  Not as much pain; but still quite a bit of pain and discomfort on both sides now.
  • Finally found a way to [emotionally] come to terms that formula is neede as a "back up plan".  I'm still only making barely enough on most days.  And we are currently down to only 20 oz of frozen milk remaining.  I've done my absolute best that I can offer and I still plan on pumping when I have reasonable opportunities.  I haven't "given up" and I'm planning on it either (as of yet).
  • Fenugreek capsules and a new bottle of Motherlove tincture should arrive tomorrow.  Bod willing I can still manage to get the amount that Liam needs.

Day 20:  1/18/14
  • Pumped 16 oz this morning!!  Woohoo!!  Praise God!! (that's 3 'day time' bottles. He drinks aprrox.  6 bottles a day:  6 oz in the morning, four 5 oz bottles during the day, and another 6 oz at night.  He would drink more if I served it for him.  I had to cut back, one ounce on each bottle, and sub in a solid (sweet potato, avocado, peas, broccoli, banana, etc.) during the day.  He loves food!!  But I feel so bad; like I'm depriving him of the wonderful nutrients in momma's milk.  I just have to keep working at it.)
  • Started taking three 610mg capsules of Fenugreek, 3 times daily.  

Day 24:  1/22/14
  • Three 610mg capsules of Fenugreek, 4-5 times daily. (I read, online, to take "more or less", as needed, and just adjust as your milk supply increases or decreases.)

Day 25:  1/23/14

  • Finally, a day where I'm not miserable from pain.  I can wear clothes and not be in excruciating pain.  I can pump without yelping and crying.  I can nurse and some-what enjoy it again.  Oh, Please!  Oh, Please, I hope this progress continues!  It's been a very, very, long 25 days of emotions and pain.  I need to get to the more enjoyable moments again, while my babies are still babies!

Day 26:  1/24/14
  • I started using my BabyConnect phone app, to keep record of my pumping.
Today's total: 27 oz.;  Pumped 3x

Day 27:  1/25/14

  • I finally had enough milk in the fridge to freeze 10 oz!!  Thank you Jesus!!!  I'm beyond excited!!  Total frozen bags: 1 (God willing, I can add more soon.)
Today's total:  36.5 oz!!!  Wow.  Praise God!  Pumped 4x

Day 28:  1/26/14
  • Stopped taking Fenugreek because Liam had been waking up many times a night, crying and uncomfortable.  I had read that Fenugreek could cause gas/colic in babies.  So, it's 'trial and error' time.
  • Still drinking Tea and eating oatmeal daily.
Today's total:  35.5 oz.; Pumped 5x

Day 29:  1/27/14

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