Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cat got your tongue, or just tied it up?

The challenges, trials and learning continue re: breastfeeding my little girls.  The latest challenge now is tongue-tie.  Yup...we think little Hailey may also (on top of her crazy first month of life and her ongoing struggles with reflux or aspiration or whatever is going on inside her little body) have an issue with her latch/sucking ability.

This means that all my efforts to bring in my milk enough for two, put them both on the breast and satisfy them is not truly working.  And the worst part is that not only is there an issue with Hailey not getting enough milk when she sucks, but also with her ability to help Mommy cultivate more milk.

So.  More strategy.  We are heading to another La Leche League free multiples breastfeeding group meeting tomorrow, hosted by my excellent lactation consultant, Beth, to have her have another look-see.  Then we have a meeting with our family doctor on Thursday. (OK, correction, we have our 2 month appointment for the girls, and all parents know what this means...it's vaccine day.  NOT looking forward to this.  Two upset babies.  Ugh.  Not to mention sticking my precious littles.  But it has to be done, and compared to what we saw Hailey go through...) With our family doctor, we will further determine how to proceed, but likely we will want to fix this issue asap, or else have to continue with the status quo.  On top of this, my birth doula will be stopping in on Friday and she can also have a look.  That's three professional opinions.  I should have figured out by then what we are going to do.

What is the status quo? Well, it is an effort each morning until about 1 or 2pm to feed both girls exclusively on the breast.  This deteriorates throughout the morning into crankiness on the parts of both girls, but particularly Hailey, who doesn't feed well, delatches when there is good letdown, and gives up when the milk slows down. Breastfeeding Moms know that this means she gets mostly foremilk.  ALSO not good. 

Round about 1:30pm or so, I generally prepare a bottle of 1/2 breastmilk (pumped the night before, throughout the night, instead of sleeping through with the girls) 1/2 formula to tide her over.  I also have to give Alex a supplement of formula to make her happy.  It works, but it is certainly not ideal.

Yes, people, the whole breastfeeding thing is a challenge.  A massive one with twins.  I am on more medication (various pillls like domperidone, and herb capsule of fenugreek etc. plus pregnancy vitamins, iron supplements...) than I have ever been at any point in time in my life, to bring in milk. I have an elaborate system I have had to work out for breastfeeding, supplementing, sterilizing bottles, etc. and as mentioned, sacrifice sleep regularly in order to fulfill the goal.

And I have come to terms with this.  My girls have gotten a LOT of breastmilk.  They continue to get MOSTLY breastmilk. I may have been disappointed with this - heavy hearted even - before, but now? I'm mostly proud, actually.  I'm doing pretty darn well, given the background story we've been living. And what I have learned about breastfeeding could fill a damn book at this point.  It's nutso.

I'll keep you posted as to whether or not Hailey has to once again have a medical procedure done. She's an old hand at it...what's another small operation, right? (a really small one).

Any of you deal with tongue-tie? What was your experience?

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