My little one was born on May 22nd. After about 10-15 vials of oxytocin were pushed through my veins, I managed to push her out.
During the four day stay at the hospital I had more medicines than what I had in my entire life. I just wanted to go home to be able to live my life according to what I believed in-'Medicine is not the solution, let your body tell you what it needs.'
I just wanted to go home because all the pinching on my nipples by the nurses had left them sore. They all had only one comment - no milk yet.
I just wanted to go home and be left alone with my baby, I knew my milk would come. I was angry...and in my anger I blamed people around me..
I blamed the nurses who pinched me too hard, the doctor who pushed in so much oxytocin...I just wanted to go home away from all this.
But when I went home another issue was waiting for me...misophonia. I have a sensory perception disorder. Certain triggers put me in a flight or fight mode and give me almost an epileptic fit of rage accompanied by unpleasant sensations in my breasts. The centre of my triggers is my father. I cannot bear the sight of his eating or drinking. And when it came to breastfeeding I couldn't stand his presence around as it would trigger me.
From the first day Meirah was given formula in the hospital. On the second day I tried to stall the nurses from taking her for a top feed. They complained that I was resisting formula. When on the 3rd day she developed jaundice she was kept away from me for 2 days and was exclusively on formula.
Amidst all this I was just hoping to go home and knew my milk would come in then. I resisted taking any perinorm my doctor prescribed. When I was coming home from the hospital with my baby, that was the time reality hit me, my breasts are not making enough milk and I should probably carry a packet of formula. Yet every time I fed her formula, I felt I was poisoning her.
Back home we struggled with the right consistency of formula until our pediatrician advised on the 10th day about the importance of mixing the right quantity. Meirah was looking quite dehydrated and weak until then. I could see the concern in her eyes. I gave up on my body and I started taking perinorm and gave Meirah formula as directed.
10 days of perinorm...still no milk...switched to domperidone after a washout period of a week...still no milk... On a lactation consultants advice I bought a breast pump...I would pump and pump and only drops would come out.. I wanted to fill only the bottom rim of my pumping bottles...at least once. I breastfed, followed by formula spoon-feeding, followed by pumping...all this 10-12 times in a day.
After trying domperidone and perinorm on and off several times, and of course all the galactagogues under the sun and also homeopathy I reached out to my doctor and he said
Nothing can be done. Accept that this is how much your body can make and just give formula.
But I didn't want to give up. So I consulted another lactation consultant...this time I was ready to try any medicine she was willing to give me...I had completely given up my principles of not taking medicines...all I wanted to do was to breastfeed my baby. I never stopped hoping for a miracle.
She started me on a very heavy dose of domperidone...I could barely make 20 ml after that... I started pumping at 3 am because apparently prolactin levels are highest at that time. Yet I could never reach the lowest marking on the pumping bottle.
My LC asked me to stop pumping and focus only on direct breastfeeding. Around that time my baby's digestive patterns changed from once in three days to 4-5 times a day. My doctor suggested that maybe it's finally due to an increase in my milk supply. However a few days later we discovered Meirah had an allergy to cows milk. So I stopped all dairy in my food.
After a few consultations my second LC diagnosed me with 'insufficient glandular tissue' and said nothing more can be done.
So after two lactation consultants, one OBGYN, and one endocrinologist who gave up on me, I discovered the Supplementary Nursing System. The SNS allowed me to feed formula to my baby with a soft tube at my breast.
When I used it for the first time I cried, because for the first time in four months my baby was full at my breasts.
From that day there has been no looking back for me. I use the SNS all the time, even if my baby takes 5 ml of my breast milk each day I am ready to make that effort. And I plan to continue using the SNS for at least 2 years.
I sometimes wonder why life often puts me in a situation where there is no solution...whether it be misophonia or insufficient glandular tissue. But I learnt even when there is no solution, there is always another option.
Also I will never forget that feeding my baby was more important than exclusively breastfeeding her. For me motherhood is a love story and it's hard, when I see my baby smiling, it makes it worth it.