On Breasts

I apologize to all my friends who did not want to know so much information about my boobs. You can choose to read less of this post 😉

Yesterday Isabelle reached a significant milestone. A few days ago her PIC line got plugged up and they replaced it with an IV on her head. Yesterday Her IV was also removed. She no longer needs antibiotics, liquid diet or margarine tube. She now depends entirely on breast milk for her sustenance. Although her breathing is still quick, the doctors believe it’s slow enough for her to increase her oral feeds. The hospital has a very specific protocol to increase oral feeds – the amount increases only after 6 successful feeds. Today she is up to 10 ml orally or 8 minutes on the breast. She gets about 400 ml of a day orally and by her NG tube and this amount steadily goes up until she is at full feeds and then each 6 feeds they increase the amount she gets orally and decreases the amount she gets by her NG tube. Because she is only on breast milk she is up and alert more often and cries more often because she is hungry. She also lost a bit of weight overnight as the doctors are figuring out how much milk to give her since taking her off of the IV nutrients. So far she has not had any reflux issues and she has been having good poos. She does get a bit gassy but I don’t think it bothers her.

I have been very diligent with pumping. I pump ever 3 hours, only skipping the overnight pump. With Addison, my milk didn’t come in for a few days, and so we pumped for a bit. I remember my milk coming in strongly but then supply normalized compared to what Addy was taking in. But this time my boobs just produce more and more. I wake up every morning and my jubblies are obscene – Dolly Parton style. And they don’t jubble because they are rock hard. It doesn’t help now that we pump off all the milk and then let Isabelle nurse off the pumped breast, so then milk production is stimulated again. The moment I lift off the covers from my boobs the milk comes out like a leaky faucet. The lactation consultant told me to ice my breasts after pumping to try to slow down the flow and so that I can be more comfortable. Even with the icing I produce 1L of milk a day.

Yet when I was transferring milk yesterday and this happened:

IMG_7119 I was still a bit sad. I didn’t cry over spilt milk but I probably could have. That one little bottle represents 1 and a half of Isabelle’s feeds right now and I probably have at least 2 weeks worth of feeds in our freezer. But that came from hard work, pain and suffering. No one said being a jersey cow was easy.

I am so glad that my friend taught me how to make my own pumping bras. I can wear the bra all day and it’s not too restrictive like the pumping bra I bought in the first couple of days of pregnancy. Here are the instructions so you too can make your own pumping bras that you can wear all day and all night long.
1. Buy some cheap sports bra – I found mine at winners – 2 for 15 dollars.
2. Cut x’es approximately at where your nipples land in the bra. It is not necessary to be exact. The sports bra is stretchy enough to move around a bit. Don’t cut the holes too big. The bra will stretch big enough to fit around the pumping cup
3. To pump, put the pumping cups through the hole and hook up to bottle
4. When not pumping just put a nursing pad to cover up the holes
5. To breastfeed simply lift up the sports bra over boob in question

This has been by far the most comfortable and convenient way for me to pump and also feed Isabelle every 3 hours. I don’t have to get completely topless just to set up to pump. My back and wrists already are starting to recover. This is one satisfied jersey cow, signing off for now.

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