Feeding DS2

Breastfeeding does not always work out, this is a place to discuss your situation and feelings
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Post by Acesmum » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:26 pm

that poem brought tears to my eyes

so beautiful xxx

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Post by s squirrel » Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:57 pm

Thak you so much for sharing jenny, I have something in my eye too :cry:
If you can't fly, then run,
if you can't run, then walk,
if you can't walk, then crawl,
but whatever you do you have to keep moving
forward.... – MLK

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Post by JennyD » Tue May 18, 2010 9:59 am

This is my story summarised for the Essence Mag:

You could say I fell into exclusive expressing. It certainly wasn’t part of my plan, I didn’t even realise it was possible until I was doing it. DS2 is my fourth child, I breastfed the other three for around 3 years each. DS2 was born with a tight labial frenelum which made it impossible for him to create a seal on my breast, and consequently he couldn’t milk the breast properly. He lost 25% of his birthweight in his first 2 weeks, so we took him to hospital. They tube and drip fed him until he was rehydrated and then he was tube and bottle fed until he regained his birth weight.

I was just expressing in the hospital to make sure he got enough milk to regain his birth weight, then when got home I just assumed that when he was big and strong enough he would feed properly. It just never happened and when I finally realised that he wasn’t coming back to the breast, I had been expressing for more than 4 months and was making almost twice his intake, so I knew I could keep on going. I then had vague dreams of expressing milk for him while he was at school, but my real goal was to survive each day. My motto was from Les Miserable “One day more, One more day”. I really had no idea how long I could do this for.

Exclusively expressing is just plain hard work, it is the worst of both worlds. Think of the hardest things about breastfeeding and the hardest things about bottle feeding and combine them, that’s exclusive expressing. In the early days I expressed 8 times a day, and bottle fed DS2 8 times a day, that took about 1 ½ hours each time. I had to express, feed the baby, then wash all the bottles and expressing equipment. I also had to try to find time to sleep and spend with my other three kids. I could not have done it without the wonderful support of my husband and the forbearance of the kids.

One of the hardest parts of expressing is that it is impossible to do it discretely. I had two great big bottles attached to my breasts, no way I could do that in public, not like breastfeeding. I loved that I was providing him with my milk, but I hated the way I had to do it. I used a shawl to cover myself to express when anyone else was around, I had a car adaptor so I could express while a passenger in the car. I did everything I could to continue expressing until DS2 was well established on solid foods, which ended up being 26 months. I don’t know how I did it, but I am very proud of my achievement, and I am so proud of my wonderful little boy and my family for helping me so much.

One day we went out to the farm, to plant trees, I expressed in the car twice that day, and while we were there I composed the following:

Bottled Love

I grieve when I bottle feed my son
Because he is not breastfeeding.
I grieve when I express my milk
Because it is a machine not my baby.
I grieve when he is sad or tired
Because I cannot soothe him with my breast.
I grieve for that special relationship
That we will both miss.

All is right
As he sleeps in my arms at night,
All is good
When he chortles at the sight of me,
All is love
As I gaze into his eyes past the bottle.

I express milk for my son.
I feed my baby bottled love.

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Post by Marymay » Tue May 18, 2010 2:09 pm

I have just read your complete post and I am just in wonder. I'm sure that everyone has told you what an amazing job you did, but I also want to let you know that what you achieved was a remarkable effort.

I expressed for my DD1 (born at 30 weeks) for the first 3 months of her life while her sucking reflex developed, so I understand the time and effort that expressing and trying to breastfeed takes, especially in the middle of the night. We left the hospital with 90 bottles of EBM, froze the lot and she never had any of it, as I always gave her fresh EBM before she took to the breast! Thank goodness.

I was so taken with your story and your little boy will certainly reap the benefits of all your great pumping.
Thank you ABA forum for all the love and support when my girls where young. My little premie girls are all grown up now!

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Post by JennyD » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:42 am

Weaning is now finally complete. When DS2 was about 15 months old we stopped giving him a bottle of milk during the night. This was because although breastfeeding doesn’t give babies nursing caries, bottle-feeding does, and the milk was pooling in his mouth at night, and there was some decay. We decided to offer him water in his nighttime bottle as we assumed this would stop him wanting it. It didn’t, he didn’t care what was in his bottle so long as he could have his bottle.

When we ran out of breastmilk we continued to let him have a bottle with water in it. I felt this was OK for DS2, after all the other kids had breastfed until around 3, so it seemed unfair to take DS2's bottle away at 12 months as recommended. I wasn’t prepared to give him a dummy, so the only other option seemed to be to allow him to keep bottle-feeding.

I hoped that he would gradually wean from the bottle as he started drinking from a cup or something else, but he didn’t. He became more and more attached to his bottle. I wasn’t overly concerned until he turned 3. I knew it was time to wean him from his bottle, but no matter what I tried, he just kept on needing it. I limited use, no more water over night, only in a specific chair, not outside. All these limits and he still drank a couple of litres a day from his bottle. I was also concerned that water was filling him up and that was why he was so skinny.

The last week, he lost his bottle. He put it down somewhere and neither of us could find it. He had lost it before, but it was always found fairly quickly. DS2 and I searched for it for hours, and couldn’t find it, so at bedtime, no bottle, he just hugged me and fell asleep. He had a spare one, but I refused to bring it out, he didn’t know it existed as we have been on one bottle at a time for ages. DH found the bottle in the bathroom while DS2 slept, so we hid it.

From that day on, no bottles. He has been a bit fragile about it, and he hasn’t been drinking anywhere near enough. So now we have icy poles for him and he’s getting enough liquid.

Weaning is now complete.
Last edited by JennyD on Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by marie7 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:31 pm

WOW Jenny! I am touched by your story and your poem! I think you are fantastic!!
Number 3 on its way due 18 may!!
Fellare is storking me!! :)

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Post by danigirl » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:28 pm

Wow Jenny! Just clicked on the link after reading an ABA chat post by you. Amazing story - beautiful poem. Made me tear up too and I'm not a crier.
What a dedicated mum. I'm sure your journey has made you a better counsellor. Congratulations on your achievements!

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Re: Feeding DS2

Post by mooki » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:29 pm

Hi Jenny, I have only just got around to reading your story all the way through. I had read your essence submission but not the full story.

Thankyou so much for sharing. I had tears reading it. You did an amazing job, especially with little support from family. Plus you had other kids who needed you. Supermum!


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