“Well, I know there are medications you can take to bring your milk in, and just do it yourself.”
SERIOUSLY!?!?! If I hadn’t been sitting down with the baby on my lap, I would have jumped up and screamed HALLELUJA! Having a social worker say this was probably the last thing I expected to hear.
She went on to say that if I wanted to, she would fully support me. I didn’t tell her we already were, but I told her I would think about it.
About 3 weeks later we were hospitalized again, this time for emergency surgery to correct a stomach defect. (Pyloric Stenosis- one of many medium-range birth defects my son was born with, due to prenatal meth use by his bio mother).
I took FULL advantage of the hospital’s pumping room! Their pump was 10 times nicer and more efficient than the one I had at home (a very OLD Pump In Style I had bought used—yes I know, you’re not supposed to do that, but I did, and replaced all the inner gaskets and tubing with new.) They gave me my own pumping kit and all the bottles I could fill up—which weren’t many, but what a blessing!
When he went in for surgery he wasn’t able to have anything to eat for 12 hours prior. I pumped and pumped and PUMPED and by the time he WAS able to eat again, it had been nearly 24 hours. I had 6 ounces in the refrigerator in the nurses station!
When he was still mostly sleeping off the anesthesia, I headed off to the pumping room again, and his social worker came by while I was gone. When I came back to his room, she was sitting in the chair watching him sleep.
She said, “When the nurse told me you were in the pumping room, I got so excited! You’re really doing it?!” HUGE GRIN. “Yes, I really am!” She was my cheerleader and SO supportive. It was great.
As they started him back to regular intake, he was only allowed to take 2ml at a time, then 3 ml, then 4… It enabled us to stretch out the breast milk and he was able to exclusively take in MY MILK for the first 24 hours. That was such a blessing and a relief.
The surgeon said it was much easier on his stomach than formula would have been. I continued pumping every two hours, the entire 5 days we were at the hospital, and then used my own milk in the supplementer. We ran out of stored milk the third day, but the pump helped me get a good boost to my supply.
From there, we didn’t look back. My milk gradually increased, and so did his supplement intake as he grew. For a while I really had no idea what I was producing. All I knew was that he was growing and gaining weight. He would nurse with or without the supplementer, but not usually for too long without, because I wasn’t making a whole lot.