31w1d – Day of Life 15

I can’t believe Miss Nora is already two weeks old!  Here is a picture I took of her yesterday when she was being a bit feisty.  (She really needs a bath to get the rest of the glue and markings off her head from the EEG.)

IMG_1104

During the past two days Nora has shown quite a bit of progress.  She is up to 3.11 lbs now, still receiving my milk at 7 cc every 4 hours I believe, plus other nutrients through her PICC line.  She’s back to CPAP as she was extubated yesterday morning around 11 am and hasn’t had any spells in the past 24 hours.  I’ve definitely noticed her activity level increasing, as she was quite active and more awake yesterday than I’ve seen her since birth.  She even let out a few cries that were quite loud, well, loud for her 😉  And, I got to hold her yesterday during her afternoon feeding!!!  She was so sweet, held onto one of my fingers and fell asleep.

An echo of her heart was done yesterday as it was thought she has a slight murmur.  Eric told me not to worry about the echo results, that lots of babies have murmurs and over time, as their heart more fully developes, the murmur resolves itself on its own.  And that is exactly what the specialists just explained in rounds.  So I won’t worry.

Another lumbar puncture (LP) is scheduled for 11 am today to see if her spinal fluid is free of infection.  They plan to treat her meningitis with antibiotics two weeks beyond a negative LP.

I’m still feeling a bit overwhelmed with pumping every three hours around the clock.  I shouldn’t complain though, as my pump goes right back to sleep in-between feedings!  I have to assume though, that getting up in the middle of the night to feed your baby is way more exciting than getting up to pump.

I do still have a few concerns about pumping.  I should probably just track down the lactation consultant here, but all of you are always so helpful…

  • Will I always be pumping every three hours?  Or will the time in-between increase again, as the lactation consultant instructed me earlier this week to increase time from every 2 hours to every 3 hours?
  • There have been several times where for whatever reason I couldn’t pump right at 3 hours.  Like yesterday I was holding Nora and went almost 4 hours, and my breasts felt like they were going to explode.  I assume that’s normal, or no?
  • I’ve been applying lanolin after almost every pumping session, but I would still say my nipples are quite sore.  Is it normal that burn/tingle randomly from time to time, when I’m not pumping?  Even clothing rubbing on them seems to hurt.
  • I still feel a hard knot in one breast.  I’ve tried heat and massage, but it doesn’t seem to be helping.  And I’ve tried pumping forever to get all the milk out, but at some point, nothing more comes and the knot remains.  The lactation consultant asked me if I have anything on my nipples that looks like small pimples, as I could have a blocked area.  How the heck do I know what that should look like?  And what do I do if I do have these pimple-like things?

And just like that its time to pump again 🙂

36 thoughts on “31w1d – Day of Life 15

  1. So here is my experience with breastfeeding/pumping, but obviously every one is different. I still pump and/or breastfeed every three hours and Carter is nearly 10 months old. For the first couple of months he ate more like every 2-3 but eventually it was consistently every 3, hence the reason I pump every 3 when I am at work. And I have heard this 3 hour schedule is common for many babies. So my thought is you will still pump every 3 hours (it won’t increase to 4, sorry!) and eventually when Nora breastfeeds, it could actually move back down to every 2 while she is still younger, which just depends on her demands. As far as the pain and feeling like you are about to explode when you don’t pump exactly on schedule. YES, totally normal! Your body will get in a routine and your breastmilk will flow on a perfect schedule for Noras demands. If it is ever adjusted (if you go from feeding every 2 to every 3 hours for example), it will take your body a few days to slow down its production. And eventually your let downs will adjust as well.

    For me personally, after I get past the first few months of breastfeeding, it is no longer such a rush to pump on schedule and I don’t have the fullness as routinely. Obviously for the sake of keeping up with baby’s eating demands, it is important to stay consistent since again your production will adjust if you continue to not pump as often. But for me,once I get past the first few months, if I miss a pumping I don’t feel like I will explode right when I get to the next pumping session. And also, after the first few months, I no longer have to wear the pads as I don’t feel as full and I don’t leak (unless I miss a couple pumping sessions of course!) You will learn as you go! You will probably have more pain when Nora starts feeding as it will take her time to learn how, but just stick with it and try to deal with the struggles and pain and it will all be worth it in the end. I promise! Pulling out your boob in the middle of the night is much easier then putting together and heating a bottle! And although I completely understand that some woman exclusively pump and can never breastfeed directly, it is alot more work, so just keep at it! Good luck!

    Like

  2. I pumped about 7 times a day when I was at the height of my pumping. I think it’s fine to go more than 3 hours, you probably will feel uncomfortable, I just wouldn’t stretch it out on a regular basis, because your supply may slightly decrease. If you can get away from wearing a bra, that should help the nipples, and wear a loose fitting shirt. I would really push on my knots in the shower and that would usually release them, watch out for shooting milk. When Nora is able, babies are best at getting the knots out. Fun times with the pumping. ;P

    Like

  3. I’m not an expert but. . . I’m experiencing a lot of similar things exclusively breastfeeding. I think the time between pumping will likely increase – add I’ve been told that after a few weeks I won’t have to wake ansel up to eat and can instead just let him eat on demand with bigger gaps between feedings. I definitely feel engorged if he goes longer than usual between feedings – I’ve heard the engorgement starts to lessen as your breasts learn how much/often you are feeding/pumping. I don’t, however, know about mastitis – Except that I’m terrified of it! Sounds like Nora is a fighter and is kicking ass! Sending you all continued prayers!

    Like

  4. so happy to hear nora is doing well and getting bigger and stronger day by day 🙂 i have no idea because i am not there yet but i have breast feeding mom friends that swear by cold cabbage leaves on your breasts to help with engorgement, clog ducts, sore nipples, tenderness and pimples. give it try. can’t hurt! good luck.

    Like

  5. Praying for good results from Nora’s LP today. She looks beautiful and so strong. I can’t believe how big she’s getting.
    As for your pumping questions: I do think you’ll start getting more time between sessions, but as you discovered you’ll get quite engorged which is painful. I remember my clothing hurting so much! Lanolin is excellent for cracking and tenderness. If you develop pimples you’ll definitely know. Look up symptoms of mastitis so you’re aware of what to watch for.
    Thank you for updating us on your little beauty.

    Like

    1. LP was normal, well, still had quite a few white cells, but if I remember correctly that said that’s normal as she is fighting the infection. I had been using Lanolin, but gosh it’s sticky and messy and seems to stain anything it touches!

      Like

  6. Track down the consultant – even if it’s just a phone call! Once my supply was “established” I would pump every 3 hours during the day and at 10pm, 3 or 4am and 7am. So I got one nice long chunk of sleep or two good chunks. If you make that change continue to track your supply and make sure it doesn’t decrease, because you will need that middle of the night milk to keep her happy when you are home! Yes your boobs should feel full if you are an hour past due for pumping. Get ready for that, but much more large and painful, when you start sleeping longer at night! Use the nipple cream every time you pump! If your nipples are very sore or getting blisters, have the lactation consultant watch you pump to make sure the nipple part is the right size. Sounds like the hard mass is a plugged duct. Try pumping and leaning over to let gravity help. Plugged ducts can be no big deal but if they don’t get released it can lead to mastitis which you don’t need!

    Like

  7. Breast feeding is HARD WORK, no matter if pumping or feeding. It sucks, but it’s best for baby. I would get that knot checked out to make sure its not mastitis. Also the sore nipples is par for the core, but it should get better. I’ve heard cabbage leaves after pumping helps. Also I used the lanolin and loved it. Timing will space out, but probably not more than every 4 hours during the day and maybe 8 hours at night. It is supposed to go along with how Nora would eat. She would eat every 2-3 hours right now and then as she gets a bit older, the nights would space out. Babies don’t typically sleep through the night until 4 months old unless you’re lucky. And yes when your breasts are full they feel like they’ll explode, they may leak, but won’t actually explode!

    Like

  8. Over time your body will adjust to what is needed so you won’t be as uncomfortable between sessions. I could be wrong, but I figure you’ll want to keep pumping every 3 hours for a while. At 10 months Annabelle still nurses every 3-4 hours. The pain will ease up…one benefit of pumping is that a baby is much tougher on you…I was miserable for the first 3 months! Glad to see Miss Nora is improving! And you should be proud of yourself for your pumping–that is a huge commitment!!

    Like

    1. Thank you. It’s only been a little over two weeks though and I’m already sick of pumping. I mean, I will continue, as I know it’s best for her, but yes, gosh this is a ton of work. And then I’ll have to learn all about breastfeeding when she is old enough… I wonder when that will be.

      Like

  9. Hey! My baby is 13 days old today & I’m going through breastfeeding too (also seeing a great lactation consultant).
    1. I don’t know if the time between feedings will stretch out much more for awhile. Sometimes I feed every hour, depending on her needs.
    2. Becoming “engorged” when you go too long in-between feedings is normal–sometimes we do this and I have to express milk before I can feed her.
    3. My nipples are very sore (I use lanolin too) and that’s totally normal.
    4. I don’t know about the knot, but I bet it’s ok…if your lactation consultant isn’t answering your questions then lots of women have told me to consult your local chapter of LLL (le leche league).
    Sounds like you’re doing a great job & Nora is gaining weight & healing well! XO

    Like

  10. LOVE this picture of Nora, it looks like she is on a mission. I am so glad to hear that she has made a lot of progress the last few days, she is a fighter! How did her LP test go today? How are you feeling?

    Like

  11. The discomfort if you go longer than usual between pumping (or nursing when you get to do that) is normal as is the nipple tenderness despite liberal use of Lanolin. The intervals get longer but that may not be for s while given how much growing Nora still has to do right now. I’m so so so glad to hear things are improving on the whole and will keep praying they continue to get better.

    Like

  12. Hey Stefanie,
    Yes it is normal to have tht hot prickly feeling, for me thst how I know my milk is in for my next pumping/feeding. It is also normal to feel like they will explode if you are on a pumping schedule and miss your time. As baby gets older you can go longer is the theory with nursing. For pumping you can add 15 minutes and see, if you can maintain you supply with adding the time go for it. I added my time at night so I could sleep but making sure to pump between 12-5 as you et the most then (or so they say). Also there are inferential size shields and a smaller or larger or could reduce your pain while pumping. Aske the lactation consultant or there is birth baby and beyond in Cedar Rapids and they can fit you for the right size. I also recommend leaky mamas of cedar if Cedar Rapids, it’s a Facebook group for breastfeeding.

    Like

    1. I just got added to Leaky Mamas on Facebook! I’m not familiar with birth baby and beyond, but I assume google will help with that! I’m using the medium, 24mm I think, shields. I can’t believe I’d need smaller, but I guess what the heck do I know!

      Like

Please share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s