a new day (& a giveaway winner!)

I finally got a chance to see our fancy new bottles in action. The girls love them! 

Congratulations, Bettina! You’ll be getting some of your very own. Email me at your earliest convenience, so we can get you set up.
We started the girls on goats’ milk yesterday. I’m looking for something to supplement the breastmilk and the solids (table food). Isaiah Jane weighed in at just under thirteen pounds during her neurologist visit last week. This means she pretty much stopped gaining weight after her six-month appointment. All three of my babies have been small, but she’s the first to show signs of other problems.  If I hear one more person tell me not to worry because I’m small myself, I might spontaneously combust into a ball of smoke and tears.
They will both see their primary doctor next week, and I’m sure we’ll discuss some formula options. Honor Rose is meeting all of her milestones like a champ, but I want to bulk them both up if I can. My milk supply seems fine, they still nurse every three to four hours during the day, and they’re satisfied after they eat. I’m getting my milk tested this week… just to make sure I haven’t been starving all three of my breastfed babies for their entire first year of life.
We’ve got a few tests and consults coming up in the next few weeks. I’m also requesting a few additional referrals from our doctor. I’ll get into detail later; I’m still processing everything. I’ve always tried to be real and honest on this blog, though, so I won’t hold back now. I am very discouraged.
This week, I find myself questioning every parenting decision I’ve made up until this point. It’s hard to explain… it’s not that I’m beating myself up (yet). I guess I’m just examining the past few years very closely. I know this season will pass, and I have no regrets. This is part of the parenting process. I’m learning a lot about myself as I strive to grow my own patience.
But I’ve always fought for a mother’s right to mourn and question and second-guess. And this week, I’m doing all of those things.

23 thoughts on “a new day (& a giveaway winner!)”

  1. I won’t tell you not to worry because you’re small, but, I will tell you I went through the same thing. My twins only gained 4 ounces between their 6 and 9 month appointments. My doctor didn’t bother testing my milk, we had to put them on formula. I beat myself up about it. How could I not have known?! But they thrived on formula. They had to go back a month later for a weight check and they gained two or three pounds. The goal was to have them caught up by a year old and although they’re still small, they’re not severely under weight anymore. Try to go easy on yourself, you’re doing what you think is best.

    1. I’ve heard of this happening with singletons, too. So I’m trying to stay positive and open-minded! I’m certainly not against formula. I just don’t know what kind to use or exactly what I’m trouble-shooting here. Glad to hear your babies did well!

  2. This post breaks my heart, not because of the challenges your kiddos might be facing, but because you’re mourning. I’m sure there’s no need to question every decision you’ve made (though it’s normal). Sounds like you’re making all the right (phone) calls. You’re your kids’ best advocate and you’re doing a great job. Keep it up!

  3. Just a question (not a judgement AT ALL) but do you also feed them regular food to help with weight gain? I wasn’t sure if they were eating solids yet…

    I cannot imagine what you must be feeling, but I think mourning and analyzing is a healthy thing – it means you are facing reality. It’s yucky, but once you go through the process, you can move on. I hate that you are beating yourself up though.

    Hugs.

    1. Yes, they’re on table food! They gobble it up.

      Thanks for the encouragement! I wouldn’t say I’m beating myself up (yet)… but I’m certainly headed there, haha. Hopefully some answers in the next few weeks will give me a clear plan and a renewed attitude.

  4. I think your attitude towards all of this is incredible. I’m so sorry you’re questioning and mourning and dealing with doctors but you’re doing it with so much grace I am in awe.

    Can I ask what they’re testing your milk for? I’ve just never heard of such a thing. When my LC worried about milk production she would weigh a baby before and after a feeding to count the ounces but nothing more scientific. I didn’t know there was a way to test it for content!

    1. Caloric value, I think? From what I hear, it’s sorta like telling mamas they have skim milk vs. whole milk. Because all of my kids were exclusively breastfed for six months & I only rarely struggled with supply issues, I can’t really blame the poor weight-gain on anything else at this point!

  5. I work with literally hundreds of kids a year and I totally can see that your girls would gobble up the table foods. We laugh all the time at work because we often struggle to get the chubby babes to eat, but those little tiny ones can eat a grown man under the table! Also, since I have seen such a huge population of babies, I know adorable when I see it, and your girls are ADORABLE!!

  6. rachael..do you know how AMAZING you are for even bf your twins at all much less this long?! Don’t beat yourself up too bad, you are doing everything right. If the doctor putsnher on formula, you should pat yourself on the back for bf this long!

    1. Thank you! I am encouraged that we were able to meet the goals I set for us… Just a few weeks at a time, and we made it this far without much effort! Definitely a blessing.

  7. If they’re getting breast milk, are satisfied, and are eating table food, I wouldn’t even bother with your milk. Sounds to me like someone is trying to guilt you just so they can say ‘I told you so’ or make you feel bad for nursing. If you have small babies, you have small babies. The End. If one is NOT gaining weight and that’s a problem, then deal with THAT baby how you need to. Don’t go adding problems to a baby that does NOT have any. That’s ridiculous. I know you’re trying to do what you think is right, but I have a feeling you’re getting a lot of ‘shoulds’ and ‘there must be something wrongs’ and ‘just go right ahead and shove baby #2 on formula, too, JUST IN CASE’… I call a big flaming BS on that one. That’ just my personal opinion, but NO TWO BABIES ARE THE SAME, and you CAN NOT treat them the same in this case. This is NOT an attack, but don’t let your doubts about one baby make you change how you deal with your other one. That’s not fair.

    1. Don’t worry! I don’t subscribe to the “shoulds” either.
      Actually, nobody has given me any advice whatsoever!
      I’m actually having a nurse friend test my milk because I’m interested.

  8. Rachael,

    We had the same problem with our twin Sophia. She stopped gaining weight after 9 months, I am still breastfeeding them both but our pediatrician recommended smoothies with whole milk (or goat’s milk since it is more like breast milk), coconut butter (1-2 tablespoons), and fresh or frozen fruit. She loves them! (we do them twice a day in addition to the nursing and table foods). in just the past 1 1/2 months she has gained 11 ounces…not too bad. She is still small and probably always will be but we’ll keep doing the smoothies for now. Maybe smoothies would help? Hoping all goes well for your sweet little one IJ with her upcoming appts :)

    1. she takes them in a sip pie cup (we found the only one she takes is a nubby) if you do decide to do the smoothies be sure you don’t use too many “seedy” fruits like raspberries, boysenberries, etc because the seeds get stuck in the cup ;)

  9. You have some great readers here, all of their comments are so encouraging. Whilst I agree with all of them, I’m sure your feeling of mourning will change, as everything inevitably does, and you will find peace with it all.

    On a side note, I was beyond excited to see my name in your post! I rarely enter give-aways and can’t believe I had a win!

    Thanks so much.

  10. My son has an orthotic helmet (which will hopefully be off after his appointment today!)and we ended up getting it at 11months, which is a little late. We did physical therapy with him when he was young because he had mild torticollis. It helped some but his head still continued to shift to one side as he grew. At first I felt like it was my fault but now I’m just glad he’s getting done what needs to be done. Point being, we all feel down on ourselves as parents sometimes and I hope everything works out for your family!

  11. So cool that you can get your milk tested! I have been breastfeeding by little one for 15 months and I would be fascinated to know the details of what I produce….

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