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Monday, September 22, 2008

How do you explain this??? Stupid body...first infertility, now I'm starving my children

Note: If you're friends or family, please don't bring this up to me until I'm ready to talk about it. I'm dead serious...don't leave me "understanding" messages or write me a "thinking about you" email...I don't want it right now. I know it will get better...I know that this has probably happened to someone else before...I know certain things logically, but I'd still like to enjoy my time of beating myself up about this. So, please respect my wishes. I'm still pretty fragile about this (obviously) and don't want to spend the rest of the week crying every time I talk about this...thanks.

Note #2: I'm not seriously trying to starve my children as the title says. Please don't call CPS yet!

So, we had our month check-up this morning and it was with a doctor that we had heard "not so good" things about. Both of us had heard from different people that this woman did not have a good bedside manner and was pretty abrasive...boy, were they right! So, here is my story...I'm going to try to type through it without crying b/c I've done enough of that today!

Before I move forward, please understand that "normal" weight gain for infants is approximately 6 ounces per week at this point. Knowing that may help you to understand why I'm so freaking upset.

We get there and check in and everything is fine. We had a little bit of a rough night last night, so I was a little tired, but we were generally in good spirits. We get called back and they have us undress the kids so that we can weigh and measure them. I was absolutely devastated to find that Hailey weighed in at 5 pounds 12 ounces (she had only gained 3 ounces in a month and puts her <3% on the normal scale) and Matthew weighed in at 7 pounds 3 ounces (he had only gained 10 ounces in a month and puts him at 3-5% on the normal scale). I almost started crying, but I went through all of the normal rationalizations...maybe the scale is off...maybe it's because I'm breastfeeding...maybe they're just slow growers (yeah right). I mouth to Bill, "they're still so skinny" and he gives me an understanding look that tells me that he agreed and was worried too.

We go back into the room and the nurse starts telling us about what they're going to do today...HepB shot and another test...can't remember the name right now. I couldn't concentrate...I kept thinking "they're going to call CPS on us for starving our children."

The doctor comes in...I'm going to call her Dr. Doom/Crotchrot...she proceeds to tell us that we need to put weight on the kids (no shit) and then she asked us all sorts of questions. Do we sleep them on their back or stomach? BACK Do we have a rear facing car seat? YES How often do we bathe them? EVERY 3 DAYS How often do I feed them? EVERY 3 HOURS Do I feel a let down? I'M NOT SURE WHAT THAT IS How long do they nurse for? 30-45 MINUTES Do we supplement? YES How often and how much do they eat? ONCE A DAY AND THEY EAT BETWEEN 3.5 AND 4 OUNCES Do we do Tummy Time? YES How do they do during that? THEY HATE IT How are they sleeping? FINE, BUT I AM WAKING THEM UP A LOT TO NURSE Am I getting enough rest? I GUESS SO Does one cry more than the other? NO Do you have trouble waking them up? (because apparently "they could be too weak to wake all the way up" - nice, huh?) SOMETIMES Have they been peeing and pooping normally? YES So, we oblige and answer all of the questions and by this time, I'm in tears. I can barely see through my tears and can barely answer her questions...she hands me a box of tissues and doesn't say anything to make me feel remotely better. She asks me if I've seen a lactation consultant and we did...in the hospital. We saw about 4 lactation consultants in the hospital and we've been nursing "successfully" ever since...that's what we thought.

Then she starts to physically examine them...she does all of the normal stuff, but doesn't tell us that anything is good or normal. Now you would think that just after you've told parents that they're basically starving their children, you'd want to give them just a snippet of good news, but not Dr. Doom/Crotchrot...she says nothing. She does proceed to tell me that Hailey is rooting like crazy at which point, I feel judged...I thought that when they suck on their hands, they're trying to soothe themselves...I didn't know it was hunger. Anyway, I can't stop crying at this point and Bill keeps looking at me helplessly b/c he can't calm me down! Dr. Doom/Crotchrot is barely noticing me b/c I could only think that anyone whose heart hasn't iced over yet would tell me that it will be okay, that I'm not killing my kids, that they've seen this before, that they are going to help me. She does none of that! She does ask if I still have the list of lactation consultants that they gave us...I don't remember getting one, but I obviously need one! So, she makes some calls and comes and gets us in about 20 minutes...at this point, of course the kids are hungry! We've been there forever and I'm a basket case. She finally comes back and tell me that she has a lactation consultant on the phone who would like to speak with me. She was very nice...we'll call her Nurse Sunshine!

After I speak with her, the nurse comes in to do the shots/tests. Matthew hated his shot and it almost sent Bill into tears...he screamed in pain. Hailey was fine...she cried, but she was fine. Oh, as the nurse was doing the shot, she unknowingly says, "oh...her thighs are so skinny. I'm used to doing this on nice fat thighs." Thanks a lot. Then we left. I need to make an appointment for another weight check, but I couldn't bear to do it this morning...for whatever reason, I felt that everyone knew that I was "starving" my kids and were looking at me like "you should be crying...you're a bad Mom!"

Anyway, I spent the rest of the car ride home trying really hard not to cry, but to no avail. Bill is being awesome! Rather than going back to work as we had originally planned, he came home with me and we decided to give them formula (why keep starving them?) and I would pump just to see what I was getting. So, we did...we fed them bottles, put them down for a nap, and I started pumping. Well, I pumped for 1/2 and hour and you wanna know what I got? An ounce out of each boob...a fucking ounce!!! No wonder they didn't gain any weight! That supplemental feeding from Bill is probably the only thing keeping them alive right now! I'm so pissed...I'm pissed at my body. This is kind of like the pissed I was when I had to start fertility treatments...once again, my body is failing me and there's no way I could have known it! So, all of my efforts were completely futile and there I was...feeling all proud and happy with myself. I should have known better. I'm also pissed at myself...I should have known that something was wrong. I had a feeling that Hailey wasn't gaining any weight and I should have called for a weight check...I didn't listen to my gut feelings! I'm pissed at the doctor for not telling us anything good...why couldn't she have told us something good...I could have lived on hearing that their lungs sound good...something!!! I'm also pissed that I was so proud of myself. I kept thinking how great I was b/c I was nursing twins and aren't I special? Yeah...you're special b/c you can't actually feed your babies...you just think you can! I'm embarrassed because of that and pissed because I was proud of myself. What gave me the right? I had no proof!

Anyway, we fed them formula again this afternoon and I pumped the measly ounce that I've been giving my kids and then we called the lactation consultant. I really want to give it up...I can't have any control over what they're getting...I just don't know. If it were just a random choice, I would give up breastfeeding right now. Since I know that breastfeeding is better for my kids (I'm not knocking anyone else's choice...just what I want to do for my kids), I need to figure this out. That's why we're meeting with the lactation consultant. She seems really nice and she's coming over tonight at 6:30. Hopefully I can convince her that I'm not trying to kill my kids...my worthless boobs are. I'll update tomorrow about what took place during that meeting. I really hope it goes well.

Note #3: Kudos to Bill b/c he spent all day trying to get me to cheer up. He's awesome and I couldn't make it through any of this shit without out him. He kept making jokes (which were actually pretty funny) and trying to build me up. I just hate when anyone feels bad for me. It makes me feel even more like shit...I think that's why he started making jokes. Trust me...I know this is no joking matter, but it helps me get by sometimes. He gets that. I love him so much...I just hope he knows that I'm doing the best that I can and don't want to let him down.

Oh and to answer the question...did she actually make it through writing this post without crying...hell no! I'm bawling like a little baby, but I've got to stop writing right now b/c I need to give my face time to depuff before the lactation lady gets here...I don't want her thinking I'm some sort of overly emotional fruitcake! Even if I am at the moment...more to come tomorrow.