I have two older daughters (6 and 4), who I didn't bf very long, mainly because I wasn't as dedicated, I felt like my supply wasn't enough, and honestly, I didn't educate myself about it. So when I was expecting my youngest, I researched, I read this board (almost obsessively), prepared myself, and told myself that I would do it, no matter what.
Kyla was born, and she latched pretty well in the hospital. She had jaundice, so she was quite sleepy, but from what I could tell, she was eating well. When she was 4 days old, she had surpassed her birth weight. However, at 2 weeks, she was back down to below her birth weight. We did weight checks daily with her pedi, and it wasn't getting better. It was determined she was exerting too many calories during nursing than she was taking in.
I ended up having to pump and bottle feed her bm and supplement (per the pedi) formula to get more calories in her. For some reason, she wasn't gaining as much as we hoped, and was diagnosed as "failure to thrive," so Kyla ended up being hospitalized. Thankfully it was for observation, so she didn't have to have a feeding tube or anything like that.
While at the hospital, I was able to use the medela symphony. My body responded like crazy to it. It responded ok to my PISA, but not like the symphony. I was over the moon. Kyla gained well, and we were able to go home.
She has gained well ever since. She is ONLY on bm now, absolutely no formula, and has been for about 3 weeks now. In one week, she gained 12 oz. I was incredibly proud of her and myself.
Sunday night, my left nipple was so cracked at the base from pumping. I started using lanolin after every pump and nursing session, and switched to larger flanges. This has helped immensely, and now it is barely cracked anymore. Sunday afternoon I made the decision to switch to nursing Kyla as much as possible, with only 1-2 bottles of bm a day, mainly to give DH a chance to feed her (I still pumped during this time of course).
Kyla has done super well. She has had more wet and dirty diapers in the last 4 days, it is unreal. My supply has skyrocketed due to her being in a growth spurt as well. I have been able to pump between nursing sessions as well, and freeze milk. I was only getting about 2 oz per session, but now I steadily get 4-6 oz, which is wonderful.
Today, I counted my freezer stash. I have 60 oz put away. I had tears in my eyes. I have worked so hard for this. At one point I was crying all the time because I felt like everything was stacked against us (or me...that's how it felt). I have absolutely no problem with formula (my two older girls thrived on it), but I wanted to successfully bf Kyla, since she is my last baby, and I wanted to know that I could do it, that my body was able to do it.
Thank you to everyone on this board for all the information you gave to people asking questions. I appreciate it so much!