Hi everyone. I normally don't post on here. I'm more of a lurker but I've reached my wit's end. Please bear with me. I'm writing this on my phone and it's going to be long. I apologize for typos, misspellings, and grammar oopsies.
I am going to have to begin supplementing my 8 month old daughter, Claire. I have no choice. She isn't gaining weight, she isn't getting enough ounces when I nurse her. Yes, I've had this all evaluated by a doctor and 2 separate IBCLCs. She doesn't get enough to eat from breastfeeding alone. Yes, I've done all the stuff I can to try to increase my supply. I've been trying to do so for 2 months. I can't keep trying. My child's health is at risk and my own mental health is starting to take a hit at this point. I really would rather not get suggestions for boosting supply. I've done everything there is out there to do so please, I don't need anymore lectures on how "breast is best". I need help with figuring this supplementing thing out.
Claire used to use the breastflow bottles anytime we left her with a babysitter so we could have a night out. It would take a week to pump enough milk to do this. But the person who watches her always said she took the bottles with absolutely no issue. She even used to take a bottle from me if my boobs just needed a break. She took one from me about a month ago, in fact, when I needed to give the boobies a break from her biting (she may have only had gums at the time but damn that shit still hurts). She was happy to take the breastmilk from me. She would smile up at me when she'd pause and go back to drinking. Now, my brother in law, who is a doctor and has a daughter 6 weeks older than mine told me with my niece they had to start with pumped milk and gradually add formula and decrease the breast milk and increase formula over time. So I figured I'd pump 2-3 hours after she went to bed to get an ounce or two to give her via bottle every day for a few days to get her used to a daily bottle. Then begin the formula/breast combo and stuff.
We started off just letting my husband offer a bottle since he was getting home early for a change last week and he had a rare 3 day weekend (he's in the Army). Since he doesn't get to spend much time with her (he's gone when she gets up and gets home after she's in bed for the night) I figured a daily bottle would be perfect for him to reconnect with his baby. Except she suddenly refuses to take the bottle she's always taken! I thought maybe the milk was off, maybe a high lipase issue or something. It didn't have a metallic or soapy smell or taste. The milk was fine. I thought maybe it might be the nipple so I got the Tommee Tippee bottles we'd been given but never used. Same reaction. She screamed like he was hurting her and then fell asleep because apparently 15 minutes of crying every time a bottle touches your mouth is exhausting. We've tried the breastflow bottles, the tommee tippee (as mentioned), Dr. Brown's, Mam, Avent, some cheap dollar store brand with a latex nipple (someone said the latex nipple may do the trick but all the stores were out of stock of the playtex kind), a soft spout sippy cup, hard spout sippy, straw sippy, a cup with no lid. This is all just breast milk. And I'm not even in the house when he tries to give the bottle. We don't know what else to do.
I would look into using the SNS (supplemental nursing system) from Medela but I have another issue: on top of all of this I have to have surgery to remove my gallbladder soon or I'll be going to the ER for emergency surgery. One way or another, I'm having surgery and there's NO way I can hold and nurse a wiggling, kicking, punching 8 month old to nurse with 4 laproscopic incisions or possibly an open surgery incision. We have to get her to take the bottle because someone is going to have to care for her while I'm in surgery and for at least a few days after the surgery. I don't know if we should keep trying bottles or what since she won't take a sippy either. And yesterday was the last day my husband will be available to help for a bit. He is about to be gone for training for 10 days.
Yes, she's been checked for lip and tongue tie. She had the lip tie clipped and 3 people qualified to assess ties said she had no tongue tie, posterior or anterior. She will eat a few spoonfuls of solids from me but that's it, even though she'll eat several ounces if daddy is the one offering it (and I do the exact same stuff he does). We're lost. We're worried for our princess and feel like we've exhausted every option. I know these boards are quite well known to contain very snarky and some rather rude people (it is the internet afterall) but could you spare the snark? I've gotten enough. I'm just hoping I'll get some sort of suggestion we haven't thought of or heard or tried already.