I nursed Mr. Happy three times. Then he started reacting. So I stopped.
Bummer for both of us.
However, I knew my system wasn’t completely cleaned out, so it’s not really a surprise. I had just hoped that it was cleaned out enough that he would react only as badly as he was to the Ele-care. Sadly, he reacted worse.
The good news is that I know he hasn’t forgotten how to nurse! The bad news is that I’m back to spending four hours a day pumping, in addition to 3-4 hours a day bottle feeding. Sigh.
In my extremely stressed out state, I finally called the local La Leche League office and spoke to one of their lactation consultants.
She reminded me to drink plenty of water and pump regularly. She encouraged me to pump even more often than I already am, which is going to be hard. Setting a timer helps, but if the timer goes off and you’re up to your elbows in poopy diapers right in the middle of the ‘put the toddler down for a nap’ window, well, your pumping is just going to have to wait.
At this point, if I can just get a good 5 pumps in per day, I’m doing really good.
She also reminded me that stress really affects milk supply. I looked at the calendar and saw a drastic decrease in my ounces per day starting on the exact date that we received the FPIES diagnosis.
Coincidence? I think not!
So, she recommended that I try to keep Mr. Happy nearby when I’m pumping, and focus really hard on his little baby face, his adorable little smile, the way his eyes light up when he focuses on my face, his cute little pudgy legs, well, you get the idea. I’m supposed to “think baby thoughts” while I’m pumping to help relax my body and stimulate let-down.
It’s great advice. I doubt I’ll be able to really take it, though. Mr. Charm thinks that when I’m pumping, and therefore tied to one spot and unable to get to him, is the ideal time to unleash the Tasmanian Devil within him and give 100% of his efforts to destroying my house. So I spend most of my pumping time shouting “NO!” in his direction, which really accomplishes nothing except stressing me out further.
Hmm…if it doesn’t make a difference, maybe I should try what she said! At least then I’d accomplish something worthwhile in that 25 minutes!
On the plus side, at least it seems my supply isn’t dwindling any more. It’s holding steady, so that’s a comfort.
Plus, Mr. Happy seems to be doing better on the Ele-care, now. The lovely ladies on the BabyCenter FPIES message board said that sometimes there is an adjustment period when a baby starts an elemental formula where it seems as though they’re having FPIES reactions, but really are just transitioning. The only way to tell is to just push through.
We had no choice but to push through, and the last two days he’s been Happy Baby again – smiling, giggling, and acting as though he feels a lot better.
I’m SO relieved!
I do want to try to nurse again, in a few weeks when I know my system is clean. I hope very much that he can take breastmilk and not react.
Whether he does or not, though, it’s good to know there is SOMETHING I can feed my son that will help him thrive. Even if I resume regular nursing again, it’s nice to know that if I get sick, or when I return to work, he’ll have something he can rely on to fill his tummy.
Next step: getting blood drawn for some more IgE and IgG tests his allergist wants done.
Have any of you experienced a transition period from breastfeeding to elemental formula?