Last Thursday, G. and L. had their first pediatrician appointment. I had an uneasy feeling about it, but didn't know why. It turns out I had a reason to feel uneasy, because when the girls were weighed, they had yet to gain back their birth weights, and L. was even under her hospital discharge weight. The doctor wanted us to supplement with formula, which I was not wild about doing. While it would help the girls pack on calories, it would do nothing for my milk supply, and I desperately wanted to nurse these babies.
After having a (not so) minor breakdown...gotta love those post-partum hormones...I talked to a good friend who has La Leche leader training. After discussing the girls' nursing with her, I realized that they were not as good of nursers as I thought they were. So over the weekend I did several things: paid much closer attention to how they were nursing so they were getting as much milk as possible; upped my calorie and protein intake (a lot); drank fenugreek tea; and tried to nurse as much as possible. J. also gave the girls 1 to 2 ounces of formula at night with a syringe after they had nursed just to be sure they were getting some extra calories. Pretty much I was consumed by nursing all weekend.
Yesterday they had a follow-up visit to the pediatrician. I was nervous all day, worrying that they hadn't gained any weight. But, I'm very happy and very relieved to report that they did gain weight....nearly half a pound each in 4 days. The doctor was also pleased and we don't need to go back for another month. I'm sure I'll still be extra-vigilant about their nursing, but now I feel as though I can go back to just enjoying them again, too. I don't need to feel twinges of worry every time I hold them. (I am already a world class worrier, even without any valid reason. Give me a real reason to worry...well, let's just say it's not pretty.) The lactation consultant at the doctor's also gave me a couple more tips for ensuring milk supply. One of them was to take fenugreek capsules. Evidently at high enough dosages (which I should be taking), it makes one smell like maple syrup. I foresee a strong possibility that children may be overcome by cravings for pancakes for the next several months.