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Friday, February 10, 2006

the formula for disgruntlement

i don't know why, but something about this illustration gives me some serious jeeblies. the baby is all fine and healthy when attached to the breast (a). but then! he takes a drag off the teat (b) and he turns into some kind of monsterbaby! i can't tell if it's the tit that's turning him into some hideous freak or if some alien pod within the baby is attacking the breast. see how the nipple is getting distorted and growing roots? is it attacking the poor child? or is an otherworldly emissary from deep within the demonchild assaulting mom? need better illustrations.

when the baby stops for a breather (c) everything returns to normal. the worst is behind. or so you think! check out (d)! the nipple web has spread! and look how calm the baby is. seems pleased with himself, don't you think? that's the giveaway right there. the podbaby has latched onto the mothership and is launching a full scale coup! bad baby!

i bring all this up because that illustration -- taken far enough out of context to give a leche leaguer a grand mal seizure -- is a fair metaphorical rendering of what has been happening inside of mrs nice guy's boobage. she's drying up. every feeding is a struggle -- baby wants more milk. mama wants to give it to her. baby doesn't get enough milk. mama feels guilty. baby bites mama's sensitive mamaparts with her razor-sharp rabbity teeth. mama throws baby against the wall. baby claws her way up mama's trembling body and begins gnawing at her jugular! ok, those last two aren't true.

and so we admit defeat. we are phasing in formula. mrs nice guy wanted to make it through a whole year without formula and then start with the cow's milk. but as you can see from the drawing above, the boobs lose.

i bought similac the other day. even in this neighborhood, i couldn't find organic hippy formula for infants (only toddlers). been mixing the formula with what little milk mrs nice guy is able to pump. here's how the first feeding went:

whispering announcer's voice: we have secretly replaced the baby's usual fine breast milk with simulacrum similac crystals. will she notice the difference? let's watch with the aid of our hidden camera.

baby takes bottle. baby drinks about 2 ounces of her evil milk-similac-similkac hybrid. eyes widen. pushes bottle out of mouth. refuses to take any more.

so yeah. the baby, i think, is on to us. of course, things are complicated by the fact that the baby is sick. her little nose is plugged up like the northbound 405 in rush hour. she can't breathe while nursing. she can't breathe while sleeping. and yet, oddly, she can breathe while screaming. go figure.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there, nice guys! I decided not to pump when I went back to work, and for a while the baby refused anything that came in a bottle. Sometimes babies will repeatedly refuse something new, but just keep offering it to her. Now we are happily bottle-feeding formula and nursing. Also, you may want to try different brand of formula--we use Enfamil that is supposedly like breastmilk. Except it is powder. and it comes in a can. and it doesn't really look, taste or smell like breastmilk. and it didn't come out of my boob. other than that, exactly like breastmilk.

2/10/2006 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

has mrs nice guy tried fennugreek or mother's milk tea? both have worked wonders for me when supply has been a issue, it might be worth giving it a try before turning to formula.

there actually isn't a hippie organic baby formula available in the us, as far as i know--i'm pretty sure they're all "toddler formula". i remember seeing some organic infant formula in the UK but nothing here, not enen in portland.

good luck to all three of you.

2/10/2006 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh don't give up! Actually introducing formula may make the milk supply situation worse. There are lots of things you can do to increase milk supply. The one that worked best for me was to drink LOTS of water. Also oatmeal, mother's milk tea. But most importantly nurse, pump, nurse some more. It's really all about the nipple stimulation. Hang in there. It's so worth it!

2/10/2006 11:27 AM  
Anonymous marian said...

In my experience, stress is the thing that makes your milk dry up. Rx: beer. Relaxes the milk hormones. When weaning, my son loved edensoy vanilla soymilk, the fortified one -- but he was considerably older than bng. Otherwise, no advice -- hang in --not the easiest transition, especially with the stuffy nose.

2/10/2006 11:40 AM  
Blogger Candace said...

*IF* she wants to keep going, I agree with what the other posters said; hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, and pump a lot.

If she/you want to supplement, go for it.

Either way, you're going to have one cute, beloved child.

2/10/2006 12:37 PM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

thanks, anonymice. the missus is indeed hanging tough (if i may allude to NKOTB), taking fenugreek and downing mother's milk tea. we shall see. in any event, when they finally do cut my knee open, she'll be home nursing (the baby AND me) for at least a week, so that'll help too. and i'll try to get her drunk this weekend on glorious beer.

2/10/2006 12:50 PM  
Blogger Prosecutor/Mommy said...

Enfamil smells so bad that the first time my husband got a whiff of it from my baby's bottle, he insisted it had gone bad. So I mixed up a new bottle, and sure enough, same stench. I don't know how the kid drank it, but she did. I started out nursing and would pump when I was at work. The pumping was killing my back, so I stopped pumping at work and it totally helped. There is nothing wrong with supplementing nursing with formula! A happy mom is most important! Just start out with a tiny bit of formula and a lot of breastmilk in the bottle and slowly increase the formula amounts. hang in there, it gets easier!

2/10/2006 2:54 PM  
Blogger JustLinda said...

I hope it all works out!

I had the same milk issues with my last three. One, I made it only to 4 months. The next time, I made 6 months.

But this last time? I did make it a year. I bought illegal Rx drugs from Canada... a medication called Domperidone (known for its milk-boosting qualities, but not FDA approved for that purpose in the US although used in many other countries for a long, long time).

Anyway, it's a hard battle, fraught with guilt and frustration and longing. Just support and love your wife and help her through it... however it turns out.

Look 5 years ahead... you can't pick out the boobie-fed ones on the play ground. Plus, she's done great to give baby a good start! Don't discount the value of a few days/weeks/months of nursing...

2/10/2006 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude! Don't talk about formula on the Internets. The nursing nazis will get you.

Don't think they won't find you. They have ways.

I'm posting this anonymously because I fear the wrath that is the nursing nazi. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

2/10/2006 4:30 PM  
Blogger Moo Moo said...

we use a mix of enfamil and similac... and she has very little gas issues... good luck

2/10/2006 4:32 PM  
Blogger jess said...

please dont think it means mrs nice guy doesn't have enough milk!!!!

baby is sick, probably has a sore throat, wants to eat but doesn't understand why it hurts.

it happened to me and our sweetest boy, lasted about 10 days where i really thought he was rejecting the breast, i was a bad mother, he was going to starve, and then everything went back to normal.

switching to formula during an illness isn't exactly the best time, either. but if thats what you feel needs to be done, there is a reason, and go with it.

try a warm bath for baby and mrs nice guy, it works! for some reason babies will *always* latch and get in a good meal this way

hang in there!

2/10/2006 6:01 PM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

mom began drying up before baby got sick. thanks though.

2/10/2006 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The hippie organic toddler formula is totally fine for babies. They market it for toddlers to encourage moms to breastfeed.

Do what you gotta do.

2/10/2006 6:39 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I can't remember how old Baby Nice Guy is, but maybe this will help:

If she is eating a good variety of solids, drinking from a cup (i.e. water and juice), then she is probably fine and nursing is really a suppliment at this point.

Second, my son started needing an extra boost at 10 months and *gasp* I started giving him whole milk instead of introducing formula. (Always use whole milk until baby is 2, it helps build important fat storage for proper brain development).

So, I would say, Mama Nice Guy is doing just fine and adding more liquids is a very good idea. If baby is eating well outside of nursing, you'll probably be ok without the formula. And if baby is old enough you could just start introducing milk. I swear, it'll be ok.

Good luck Nice Guy's!

2/10/2006 7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I couldn't nurse my first because of a cleft palate, a good friend reminded me that there is still much more to come, and there will be bigger hurdles. It just doesn't seem like it now. Baby 1 is three now, and smarter than her dad and I put together, and baby 2 is 10 months and doing fine on formula for same reason.

Bng will not starve, and will eat and drink and nurse when she's hungry. Now to get rid of the stuffy noses. If you figure that one out, let us know.

2/10/2006 8:47 PM  
Blogger Het said...

No advice here - but damn that is indeed a very, very scary diagram.

Oh - I'm excited about anyone who can work NKOTB into a comment section!

2/10/2006 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm having simiar supply issues now that I've returned to work after 6 months at home with the baby. To reduce the pumping stress and spend more time with the baby I started supplementing with 1 bottle of milk a day during the work week for the last 3 weeks. My supply has been slowly dropping which is freaking me out. I'm trying traditional medicinal's mother's milk tea this week (starting with a cup a day not the recommended 3-5 cups). My supply seems to be a bit better. As far as formula I think 'Good Start' formula tastes better than the Similac we've tried. You'll figure out a balance that makes both baby and mom happy. Good Luck!!

2/11/2006 6:44 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I just had an appendicitis and couldn't breastfeed for five days, and we only had one days worth of breastmilk in the freezer. So we supplemented with rice milk. The kid really liked it. Maybe worth a try.

2/11/2006 10:02 AM  
Anonymous kate said...

I wish that I could say I had some advice, but alas I know absolutely nothing about this area of child rearing. I'm so sorry Mrs Nice Guy! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

However I did make the grave grave error of opening this site in class the other day (we have wireless in the classroom - LUCKY!) and after seeing the diagram and reading the first paragraph my face turned purple I was trying so hard not to laugh. It took a full five minutes of me pinching myself and thinking about really, really awful things like my dogs dying to keep from laughing outloud.

2/11/2006 10:57 AM  
Blogger zoe said...

Heya Mr(s). nice guy,

I've had bunches of issues with supply here and again. I've settled on domperidone and regular pumping and we're working it out ok.

I haven't noticed any side effects from the dom. Y'all only have a few more months left either way so it should work out.

I've aimed all my guns at one year, by hook or crook.

Ooh, and I hated that fenugreek. I couldn't stand the smell of myself. Kept thinking, "who reeks?"

keep on keeping on,


2/11/2006 5:15 PM  
Anonymous Blinker said...

I'm having simiar issues right now. My milk supply is dwindling, and, due to seven razor-sharp baby teeth is my 8 month-old's mouth, she ends up getting more blood than milk. It's exquisite agony to nurse, but she refuses bottles and seals her mouth shut against food. I am at a total loss. But it's a big relief to hear that other people are going through this as well! Um. I mean, not that I'm happy that the Nice Guys are having this issue, just me out here.

2/12/2006 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also kniw that the 9 month growth spurt is hell from what I have heard. It can be worse than the 6week, 3mo, and 6month combined.

2/12/2006 6:02 PM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

zoe -- we're skipping the domperidone and going straight to dom perignon. not so effective nursing-wise, but at least it's fun.

2/12/2006 9:19 PM  
Anonymous pdub said...

just want to reiterate what anonymous said...the organic is totally fine for infants, per the makers. they say that they want to encourage only breast feeding for those under 1, so they market their product for toddlers.

2/12/2006 9:22 PM  
Blogger honey said...

another folk remedy is to drink a beverage made from sesame seeds, you can probably find it at the closest bodega as "horchata de ajonjolĂ­". Puerto Ricans & Dominicans drink this stuff, it tastes nutty and sweet... good stuff. It turned me into a dairy cow. And I think the oil in the sesame is what helps, so if you can't get the horchata, then maybe get stuff made with tahini. Like hummus, yum!

I agree that when they're stuffed up and sick, they won't suck which in turn doesn't stimulate production. I hope you guys figure it out and find something that works soon, it's such a frustrating thing to deal with.

2/12/2006 10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

since no one else mentioned it... the return of ovulation and menstruation can reduce your milk supply every damn month. fenugreek seems to help me, best of luck to you guys!

2/13/2006 12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are the only other person that I have read about who has the same problem as I do. I am trying to wean my 2 mo. old and he will drink 2 ounces of Enfamil STINK and then gets wide-eyed like he is choking or something. We tried every bottle and nipple combo. He will drink breastmilk out of bottle, so we finally figured it was the nasty formula he didn't like. What did you end up doing?

2/28/2006 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have the same problem as the last poster...what did you end up doing?

7/29/2007 7:14 PM  

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