I've learned that just because you try really hard does not mean you'll succeed. I've also learned that sometimes succeeding isn't the most important thing.
Eli is now being fed formula. My poor son has only gained an ounce (30 grams) in the last month - and he had been underweight at that time too. We thought it was different things, we tried different things, but what it comes down to is he needs to eat. A combination of weak suck, low supply, and inadequate glandular tissue makes nursing exclusivly unrealistic for us. Even with meds, pumping every two hours, feeding every two hours and using a supplimental system we were unable to get enough into him.
It's hard, and heartbreaking, but not nearly as much as it was with Hana. I had much better support this time around. I had two wonderful LCs that I saw two or more times a week. I had family and friends I could talk to. And as much as I want to nurse him, it's more important that he grows and is healthy.
Eli weighs (as of yesterday) 9lbs 4oz. He's 3.5 months old. He's malnourished, and that has it's own concerns, tho we're pretty confident it hasn't (and won't) had an effect on his development. When the problem was discovered a month ago his small weight was an issue, but not a real problem. After trying everything we can and still not getting it up, it is a concern. I will be taking him for another weight check on Friday to make sure he is gaining and that there isn't a problem with his digestion or his ability to gain weight.
I"m still pumping 4 times a day and nursing for comfort (after a feeding to put him to sleep etc.). Pumping isn't very effective for me - even on the herbal suppliments and the domperidone I was only getting about 16 oz a day. He'll get one bottle of breast milk a day and the rest I will freeze. Now that I'm not taking the domperidone (which causes mood swings and depression for me) I know my supply will start to drop. By freezing my milk now I'm hoping he'll get at least some breast milk his whole first year. Not much, but some. I'll continue pumping until my milk is gone, hopefully at least until he's 6 months old.