Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Start your Engines

Today I start taking the pill. I haven’t taken the pill since I was 17 and still having sex with boys. It makes be nervous for a few reasons. First, I stay away from medications like the plague. I don’t even really like to take Advil. Yet I’m about to take some powerful hormones, and I have a shipment of domperidone on the way from a mysterious internet pharmacy (on my account I have a charge from “SP Media Co,.Ltd.”).

But that’s not what’s really making me nervous. I’m using these drugs to induce lactation. I’m excited at the prospect, but it really brings this baby home to me in a physical way that I wasn’t initially anticipating. I know we are having a baby next summer – Lyn’s puking and expanding belly are enough to remind me of that every day (but I think we are on day five with no puke, hooray). However, for me that baby has still been just an idea, something a very far way off, both physically and in terms of time. I think this is an unanticipated bonus from the decision to induce lactation. I’m now physically involved and thus I can feel more closely involved in the whole process. So I’m nervous, but it’s in a good way.

For those of you who are interested in the process, I’m using the lactation induction protocol developed by Lenore Goldfarb and Jack Newman. This involves getting a prescription for birth control pills from my doctor (covered by insurance, so $10 a month) and buying domperidone from an international pharmacy (it’s not approved in the US) to the tune of $130 for 1000 pills. I’ll be taking the domperidone 4 times a day, so that supply will last me until after the baby comes. I’ll be taking the pill (it's Yasmin, which has more progesterone than the regular Ortho 1/35) every day, so I’m having my last period for some time right now and I should experience “breast changes” (aka “big knockers”) much as a pregnant woman does. Once the baby arrives, I’ll stop taking the pill and start pumping in earnest and taking fenugreek and blessed thistle. I’ll start to actually nurse the new baby after Lyn’s nursing is well-established (perhaps 3-4 weeks after birth, but we’re going to play that by ear). Once my own nursing is well established, I may be able to stop taking domperidone, but I may be on it through the entire time I nurse. As a bonus, it may help with issues I have with gastric motility (and it's going to be awkward to tell the gastroenterologist I'm seeing in early January that I'm taking a motility drug without a prescription).


Anonymous said...

First, hooray for five days without puke!

I bet this really does bring home the fact that a baby IS on the way. I'm very interested in how this works out for you and I really appreciate your sharing this with us. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

very cool! i had talked about inducing lactation too but i haven't done anything to pursue it. i only intended to supplement if my wife had supply issues but i guess since i've been lazy i'm just hoping she doesn't have any problems. i had such a ridiculous amount of breast milk with our first that maybe i can try putting her to the breast if i have to and maybe i'll start lactating again... pipe dream i'm sure ; ) good luck with the process, looking forward to reading about your experience!

Lex said...

How exciting! My wife is 14.5 weeks pregnant now, so I think we are just a little bit behind you guys, and I can definitely appreciate how partaking in this process in a *physical* way would feel really good right about now.

I am still nursing our 25-month-old very frequently (he's nearly exclusively breastfed), and especially since he still nurses through the night, I'm guessing that I'll still have a decent supply by the time the baby comes. I am planning to supplement with herbs if needed to boost things (I had extreme oversupply, so I'm hoping that's all it would take if my supply is lower at the time of the birth).

I'm quite curious as to what your plan is (if you've figured it out yet) for how to balance who nurses the baby when. Being able to nurse our baby is incredibly important to me, but I also want to be careful to not get in the way of the baby's nursing relationship with my wife. And, having been the only one to nurse our three other children (my wife was not interested in inducing lactation, or even comfort nursing), I'm aware of a slight feeling that maybe I should just let this be something that only my wife can do this time. She has said that she wants me to nurse the baby sometimes, but we haven't talked about it a whole lot because it is a somewhat charged topic (at least for me since breastfeeding is so important to me).

My thought was to do something along the lines of what you all are planning: to try to nurse the baby sometime after the first 3-4 weeks (when you'd normally introduce a bottle if planning to do so). But I'm worried that we'll get to that point and my wife will not want me to nurse, or it will just seem too complicated and easier to stick with what we've been doing. My wife is planning to go back to work when the baby is 6 months old, and ideally I'd like to be the one to nurse the baby when I'm home alone with the baby, and I know that it will be really important to establish a nursing relationship before 6 months if that's going to happen. It all feels more complicated than I want it to . . . the idea of two moms and four breasts nursing one (very lucky) baby just sounds so easy and perfect, but I'm finding that the reality is much more confusing. So, I'd just love to hear more of your thoughts on this. I hope the transition to taking the pill goes smoothly! (And hooray for no more puking! We're on day 3 without puking here, and it was 4 days between the last two pukes, so things are looking good for us too!).

Anonymous said...

I'm so interested to follow your experience with inducing lactation. I read a lot about it before we started TTC and decided it's probably not for us since I've never breast fed and that makes it harder to induce. But I still love the idea of it and I'm always imagining how the division of labor would work.