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MN Jury - should I express ?

(16 Posts)
Geepers Fri 10-Jul-09 16:08:47

My question is, do you think I should carry on expressing, or shall I stop? I promise to go with the majority verdict in an hour so. I will try and give all details in one post so apologies if this gets a bit long winded.

My youngest daughter is 2.5 years old. 15 months ago I had surrogate twins, born at 28 weeks, who I expressed milk for, for six weeks, and 3 weeks ago exactly, I had a surrogate baby boy, born at 27 weeks. That's 4 babies in 2.5 years in case you weren't counting. This is relevant further on.

I didn't enjoy expressing at all for the twins. It was a hassle, I hated the washing, the sterilising, the time it took, the pain, the broken nights sleep, and jumped at the chance to stop. I swore that I would never offer to do that again for anyone.

However I agreed that in the best interests of baby, if baby was born early this time I would express to give him/her the best start in life.

The pregnancy this time was hard, probably due to having so many, so very close together. My iron levels were 82, I felt shocking and it really took it's toll on me. Then baby arrived at 27 weeks after a partial placental abrubtion. I lost a lot of blood, general anasthetic, 4 units of blood etc etc.

So anyway I expressed. I started 2 days after my section and it took a good 10 days to get a good supply going. There was never any morning when I woke up and just knew my milk was in, but my pumping every 3-4 hours I got up to around 600ml of milk per day. I actually didn't hate it as much this this as it's not so unpleasantly cold to be getting up at night.

Then, on Saturday, when baby was 15 days, I was admitted to hospital with excuciating kidney pain. The pain was worse than labour but luckily I passed the stone within a few hours, and was only left with a very bruised and stingy, twingy kidney for a few days. I was admitted to hospital so they could check things out on Monday.

By Monday I was spiking a temperature often. The long and the short it is that went on until Wednesday with the drs not sure what was causing it. I am now on two anti-biotics, which are breastfeeding friendly, and home, but feeling like I have been run over by a truck.

While I was in hospital, for the first two days I managed to express fairly often, but by Monday I just felt too poorly and hardly had the energy. By today I was only doing it twice a day and getting a pathetic 20ml from one breast and 80ml from the other. It was so nice last nght though not to wake up in the night with hard, painful boobs needing to express.

NICU have said when they run out of my milk in the freezer they can always use donor milk. I am so, so tempted to just stop. I have only done it twice today, first time getting 100ml, the second time a pathetic 30ml. So, should I work hard to re-establish my supply and then go through the whole drying up thing again in a few weeks, or just stop now, when I am almost there anyway, but baby won't be ready for a few more weeks?

I know it sounds easy, but I really feel knackered, and shit and beaten.

lyra41 Fri 10-Jul-09 16:12:59

stop now. you have done an amazing job,but you must put your own health first.

Jojay Fri 10-Jul-09 16:17:41

Stop. They have donor milk. You have done so much already and put yourself through hell.


lyra41 Fri 10-Jul-09 16:18:49

donor milk is a great alternative too.

Geepers Fri 10-Jul-09 16:32:27


Was honestly expecting lots of replies telling me to do what is best for baby.

tiktok Fri 10-Jul-09 16:38:15

Geepers, I am a bit bewildered by this - are these surrogate babies you are having 'for' someone else ie you are the surrogate mother?

Geepers Fri 10-Jul-09 17:01:32

yes, I had the babies for someone else. But I still feel I should be giving them the very best start in life until they are strong enough to move on to formula.

tiktok Fri 10-Jul-09 17:05:43

Ah, I see

Would the mother-in-waiting not consider inducing lactation?

It has been done....

There was a woman on Womans Hour on Radio 4 just a few weeks ago talking about surrogacy, and she had brought in her own milk.

CherryChoc Fri 10-Jul-09 17:06:07

Wow Geepers, I am in awe of you. You have done so much for all these babies, don't feel guilty for a second for stopping now. You are amazing!

bumpybecky Fri 10-Jul-09 17:07:18


you've done an incredible thing having a surrogate baby and then expressing milk, that's amazing. To read that you've done it for twins and then again for another baby - wow!

but I think it's time to put yourself first -stop and DO NOT feel guilty!, what you've done is truely amazing

Geepers Fri 10-Jul-09 17:14:12

Thank you everyone. It makes me feel better hearing other people say it's okay.

Tiktok there was talk during my pregancy of baby's mum inducing lactation, and she was keen to give breastfeeding a go but we were at that point anticipating a birth at term. Given that she hasn't yet started to attempt any form of inducment I suppose she has changed her mind.

I think the whole tiny baby, NICU experience is a bit overwhelming for her.

tiktok Fri 10-Jul-09 17:23:16

I am not gonna vote....I think maybe you could ask the mum what she thinks about expressing. Understandable if she doesn't want to, as it is v. time consuming. But she might find she would like to.

AngelaCarleen Fri 10-Jul-09 18:01:28

It's amazing that you're still doing this considering how unwell you've been. It's lucky that the unit the baby is in has donor milk available, a lot don't. You have to put your health first. You've done enough by giving the baby those precious first feeds.

Geepers Sat 11-Jul-09 11:20:41

Well, to update I decided to continue, but again only got 30ml. Then I had a horrible emotional outburst about something unrelated and decided I couldn't do it any more and threw all the expressing stuff in the bin, along with the steriliser blush

I wore my bra overnight expecting my boobs to feel like they are exploding this morning but actually they are okay. My emotions/hormones are less okay and my husband wants to ship me off to the GP for tablets to 'help'. hmm

But anyway, decision definitely made. I did my best, but I am relieved now it's ver and hope I can start to feel back to normal soon. Oh, in my tantrum last night I also binned my antibiotics, so fingers crossed all the infection has gone already.

kidcreoleandthecoconuts Sat 11-Jul-09 11:32:51

STOP!! You have done above and beyond enough for the baby and it's parents. Think of yourself and your family. I have so much respect for you but stop now before you make yourself ill. sad

kidcreoleandthecoconuts Sat 11-Jul-09 11:35:13

Ooops I see you have stopped now blush.
Well done on expressing at all smile.
I think you are incredible ! grin

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