Emma Gremel

Emma Gremel

Baby Name: George 

Amount of Breastmilk: 700 oz 

Instagram: @emmagremel

George was born about three weeks early. I had taken the classes, read the articles and was as ready as I could be for our breastfeeding journey. During our hospital stay the lactation consultant and the nurses were all very nice and gave us tips. We were told everything was tracking in the right direction and sent home. We went to our pediatrician appointment and George had dropped almost 10% of his birth weight (normal, but right on the cusp of the danger zone for percentage lost). We were sent home and told to keep feeding him and keep up with the hydration and protein. Thanks to our pediatrician and Karrie Locher's baby prep classes, we knew to look out for some many wet and dirty diapers. By the end of his third day, George wasn't going to produce enough diapers. We called the after hours pediatrician line and were encouraged to supplement with formula and pump until my milk had for sure come in. Things didn't get better and George seemed very lethargic come 6am.

We ended up in the emergency room and it turned out George (born early) wasn't ready to give up his sleep to eat (I guess this is somewhat common in babies born early). The LCs helped me get familiarized with the hospital pump and set me up on an every three hours pumping schedule - the first few days in the NICU we were ruling out bacterial infections and George was getting his nutrition from sugar water and other hydration bags. Once he was cleared for infections, we started triple feeding. We would attempt to breastfeed, then I pumped and my husband gave him the pumped milk in a bottle. I lovingly refer to this as the trifecta of doom. It was hard (on top of what was already a very emotional and scary entrance to parenthood). The LCs came by each day and encouraged me that if I wanted really wanted to breastfeed, then I should triple feed until at least George's due date, then assess how we wanted to feed him. We were sent home once he was back up to his birth weight and continued triple feeding.

Sure enough, his due date came and it was like a light switch flipped. He was very alert and ready to eat. I am lucky to live in a big city and I went to weekly Baby Cafes where moms and babies sit around and talk about this huge life change. There were LCs there to help with our questions, weighted feeds, and amazing support. George was doing great and we were able to stop triple feeding and exclusively move to breastfeeding!

I continue to pump each night before bed because in those early weeks I was barely able to produce enough for each feeding session. Now, I have a great stock of milk that I am excited to turn into powder so I can feed it to George well after the recommended period of it being in the freezer. It wasn't an easy journey and we still haven't written the end of it, but in the meantime we are looking forward to getting our Booby Food!

George moved from the third percentile to the thirtieth in weight, so I said he likes the milk!

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