Not getting the baby you have prepared to breastfeed
I have just been reading some posts and trying to get to know everyone a little bit. I see that some have induced lactation and prepared to breastfeed and then ended up not getting the baby. I see that Sarah had this happen recently, and I am really sorry to hear it.

This is one reason I have been hesitant to recommend doing a lot of preparation in advance. I had started doing some research, back in 1997, (before illness forced me to stop doing much of anything). One of the questions I asked was whether those who hadn't gotten the babies felt that the having gone all out to prepare to breastfeed had made it more difficult to deal with that. Everyone I heard back from said that they felt like it made their grief more intense, to some degree.

Of course, those who have everything go well with the adoption and breastfeeding are extremely thankful for everything they did to prepare. I also know that anything we can do to benefit our babies can really help us cope during the waiting time so, even if the placement does fall through, and the grief is worse at the time, it might still be worth it, for some people. I guess the best we can do is to make sure that anyone we have a chance to share information with knows the possible pitfalls, and just try to encourage them to take all of that into account in deciding what approach to take.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences to share on this? Also, are there any recommendations for how to go about reducing lactation, for those this happens to? I assume that most would want to at least cut back on their efforts until they had another possible match on the horizon, and also that going cold turkey on both the domperidone and the pumping would not be the best approach.

Our adoption journey is not complete, so I can't comment on how it all turns out. I do know it feels weird to have put so much effort into inducing lactation then all of the sudden one day you feel like it was for no reason because emom has changed her mind. I have 600 oz of milk stored and each time I get in the freezer I'm reminded of the failed adoption. We have a freezer in the garage that I'm going to move it all to so I don't have to see it so much.

I know myself pretty well, so I'm pretty sure when we're finally with the baby we were meant to be with, I'll be glad I have all that milk stored and the work it took to produce the milk as well as the emotional toll it has added to our failed adoption will be worth it. As I said in my other post on the general board, I would do it again. Everyone is different, though.

As for reducing lactation, I just did what I did when I weaned my Biological daughter. I increased time between pumping sessions and pumped for a shorter amount of time. I was pumping 20 oz a day, so I couldn't just stop cold turkey. I ended up going from 8 to 6 to 4 sessions a day and so on until I didn't need to pump. I still feel the let down reflex when I think about a baby, which is another reminder of the failed adoption. I weaned myself off the dom as well. When I was pumping for the expected adoption, I took 30 mg dom 3 times a day. When I started weaning, I took 20mg 3 times for a few days, then 10 mg 3 times for a few days, then nothing.

I agree with Neolan that when looking into breastfeeding you should consider the possible negatives. I would never tell someone they shouldn't prepare for the baby by pumping beforehand just like I would never tell someone not to get excited about the birth of their expected baby. Just think about what you are willing to handle should things not turn out the way you plan.
Thanks very much, Sarah! This is a tough subject that is a bit difficult to get feedback on. Many moms who have an adoption fall through at the last minute just retreat from message boards and everything that reminds them of it all. (Not that they shouldn't, just that it makes it more difficult to get their feelings on it).

The time that I had to give back a baby I'd been nursing for 24 hours, I was very thankful both that I all ready had children, and that I still had a 20 month old nursing a little bit.

I think it is a good idea for you to move your milk to the freezer in your garage. During the nearly nine years that it took us to get our first baby, from 1974-1983, inducing lactation in advance wasn't really an option, but I made baby things, to help me get through it. They were all embroidered and had french seams and anything else I could do to make them special. As I made them, I just kept reminding myself that I would have a baby to wear them, some day. Every time we had an infertility treatment or possible adoption fall through, I got where I couldn't stand to see them and packed them away and didn't sew for a while. Then, when I got back on my feet again, I got them out, and went back to sewing. Not the same thing, but somewhat similar, I think!

As far as keeping frozen milk, what have you heard about how long it is safe to keep it in a deep freeze? I know some sources say six months is the longest and some up to a year. I wonder, though, if that is the amount of time before the milk starts to spoil, loses nutrients, loses immune factors, or what. I suspect that it would still be usable for longer than that, even if it isn't quite as good as milk that was recently expressed. I think there are things that can be done to increase the time, too, like freezing it as soon as possible after you express it, storing it in something that protected it very well from the freezer air, and which you could get all of the air out of, keeping it in the back of the freezer where the temperature wouldn't change every time the door was opened, etc.. I guess the question, like with taking medication while lactating, is whether it would make it so that formula would actually be better. I would think that it could be kept quite a while and still offer advantages over formula.

How old is your daughter and how is she handling not getting the baby sibling she was expecting? With the baby we didn't get to keep, my oldest daughter, who was four at the time, was pretty sad for a while. Of course, we were very blessed to find the baby we were supposed to have only three weeks later. I hope you will find yours soon, too!

I did stay away from the boards here for a little for a couple of weeks was a trigger that sent me into a depression for a little bit each time I logged on. My DH noticed a change in me overall and was concerned enough to set up an appointment with us and the SW that did our homestudy and we all talked out what happened. Kinda like a mini therapy session and it's been a lot better since. I'm not completely over the whole ordeal but I'm handling it much better.

I've heard I can keep my milk in the deep freezer for a year. I'm sure that's a conservative estimate, but if I reach the 8 month mark and still don't have another match, I'm going to look into donating the milk so it doesn't go to waste. One of the hospitals in my city has a donor bank set up that I can give to.

My Biological daughter is 3 and is very advanced in her level of comprehension and vocabulary. She understood that adoption meant that we were going to get a baby brother for her and that Baby Brother (as she called him) was in some one else's tummy (however she didn't quite get why his mother was giving him to us). We were very careful throughout the whole process in regards to her and I'm very glad for that now. We chose to adopt in a state that had no revocation period so that she would not bond with a baby then have him taken away if emom changed her mind. Although we told her she would be getting a baby brother and we showed her the ultra sound and she helped me organize his clothes that I had bought, we NEVER told her when he was coming. I wanted to so bad sometimes because I was excited about it and I knew she was excited, but we didn't feel she could handle the loss if emom changed her mind. Since emom changed her mind, we don't talk about adoption as much around her but any time she mentions Baby Brother we just say he'll be here sometime. It feels a little like we're not being completely truthful with her sometimes, but I couldn't imagine having to watch her go through that disappointment on top of what I've gone through myself. I don't know how we'll proceed the next time we get a match. It would be weird to not talk to her about it and just show up one day with a baby. On the other hand I don't want her to get too emotionally involved in something and have it fall through. We will most likely do what we did with this previous match and let her in on some of the adoption plan but not too much.
I think you are doing very well to be back here so soon. I know it still hurts. I also think you are handling the situation very well, as far as your daughter is concerned. Telling her that her baby brother will be there some day is not only the best way to avoid having her grieve the loss, but it is also the truth. You just haven't found him yet! I couldn't avoid having Julia grieve over the loss of the little girl we didn't get, because we actually had her for 24 hours.

I'm glad that there is a milk bank that you can donate the milk to, if you don't get a baby soon, so it can bless the life of a baby somewhere. Since your response to the protocol was so good, you might not even need it, unless you have a situation that comes up without much time to get things started again.

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