What I Wish I’d Known About Breastfeeding, Part 2

April 27, 2010

Continuing the breastfeeding discussion we started last week when we discussed risk factors

When we left off, I had insufficient supply, and the babies didn’t know how to nurse because they were born too early. I was pumping all day for a small amount of milk, but most of the twins’ nutrition came from formula.

I tried all sorts of tactics to make breastfeeding go better, including:

  • Consultation with lactation consultants (LCs) in the hospital. I saw half a dozen different LCs when the twins and I were in the hospital, some on the post-partum unit and some in the NICU. Despite having had many visits from many people, I feel like they failed us. We left the hospital with neither baby able to nurse without a nipple shield, and with me having little idea how to help them nurse nor do basic skills like breast massage. In terms of the latter, I asked an LC to show me, and she demonstrated in a very cursory way on her own breasts. As a result, for weeks afterward I was massaging in a wrong and totally useless way.
  • Consultation with an LC at home. We had several sessions with a nurse home visitor who happened to be an LC. She helped us a bit and made some suggestions like fenugreek to improve supply, but we still didn’t learn to nurse.
  • Pumping to increase supply. This started the day the twins were born, probably about 9 hours after birth. They weren’t able to feed by mouth for more than a week, so pumping was the only option. I was told to pump at least 8 times per day, but I was also told that because of my severe blood loss, it was more important that I rest. I did my best reconciling this conflicting advice. Usually, rest won.
  • Fenugreek. This made more difference than anything else I tried. I ended up on quite high doses since the lower doses didn’t do much.
  • Domperidone. For dumb reasons having to do with the FDA’s misinterpretation of outdated findings, it is very difficult to obtain domperidone in the U.S. I used an international supplier. This helped me somewhat. Note that I did not take reglan because I was already struggling with enough postpartum mood issues and didn’t want to risk the side effects. Domperidone was also appealing because it does not cross the blood-brain barrier as reglan does. I worked up to the recommended dose but ended up upping my dose several times to a much higher alternate maximum recommended dose because the lower doses ceased to be effective.
  • Pumping techniques to encourage supply. I power-pumped at various intervals. I kept the pump on stimulation mode until let-down occurred (which always took a long time for me). I turned the dial as high as I could stand it.
  • Chiropractic. I actually started seeing the chiropractor for a different problem resulting from my months on bedrest, but The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk said that it could help. I don’t know whether it helped the milk supply, but it did help my other issues.
  • Massage. Massaging two specific acupuncture points related to let-down helped quite a bit. My massage therapist worked on them when I saw her, and I often massaged them myself at home (or got DH to do it).
  • Relaxation. There were long periods when I would cry every time I pumped, so relaxation was not so easy for a long time. It got better.
  • Food and liquid intake. Some people say that you need adequate food and lots of fluids to produce milk. Some people say it doesn’t matter. I don’t know the truth, so I made a big effort to get enough, even instructing visiting family to tend to my intake as part of their baby duties.
  • Edited to add: Oatmeal. Eating oats seemed to increase supply a bit, at least for a little while. When I got sick of eating oatmeal, I became a fan of yogurt with maple syrup and lots of rolled oats stirred in.
  • Consultation with one more LC. After four months of misery, I decided to give it one last shot. I asked our pediatrician if he knew a great LC (because I was fed up with mediocre ones). He sent me to the head of his hospital’s lactation department — a different hospital from where I delivered. She helped me figure out that the babies had permanently lost the ability to nurse. She was outraged that the LCs at the other hospital had sent us home with the twins not knowing how to nurse, and she said that our situation made her sad. That really touched me. She encouraged me to exclusively pump as long as I could manage, but to feel free to stop when I needed to for the sake of enjoying being with my babies. Unlike most LCs I’ve encountered, whom I’ve found dogmatic, she was committed to doing what was best for us, not just committed to breastfeeding. She also reinforced what a fantastic job the obstetricians did during our birth at saving my life and my uterus — from what she’s seen, it’s rare to have such a good outcome in a situation like ours. Milk supply problems are a small price to pay compared to what could have happened.

Despite trying all of these strategies, there are so many things I wish I’d done differently.

  • Insisted on pumping immediately after birth. It did not occur to me to pump in recovery while I was twiddling my thumbs. As soon as I got to the postpartum unit I requested a pump, but it did not arrive for hours.
  • Insisted on more active help from LCs. I knew that they weren’t doing much, and I knew that I needed more help, but it seemed like asking for help on a daily basis should have been enough.
  • Pumped more in the first few weeks. This is a biggie. The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk said that supply is calibrated based on the demands in the first 2 to 3 weeks. I really wish someone had told me this!! Because I was producing so little, I got discouraged and didn’t feel like there was much point. I pumped as often as was convenient, but not nearly as often as I could have. No one ever said that the point of pumping in the early days was not to produce milk now, but to teach the body to produce milk in the future.
  • Not taken the LCs’ instructions so literally. In the hospital they said to pump every two hours. When I left they said that every two hours was not tenable, and I should pump every three hours. In my compromised state, I took these instructions very literally. If it had been 2 hours and 40 minutes since the last pumping and both babies were asleep, I waited 20 minutes to pump again; invariably, one or both babies would wake up and turn 3 hours into 4 or 5. I should have pumped whenever I had the chance instead of watching the clock. It seems so dumb and obvious now, but sticking to the time screwed me multiple times a day.
  • Found an expert LC quickly. I had a list of experts in low supply from The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk, but none of them were in my area. Because I’d had such unimpressive interactions with so many LCs, I didn’t trust that anyone out there could help me. I was not enthusiastic at the idea of seeking out someone (or a few people), paying them a lot of money, and then being disappointed. It turned out that the LC at our pediatrician’s hospital was free.
  • Read The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk earlier. I didn’t know it existed, so this isn’t a regret as much as a retrospective wish. In addition to the suggestions, having a better understanding of the lactation process really would have helped me, as would the encouragement the book provides.
  • Seen more doctors. I saw OBs at the scheduled intervals for postpartum follow-up, but I didn’t mention anything about breastfeeding at my 2 week checkup because I was waiting for my milk to kick in. By the 6 week appointment, the situation felt desperate and I was forlorn. Seeing an OB, or even a PCP between 2 and 6 weeks might have done something.
  • Tried harder at direct breastfeeding. I was in a quandry because I had so little supply that it seemed pointless to have the babies nurse, especially given that nursing was a struggle for them and for me. However, it is possible that proper stimulation by the babies in the first weeks would have increased supply. Being fair to myself, though, I don’t know if I could have handled more. Burrito in particular had a very hard time at the breast, and his rearing and fighting really aggravated my preexisting repetitive stress injury in my wrist. I also got very frustrated when I would nurse them both and then they would each take as much in their supplemental bottles as they would have eaten if they hadn’t nursed at all. After a couple of months of mostly pumping with a couple of attempts at nursing each day, I made a conscious choice to pump exclusively. It felt better to know exactly how much they were taking in (at best, a couple of ounces per baby per day, with formula making up the difference), because I didn’t feel comfortable with my preemies taking in an unknowable amount of milk from the breast. I hoped that I could increase supply further with drugs and other tactics and then maybe go back to nursing — which I now know probably wouldn’t have worked.

I have more regrets about breastfeeding than about probably anything else in my whole life. What’s most frustrating is that despite my many regrets, there’s a very good chance that nothing I could have done would have made a difference. The most consistent thing I ever heard from health professionals, from LCs to obstetricians to neonatologists to nurses, is that because of the extent of my blood loss during delivery, there was little chance that nursing would ever work for us. Add to that the preemies who didn’t know how to nurse, and the prematurity meaning that the last 6 1/2 weeks of breast preparation didn’t happen, and the c-section, and the possible influence of endocrine issues and infertility, and it’s quite clear to me now that we were pretty doomed.

I have so many regrets about breastfeeding, but at the same time I have to feel proud of myself. I have truly never tried so hard at anything in my entire life. Many people asked me what the point was, or why I was trying so hard. I have seen the data on the benefits of breastfeeding, and I find the data compelling. Particularly for preemies, there were too many benefits not to do my best. I feel good about providing what I could for them. They are so healthy and big now. I worked hard at bedrest before they were born to get them here, and I worked even harder after they were born at making milk. My love for them is astronomical, and contributing to their well-being was one way that I wanted to show my love.

Paradoxically, by showing my love for the twins in this way, I cost them love in other ways. So many hours each day were spent pumping alone, and more time almost every day was spent crying or otherwise upset. Too much of the time in their first months they got a mother who was preoccupied with breastfeeding, instead of a mother who was marveling at their wondrousness. The same way that pregnant women and babies used to make me sad during my years of infertility, now it makes me sad to see nursing mothers, as well as mothers who could but choose not to nurse. Infertiles are still my peeps, but now those who struggle with breastfeeding are also my compadres. I feel doubly connected to those who belong to both clubs, and so very sorry that the joy that we anticipated for so long has to be dampened by our bodies failing us yet again.

I’m almost done weaning from the pump now. It’s liberating, but it’s also scary. Many times I’ve panicked and wondered if I’m making a huge mistake — because there’s no going back. Relactation is hard enough for mothers who had nursed successfully; I can’t imagine that it would go well for me. I’ve also had crazy thoughts of having another baby just for the sake of breastfeeding successfully. I’m trying to find peace with it all, and the best way I know to find that peace is to blog about it and hopefully help someone else avoid what I’ve gone through. I’ve sobbed all the way through writing this post, and I just need to hit Publish and be done with it, but if there’s anything I’ve left out, or anything anyone wants to know, please ask.

21 Responses to “What I Wish I’d Known About Breastfeeding, Part 2”

  1. Kristin Says:

    I have to say that I am impressed beyond belief with everything you tried to be able to keep nursing.

  2. Cat Says:

    I’m so sad for your situation, too. That old “hindsight is 20/20” comes to mind, but it’s never very comforting.

    It sounds like all those LC’s in your birth hospital utterly failed you. I also was not terribly impressed with the LC’s in our L&D ward, but I did like the two in the NICU. I think it’s unacceptable that no one else suggested that “Making More Milk” book to you. It just came out in 2009, but their profession is as lactation consultants, so they should know about current resources. At least *one* of them should have known about the book. Really, how often do new books come out on the subject? Keep up, people!

    I’m still pumping but haven’t nursed since November. Just yesterday I was looking back through our big binder and noticed how often I was nursing when the babies first came home – 4 or 5 times per baby per day – trying to work up to exclusively BF’ing. But, like your babies, that was always followed with a bottle and they took nearly as much from the bottle as they would have taken had we not spent the previous half hour nursing. I wanted it to work, but I was just so tired and knew I still had to pump and maybe sleep before we started again in three hours. Part of me wishes I’d soldiered on and kept at it, but the logical part knows it was the right thing to do. I tried once or twice a few months later but the babies just screamed bloody murder. Such a complete rejection of such an intimate connection was disheartening to say the least.

    I’m also somewhat ashamed to admit that I often chose to bottle feed over nursing because I just wasn’t comfortable nursing in front of all the helpers we had. I already felt like so much of our privacy had been taken away and sitting there exposed on the couch would have been just too much. Neither the babies nor I were good enough at breastfeeding to use the cover-up thing. Plus, I couldn’t even figure out the cover-up anyway.

    Weaning off the pump sounds like the right thing for your family right now. You’ve given the babies absolutely all the milk you possibly could up to this point and now you’ll be giving them your undivided attention. Spending that time with your babies will make all three of you happier than spending the time with your pump instead.

    P.S. Would you mind sharing the acupuncture point info?

  3. babysmiling Says:

    @Cat: I also felt sheepish about nursing in front of most of our helpers, and we didn’t have nearly the range of visitors that you had.

    The acupuncture points I used were GB21 and CV17. GB21 is on the trapezius. CV17 is between the breasts.

  4. Kate Says:

    All of this resonates with me. (Thanks for your email after your last post – I’m terrible at replying these days with the annoying one-handed typing thing)
    Thanks for sharing the acupuncture points. Is there a recommended way to use them?
    Can you also describe the proper way to do breast massage, or recommend a resource to look at for it? Right now I just seem to squeeze the heck out of my breasts, which isn’t all that comfy.
    I’ve read that great book myself too – came across it at the local library rather than having had it recommended by the LCs. I’m getting frustrated that each LC I see at the hospital has a different recommendation for what to do. And no one has recommended that I bump up my fenugreek yet, but I think I’ll do it on my own anyhow. Can’t hurt!

  5. Kate Says:

    Forgot to say that you’ve done so great to work so hard for so long for your babies. I also have regrets that I didn’t do things that might have made BF much easier for me. I guess at least we both know for next time, if there is one.

  6. babysmiling Says:

    @Kate: You can press the points for 10 seconds at a time. With GB21 I go further and massage the heck out of it, or have DH use his elbow to dig in.

    With breast massage, think of milking a cow, long strokes. Compression was also somewhat helpful for me, esp. when I had a clogged duct.

  7. luna Says:

    first, a big fat hug to you. I’m so sorry the system failed you, more than anything. you should have had more support and you did everything you possibly could under the circumstances, and then some. you are right to be proud of your effort, as disappointed as you may also be. you are a superstar.

    I am also so happy you found an excellent LC, eventually. that makes all the difference. someone to provide not just guidance, instruction and skills but to offer compassion, encouragement, and acceptance despite the limitations of what was humanly possible.

    thanks for sharing this. and yes, we came to similar conclusions though in very different ways.

  8. babysmiling Says:

    @Luna: I don’t suppose that I normally have that much faith in The System, but in this case you’re right that I trusted the system and it totally failed me. I remember reading my Mothering Multiples book from LLL when I was pregnant and coming to the conclusion that I would have to wait to really understand what to do until the babies were in my arms and there was an LC by my side. In the postpartum unit (which normally houses mothers with their healthy full-term singletons), the babies were never with me, and I think those LCs didn’t know how to make themselves useful without a baby in front of them. I don’t know what excuse the NICU LCs have.

    I trusted another part of the system to keep me and the babies safe before and during delivery. In that case, thankfully my trust was justified and realized.

  9. a Says:

    I wish I could take away your regrets – try reading these posts over and see (objectively and with clarity) how hard you worked to get your babies what they needed.

    Also, I don’t know why there are so many unhelpful LCs out there – don’t you have to get some training for that specialty? Not all assignments are going to be easy, so they should really have some tools in their arsenal for the challenging patients.

  10. MeAndBaby Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. As a mom-to-be of twins, I have been on the fence about even trying to breastfeed. Your posts have helped me so much. I ordered the BF book you mentioned and am going to bookmark these posts as guides to help me. I also signed up for a 3-hour class.

    I’m sorry that you had to go through so much but thankful that you are who you are and are so willing to share.

    Thanks again. And enjoy those babies! 🙂

  11. babysmiling Says:

    @MeAndBaby: I don’t want to give the impression that it’s not possible to breastfeed twins. Most people are more successful than I am, and many are able to exclusively breastfeed. However, I’ve never heard of a twin mom who didn’t find it very challenging, even when everything was working properly.

    That said, I’m still a huge fan of giving it your best shot, because the benefits are clear, and the experience is really special. The few times I was able to get both babies nursing together, I felt a sense of accomplishment that dwarfs anything I’ve felt in any other arena.

    If, before you give birth, you can locate a great LC who has experience with multiples and expertise with difficult cases, it would probably make a huge difference. Better to have someone on speed dial and not need to call her than to do what I did and despair under the assumption that there is no one who could possibly help you.

    Oh, and I highly recommend the EZ 2 Nurse pillow. It made both tandem nursing and tandem bottlefeeding substantially easier.

    Good luck!

  12. Ana Says:

    Just sitting here in my office, putting off pumping, when I stumbled upon this. I know we communicated on this last week, but my supply has fallen even more, I’ve gone from 50% of my baby’s supply to <10% in the past 2 weeks. I've been pumping like crazy, to make 7-8 measly oz. of milk. I don't want to stop though. I feel horribly guilty for not trying harder to get my baby to feed at the breast. In addition to the excrutiating nipple pain & recurrant clogged ducts & mastitis from incomplete emptying, it sounds like your situation with Burrito—he was so strong and screaming and colicky and kicking, my hands were going numb from the wrist strain of trying to hold him still. I got cold sweats whenever he would wake up & cry, knowing a feeding would come. I would find way to avoid being available at feeding times, so someone would give him a bottle & then I'd say "oh wow! he just ate? I guess I'll pump instead" And the few times it seemed to "work", he would still eat a full bottle after. So I decided to stop & just pump.
    I was good with that while I was still making enough milk to exclusively breastfeed him, but now I feel like a total failure & quitter! I started fenugreek and am ramping up my pumping, hoping it will help, but not sure how long I can keep this up, its taking away from my work and my time with my husband and son.

  13. Amanda Says:

    Thanks again for writing this. How terribly frustrating to look back upon everything and feel like you could have done more if you’d only known, but you are right that you might have done everything and it not have made a difference.

    My birthing situation isn’t comparable, but I did have a really hard time at first and there are some I’d wish I’d done differently. As far as I know, there is only 1 board certified LC in the entire central MO area (where I live). I met with her before giving birth because I was worried we might have problems and she never went over positioning with me. That should have been a red flag. And when I gave birth, she had been on vacation and couldn’t come until I was discharged and I’d already had a lot of damage done to my nipples by then. I was afraid of asking a nurse for help because I was worried about mis-information, but in hindsight, any help probably would have been better than going it alone. A few days later when I had terribly cracked and bleeding nipples, and probably some mild mastitis too, I could only get in to see the nurse that worked on the LC’s day off. What a godsend she was! She did so much more to help me than the LC did. She called to check up on me and cheerleaded me on. I would have either totally quit or gone to EPing if it hadn’t been for her. So I definitely recommend looking for different help if what you’ve been getting is mediocre, and maybe not even an LC if your resources are limited like mine were.

  14. Heather Says:

    This post is chock full of good information for those having issues trying to breastfeed. I know I’ve commented before on my whole story of issues bf’ing our premie twins, and I didn’t have problems before with our daughter years ago. I am convinced you did what you could do and I hope you don’t have two many regrets in this area.

  15. Dora Says:

    Oh! It makes me so sad to think of you sobbing while writing this. You are a rock star mama! You have done an amazing job growing these babies and helping them thrive. I’m so sorry the LCs failed you and that their early babyhood was so difficult for you. But they are still babies and now that you are hanging up the pump, you’ll have more time and energy to enjoy them more. Please don’t let guilt get in the way.

    I wish the militant LCs would understand what a disservice they do. My decision to be moderate about BFing was in large part due to my sister’s militancy (she is trained as an LC, but doesn’t work as one since it pays less than RN work). Thankfully, I have a friend who is an LC (works for the city board of health), who was very supportive of my middle of the road plan. We got together when I was pregnant to get her opinion on different pumps. I told her I planned to BF, but wasn’t going to make myself crazy. I would see how it went, especially after returning to work. Her response was, “That’s great. You have to do what works for both of you. And you know you can call me if you need help.” Having her affirm that I did not have to exclusively BF for Squeaker to get the benefits was helpful and calming. What was not helpful and calming was my sister crowing about how my niece NEVER had a bottle. That she went straight from breast to a cup. Well, BIG WHOOP! My sister also was unemployed when my niece was born and stayed home for a year. I do not have the option of staying home, and I had a ravenous cluster feeder. It’s unfortunate that there’s so little info out there for combo feeders.

    I hope you find more peace about this as you spend more quality time with Burrito and Tamale. Honestly, yes, there are times when nursing is a sweet bonding experience, but there are loads of other times when it’s a great big pain in the boobs!

  16. BB Says:

    First off… I can’t thank you and Carrie enough for suggesting the Making More Milk book to me while I was still pregnant! As you have figured from my earlier post… yes I am struggling with breastfeeding, but I don’t think I would have had as much of a supply as I do today had I not read that book! I am going through similar feelings that you probably have been through in the past 6 months. I am trying to figure out what is more important… bonding with the babies while I breastfeed (and them not getting enough milk)… or providing them with as much breastmilk as I possibly can. I will probably end up posting about it soon. Thanks for your recent comment (on my blog) about this issue too!

  17. Star Says:

    Big hugs to you, babysmiling … it is obvious how much you love your babies. They are very lucky to have you, and you can be very proud of how much you have done for them in their first few months of life. I don’t know many people, including myself, who would have gone to the lengths you did to provide breast milk for them. I think it’s a real shame that there aren’t more milk banks available so that when we have so many factors stacked against us, as you did, our babies can still have human milk. But in any case, I hope writing this has been cathartic — and that you can get on with just enjoying your babies.

  18. Alexicographer Says:

    Thanks for writing about this. I had trouble b/f’ing when my IVF-conceived singleton was born full-term by c-section after a long labor. So not a lot of risk factors (and just 1 baby), but some (oh, and I had great LCs and no modesty whatsoever). There is, indeed, surprisingly little information out there (with the possible exception of the book you mention? My son was born in 2007 so that’s too late for me!) for moms who struggle and it’s great that you’re willing & able to write about this. I’d add that Thalia reports in her blog here: http://thalia.typepad.com/thalias_fertility_journey/2010/01/high-on-the-list-of-things-i-wish-id-known-earlier.html that warmth (e.g. a hot shower before pumping) may also help.

    I never did get to where I could b/f my son exclusively and I’ll admit that I’m not nearly as convinced of the value of b/f’ing as it sounds like you are — but I did stick with it (both nursing and pumping) and was glad I did because for us, it got much easier (better supply) at 1 month and by 4 months was a really wonderful part of motherhood for me and, I assume, infancy for my son. He nursed (not exclusively) until he was 13 months and then self-weaned and I’d happily have kept going longer. I do wish there were more information out there not only about supply but about the possibility of non-exclusive b/f’ing; it seems so often to presented as 100% either/or.

  19. Jill Says:

    I am so glad I read this as an expectant mom preparing to (hopefully) breastfeed. Sharing your experience could potentially help me and many others if we face any hurdles, similar to yours or not. I am sorry you have regrets but I am so impressed with your commitment to making it work even in small measures. Thanks again!

  20. Oh, Babysmiling, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts in these two posts. I have such respect for how hard you worked to give your babies breast milk, and I am so sorry that it has been so difficult and full of frustrations for you. I hope that as time goes by, you will feel less pain about it and know in your heart that you did the best you could, and that was pretty damn great.

    I have had a lot of trouble with breastfeeding, and I found your list of risk factors so helpful because it makes me feel a little better about things that were beyond my control (infertility, pcos, c section). After the c section, my blood pressure dropped ridiculously low, I had the shakes and was nauseous and miserable and they handed me this screaming baby and told me to nurse her. I was lying flat on my back because of the dizziness from the drop in blood pressure, and positioning her correctly was impossible. We got off to a very rocky start, with her having a very strong suck but a bad latch, which destroyed my nipples.

    I also saw at least 4 unhelpful lactation consultants (including one who made me cry by yelling at me for allowing Birdie to have a pacifier when she really needed to suck and my nipples were cracked and bloody) in the hospital, and by the third day, I had heartbrokenly decided that I could not bear the pain of trying to breastfeed anymore. Right before leaving the hospital, yet another LC stopped by. I had been hoping to avoid her because the others were not helpful, but she ended up being great. She gave me some silicone nipple shields and told me to try them when we got home, and she reassured me that whether or not I was able to breastfeed, we would be okay. Those shields saved my entire breastfeeding experience. I know many LCs are against nipple shields (for some good reasons), but they were the only thing that enabled me to continue breastfeeding.

    At 4.5 months, we are still using the shields. I have struggled with low supply, many blocked ducts, thrush, and persistent nipple pain, and we are barely getting by, but I am still trying.

    Doctors and nurses and another LC keep telling me I need to wean her off the shield, but that has not worked so far. They say my supply problem could be due to the shield. I feel like such a failure because I cannot do what these “experts” are telling me that I am “supposed” to do.

    I’ve been taking fenugreek and blessed thistle, which has helped my supply a bit. May I ask what dosage of fenugreek you took? I have been taking 4 capsules 3 times a day for a total of 12. It is hard to find information about what the maximum dose should be. Without fenugreek, I was only pumping 1 to 1.5 oz, but with taking fenugreek, I sometimes get 3 to 3.5 ounces at a pumping session.

    It also doesn’t help that my SIL had her baby 10 days before me, and my MIL keeps harping on me to pump more milk so she can feed Birdie a bottle. She keeps comparing us and makes sure to tell me over and over again how SIL has two months worth of breastmilk stored up in the freezer. I have none. I can barely keep up with what Birdie will eat in a day. I have had to hide the formula that we have around for supplementing if needed so that
    family members don’t just give her a bottle of formula for the hell of it. They just don’t get that it will hurt my supply in the long run.

    Anyhow, I am sorry to leave such a long rambling comment, but I wanted to thank you for sharing your experience with us. You did an amazing job!

  21. Lut C. Says:

    It’s natural to have regrets like these, I had them for a long time. But you know, it’s unlikely that you could have done much different given the circumstances.
    You did the very best you could.

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