A New Kind of Panic

I watch the clock nervously as it gets closer to the end of the three hour mark. My heart starts to beat faster as I check the day’s log and see what I am up against. This next session could go well, or it could become another battle causing distress for both parties. People warned me that this was going to be the toughest part about being home and they were right. Some were better than others, but the bottom line is she isn’t getting enough, she isn’t gaining enough and this is critical for us to reach the next step.
I pump just abut every three hours, with the exception being from 12-5. Lately I haven’t gotten up but I need to in order to keep my supply going. We have to add a 1/2 teaspoon of formula to an ounce of breastmilk bringing her calories to 26. After being home a week and Isabelle barely gaining, we have to add more. She’s getting fussy and has been getting tired halfway through the bottle.
It always starts out great only to be practically shoving the remainder down her little throat at the end. There is also a time limit, just to add to the stress. Any longer than 30 minutes and she ends up burning more calories than taking in. It brings a whole new level of stress to feeding a baby. I have become a wreck every three hours and all I keep hoping is that she gains just a little more.
If we increase the volume, she spits up which causes more stress after all of the work we just did to get her to eat to begin with.
And then there’s the issue of how to tell when she is being fussy because she is a newborn or is it something else? Treating Isabelle like a typical newborn presents a new challenge on top of the feeding issue. When she cries I wonder how many calories is she burning now? If she seems more fussy than she has been, I can’t help but think “is this something more serious?”
I am really hoping that things calm down as we get more into the swing of things. I have the phone number to Children’s 8th floor on my speed dial. My hope is that this next solution otherwise known as Polycose can help alleviate the pressure on me to get more calories into her. The bigger she is, the more she grows into her repair, the better off she will be for Stage Two.
I’m sad that I haven’t been able to breast feed like the nurses encouraged me to, but I want her to stay home and feeding tube free. If that means I sacrifice that bonding, I guess that is what it means. Don’t get me wrong, it still breaks my heart and I am not sure if I can get her to latch back on down the road.
The most important thing is to get her to the next step and tonight, after having a nervous breakdown on the couch, I hope we are moving in the right direction.

One thought on “A New Kind of Panic

  1. Paula Keller says:

    Lis, just hang in there. Maybe you can find a nipple that makes it easier for her to get the milk from the bottle. I remember a friend needing one because her son had trouble sucking from a regular nipple. I love you!!!

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