So I haven’t posted in a bit; it’s been a rough few weeks. A couple weeks ago, Squidgy suddenly started freaking out everytime I tried to nurse him, screaming and resisting latching on. He’d nurse on one side for a short time, then I couldn’t get him to take the second side at all. After a full 24 hours of this, where he’d eaten maybe about a third of what he normally does, we called the pediatrician, who directed us to the ER at the local campus of Cincinnati Children’s. We spent the entire day there, where they ran tons of tests, poked poor squidgy every which way and got him on an IV to administer fluids. By late that afternoon, when he’d only taken one feeding the entire day we’d been there, they decided he needed to be admitted.
Unfortunately, he was just shy of the two month age limit for that campus so we had to be transferred downtown. Via ambulance. Strapped into an isolette during the fussiest time of day, when he just wants to be held. Once we got downtown, they determined that his ears looked red, and started him on Tylenol and IV antibiotics for an ear infection. That night, after his first dose of Tylenol, he did great and nursed well, until they discharged us late the next afternoon. He did fine the next two days, but then all of a sudden he started resisting feedings again. His pediatrician thought that maybe the antibiotics at the hospital had supressed but not completely treated his ear infection. Of course this started again Saturday night, so Sunday morning, we went off to urgent care. They checked his ears and found them to be fine and didn’t really have any help for us.
When the feeding trouble continued into Tuesday, I made an appointment with a doctor that specializes in breastfeeding who observed a feeding and examined squidgy, but didn’t really have any help to offer. We don’t think it’s anything in my milk because once he latches on, he takes a full feeding now. He did the fussy, refuse to latch thing, but eventually latched on and did 8 minutes on each side. We weighed him before and after and he had taken 3.5 oz. So he’s not starving, he’s eating, it’s just a thoroughly unpleasant experience to get there. The only advice she could offer me was trying to feed him more frequently…just what I want, more opportunities for him to scream at and refuse my boob.
By this point, I was a complete mess. Just so frustrated and feeling so helpless. Feedings usually ended in crying for both of us. Is it my milk? I’m already avoiding dairy, caffeine and chocolate-big culprits in making milk unpalatable for baby. Is it a nursing problem or is it a feeding problem? I was seriously considering weening him to formula as it would eliminate the worry about something in my milk being a problem, and would be easier to chase his protesting head around with a bottle than to force it onto to my breast. Oh, but he still refuses to take a bottle, so stopping the breast completely would probably lead to a prolonged struggle of him refusing to eat anything, being hungry, fussy and pissed off. And in the end, if it’s a feeding problem, rather than a nursing problem, it won’t solve anything and I’ll have weaned him for nothing. Pumping and then bottle feeding him 7 times a day just doesn’t make sense either, especially as I’m returning to work next week.
At this point, I really kind of wish I hadn’t tried so hard to get him to breastfeed. Even if we still had feeding problems, there’d be far fewer variables to deal with. And he would be taking a bottle without protest. We saw his pediatrician for his two month checkup on Friday and really the only thing he could offer me was that maybe it was reflux that is not presenting with traditional symptons. So we agreed to try him on Prevacid for a bit before I make the decision to wean him. It’s been three days and it seems to be much better. He latches on and eats with minimal protest now and is taking longer feedings. We’re back on a consitent schedule. So for now, my plan is to keep him on the breast and my parents are the lucky ones stuck with breaking him on the bottle next week when I return to work. We’re going to start with formula, and then hopefully once he’s taking the bottle consistently, start mixing in breast milk in gradual amounts until he’s getting full bottles of breast milk. Before all the feeding problems started, I had been working with him to try to get him to take the bottle-I’d tried breastmilk, formula, every bottle/nipple type, warming the nipple, trying it when he was not hungry, trying it when he was not super hungry, all with no success. Now I’ll be gone for two feedings a day and he’s going to have to figure it out.
Oh and on top of all this; we were without power for 3 days and I lost two months worth of breastmilk that I had pumped. Good times.