Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Trust Issues

 Seth has some issues, sure. He was early. He can't hear. He has sucky muscle tone and he is developmentally delayed. But he's a happy baby! He's healthy, overall. I have worked hard to keep him that way. I have exclusively nursed him for almost seven months, my kids aren't allowed to touch him becaust they are germy time bombs of sickness, and I work hard to keep strangers from squeezing his cheeks. That last one is hard to do. 

We've been having food issues. Serious, baby screaming, Mama crying food issues. He's getting bigger and older and he needs additional calories from food...he's hungry. It's time for solids. He's having none of it, with the exception of a marshmallow, a twizzler, and a spoonful of tomato soup. He doesn't want solids. As a result, he is starving all of the time. He is waking up two and three times a night to nurse (He has been sleeping through the night since three months, so that's big). 

It's getting ugly. 

I have been trying to up my supply. It's not working. It might be working a bit, but his needs have increased exponentially. I figure I'm tired, but it's worth it to avoid formula. (Disclaimer: I don't think formula is bad, per se, but in this situation with a preemie with a weak immune system, breastmilk is superior to formula. Plus, in my own experience, starting formula has led to the end of the breastfeeding relationship with both of the older kids.) I figured I could deal with lack of sleep if it meant he was ngetting the calories he needed to grow (If you haven't yet figured it out, I like to play the martyr). 

That dream of myself smiling modestly and saying "It was all worth it to continue exclusively breastfeeding him! I can sleep when I'm dead, afterall." was shattered today, when I found out that he has either lost weight or failed to gain any in the past week. We can't really tell which as he was weighed on two different scales, so there is bound to be some difference. Bottom line is he is not gaining as he should be, and I feel like the biggest failure in the word. First, my uterus failed him by evicting him before he was ready. Now, my body is failing to make enough milk for him to thrive. 

Now, to be fair, he's not cooperating, either. If he would just EAT SOLIDS ALREADY, we could make up some of his calories that way and avoid supplementing with formula. But he's not, so I am stuck. I thought his doctor would push for shoving a bottle in his mouth immediately, but she is willing to wait it out. Although he is in the 26th percentile for weight and the 91st for height (unadjusted), he doesn't LOOK as thin as that sounds, and he is happy and peeing, so he's not dehydrated. She's reticent to start him on formula while RSV season is still going strong. So we've got a week, then we go back for a weigh in. 

Part of me wishes she'd forced the formula on me. I feel so much pressure to perform right now it's ridiculous. I can feel my mammary glands cowering from stage fright. They don't like to perform for an audience! They've broken my trust. 

Seriously. Seriously. Seriously. I need this kid to start eating solids and give me a break. Give me a break...hey! Wonder if he'll eat a Kit Kat Bar?

17 comments:

E said...

♪ Give me a break -
Give me a break.
♪ Break me off a piece of that KIT KAT BAR! ♪

Sorry - had to help ya out there.

Goodness, I feel for ya. With all the running around you have to do and all the stress of LIFE, no wonder your poor mamary glands are trembling in fear and shriveled like that of an 50 year olds! ha! (Just tryin to make ya laugh)

We'll just pray for SUPPLY to meet the DEMAND! Hang in there. It has nothing to do with 'failure'. You shouldn't think that way at all!!!

Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) said...

OH...the eating issues...I am so sorry you are having to go through this now as well. Our littlest guy had a lot of eating issues and couldn't tolerate solids until almost 10 months (he would choke or gag on anything not liquid) I wasn't breast feeding but like you the night waking was dreadful and the cost of formula almost did us in!!!

It was so stressful for us and then one day, in Jacks time, he started eating and has hardly looked back. (oh and we are all getting sleep around here...mostly...reflux flare ups aside)

I hope Seth's food switch turns on soon!! I will be praying for you and your little guy!!

Anna said...

Could he be just a thin baby? Luke has been in the 10th percentile in weight since his 9 month check up. The doctor says thats just how he is...meaning he is healthy, but thin, not malnourished or ill, just a thin boy. It makes sense as he started moving a lot more at that age cruising and crawling all day long it seemed! And he is currently still at 10th percentile in weight and in the 80th percentile for height...just a tall and lean guy! Either way, YOU ARE NOT FAILING HIM! You have given him a great start even if you do end up having to give him formula! And I know people who have successfully supplemented but also nursed a couple times a day on top of that. No matter what happens, just know that you are doing your best for him and whatever is best for him whether it be formula or bf is nothing you should feel guilty about. Really it is him not eating solids so...it is not in your control...you just have a stubborn little boy on your hands! Get ready for when he's in those terrible twos! LOL. :) Hang in there you are a great mom! And I swear mommy guilt is the worst..no one ever told me how guilty I would feel over all sorts of issues!

THAT GIRL said...

You just give your very best, no less and no more. Don't beat yourself up. You are a wonderful mother. You are a fantastic mother!

Kameron said...

I had major supply issues and was pumping like a madwoman at work and would even wake up to pump in th enight after he started sleeping through, just to get enough milk for him. I finally had to give up when he was almost 11 months old. It was physically taxing me and not doing him any good to have a stressed out mom.

I think there is no harm in supplementing with formula. I gave up the middle of the night pumping and mixed 2 bottles a day with half breast milk half formula and it was fine. He still breastfed.

The main thing is, you can't be this hard on yourself. You are a wonderful, loving mom doing the best you can for your child and for that you should get a medal!! Don't beat yourself up sweetie.

Following Him said...

Ok missy! First of all, this is NOT your fault. Second of all, he will grow. Thirdly, his life is great right now. Fourthly, I know you have tried everything, but what about something a little sweeter? Like, sweet potatoes or something creamed?

He will start eating soon, give him time :)
~Elyse~

Windy said...

Zoe was in the 90% for height and the 9% for weight last time I took her... don't feel bad. It's a constant battle for her to eat too.... she'd drink a whole gallon of milk each day if I let her.

Melissa said...

I'm sorry you're going through this. I have BTDT and it's hard.

Maybe you could try Fenugreek. It boosts milk supply and increases the quality of your milk as well. It's fabulous stuff! You can get it at any health food store. Give it a try! It has worked wonders for me.

Melissa :)

Audre said...

Is it that he doesn't like the taste of it or that he doesn't like the spoon? I also have a little guy (he wasn't preemie though) who is deaf and developmentally delayed and definitely didn't want to eat solids from a spoon so what we did was by the sassy baby food nursers. We bought ours at W@l-M@rt, but I have seen them at T@ys R Us also. My son loved those and that is how we added some weight to him. He didn't eat from a spoon until he was about 16 months old. I hope that helps.

Feel free to e-mail me if you have anymore questions.

Simply Complex said...

It doesnt have to be one or the other. You can breastfeed and supplement with formula. And if Seth decides he likes the bottle and wont feed from the breast, then you can pump and mix. Easy, peasy. A little more of a pain, but doable for sure.

Momma Mango said...

My kids all seemed to hate solids at first, (and we did the breastmilk-thinned-down rice cereal to start with at 6 months.) It took weeks to get them to eat it! but eventually they did. And eventually Seth will eat solids, too. I really noticed my supply dwindling with my youngest because she wouldn't nurse long enough at one time for my milk to "let down" for her. And she'd sometimes nurse for 5 min and it still hadn't! Very frustrating for her, to not get the full belly she was used to! It took me a while to catch on (yeah I'm a bright one) to why she wasn't getting satisfied at feedings! I had to find a quiet place to nurse her (not easy!)and relax and just focus on her feeding and my milk letting down. Sounds weird, maybe, but it helped! Not that I'm saying this is your / Seth's issue; only you'd know! :) Just another thing to consider.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, being early and developmentally delayed, he may have some sensory issues. Maybe Early Intervention or a speach therapist could assist (I know it is not a speach issue, but they do help with this :)) Good luck and remember, YOU are his mother and YOU will do the right thing for YOUR baby :)
~Laura

Les said...

Eat Seth Eat !!!!

Laura B. said...

Have you tried the bottles that are made for baby food? It may just be that he is not ready to eat with a spoon, but would take it from a bottle. You could mix cereal with breast milk and try it that way. You probably have heard this already, but that was my first thought about Seth's eating problem:). I used to watch a little girl who was born at 30 weeks, and that is the only way that she would take food for a while.

Anonymous said...

I just stopped by from MckMama and read through some of your wonderful posts. My daughter had a horrible time eating solids and I was also exclusively breastfeeding. The only thing that worked for us was mixing YoBaby yogurt with a little Pediasure. You could start off with just the yogurt and see how he does and only add the Pediasure if you have to (you may want to check with your doctor first, also). It's not totally ideal, but may be worth giving it a try. Other than that, we pretty much went right to table food. She did better with small pieces of veggies she could pick up herself.

Either way, remember you are doing the best you can for Seth.

Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

Oh man, I've BEEN there. And recently. I have a 9 month old who I nursed and nursed and nursed as often as she'd let me and she didn't gain for FOUR months. Her deal was that she couldn't focus enough (or wouldn't, rather), to get a full feeding and she dropped off from the 90th percentile to off the charts.

I wanted to keep nursing. I prayed and begged and wanted. But in the end, the doc said, "you've gotta work on the bottle or this is going to be bad"

Sucked.

Not saying you have to do the same thing, just commiserating on the feeling of total futility sometimes. You know what's best for your little guy. Keep your chin up.

Erica said...

I read this post and felt your pain, because although my little bear was born only a few days early and a healthy baby, he dropped from off the charts for weight at 6 months (meaning over 100%) to less than 5% at one year. The docs had me trying to stuff anything in his mouth possible, but he wanted nothing of it, except to nurse. That is ALL he wanted...ever...nurse nurse nurse! In fact, he is now 2.5 and would still happily nurse his life away if I let him. I finally weened him when he turned 2, but that was only because he got hand foot and mouth virus. Anyway, I am rambling....all that to say, we moms are in this constant state of guilt, especially when it comes to our children. Just be sure you are doing the best you can for him and pray the Lord fulfills the rest of his "needs." He will eat and you will sleep eventually...even if it isn't soon enough in your eyes. I feel like as soon as I stopped fretting over it so very much, and I gave up the daily battle, that Bradley finally started eating. I actually fed him with a medicine syringe, just to get the calories in him. It is simply so stressful. I am so sorry. When he is screaming for gummie bears in a few years, you will laugh at this time.

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