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   Wednesday, December 28, 2005  

Still around

I'm here, the lowercase is here, the Mister is here. We're taking some time at home trying to get to know each other and how we will live as a family.

And I am battling to make the lowercase an exclusively breastfed baby. Obviously, this is something that is not coming easily for us. I pump but get less than an ounce of milk from both breasts COMBINED. When the lowercase is nursing, there appears to be more milk than this as it runs down his face. He won't latch on. At all. I have to use a nipple shield to "trick" him into thinking it's a bottle. Occasionally after nursing, his diaper appears to be dry. It's possible that there is some slight amount of urine in the diaper, but it isn't always obvious. (This generally happens only once in a day and not every day) The NICU lactation consultants assure me that this is not necessarily a problem.

The lowercase weighed in at 4 lb 9 oz at his doctor appointment on Monday. His next appointment (his 2 month visit) is the 6th. Not looking forward to that as he has to have shots. On the 4th he has to go in to the Synagis clinic to get that shot (to lessen the severity of RSV should he contract it). Today he had a follow up with the opthamologist to test for retinopaty of prematurity. So far, it looks good. The blood vessels in his eyes are still a bit immature, so he has to be retested in a month.

And now, sleep calls.

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  Comments about my post, "Still around":
first. keep in mind that I am in no way a medical doctor so ignore anything I say that contradicts your doctors. But my little guy was never exclusively breastfed, he weighed in at nine pounds at birth and twelve pounds at his one week apt and by week four was drinking 8 ounce bottles. I could not keep upwith his feeding. I think breastfeeding is important, but sometimes I think it is more important to us as moms than we realize ...so don't feel bad if you are giving your guy formula (again my baby was not a preemie so if any of this contradicts anything your NICU guys are telling your ignore ignore ignore me!) I know that I felt bad about not producing milk.....and other people made me feel bad.

Congrats on getting that guy home and Happy New year!!
Congratulatons on having him home and doing so well! You will get there with the breat feeding. Just keep doing what you're doing. It's very common for pumping not to work well even when the baby is getting plenty fron nursing. Here in the US you can rent a baby scale to weigh the baby before and after eating so you know how much he's getting. Insurance often covers it for premature babies. Maybe something like that would help you feel better about it and let you start reducing the supplementation.

I know immunizations are a hot topic so feel free to ignore me, and I really am not trying to be preachy, just posing a question. I wonder if you would consider delaying some for your son. Especially as a premie, his immune system is so delicate and they really don't know how well babies little systems handle all thoses shots at once. Some of them that they get early are for things that he has no chance of being exposed to (Hep B, Polio, etc.) so there would be no danger in waiting a little while to get those.
He just seems so little to have to go through that.

Just so you know, my own son has had all his vaccines (except varicella) but we did delay some. I did not want him to have 4 at a time.
A longtime lurker who is very excited that lowercase is still home. As far as breastfeeding, what you can pump is never a good indicator of how much lowercase is getting. And you can call your doc anytime and have him brought in for a weight check, the nurse will do it for you. Just make sure it is the same scale EVERY time, sometimes those scales can differ as much as half a pound.

Also, if the lactation consultant thinks you are doing OK, you probably are! Keep in touch with her, mine was always the best at giving me pep talks when I was feeling like things were not working. A LC can be a great support!
So glad to hear that Lowercase is still home and doing well. You sound tired though. I sure hope you are getting plenty of rest and taking care of yourself too. What you have been/are going through is very stressful and exhausting. So, be good to yourself.
Remember what I said to you a couple of weeks ago. You know your baby better than anyone. So trust yourself with the day to day issues.
I'm glad he's being folowed by a Retinologist for retinopathy. My own Retinalogist treats babies all the time.
Rest well.
Still thinking about you and wishing you greater success with your breastfeeding.

May you all have a good time getting to know each other. So glad he is home.

Happy New Year!
Keep up the good work with the breastfeeding. I am also one that found it very, very hard. I still have issues and it's been 6 months! I called the LC often... I also had to use the nipple shield - and wean to all breastfeeding... then wean off the nipple shield. It took patience and trial and error, but eventually we got there. It has never been very smooth for us - and people chastize me for worrying - but then again, they did not have to go through the preemie experience either! As another poster said, trust your gut, use the LC as a great resource, and keep up doing such a tremendous job with lowercase!
Just wanted to say hi and that I feel your pain on all of this stuff with your baby. I had twin boys on 11/8 at 34 weeks, and they had to be in the NICU for 3 and 4 weeks. The 4 weeker had to go BACK to the hospital 3 days after we got him home. He got released again after a week, but then we were told that he might have to have a transfusion on Christmas day. Fortunately he did not have to, but we have been through/are still going through the trauma of it all. Feel free to vent over at my blog any time!!! My babies are due for their shots next week, and like you I'm not looking forward to it. I'm glad your baby is getting Synergis. We are currently having problems with our insurance covering it. They gave them the first shot in the NICU, and now that they're out the insurance won't permit continuing it. I'm a wreck over it- the last thing they need is RSV on top of everything else! Well, good luck and I'll check back in soon.

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