16 March 2009

Nursing problems

Well, I was so elated that little Emmeliese knew how to latch on, but the problem is -- nursing requires more than latching on. Darn it.
On Saturday, her IV, which infiltrated three sites in one day, was replaced with a PICC line. That went well and meant she could resume antibiotic treatment. And she came off of the bili-lights and what all of this meant was that yesterday, she finally got a good shot at breastfeeding. And she won't do it.
She opens up wide and has a good mouth position, but she won't suck. She just expects the milk to sort of fall in her mouth. (As if from a syringe. Hmmmm....) When she does suck, she pulls her tongue back in her mouth and sucks very weakly. And she may have, sort of, inherited her mother's lack of patience. She wants the milk and she wants it when she wants it. Period. And if she doesn't get it, she's not afraid to show her displeasure.
Thank God for lactation consultants and a hospital that is large enough to have at least one present every day. They've suggested a number of things, but number one is just being with her skin-to-skin as much as possible. Basically, I am hanging out, literally (*ahem*), by her isolette, curtain drawn, from 8-4 until she comes home, which hopefully will be Thursday. And I'm pumping, seemingly constantly, though in actuality, not enough. I think in the best of circumstances, I have supply issues in the first weeks. These are not the best of circumstances. I've made friends with Fenugreek and, I'm not kidding, drink at least 140 oz of water a day. But I need more milk, faster.
So, that's my update on nursing. In other news, Dennis heads back to work today. He heading back with too little sleep. I worry about him. Daniel and Annalivia I do not worry about because they are with my amazing mother. They are doing wonderfully with her and are learning all sorts of new things and so am I. And the family is all preparing for Grammy's service this coming Saturday, which, for some of us, means coordinating outfits. That would probably sound tacky, unless one knew my Grammy, in which case one would know how that honors her.
And finally -- my youngest daughter ( I love writing that!) is just beautiful. :)


Sarah S-D said...

oh my, that must be so frustrating and discouraging... may the skin-to-skin time work its magic and may the production increase. it is normal for it to be low at this point, right? for your milk to not even be in yet? good for you on the water and fenugreek.

and bless you on this separation. how hard!

i pray dennis' first day at work goes well.

thanks be to God for your mother's care for your children.

and thanks be to God for your all three of your children, especially the wee one.

Anonymous said...

April, I had a ton of problems getting Hannah do nurse like she was supposed to. For babies who wouldn't suck, I heard that putting a little milk in a spoon and holding it up to their lips so they can suck it off can encourage that. I ended up dropper feeding Hannah and then a couple days later she decided she'd latch on and suck. She did the same thing, she'd suck like twice and then pull off and scream. But eventually we got it. You seem a lot more calm than I was, I was pretty frustrated with the whole thing.


I tried nursing Taylor but I just couldn't seem to get it going. I had breast reduction surgery back in 2001 and I think I'd convinced myself that I wasn't going to be able to do it. She latched well right from the start, but I just never produced anything. In my mind I was just like, I knew it. I think maybe I gave up too soon, but at the time I was so overwhelmed I just threw in the towel. I feel a tinge of guilt for it, but Tay is thriving so I know it didn't harm her.
After she was born I got to hold her/see her until about 7pm then the docs took her to the NICU due to blood sugar issues. I didn't get to see her again until the next morning. I cried and cried thinking she was bonding with someone else or worse, laying there alone on her first day in the world. It was horrible. I feel for you having to leave her there. I hope she gets to come home soon.
I've sent Emmeliesse a little welcome to the world gift...it should arrive Friday. I hope she likes it.
Take care Apey. Love you.

Jim and Amy Rennie said...

I'm glad you got the gift--Jim said he had to leave it on the porch, so I was hoping nothing happened to it. :) And the measurements thing . . .my mom had huge babies, and Brian and Sawyer were both large for their gestational age, so it wouldn't be out of the ordinary if she was big . . .but I am sure part of the "measuring large" thing (especially w/the tape measure) is my weight. They also say her head is measuring large (but normal), and Jim has a big head, so I guess that's probably why. I panicked and looked it up for weeks online, but only found that it's genetic and isn't an indicator of any problems . . .in fact, it's smaller than normal heads that can be a marker, but even then, it can mean nothing. Don't know why I'm riffing on that . . .time for bed anyway. Hope you're getting some rest, and Dennis too . . .hang in there, it won't be much longer!