So, some background information:
My son was born at 35 weeks. From the beginning, he's been extremely sleepy, as I'm told is normal with premies. Although he will latch on, he gets too tired to feed exclusively from the breast and was not gaining weight adequately. Right now, I have him feeding from each breast for 10 min/side (unless he's not eating) and then I supplement with pumped breastmilk from the bottle.
The whole process takes 1.5 hours and we're having to wake him to feed every 2.5 hours. I feel that he's started spitting up a lot more (not sure if it's vomit or spit up, so I'm going with spit up). Sometimes (mostly morning feedings), he's not interested in feeding from the breast at all. Sometimes we feel like we're forcefeeding him the bottle as well.
I'm just feeling very discouraged - I'm afraid he's not getting enough to eat, but I also don't want to force him to eat if he's not hungry. I'm also concerned that the path we're on is going to lead to him taking milk best from the bottle and end up with me exclusively pumping. I know he's not at his due date yet (as of yesterday, he would be 38 weeks gestation) so he may become more alert and end up doing better on the breast.
Can anyone share any words of encouragement - has anyone had a similar situation and ended up breastfeeding just fine? What was it like when your child became "more alert" and started feeding at the breast better? Is it normal for him to not want the breast a couple feedings a day and then other feedings do much better?