Hi, my name is Becca and I guess I should give a little background:
My ds is now 7 weeks old. He is TRULY a miracle baby. He was born with a condition called PPHN. To keep a long medical explanation short, he spent 24 days in two different ICU's where many doctors and nurses saved his life. Looking back, I still cannot believe what we went through. He was on many medications and a ventilator. All of it seems like a movie....but thank GOD he is now home and doing well. It is almost like nothing was ever wrong even though he was in a fight for his life.
I just need a little help and encouragment...PLEASE! Some days I want to give up. Keep in mind that he had to be trained to eat with a bottle in the NICU. It was all breast milk since I had a 5 day head start on him. My supply was/is pretty decent considering all the time I spent back and forth to the hospital. In fact, I still have some frozen milk because I had so much more than he was getting. Gradually, as he recovered, he learned to swallow and suck. And eventually, he learned to BF. Although it was VERY SLOW. But, his latch and suck have gotten stronger each week.
My main problem is fussy feeding. Sometimes he gags and chokes as if the flow is too fast....and other times (like in the early evening) he cluster feeds and gets so frustrated because he cannot seem to get enough. He pulls away and cries. I can usually calm him and try again, but then we just go through the same thing. He had an Occupational Therapist consult in the ICU. Of course, this was with the bottle. They said that he does have a slight aversion to the nipple in his mouth...not a surprise after 10 days on a ventilator! I would have a slight aversion to anything in my mouth. They also said that he has something called "tongue tied" which is not interfering with his sucking. But, they did suggest to try and keep the feedings as pleasurable as possible. Which makes me not want to push him when he is crying and frustrated.
I just don't know what to do.....we are still trying to wean him off the bottle. It has been 4 weeks since he was released from the hospital. I have him down to maybe one bottle a day (sometimes none) and he was getting almost everything from a bottle when he was discharged. I always pump if I give him a bottle and I do not seem to have a supply issue except between the hours of 7-10pm when he wants to eat constantly. This is usually the time when he gets his bottle feeding. He is defintely making plenty of wet and dirty diapers. His weight gain was 4 ozs in 4 days and then 5 ozs in 7 days. And we go back tomorrow (9 days) for another weight check. They have to keep a very close eye on him because he was so sick. But, the doctors do not anticipate any more problems. At this point, he should be eating just like any other newborn baby. He was 8lbs 10 ozs when we left the NICU 3 weeks ago. After 11 days, he was 9lbs 4 ozs. I am crossing my fingers for at least 9lbs 10ozs tomorrow.
So, I guess I have two problems....fussy feedings in the early evening and the occasional gagging. It is almost as if my supply is different at different times of the day or something??
And is it OK to give him one bottle feeding? Some days he doesn't get any. But, I do want him to know how to eat from a bottle since I am away occasionally.
Sorry to babble on and on. I've seen tons of great advice on here and I am hoping to just get a little encouragement. Thanks so much!