I'm relatively new here, but have read alot of the posts about feeding preemies for help and advice.
Like Jazzle, I have a 32 week preemie who is now considered a 'term' baby. She's been home with me for three weeks now and is keeping her weight gain up just fine, so earlier this week we got the ok from our ped to switch over to exclusive BF and not have to record every ounce she takes by bottle.
The BF is not going well, to say the least. She fights me every step of the way, thrashing and flailing and screaming at me when I put her down to breast. Yesterday I was in tears and was lucky enough to get into see an LC who really really helped - Livy nursed well, got an ounce (weighed before and after) and just did really really well. The LC said she has all the right moves and knows what to do, but she just needs some time to get used to it. I came home encouraged, armed with the nipple shield they gave me to use, and for the first time, I REALLY thought we would be able to figure this out.
Today....it was back to the same old nightmare. I DID have one decent nursing with her this afternoon - I just held her to breast until she tired out from screaming and then got her to latch - she nursed for about 15 minutes at a so-so level while she was half asleep. But...she latched and nursed, so is that progress? I don't know. She didn't get much as I had to bottle her almost 2 oz afterwards.
The problem is that I just can't do this much longer - each failed attempt at nursing ends with both Livy and I in tears. Emotionally...I am just wiped out, but yet I keep trying because this is so important, and my husband and I always dreamed of having me BF our children. However, we all have our limits and I am very very close to throwing in the towel. I guess my point to this post (do I even have a point? Or is this just a rant? I"m sorry that I can no longer distinguish the two) is 1) how long should it reasonably take Livy to 'get' it with nursing and not pitch a damn fit every time she is put to breast and 2) how long has it taken other people to make the switch from bottle to breast with NICU babies? I have absolutely no idea what to think, what to expect, or what is even reasonable. We are just bumbling around in the dark and don't seem to be making any headway at all.
Appreciate any help/suggestions anyone might have. Sorry this got long.
Mom to Olivia - my precious miracle baby