Monday, January 10, 2011

Day Twenty-six.

Today was a better day. Not because Elliot suddenly did a lot better with feedings, but because I've got a better handle on my emotions. I think I just needed a good cry yesterday. Thank you for all the wonderful, supportive comments. I don't really like putting myself out there like that, but- if I can't be open here, in my blog, then where else?
Today Elliot weighed 8 lbs 1 oz. Is there such a thing as a baby growing too fast? He's grown a pound in less than a week. How is that even possible?!
His feedings were increased to 22cc's today. He took 5 from me at his first feeding before getting really mad and choking, so we gavaged the rest of that meal. Apparently when the occupational therapist came this morning, he wouldn't take the bottle from her at all... so I was happy with 5cc's. Better than nothing!
At his next feeding, I opted to put him to breast and let him "practice" while he was being gavaged, so he could start to associate nursing with a full tummy. We had a little trouble getting him to latch on, but once he did, he was very happy and nursed peacefully for about fifteen minutes.
He hassn't pooped now in over 24 hours. Pray for poop!
I've started taking Fenugreek and Mother's Milk Tea. Apparently it won't start working until your sweat and urine starts to smell like maple syrup... and I'm definitely not smelling anything sweet yet. But let's pray that once the dose is high enough, it will help!

And to answer some of your questions:
1. Elliot is currently using Dr. Brown's natural flow bottles with a newborn/stage 1 nipple. They're considering switching him to a preemie nipple but don't really want to since he was born at full term {37 weeks}.
2. I asked and he MUST be able to take full feedings from a bottle before going home... no other feeding method is acceptable. Even if he breast feeds well, he still must be able to take full bottles.


  1. Glad you are having a better day, Jess! Yes, sometimes you just need to cry and release those ill emotions in order to move in to a new day. It's good you are sharing how you feel!
    As for Elliot- I pray his system starts working real soon and that he will at home with you, growing and thriving!
    Hope this won't sound judgmental (it's only meant to be helpful!)- of course, I don't know the whole story there in the NICU, but a few questions I might ask:
    Why MUST he take a bottle? They can weigh baby before and after he breast feeds to monitor his intake.
    Skin to skin and time at the breast have more "healing" benefits that go way beyond nutrition. Are you working with a Lactation Consultant as part of the NICU care team?
    Preemie nipple or not, I would ask to try different shapes and styles of nipples.
    Second- use Fenugreek and Mother's Milk tea with caution. Some herbal supplements (esp. in high doses) can have adverse reactions for the baby. Tummy troubles are often associated.
    You are a wonderful mom and only you know what's best for Elliot! You are doing an amazing job of keeping your blog updated and sharing awareness for gastro babies! (hugs)

  2. Jess,

    You are doing SUCH a wonderful job for your little guy! I am in awe of you. I just wanted to say something pertaining the "he can only go home if he takes full bottles".... I have worked in NICU's for many years, and we allowed babies to go home even if they were being gavaged a bit (and their parents were VERY educated on the topic and dedicated to the process... which you seem to be). Basically the parents had to acquire a special AC/PC scale (before and after feeds), and be taught how to weigh baby prior to breastfeeding then re-weigh after (no change of clothing or diaper or blankets) and then attempt bottle feed of remainder of ordered intake amount.... and gavage the rest. (I am sure all of this makes sense to you, since it is probably what they are doing). Often the parents had a home health nurse come every day or every other day.... or you take him to Dr every few days for growth assessment. Of course, his pooping has to be under control. Please chat with physician about this and options open to you. Babies (and mommy's) do MUCH better at home. It has always made me a little upset that we underestimate what parents can do at home with the proper education, dedication, and external resources. Take care!

  3. Great post, Heather!

    Praying for poop, Jess.

  4. First time poster, been reading for a while now... I'm from Michigan too!!! Luck of the draw that I came accross your blog!

    My son was full term and just a terrible feeder... He was born with the cord around his neck and spent a bit in NICU being suctioned and monitored... Not sure if that was related to his poor feedings but he ended up being an acid reflux baby as well...

    That being said we used preemie nipples for him and had to measure his feeings in CCs & MLs versus ounces...

    Don't feel bad about using the preemie nipples, sometimes they just prefer a different type of nipple and find it easier to have something smaller in their mouth rather than the large size that the other nipples are... And if it works, YEAH!!!

    Good luck!!!

  5. Hi!

    I'm new to your blog! I've been reading for a little over two weeks now - and have been checking back every day to see if your little man had pooped yet! I'm so happy to read that he did!

    I am pregnant with my first (28 weeks today) and just want to commend you on your strength and poise. The men in your life are very lucky to have you!

    - Taylor


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