A Day In The Life...10:54 am
...Of a beautiful twelve week old baby boy and his struggle to breastfeed.
A while ago, one of the parenting forums I read had a post from a new Mum detailing their day. Just a regular day in the life of a baby. An interesting post, but ( and I hesitate to say this, but it's meant in a non judgemental way )it was a pretty darn perfect day. The baby was breastfeeding beautifully,and didn't cry at all.
That, of course hit a nerve with me.So, here is a day in our life, maybe not a totally typical day because it's the weekend, and we were trying a new tactic, but it might be interesting to someone other than just me...maybe? If not just indulge me.( or hit that little "X" )
A bit of background in brief. ( In case you've missed my whinging posts about our failure to breastfeed. )
Ernest was born with a posterior tongue tie, a high bubble palate and a tight maxillary labial frenum, a combination not conducive to a happy breastfeeding experience.
His tongue tie was cut on day 16, and his palate is starting to smooth out after several treatments from a cranial osteopath.
I have been told his tight lip ( maxillary labial frenum ) is not a problem, something I'm not convinced of.
A combination of jaundice,and consistent weight loss led us to supplement his feeding with bottles from day 10,after cup feeding failed.So now we are also struggling with nipple preference.
We have tried using a Supplemental Nursing System at the breast, nipple shields,biological nursing, and various ways of latching Ernest onto my breasts, all with limited success.
This weekend after a week of chasing my tail with the NHS looking for a second opinion, I decided to try finger feeding for 24 hours in the hope of training Ernest's suck and enticing him back to the breast. This was our day:
1am, Woody feeds Ernest 100mls EBM by bottle while I pump for 10 mins,150mls
5am, Woody feeds Ernest 90mls EBM by bottle while I pump for 10 mins 150mls
6am, Ernest wakes briefly for a cuddle, and I give him 20mls EBM by bottle.
8am, Ernest starts to stir, I offer my breast with nipple shield, Ernest briefly latches,but gets frustrated quickly.I offer my naked breast, Ernest cries and refuses.I give 60mls EBM by bottle.
Woody changes and dresses Ernest while I pump for 10 mins, 120mls.
Ernest kicks about on our bed listening to his music box, while I fold nappies next to him.
Woody has meanwhile made breakfast, I eat breakfast at the PC,while Woody cuddles Ernest.
Ernest shows signs of being ready for a nap, I cuddle him to sleep.
9am, I have a shower while Ernest sleeps. I was planning a pyjama day,but we are expecting guests so I compromise and dress in yoga pants and a comfy t shirt instead.Have time to quickly brush my hair before Ernest wakes.
10am,I try our first Finger Feed 60mls EBM
It's tricky, and I need help from Woody, but it's a success, I think.
I then offer my breast (without the nipple shield). Ernest is happy, all smiles. He licks milk drips and nuzzles but does not latch on. I figure he at least is happy at the breast and not crying.
Time for some chores. I wear Ernest on my back while I wash and sterilise the bottles ,pump flanges and SNS. And while I sort laundry, and peg out the wet washing.
11am Ernest is now tired. I offer my naked (no nipple shield) breast again,but he pulls away crying.
Woody cuddles Ernest while I pump, 10 mins 140mls
India plays with Ernest, all smiles, but after a few minutes starts to fuss. I try finger feeding again, but Ernest cries. I cuddle him to sleep. (This is something I hate about not being able to nurse Ernest to sleep, it often means he cries to sleep, albeit in my arms.)
12 noon, Ernest sleeps lightly on our bed, while I fold laundry nearby.
India comes stomping and shouting up the stairs and wakes Ernest.
I give Ernest 50mls EBM via finger feeding.
Ernest falls asleep in my arms, and I make a cup of tea, wash and sterilise the SNS all while cuddling him to my chest.
Ernest wakes, and I change his nappy.
1pm, I finger feed Ernest, 20 mls EBM. Ernest poops, so I change his nappy.
I offer him the breast with nipple shield. He refuses, but falls asleep on my chest, so I sit and read. (latest edition of "The Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding", which makes me cry.)
2pm Ernest wakes, and I offer first a naked breast and then with a nipple shield, both are refused.
Aware that our guests are due any moment, I panic slightly and Woody gives Ernest a bottle feed 60mls EBM while I pump, 10 mins 120mls.
Then, aware I've not eaten since breakfast I eat a bowl of soup quickly while Woody cuddles Ernest, and our guests arrive.
Ernest is unsettled while our guests are here, (and is probably also picking up on my unease, even though I'm happy to see our guests.)He fusses and dozes on me.
I offer to finger feed several times, but each time he refuses.
I change his nappy, and give in offering him a bottle of EBM which he drinks greedily. 70mls.
5pm, Our guests have left, and I pump for 10 mins, 140 mls, while Woody cuddles Ernest.Ernest is fussy.
6pm Ernest falls asleep, and I put him in his pram in the kitchen. Ernest wakes just as my dinner is put on the table.
I finger feed Ernest, 60mls EBM. Then I eat dinner with one hand (Woody cuts it up for me) while I hold Ernest on my knee. (my dinner is cold by now.)
Woody cuddles Ernest while I tidy up, wash and sterilise bottles, SNS, and pump flanges ready for the night.
I top and tail Ernest (he hates baths) and dress him ready for bed.
7pm Ernest and I cuddle on our bed, I sing to him and he coos and smiles back at me.
I offer naked breast (no nipple shield) and he cries and refuses.
I'm tired, emotional, and wondering how I'm going to get through the night finger feeding, so give in and offer a bottle. He drinks 80mls EBM
8pm I pump for 10 mins, 140mls.
Ernest poops, so I change his nappy. He then falls asleep on my chest.
9pm Ernest wakes, he's fussy. Woody and I take turns to cuddle him. I give a bottle of EBM 60mls, he then sleeps and doesn't wake again until 1am.
That was yesterday. This morning I spent 45 mins trying to get him to take the breast as he stirred from his sleep, to no avail. Once he awoke properly at 8am, I offered the breast and he refused it. He then took a finger feed of 50mls, not too happily, taking a 140ml bottle feed just an hour later.
I haven't tried finger feeding again today.
I'm not sure what my next step is.