It’s Not Me – It’s the Baby

Tim took some time off to go to the pediatrician appointment with me. I didn’t think it would take long — why I thought that is beyond me. It was another 2 hour adventure.

We show up and of course they want a demonstration that I know how to breastfeed and that Morella can latch. Morella does latch right away and nursed for only 2-3 minutes before she started crying. They always think that everything is okay when they see her latch and nurse for a few minutes — but I told them to wait and for once, Morella didn’t let us down. Then the doctor wanted to see her eat by bottle — and again Morella didn’t let us down. Though she ate from the bottle for 2-3 minutes she eventually started her shenanigans of eating, stopping, sucking without swallowing and choking when too much milk get into her mouth. She let formula slide out of her mouth — etc. All the stuff that I have told you. All the while she showed signs that she was really hungry, crying and eventually falling asleep.

It was a long appointment where Mama Doctor came out (the original Pediatrician that I have labeled as no-nonsense is now Mama Doctor — because the other pediatrician seemed more like a … well I don’t know daughter doctor). Anyway she came and Daughter Doc said “She chokes, I think she has a weak suck and bad swallow reflex — it’s discordant. You expect this in a new born of 1 – 2 days or premies — but not a one month old.”

Mama Doctor decided to try and feed the baby the bottle. In the course of 15 minutes, with Morella crying and fighting the whole time she magically made her finish the bottle and then was quite proud of herself for doing so.

In any case, we got a prescription for some reflux medicine, and an recommendation for Morella to have a GI Barium test done to check her swallow and suck reflex. After we left and while waiting for the prescription, I looked over at Morella — sleeping in her car seat suddenly start vomiting — it was like a bubbly fountain. I was horrified and went to help her. At the same time Tim was on the phone with the GI people scheduling this test for her. All I can say, is thank god I had an extra onsie, outfit and receiving blanket in the diaper bag. It gave the waiting room quite the sight to see us scramble and clean up this whole mess. Tim said “what would did they think when we put her on the floor?”

I said that she was on her receiving blankets and it was much safer than the seats. Besides who cares.

I think the reason she vomited was because she was force fed a bottle while screaming the whole time.

After much calling and arranging – Tim finally ended up with a appointment at the UW-Hospital tomorrow for the barium/suck/swallow study at 9:00AM. She can’t eat four hours before the appointment and I have to bring milk with me.

We went home and she slept the whole time. This should show that this baby has taken a turn for the worse this week. She’s shouldn’t be sleeping — she’s that hungry. She has only gained 10 ounces in a month, that’s only about 2 ounces a week. Not nearly enough. She expends most of her energy eating and therefore hasn’t been gaining.

Is this because of reflux? Or her weak suck/swallow? We don’t know, not yet. We might not find out the answer. But the other pediatrician did mention the possibility of her being admitted to the hospital. Another possibility mentioned is that we might have to fortify the breast milk that she does get so she gets more calories. Baby Power Milk. Ha ha. Well, I guess we’ll see what happens tomorrow.

In the end, I am doing everything right. Even though I am constantly under fire to demonstrate that I know how to breastfeed — it is usually agreed that both Morella and I are doing everything right. What isn’t right is why she doesn’t stay latched, why she doesn’t eat from the breast OR bottle well.

I hope that Morella doesn’t have to spend her first Christmas in the hospital. I hope this medicine helps her and she eats better. When she came home we gave it to her and I fed her a bottle. I am now letting her rest, but she’ll have to get up again at 5 so I can try to feed her some more. She did drink it all with less problems than before — but she was also somewhat sleepy and hungry I am sure. In the meantime, I have to keep pumping and doing what I am doing.

Poor girl. But you know, even though she hasn’t caught on with this whole eating this (maybe something was damaged in the suctioning when she was born, or maybe it’s just some plain old physical problem like the muscles don’t close all the way — or maybe it’s a combination of reflux or maybe it’s just reflux. In any case — keep her in mind that she gets over this hurdle quickly and will be on her way to thriving in no time.

–Also, we came back to two packages in the mail from Carla and the Spencers! Cool. That helped cheer this day up a bit. Especially since the outfits from Carla are newborn. And everyone told us she would grow out of them right away — HA! Morella sure showed all of you. :(

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