I am feeling so depressed. There is just this heaviness that I can’t seem to shake for the moment. I know, I just found out this news and need to process it and eventually I will feel better, but for right now I just feel …. sad.
We had Morella’s suck/swallow test today. She can suck and swallow … just fine, it’s just that she’s silently aspirating. I guess it’s a good thing that she stopped breastfeeding when she did. Did you know that breastmilk is thinner than water? I didn’t know that. She was first tested with the breastmilk/rice with a little barium and after a little bit she was aspirating. Then they switched to a nectar/syrup consistency with just barium and she still aspirated. Then they switched to a honey texture and she did much better, only almost aspirating once — as in it thought about going in the wrong direction but didn’t.
What does this mean? I guess it means we have been extremely lucky she hasn’t developed pneumonia at this point. However it also means that she needs to have all of her milk thickened significantly by some thickener (Thicken Up) that we can get at Walgreens. The bad news is that it doesn’t bond well with breastmilk. I tried when we got home. I made a bottle of formula with the thickener and a bottle of breastmilk with the thicker. The formula thickened to the right consistency but the breastmilk never did.
I fed her the formula bottle and she drank it right down with no problems. She drank the whole thing with no choking, stopping or anything. And afterward she was a happy mellow baby. [Though she just woke up right now].
Then next step is for her to see a Ear, Nose and Throat specialist to see if there are any physical reasons to this. I have an appointment with the pediatrician on Friday though I decided to call today anyway to see if I could get an appointment a bit faster with an ENT instead of waiting until Friday. But since it isn’t the system yet, I might very well have to wait.
In the meantime…what do I do with the breastmilk? I mean, do I keep pumping but ease up in case there is something that CAN be done about this? Do I quit and just accept that it isn’t going to happen? Is it possible to give her a little breastmilk with the formula? Is it worth it in the long run? Will it thicken to the right consistency? I am not sure — I haven’t tested that theory. But only a tablespoon of breastmilk … will that be worth pumping? Is it hard to just … dry up?
Do I accept that without breastmilk she is going to get more colds and sniffles — but that is still a hundred times better than getting pneumonia? I mean, THANK GOD she hasn’t gotten sick so far. We are so lucky in that regard.
Who know that breastfeeding was the worst thing that I could be doing for this baby? She was getting the thinnest stuff possible stuff forced down her throat once the letdown started. So not only was she dealing with reflux because of this, but she was also aspirating. Double whammy. My poor baby — her first month was probably hell.
—couple hours later —-
Anyway, now that I have calmed down a bit. I decided to just freeze the milk I do have, keep pumping — but drop it down to 6 times a day and just keep it up until we get and have the appointment with the ENT. Though I will bring this up with the pediatrician on Friday and see what she says. I went ahead and made two bottles — well made, as in measured out the formula and thickener into bottles so that I just have to add four onces of water later. I also made four nipples to go with them. Since the milk has to be honey consistency, I had to crosshatch cut the nipples so that she could actually suck the sludge out. I am SO glad that I got a bunch of those nipples from the hospital. I am also glad for these samples of formula. BIL Phil said he has some he could give me too — at first I said no…but now I think I will revise that.
My poor baby. Every week has been a different feeding tactic for her. Tim said that the feeding has always been the same, that we are just learning more and getting better. Maybe he is right, but honestly it’s just tiresome to have to have to constantly change it.
At least I was able to cancel the lactation appointment today with a clear conscious and actually felt a little good about not having to reschedule.
Well, I am going to do dishes and clean up the kitchen until Morella wakes up for her afternoon nap. Cleaning makes my mind easier.
As one friend said, maybe now that we are making eating easier for her, we will be able to see more of her personality now that she isn’t consumed with pain and discomfort.