Monday, August 6, 2012
Today I had to go in for an all day meeting at my school. Last week I went to a mid day luncheon and meeting with my team but today was all day. At five weeks old I started giving baby Luke a bottle about once or twice a day before one of his nursing sessions. First he really didn't like the bottle and refused it but after three or four days of trying different nipples and different styles of bottles I was finally able to get him to actually drink a bottle. In most cases these bottles only had an ounce or an ounce and a half of expressed breast-milk in them. He would usually put it in his mouth and play around with it and kind of "chomp" on it before he would start to suckle on it. In most cases he usually gagged on it and would start to choke on the milk that was flowing from the bottle. This made me think that he has a gag reflex so I invested in nipples that were a lot shorter. Around 6 1/2 weeks we finally found a bottle and nipple combination that he would actually take. It was the in NUK bottle made by Playtex.
So since about 6 1/2 weeks I've been feeding him about 1 to 2 ounces of expressed breast milk once to twice a day. And I have been the one giving it to him and he's been drinking it for me. Whenever I give Chris the bottle to feed him Luke does not want any part of that; which is a little baffling to some of the pediatrician theories that babies will not take bottles from mom because they know the real thing is right there.
Well on Tuesday of last week I was at lunch meeting and Chris tried to give baby Luke a bottle from the NUK bottle that he likes and he would not take it. Luke basically missed one of his feedings and went about five hours without having anything to eat. This was a little disturbing to me since he was only seven weeks old at the time and I eventually have to go back to work. As soon as I got home from that luncheon I gave Luke the remaining milk in the bottle as well as nursed him and he was fine. But the problem still remains that he would not take a bottle from anyone but me. For the remaining of the week last week I continued to give baby Luke two bottles of expressed milk during the day and he did just fine.
Today I was gone for a total of about seven and half hours and baby Luke did not drink a bottle at any point during that time. Chris tried and tried to get him to take the bottom but every time he would stick the bottle in his mouth baby Luke would start gag and choke. I had fed Luke around 6 AM this morning before I left to go to the meeting but by noon I decided that it was just too long for Luke to go another four hours until 4 PM without any food, so I had Chris bring him down to my school in Houston. I ended up nursing him in our librarian's office. This meant that he went over six hours between feedings during the day. He's done this frequently at night but never during the day...in fact during the day he usually can only go three hours or less between feedings. Chris tried to give him another bottle in the afternoon and so did I when I got home but he still would have none of it.
I was so distraught about this I decided to call my pediatricians nurse. She was very kind and listened to my situation and gave me her advice and opinion on what she would do. She basically told me to keep on doing what I was doing and try to invest in more bottles and nipples to try to find one that he really does like. She gave me a few recommendations of bottles and nipples that have worked on babies in this situation in the past and I will be headed to Target and Babies R Us tomorrow to find these recommended bottles.
During our conversation she also asked me if during feeding time it was stressful in the house. I immediately started to laugh out loud and my response was "well duh lady- I have a three-year-old and I live with my in-laws... of course it was stressful!" She laughed and advised me to keep on trying to make it less stressful during his feeding times because he can feel that stress and tension. I explained to her that Natalie gets very jealous when Chris has to hold or console Luke and during both of the times when Chris had been giving him a bottle while I was gone Natalie was in his lap trying to make sure that Luke did not steal any of her "daddy time". Of course this led to more stress! We are going to work on that this coming week and try to make sure that during these feeding times with bottles there isn't any stress and there's less of Natalie (no offense Nattie... we all love you TONS!).
In addition to making feeding time less stressful for us all, the nurse and our pediatrician, Dr. Pulliam, advised that I should stop nursing him completely and just use expressed breast-milk at all of his feedings. This was mind-boggling to me because I thought that an 8 week old would still need to be nursed but the doctor reassured me that if I wanted to get him to take a bottle, I really had to make sure that all he was getting was a bottle.
They both of course said that this can only go as far as my sanity can hold up and as long as Luke doesn't start to not gain weight or lose weight. I've been keeping a really good track of his weight by going to Memorial Hermann Hospital every Tuesday to check his weight. The average weight gain of a 0 to 3-month-old is 7 ounces per week and Luke has been well above that averaging in at 10 to 13 ounces per week. He's a big boy, remember! The doctors also reassured me because he is a big boy, I can worry a little bit less about him not getting enough food between the attempts at the bottle.
The doctor eventually got on the line and explained to me that I have what they call in the pediatrician world "the mama's boy". This is where the boy, or girl in some cases, has such a close bond to mom that they find comfort while nursing off of her. The doctor said in most of these cases the baby can only be consoled by mom when they're very upset and they like to be held really close and snuggle with mom 90% of the time. The doctor said the best fix for this is to get out of the house and to leave. She said to get the bottle ready and warmed up and give daddy the baby and then go and get your groceries. This seems very irresponsible to me but the doctor told me it had to be done in order for him to learn to take a bottle.
In a worst case scenario Dr. Pulliam said that Luke might have a condition called "Tongue Tied". This condition makes babies not feed or suck well and can cause them to have a speech impediment at an older age. This is where the bottom of the tongue it too short and they have to go in and cut it to make it a little longer. This is a non-invasive procedure and does hurt the baby (YEAH RIGHT) and helps them feed and suck better. Dr. Pulliam said she didn't suspect she would need to do this since he is gaining weight so well and nursing so well but when I go in for his 2 month appointment next Monday she will look and test him for this condition. All I can do between now and then is PRAY! I would appreciate your prayers too!
Tomorrow I'm going to go and look for the special bottles and nipples the nurse and doctor recommended and I'm going to start to try to only bottle feed him during his five feedings during the day and only nurse him right before he goes to bed and in the middle of the night. I'm very nervous and a little sad about this as the doctors right... Luke and I have developed a very special bond during our nursing sessions and I'm sad to see that go. I'm praying that he can really learn how to take this bottle quickly and we can go back to our bonding sessions during nursing time soon.
When we found out we were having a boy I was so excited and I immediately told Chris "I hope he's a mama's boy". You know what they say "be careful what you wish for"! I love my little MAMA'S BOY and I hope he will learn to take the bottle soon! I love you Baby Luke!
Thank you Lord for my "Mama's Boy"!
God is Good... ALL THE TIME!