So, the good news: Zaden was up to 7 pounds, 3 ounces at Friday's weight check. The doctor was pleased, as was I. He told me to continue doing what I was doing and to come back on Tuesday for another check. Well, I'm mostly doing "what I was doing," but I'm not supplementing with formula. Instead, I pump after each feeding (well, most feedings, anyway) and save the breast milk for the next feeding time. I stopped using the SNS a couple of days ago, as our last couple of experiences with it were very frustrating, and I felt it was not encouraging Zaden to get a good latch since we had to shove the tube in at the same time. Since he is consistently latching well on the LEFT side at least, I felt I needed to make things slightly easier and just give him the pumped milk in a bottle. I do feel a bit apprehensive about this, since it's obviously much easier for him to eat from a bottle. He is a S-L-O-W nurser when he is sleepy, which is about 90% of the time, which means feeding times can take forever, and even then I'm not sure if he's really filled up. I really have to pay attention to what he's doing to make sure he is doing the suck and swallow thing and not just licking or "pacifier" sucking on me. He's getting better at latching onto the right side and taking in more milk from there, so I'm definitely hopeful. And there have been feedings where he seems to have gotten satisfied just from nursing and doesn't really want much if any from a bottle. I've been trying to offer a "topper-offer" with most feedings, though, since we really want to make sure his weight gets back up!
I'm trying to back off from pumping the left side...my milk supply over there is definitely adequate, and I don't want to be lopsided for the next year and a half! (Or longer!) My right side still needs some help, so I "just keep pumping, just keep pumping..." (Imagine that in a Dorrie sing-song voice, if you've seen Finding Nemo. If not, just humor me. I didn't get a nap today!)
I have no idea how long I should expect to do all of this. I'm hoping and praying the weight check tomorrow will show miraculous results--not just adequate results--something that will allow me to testify to the doctor of the grace of God and the power of prayer, because many, many people have been encouraging me and praying me through this journey. I'd love to hear from him that we can focus on simply nursing him, using supplementation only when it's obvious he's still hungry and I don't have much more to give. However...I will accept God's answer, whatever it is; the important thing is that Zaden is gaining weight and growing stronger.
I remember having major nursing issues with Kenna for a little over a week, and then suddenly she started latching on perfectly and did just wonderfully. I would love to see this current trend with Zaden totally turn around as well! I can tell he is doing much better:
- His color looks GREAT.
- He poops at nearly every feeding time now.
- His diapers are often overflowing with urine. (Never thought I'd be overjoyed at these things...)
- When he is awake, he is much more alert, staying awake longer periods and looking around, often toward a person who is speaking.
- He is more consistently latching correctly and swallowing audibly.
If you happen to read this before September 13, late morning EST, would you please pray with me that Zaden would at least be back up to his birth weight? And please pray that God will give us wisdom to know how best to care for this little treasure He has given us. Thank you so much.