My word of the day is frustration.
Seriously, how an 11 pound baby can frustrate me so much is truly amazing.
He's so damned cute. And happy and smiley and engaging and wonderful.
And then it's time to eat and it all goes to hell.
His eating is slightly better than last weekend. Since I've switched him back to plain breast milk again, he'll once again eat an ounce or an ounce and a half most of the time as opposed to the 5cc at a time of the Elecare fortified stuff. But he's still only taking maybe 5 oz a day by mouth. FIVE OUNCES A DAY.
That's pathetic. If we didn't have the tube, he'd DIE. That's insane.
Then there are the solids. Before the hospitalization for FTT he was doing pretty well with the solids. Not enough to make up for milk, but it was still a pretty big bonus and he'd eat almost anything.
Now he won't. I'm literally struggling to get 3 spoons of ANYTHING in his mouth. He purses his lips up and refuses to open them. If I try to get a little aggressive and open his lips myself, he just spits back anything I put in there.
Now, he thinks the spoon is great fun. He reaches for it constantly. I let him have it, thinking maybe he'd stick it in his mouth. He finds it's much more fun to shake it and bang it on his chair or leg. So we end up with sweet potatoes everything except on his tongue.
Today I tried some finger food. At first it went great. He grabbed the wagon wheel and it went straight in the mouth. And it stayed there. He chewed and chewed and licked and chewed. (See right) For just a minute I thought EUREKA! I mean, maybe he just wants to feed himself. Eventually he managed to break off a little piece of the wagon wheel and seemed to be chewing on it.
And then his spit it out.
I scooped it up with my finger and plugged it back in.
And he spit it out again.
I tried again.
We tried this 4 times or so before he started to get agitated. "STOP PUTTING THAT IN MY MOUTH, MOMMY."
I tried the baby food again. I tried dipping my finger and let him suck on it. That went okayish, but when I tried to get the spoon involved again or tried to put a little more on my finger to give to him, he'd refuse or spit it back out.
I KNOW he knows how to swallow it. He was doing great at this 2 months ago.
Even if I can trick him into opening his mouth (by making him smile) he just spits it all back out.
By the time we were both ready to cry from frustration, I just picked everything up and put it away. The minute I picked everything up, he just beamed a smile at me. He seemed so genuinely happy.
I tried to vent my frustration to my husband who just doesn't get it. I invited him to try to feed him any time he wants, but I doubt that'll happen any time soon. More frustration.
For what it's worth, they did get us worked sooner for the feeding eval. It's next Monday the 13th.
I wish I had high hopes for it. I've talked to too many other micropreemie moms who've been down this road and there just aren't any easy answers. Hell, there aren't any difficult answers.
It's all trial and error and time. Many of them are not seeing improvements until the kids are much, much older- sometimes 5 or 6 years old.
Thinking that this kind of frustration could continue for years more just makes me want to cry or scream or scream and cry.
I WANT THE BOY TO EAT.
P.S. Seriously, go look at that picture again. How freakin' adorable is he? It just doesn't seem possible something as beautiful as he is could be so frustrating!