The Good, The Bad, and The Lucky

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Tonight (or, I guess 3 am is morning) all I can think about is how lucky I am. The most immediate reason is that she is actually sleeping through her 3 am feeding! This means that I get to just do an NG feeding and I then I can go back to bed! We get one NG only feeding in a 24 hour period. Previously we were doing it for the 3 am feeding, but for the last week and a half she has been nice and awake for it. Nice and awake = bottle + NG feed. Also, by “nice and awake” I really mean “awake and fussy” or “almost beside herself”.

That is where the other part of me being lucky kicks in.

I am lucky because my mom has been here helping us, especially with the middle of the night screaming. She has also been helping us pack, prepare meals, and keeping mommy sane. I am not totally sure I would have survived the last week without her help. What makes me even more lucky is that she is able to stay for yet another week. Bless Grandma!

Oh! And my sister is here! That doesn’t really make me lucky, but I am still really excited.  I mean, I am lucky to have her as a sister (please read previous post about where we are moving to in Colorado), but her being here isn’t totally related to why I feel so lucky right now.

I guess that I will throw the “bad” in the middle of this and end on a high note. Well, the middle of the night screaming had been …… awful. Given, my mom has taken the brunt of it. We live in a 2 bedroom apartment so Lyra and Grandma have been roomies for the past few days. There hasn’t been really anywhere for her to escape to when Lyra is having a rough night. My mom has taken the 1 am – 3 am shift, and I have been taking the 3 am – whenever Lyra lets me go to bed shift. Now, my husband has been taking his fair share of it too. He has been doing the midnight feeding. From what I hear, it has been tough.

The other “bad” part is that we have had to stop giving her breastmilk. Now, I know that babies who grow up on formula turn out just fine. Hello, the person typing this blog is a formula baby. It was just really hard for me to give it up. I have spent countless hours pumping since the day she was born. At times, I felt like it was the only thing I was doing right in terms of taking care of her. Just over a week ago I was desperate to feed her and I didn’t have any milk ready. It was all way too cold and she was super hungry. I grabbed a premixed formula bottle from our first NICU stay, threw a nipple on it, and prayed she would take it. To my surprise (and slight horror), she sucked it down. Not only that, she didn’t scream. Thinking that it might have been a one time thing, I tired again for the next feeding and had similar results.

Lyra didn’t like my breastmilk.

While I was really happy that we found something she would eat and be happier about, I felt rejected in a way. I had poured my heart and soul into pumping for her. I would get up in the middle of the night, even when she was in the hospital, just to pump and make sure that I kept producing plenty of food for her. With all of that time, effort, pain, and sleep deprivation…… she liked formula better. However, once I removed my ego from it, I could focus on the good part of this.

The good part is that she is doing so much better on formula. We have settled on a type that is for lactose sensitivity (for those who knew me as a baby, this will make a lot of sense). She screams less during feedings and her throw ups have mostly turned into sprit ups. Even the spitting up has become less frequent. Feeding has become more positive and she has become more eager to take a bottle (although she still isn’t taking enough by mouth for us to stop using the NG tube). Also, she seems more satisfied. To be honest, I think I was producing something closer to skim milk than whole milk. I won’t bore you with details, but there were signs that I may not have been letting down all of the time. This meant that I wasn’t producing the really fatty milk she needed. Anyways, she is turning into a little butter ball and it makes me really happy to see.

On that note, I am going back to bed…. at 3:32 am! This is a record for the last few nights.

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2 responses »

  1. I’m glad you’re figuring feelings out. Callie had a similar issue with breast milk and the main reason we switched to formula for her as well. There are many advantages of formula especially when you’re moving or when you’re out and about. Try to focus on the positive and be thankful we live in a time where formula is readily available and is a balanced. She got all the “good” stuff from your breast milk the first few weeks, so try not beat your self up. Also if you go the manufacturers website they will send you checks to use on formula to help lessen the blow. I get similac and emfamil ones that I give away if you ever want them just let me know which ones you could use 🙂 I’m glad she’s getting better, and I can’t wait til you’re in CO!

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  2. So glad you’re surrounded by family, Jaime. It does take a village and what an awesome village you have. By the way, you’re a beautiful writer!

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