Friday, November 21, 2008

I hate formula.
I really do.

It's messy. It's clumpy. It smells funny. It makes him puke more. It only lasts an hour after it's warmed.

When he was eating plain breast milk, if he ate an ounce and then refused more, I could set the bottle to the side and give him 45 minutes to digest and feel better and then try again. Now I have a clock. And since it's mixed with my breast milk, if that hour ticks by, I'm throwing away my breast milk.

If I was making gobs and gobs of milk, that wouldn't be so horrible. And really, I AM making plenty because he's only eating 2oz. But I'm not making enough for him to eat the 3oz he's supposed to be eating.

and honestly, the thought of him eating 3oz blows my mind. Sometimes he'll only eat an ounce and then will cry for a half hour because he's in pain. So three? THREE? When it takes me an hour+ to get 2 into him.. I just can't imagine.

Robbie had a play date with his NICU BFF the other day. G is 18 days younger than Robbie, born at 26 weeks even weighing 1lb 13oz. He looks huge compared to Robbie. I love that he's doing so well, but I want the same for Robbie.

I'm a huge anxious mess. I just want him to do well. And he is. He's bright and alert and developing just the way he should be. But he's not eating or growing and eventually those things will catch up with him.

I'm his mom. Feeding him is my most basic job. I'm trying. I'm truly, truly trying. But I feel like there just isn't enough that I can do.

And then I think about that fucking G-Tube that I hated. I despised it. I was so glad for it to go. It leaked and was irritating his skin. I'm convinced it's part of the source of some of his stomach troubles.

BUT if we had it, we could feed him what and when he needed. If it came down to it, we could always do an NG tube (through the nose) but no one wants that. And in a kid who is beginning to really discover his hands, it's just going to get pulled out.

That just leads to more baby torture. A tube up the nose again.

As it is, today we had to start giving him a glycerin suppository to make him poop. I managed to get sprayed with poop in a rather hysterical moment. I thought he was done but was so, so wrong. He has an impressive range, let me tell you. But I have to say, having to put that up his bum was really uncomfortable for me. I think it was more uncomfortable for me than him since he didn't even seem to notice until he pooped so hard that he puked through his nose. Fun times. Makes you want to be my baby, doesn't it?

I had really hoped the baby torture had ended in the NICU. Instead now I'M the torturer instead of the nurses.

I'm just so incredibly sad.

And I feel guilty for feeling sad. (Aren't emotions fun? Whee!) I know how lucky I am. So many babies have so many more problems. So many parents didn't get to bring their babies home to worry over them. We're blessed. We are.

But my God, I'm so tired. It seems like everything. is. a. battle.

Eat, sleep, poop. Basic baby stuff and we can't seem to do any of it normally.

Back in the NICU one day, my favorite neo once told me that he wished he had a crystal ball. It wouldn't matter what he could see. He could tell me that he was going to have 3 infections and spend weeks on the ventilator and come home a month after his due date. I wouldn't like it, but I'd say okay. I'd prepare myself for what was to come and deal with it because we knew where we were headed. But instead, we spent every day wondering what would be thrown at us.

And he's right. And I feel that way now. If you could tell me he's going to outgrow this at a year, I'd think "MY GOD, A YEAR?!" but once I finished my pity party, I'd say okay. A year. We just have to make it through a year. But we don't know.

He could wake up tomorrow and eat like a champ for the rest of his life. Or he might not outgrow it until he's 5. Or 10. We just don't know. So we spend every day just trying to figure out what to do.

I continue to try different bottles. (He took a pretty good feeding through an Avent tonight.) Maybe that's the magic answer. Maybe it's just one tool. I still try 5 different positions to feed him. (The last one managed to be sort of on his belly. That was challenging.) Whatever it takes to get him to eat.

I just hope it's enough. If he could live in love, he'd need a diet by now. That's all I can cling to for now.



Alice said...


Hang in there mama. I know it's not easy but one day, one day I promise, it'll all be better.

Heather said...

(((Hugs))) I hope Robbie's eating gets easier soon for both of you, so you don't feel bad, and his tummy feels better and he gets bigger.

Tom & Shannon said...

poor robbie...and poor trish. keep on truckin, he'll get better. *hugs*

Amy said...

More *hugs*. He truly is rich in love, and I know that goes along way ... still praying hard that sleeping, eating and pooping will all become normal SOON.
Love you!

Mrs. Spit said...

I'm sorry that this is so hard, it seems that you should both be entitled to a free ride after NICU.

Having said that Trish, you are an extraordinary woman, and an extraordinary mum, and you deserve a huge pat on the back.

Two Hands said...

Trish, I wish you could see with our eyes.
You would see a mother who would stop at nothing to make sure her baby got what he needed. You would see a mother who is the living definition of self-sacrifice. You would see a mother whose every action is motivated by love and concern.
You. are. amazing.
I can't imagine how incredibly tough this battle is, but one day, it will be a memory. I don't know when, but it will be.
Anything I can send to help?

Kim said...

Hang in there, sweetie. I know days feel like years when you're dealing with all of this crap. Robbie is so lucky to have a mommy who keeps pushing on for him, in spite of the many challenges you both face.

Jody said...

My girls were far bigger than Robbie by the time they took 3 oz every 3 hours. They also stayed eating 3-4 oz every 3 hours forEVER. It's only been very recently that they have increased to 5-7 oz every 3 hours when most other babies did it months and months ago. My girls aren't big chunky babies, and we often had to fight them to eat (and still do, sometimes, with Alice), but they are FINE.

It's so hard when they won't eat. So hard. But, it does get better and he is just fine.

Milenka said...

I may have missed this, but have you tried Dr Brown's bottles already? They were the only type my girls would latch onto, and they seemed to help with the gas issues a bit. Reflux and colic are hard enough without extra gas from a silly bottle, right? So far Fox won't eat from anything except those stupid disposable bottles from the NICU, so we're trying out different bottles all over again, too. Good luck!

Lorraine said...

What a trooper you are! Juat hang in there and keep doing your best - I have a feeling all that love will keep him going!

cc said...

(((hugs))) Formula was a no-go for my preemie, so we went on Milkshare and got donor milk - what a difference - easier feeding and better weight gain as a result - you may want to consider it. Good Luck!

heather... said...

It really does get easier. Mine had the pooping problem and after getting chipped for a few weeks, it made a HUGE difference in her eating.

You're doing AWESOME. It is NOT torture, it's making things easier for him. I am so impressed that you are still pumping, I just couldn't manage it with my low supply.

I compare mine with other kids all the time, but we really shouldn't. Even if our kids are small, as long as they are on track developmentally, try not to worry. Mine weighs less than 14 pounds at a year, but she is right on track developmentally with her adjusted age.

I'm always rooting for you guys!

Jennifer said...

Hi there! Robbie is getting so big. I know that it is hard. Believe me, I compared the twins to other babies all the time. I still do it and they are almost a year old! But, he seems to be doing great! Man, we all have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your new beautiful family! Hope to see you soon! Can't wait to visit the NICU this holiday season!

Stacie said...

The Avent bottles worked for us when Shawn was going through his worst reflux. I hope they continue to make things a little easier on Robbie at eating time. What formula are you using?

Oh, Trish. You are doing a wonderful job mothering Robbie! You are not torturing him. You are helping him in every way you can. I do agree that it is hard, though. But it will get easier. It will. Until then, Robbie is soaking up every ounce of love you give him. You are amazing.

Tracy said...

((hugs)) lots of prayers for you and Robbie.

FattyPants said...

I don't really have any advice or anything to say that will make you feel better, but I just want you to know I'm thinking of you and robbie and hope this gets better soon. You are doing a great job.

Me said...

I'm the queen of feeling guilty because of self-pity for a lovd one's illlness. Don't do it. Being human is ok. At least that's what everyone else told me.