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.