posted by Mel
This is hard. Simone came 4 weeks before her due date, and she was growth-restricted to start with, so she is extra tiny. She’s behind. She NEEDS to eat every 3 hours. Sometimes she wants it every 2. Sometimes she doesn’t want to eat at all. We have major breastfeeding battles. Her mouth is tiny. I have to use a nipple shield, which makes breastfeeding cumbersome. She still only gets the tip of the nipple in her mouth and none of the aureola. So my nipples get sore, and I don’t think she’s getting enough of what she needs. I have to supplement with expressed breastmilk spiked with formula to add calories. I have to pump a lot. For the first week and a half I pumped after EVERY feeding to build my supply– Yes, 8 or more times/day. I’ve cut that down to 4 times/day after feedings. It’s still a huge messy hassle. Today I had to give up on the boob just to get calories into her. I’m hoping to be able to pick it back up soon. For now the milk needs to get into her tiny body by whatever means necessary.
There are 4 cats, a dog, and a 21-year-old living here with us. None of them help. Eric has a girlfriend I despise, and he kvetches about her constantly. He doesn’t seem to understand that there’s a cranky needy preemie upstairs with congenital heart problems. I have to practically beg him to do things like change the litterbox and take out the garbage. He’s moving out soon and taking two of the cats with him, thank goodness, though I haven’t seen him pack a single box yet. He’s a mostly good kid, but I swear that he has regressed 5 years in the past couple of months. He is completely self-centered. For those of you who don’t read password-protected posts, Vanessa and I broke up several months ago. She’s here a lot helping and planning to buy a house nearby soon. We are working on a co-parenting relationship. I have a great circle of friends, including even an unexpected someone special, and my parents who are also helping as much as they can, but when it comes down to it, it’s mostly on me. It’s February, and there is probably still 6-10 inches of snow on the ground outside. Simone has numerous doctors’ appointments/tests to get to, and it’s stressful to get her out (even with help) in her special preemie car seat.
I wrote all that around 4 PM today– right after Simone spit up the 1 1/2 oz of formula-spiked breastmilk I’d just bottle fed her. 4 1/2 hours later, everything I wrote above is still absolutely true, but things are looking a little brighter. Vanessa came over and fussed over her with me, and we got her to eat another 2 oz (which so far has stayed down) over the course of an hour and fifteen minutes. It’s a tiny victory, but I’ll take it.
And now a reward for reading this painful post…