After 6 days of having our Little Lou home and everything going well, she stopped eating, she was sucking and trying but couldn't get enough. I realized this after a whole day with her at my breast, one side to the other, non stop, she had only wet one diaper. She was becoming agitated while nursing, bless her heart she was trying so hard. I thought maybe it was my milk supply.
I had a friend come over, who works in the Wellness Center at Kaiser, where the lactation consultant center is located. She stayed with me for 2 hours trying to see what was wrong. Little Lou was actively trying to nurse, but with my now enlarged breasts, it was getting even harder. We tried all the normal things, expressing and such, and still no results. Finally, I had to call the advice nurse and since she didn't have a fever they advised me to give her some supplement formula. Luckily, I had some on hand, My visiting teacher had given me some cans of formula and some bottles. I really didn't think that I would ever use them and put them in the closet just in case. I am so glad it was there, as it was late at night, and living so far out the closest 24hour store was about a 40 minute round trip.
Little Lou took it right away...it gently streamed into her mouth, without much work. I was so emotional as I fed my little one with a bottle. I breastfeed all my babies and the thought of not doing that with this, my last little really made me sad. Clearly she was happy to have this nourishment and so i was happy for that. She was so tired from all the energy it took all day to nurse, and then with a full tummy slept for 3 hours.
The next day I went to the Wellness Center with my friend. We were there for several hours with no luck of sufficient sucking. Little Lou started to cry and that is when the nurse noticed that something seemed wrong with her tongue and asked me if any other of my children were tongue tied. I had never heard of that. She said her tongue was having a hard time going to one side and something about, submucusal. I didn't really know what she was talking about, but the day before when she cried with her mouth opened really wide, I noticed something that looked a little odd but didn't think to much about it. Big Little also said she noticed it. It looked like the side of her tongue was curled up and had two layers with the bottom one coming up over the top and the bottom of her mouth lifted up with it. We were referred to the Ears Nose and Throat Doctor, but until then we would have to feed her with a bottle with a special tube connected to my finger. While I did this I would need to protect my milk supply by pumping.
The 3 hour cycle of,
1st hour -wake baby, change baby diaper, feed baby 40 minutes,
2nd hour - pump 20 minutes, store and label breast milk and clean all items for next use.
3rd hour - sleep (this was usually more of a 30 minute nap by the time I feel asleep).
Mister D couldn't take time off from work and so the task was mine, but I had my plan and the greatest desire to be able to nurse. If I didn't pump, my supply would be depleted. So the 3 hour cycle began.
I put Little Lou in her pram and strolled her back and forth from living room to feed her, kitchen to clean up, and bedroom to sleep. I continued this routine for 3 days. That third night I had to have Mister D feed and do two clean up cycles so I could sleep an hour. Her sucking was getting stronger and her daddy could feel it! Little G was keeping track of her diapers...how many BM's (bowel movements), how many wet. We needed 3 BM's and at least 6 wet. We were starting to hit our marks.
After the third day, my Mister couldn't see how I could keep this up, and suggested I just bottle feed.
I don't blame him. I cried over the chicken that I wanted to eat, the messy house, and then just because I had a baby, and I was tired, and my hormones were crazy. Not breastfeeding, was not an option, 'if I could just make it to Friday', I'd tell myself, and when I'd feel like crying, I'd tell myself... 'it's OK, it's OK, you can do this.'
We decided to give Little Lou a healing blessing, so her uncle Rog and her daddy, my Mister, administered a blessing of health. They prayed that she would gain the strength she needed and that her mouth would be strong.
We met with the E.N.T., Dr. Chin, the next day and he said her mouth looked fine. He said her mouth was just a little immature and to try and breastfeed again. Next we met with the Lactation Consultant and her weight did increase but still not quite up to where she needed to be and wanted me to continue the 3 hour cycle for 2 more days, but instead of feeding with tube and finger, nurse at the breast for 40 minutes and if she is still hungry give supplement and pump.
I did this for 1 day and then the next day she seemed full after breastfeeding so I didn't need to supplement, but I pumped this one time just in case. The next time she breastfeed she was satisfied and I didn't pump and then we went back to the doctor and she had gained 2 ounces. If she kept that up then she would be on track. 2 days later, another appointment and she was finally at her birth weight, 6.5 lbs.
I am writing this for memory sake, and for her, Little Lou. It is amazing how little these sweet spirits come to us in these amazing bodies. So small, so delicate. I can't believe she was in my stomach just 3 weeks ago. She is so sweet, smells like heaven and looks like an angel. I am so happy.