Sorry I have neglected you!

I hope none of you have been sitting on the edge of your seats, waiting for an update from me!

 Drumroll please...Ben has broken the 4 pound mark! He did it a few days ago, actually, and is now up to a hefty 4 lbs 3 oz. He drank an entire bottle a few days ago too. Sadly he hasn't drunk an entire bottle since then, but he is working on it. He gets 2 bottle feedings per day, and has been drinking 10 to 20 ccs of each bottle. He is getting 37 ccs at each feeding.

Before I continue, let me say that some people have this sort of social inhibition built into them, where they know what to say (and what not to say) and whether it is socially acceptable or not. Some people do not have this, or at least don't have as generous of a helping. I'm afraid I am of the latter. So feel free to skip the potentially uncomfortable parts. :)

We are working on nursing twice a day! Like, real nursing. Where I don't pump beforehand. At first it was very frustrating. I have to say that 4 pound babies have very small mouths. Like, really small. I kind of felt like I was choking him. A lactation consultant comes to Ben's room every day at 9 a.m. to help us. Yesterday I asked about a nipple shield, which is a very thin plastic membrane that you place over your nipple. I feel like it contains things a little bit and makes it more obvious to Mr. Ben on what part exactly ought to be in his mouth. Anyway they let me try one, and it was seriously like night and day. Without it we get him latched, he would suck for like 3 sucks, and pop off. Then we'd spend several minutes trying to get him latched back on. It was exhausting and not very comfortable for me. With the shield he stays on, and is actually getting milk which makes me super happy! And I can do it by myself for the most part! After about 10 minutes of attempting nursing he falls asleep, which is fine because for now it is still just basically practice. He's not yet 34 weeks gestation, so he definitely has some time to learn. Nursing sessions (and bottle feeding sessions, for that matter) are followed by a gavage feeding (the gavage is the feeding tube in his nose).  The lactation consultant said once he gets a nice strong suck then we will weigh him before and after nursing to see how much he is getting with each feed. For now I'm fairly certain he is getting only a few drops. It's hard to say though.

A side effect of nursing has been...my supply is going up! Even though I was holding him twice a day already, doing skin-to-skin, apparently once he actually started nursing my body was like "Oh! Baby! Make more milk!" I have gotten 5 oz per day the last 2 days and today I might get 5.5 if things keep going they way they are going. He eats about 9 oz. per day, so I'm making just over 1/2 of what he needs. He is at full feeds now though, and his feedings will only increase as he gains weight. So hopefully I will have some time to catch up to him. If not, I am OK with just being able to give 1/2 breast milk and 1/2 formula or whatever.

It would be really nice to get the nursing thing down though, I just feel like doing that will be more convenient than remembering to bring formula and all that. And I'm even OK with pumping too and giving him a bottle (or someone else giving him a bottle). Breastmilk is seriously just so amazing and I want him to get it! Best case scenario I'd love for him to get breast milk through next cold and flu season, so maybe through March of next year. But for now I'll just concentrate on making it through February of this year. :)

 Lastly, he is getting to wear real clothes! They are weaning him off of the heat in his isolette, so he is now dressed to help keep him warm. His isolette is set to 26.8 degrees C, once it gets down to 26 he will be able to be in an open crib! I wouldn't be surprised at all if I walk in tomorrow morning to see him in a crib.

Some of the preemie clothes people have gotten him are already too small. Most fit just right though. I have to say, if a 4 pound baby is too big for your preemie clothes then maybe you as a company ought to rethink the design of the clothes!

We took the other kids, all except Miss M, to see Ben on Saturday. They were very entertained for about 5 minutes. :) The nurses were all very excited to see them though, people keep talking to me every day about the boys. Ha ha! One nurse apparently said that D was "So tall! Just like his dad!" Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! I thought that was pretty hilarious.

Panda Ben!

Welp I definitely could write more but I actually need to get some work done. And go grocery shopping before the storm of the century blows in. We are supposed to maybe get 12 inches?? I'm afraid there may be a day or two this week where I don't get to go see Ben if that is the case, because I will probably be home with the little kids. :(


Comments

  1. Ben looks great!! You can tell from the picture he has gained weight, that is wonderful. Glad things are going well:)

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  2. So glad things are going well.

    I think you have exactly the right attitude about breastfeeding. If he can do it and you can produce enough, perfect. It sounds like your body is already responding to the difference between "baby sucking" and "pumping" and I wouldn't be surprised it all works out great. If not, it's not the end of the world and every drop of breastmilk he's gotten so far is wonderful.

    Loved my lactation consultants.

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  3. So happy to hear of his awesome progress!!! His panda outfit makes him even more adorable!!!!

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  4. wow. He looks amazing. He is just about the exact gestational age as the little one currently in my belly and I find it amazing to watch your little Mr Ben grow.

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