The Good News: Clara hasn't lost any weight since we pulled the NG tube.
The Bad News: She hasn't gained any either (okay, well one ounce, but not significant.)
I was pretty bummed out this morning at the doctor to see that Clara hasn't put on weight like we'd hoped. She seems so happy and healthy and to be doing so well, but a baby's gotta gain and she hasn't. Alas.
Since she hadn't lost weight either, the doctor is going to give us another week or so. I'm going to try to increase feedings to 9-10 times in a 24 hour period (that's a heck of a lot, in case you were wondering) and see if we can get some extra calories in her that way. We're also going to keep trying to push the bottle in hopes that we can add some formula to breast milk and get some more calories in that way, if Clara will cooperate.
We're still going to the mountains. I'm hoping that the time away will help us all relax and give us the time and space to focus on feeding, feeding, feeding 'round the clock. I have to say that I'm a little discouraged about this whole thing. I feel such a strong maternal instinct of wanting to provide for my baby and not feeling like I'm doing it adequately is very difficult. There is a deep sense of failure, rational or not, that I'm just struggling to shake. It's tough to make a baby eat who's not in the mood to eat though. And it's a tricky balance of following Clara's lead and trying to do what she wants and also watching the clock enough to realize that if three hours have passed and she hasn't eaten, she really needs to - like it or not. So, despite my sadness and frustration and general discouragement, I'm trying to remember that I have so much to be thankful for:
* I'm thankful that the battles we're fighting now are as simple as an additional six or eight ounces of breastmilk a day in an otherwise happy, healthy baby.
* I'm thankful to be fighting this battle at home, in our own space, and on our own turf and not within the four walls of Brenner Children's Hospital.
* I'm thankful for the continued support and love of family and friends who help talk me off the cliff and wipe my tears away.
* I'm thankful for an incredible pediatrician who spoke to me with grace and compassion today, despite my obvious disappointment. I'm thankful that after offering all the suggestions that he could think of, he stopped, laid his hands on Clara, and prayed for her, knowing that God is the one in whose hands she rests.
* I'm thankful that Clara has a sweet and happy disposition and that she is fun to be around all day long.
* I'm thankful that caffeine doesn't seem to affect Clara at all, 'cause I'm consuming a lot of it.
* I'm thankful that we live in a day in age where there are lots of "options" for feeding babies... dozens of different bottles (we're trying them all), lots of formula options for extra calories, and diligent medical care that will be sure that Clara gets what she needs - even if it means putting the NG tube back in.
* And most of all, I'm thankful for Clara's life and that we get to struggle with a fairly ordinary problem. This is serious, for sure, but it's not anywhere near as critical as some of the other obstacles that she has already overcome, by God's grace. So, we'll pray and trust that in God's timing, she'll overcome this one too.
Keep praying for fat rolls. (Sure wish I could just share mine with her!)