Taking the Scenic Route

Friday December 30, 2005

30th December 2005

Friday December 30, 2005

posted in Uncategorized |

Weight has been our biggest struggle since Zora was born.  Pre-e often leads to lower than average birth weights, but I really thought she would be bigger given Zane’s birth size (9lbs 6.3oz, arriving 1 day before EDD).  It was a bit of a shock to see how tiny she was!  One interesting note, she is less than an ounce smaller, and only 1/2 inch shorter than I was at birth. 

Zora’s Weight
12-23-05:  4 lbs 8.7 oz
12-24-05:  4 lbs 6.1 oz
12-25-05:  4 lbs 2.8 oz
12-26-05:  4 lbs 1.4 oz
12-27-05:  4 lbs 3.2 oz
12-28-05:  4 lbs 4.6 oz
12-29-05:  4 lbs 4.8 oz
12-30-05:  4 lbs 4.6 oz

As the week went on, the other issues were slowly resolved until the only thing left that was keeping us there was her weight.  She looked good.  Breastfeeding was going ok (more on that later) given the circumstances, and she could gain weight just as easily at home as at the hospital.  The figure the dr was looking for was around a 20 gram gain a day.  The first day she gained it was 10 grams.  Now considering I went down to 3 lbs and either 8 or 13 oz before I started gaining again, I was elated that she started to gain.  Generally speaking, after 2 days of gain you are allowed to go home.  So, when she gained 41 grams the next day I was ready to do cartwheels because I thought I was going to be allowed to go home.  The doctor still wasn’t happy with the weight.  I think at that point the nurses were starting to advocate for me.  They saw her all day and knew how she was doing.  It would take a few more days to hit the ‘magic number’ of 2000 grams (4 lbs, 6.5 oz). 

The next day I got the impression it was a concerted effort by the nursing staff to help me go home.  During the night I got almost no sleep because we spent most of the night feeding Zora and then weighing her, trying to catch her in between feedings and pooping to get the optimum weight.  The first weight was actually showing a loss, but it could easily be attributed to the removal of the IV during the earlier shift.

Eventually, we got a bit higher of a weight.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the nurse may have bumped it up a bit to make it more palatable for the dr.  I was still in the nursery when the doctor came in in the morning.  I could see that she was looking at my chart, and seeing numerous nurses come by to talk to her.  I left the nursery because they were getting ready for another c-section.  Walked past the doctor, who still had my chart out and dialing someone on the phone. 

I must interject here.  I really do like this doctor.  She is just very young, fresh out of medical school, and not very experienced.  Because doctors don’t spend a lot of time with their patients, they have to go by the numbers.  The nurses are able to go by what they see, considering they are the ones actually spending time with the patients.  This doctor spent a lot of time researching alternative ways for weight gain without using  formula, when I made the demand.  She genuinely cared.  If my main doctor (her partner, who’s on vacation) doesn’t work out, I would have no problems changing to her.

The doctor did finally make her way to my room.  She literally threw up her arms, smiling, and said “Fine. You can go home”.  She had called the lactation consultant, who also advocated that I would do just fine on my own, despite the numbers.  Thank goodness, because I was about to lose my mind being stuck in the hospital.


Although it is going as well as can be expected, it is a hard fought battle to make it work.  Our two biggest obstacles:  her immature suck/swallow/breathe reflex, and the logistics of an extremely tiny mouth trying to latch onto a relatively large breast (never thought I’d describe my c cups that way. lol).  She also lacks stamina to complete a feeding.  For a bit, we were stuck in a bad cycle of …needing to eat to get the energy to eat, and not having enough energy to eat. 

We got over the initial stamina hump with enough pumping to stimulate milk production, and fenugreek, and finger/lact-aid/syringe feeding.  I’ve also had to tolerate a lot of nipple latches and otherwise very painful latch-ons.  If I could get her to latch on in any way possible for a minute or two, then she would relax enough for me to correct the latch so that it wasn’t as painful.

I am also finding that I basically am expressing milk on the breast she is nursing to make it easier for her.  This means that nursing is a two-handed fully-engaged activity.  No browsing the internet, no NAK, and very time-consuming.  I am so looking forward to the just-last-on-and-go-on-with-my-life nursing later.

Although a majority of my latch-ons are still pretty painful, she is definitely improving.  At today’s lc’s office today, we weighed before and after.  She ate 34 mL, which is an amount expected for a fullterm baby. 

This entry was posted on Friday, December 30th, 2005 at 6:11 PM and is filed under Uncategorized. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 4 responses to “Friday December 30, 2005”

  1. 1 On December 31st, 2005, mischievium said:

    Did you try using a nipple shield at all? I only suggest it because sometimes I (and the other nurses I work with) have found that using one can help the preemie get a better hold of the nipple and pull it back further in their mouth. Just something to try or ask your LC about if your nipples are really hurting. (Moms usually wean off the nipple shields as the baby gets bigger and stronger and therefore better at getting the nipple further back in their mouth on their own.)

    My guess is the looking at the numbers thing is both inexperience and covering herself liability-wise. Great job in perservering, Jennifer! (and Zora!)

  2. 2 On December 31st, 2005, Jessemommy said:

    Sounds like your hanging in there great despite the obstacles. I know you guys will have a great nursing relationship soon! Yay for the nurses advocating for you, and I hope the young Dr learned something valuable.

  3. 3 On December 31st, 2005, that_0n3_g1rl said:

    Hey!  I understand about the whole “hard time nursing” thing.  Sopia has a hard time with the sucking reflex, and has only once spent the whole half hor the Dr. said she should nursing.  Usually it’s only about 15 or 20 minutes.  She has the right amount of wet diapers, so I guess she’s getting enough, but I don’t really know.  Another problem we are having, and it’s not so much her, is inverted nipples.  Her pediatrician said that putting a bottle nipple over mine might work, at first, until she can latch better, but I think she won’t be able to latch normally on anymore, because we try, and she sucks maybe once or twice, and then won’t anymore.  So nursing for us is also a two-handed procedure.  Hopefully soon, we will both be able t make it a one-hand feat.   Hope you have a Happy New Year, and that you and Zora continue to get better.

    God bless you & yours,

    Beth & Sophia

    P.S. this was written one-handedly, as Sophia seems to be attatched to my arm, so please forgive any errors

  4. 4 On January 4th, 2006, lousli said:

    I found this through MDC and just had to say keep up the good work with nursing! I had a 36 weeker and a 33 weeker, both tiny girls like your baby. My first took 2 weeks to learn to nurse without a shield, and the second, because of tube feedings and such in the NICU, took almost 3 months. The good news is that they are both still nursing (4 and 1 year old) and doing great! It is hard with those tiny, sleepy babes, but they grow out of that stage so quickly. ((((Hugs)))) and congrats on your new baby Zora.
    Lesley (MDC Lousli)

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