He loves the breastmilk! He drank 65mL in 30 minutes by bottle!
Martin and Mommy share a moment after a great session with breastmilk. They let us try breastmilk by bottle one time. Turns out he loves it and drank better than ever!
Martin is all worn out after drinking a great meal! Apparently breastmilk has natural ingredients in it that makes babies sleepy after taking it.
The last 24 hours have been really tough with Martin being very fussy with his bottle-feedings. He would take a couple of gulps, then turn away and have this awful frown on his face -- generally, really fussy. We tried everything the therapist suggested but to no avail. We just can't help thinking he simply doesn't like the taste or smell of what he's drinking. In the meanwhile, the tests came back negative for milk-protein allergies with Martin. But they said, because he's still a newborn, those tests aren't 100% accurate. He still may have an intolerance. But at least it didn't come back positive. Because of this, we asked the doctor again if they would at least let us try (just once) breastmilk via the bottle to see if he would like that any better. We were just getting so discouraged with the slow progress. He would drink 15mL for one feeding. Then, 3mL for another feeding. Then, 13mL for another feeding, etc. All the while fussing all the way. 75mL, by the way, is considered "full feeds."
Well, they agreed to let us try breastmilk via a bottle -- one time. We had a brief prayer before giving him the breastmilk bottle and asked the Lord to make us submissive to His will. Here was an opportunity for Him to show us the best way forward for Martin. And guess what happened next? Martin did absolutely amazing! He drank 40mL in 10 minutes! He kept gulping and drinking and not fussing hardly at all. Then he had a dirty diaper -- we changed him -- and he didn't cry or fuss one bit (whereas on previous occasions he would really throw a fit). It was like we gave him some magic potion! He kept drinking and drinking and finally stopped after 65mL in 30 minutes! He drank almost an entire full-feed by bottle faster than he gets through his feeding tube! The nurse was amazed and we asked if we could continue with breastmilk but they want him to keep with the formula for a bit longer. However, they did agree to let him have breastmilk at least one feeding per day. Better than nothing.
We are so relieved that he did so well with the breastmilk! We couldn't be happier -- this means, Martin really could do well at home with normal feeds. Jamie has still been cutting out the dairy from her diet and so hopefully that will make things easier for Martin if he does happen to have a problem with it down the road. We know that Elecare has been the only thing that worked with other families so we're sure it has its place -- but at this point, we are not looking forward to having him back on it for the next 24 hours seeing he struggles with it so much -- but hopefully the doctors will feel it is safe enough to pursue the breastmilk!
If you remember us, please pray that he will continue to do really well with his feeds -- whether it's formula or breastmilk -- it matters not to us at this point. We just want him to feed really well on something so we can prove that we are ready to go back home. Thank you.
Update 9:18pm: We tried to bottle-feed Martin the Elecare again this afternoon and it was a dismal failure. He was actually able to drink 23mL which is the most of the formula he ever drank -- but he was extremely fussy the whole time. I mean, really fussy. So, the doctor tonight gave us permission to try breastmilk again tonight and surprise! -- he did GREAT again! In fact, he drank the whole bottle this time! (75mL is a full feed). He's doing it! Keep doing it, little guy! You're helping us all get home!
Update Sun, Mar 18 2:00pm: They gave us the green light today to use breastmilk for ALL feeds! It's like the Red Sea parted for us. So far, he's had two feeds and Martin took the entire bottle each time! Tomorrow, they will check to make sure he's getting enough calories this way. Hopefully he will be getting more than enough as there will be no further reason to keep us here. Just about there!
Update Sun, Mar 18 10:33pm: So, all day today he had breastmilk from the bottle -- and he did truly amazing every time. In fact, the last feed just ended and he took 85mL in a single feed! The time before that he did 82mL! (Remember, a full feed is 75mL). So, he's obviously enjoying the breastmilk and has no problems feeding. But what we did today was a one-day allowance. Tomorrow morning we will face a whole new team of doctors that may not be as sympathetic to allowing us continue on this path. We are praying that the Lord will give them wisdom to make the right decision and that we will have grace to discuss this with an open mind. We believe that tomorrow will decide whether or not we will be able to go home sooner rather than later. We have been away from home for almost 9 weeks now and away from our children for over 3 weeks. Lord, may this week be the week!
You don't me, but my cousin Stephanie Burton shared your link. I wanted you to know that i pray for Marin everyday! My husband just got diagnosed with cancer over Christmas and i also have 3 small kids. I know the struggle you are going thru being without your children for long periods of time. Your blog has been a testimony of our Lord. I am so encouraged by the the strength that God is giving your family and for the continued health progress for baby Martin. Julie
YEAH Martin. Chow down on that milk that mommy made just for you! He has a smile while sucking; it is obvious he is using all the right muscles for a strong suck; he gets wonderful eye to eye contact during the feeds, and he is so peacefully relaxed on mommy's shoulder afterward! It takes a lot of energy expenditure to suck like that, but his color is wonderful.
I agree with Grace, and the key is "fortified" mom's milk, making sure you have enough fat and calories in it. Praying that they will find the milk sufficient or that they can increase the caloric load and send you home to Greenville and your clan SOON!!
Glad to hear Martin is doing so well! We keep you in prayer daily.
I wonder if your doctor is aware of this research showing that babies who diets include breastmilk generally get to go home earlier from the hospital?
"The benefits of improved health (less sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis) associated with the feeding of fortified human milk outweighed the slower rate of growth observed in this study of 108 preterm infants. Infants fed human milk were discharged an average of 15 days earlier than infants preterm formula. Schanler RJ, et al. ‚ÄúFeeding strategies for premature infants: beneficial outcomes of feeding fortified human milk versus preterm formula.‚ÄĚ Pediatrics 1999 Jun;103(6 Pt 1):1150-7
Got it from this link about health benefits of mother's milk http://drjaygordon.com/breastfeeding/science-of-breastfeeding.html