I plan to continue working with Ruby to get her back to the breast. It’s something that I just can’t seem to let go of. Especially since that Sunday night two weeks ago. But trying to take her immediately back to the breast would be a fail so epic it would almost be a win AND it would be extremely stressful for Ruby.
Ruby’s history of eating, from the very start has been nothing but stressful. Sometimes I think she associates eating with stress. It has gotten better since we’ve put her on the bottle exclusively. I’ve battled with this so much. I’ve asked myself, “what is best for Ruby?” What if bottle feeding is best for her? Then I contemplate giving up. And I would give up if I hadn’t had a word from God about this. Wouldn’t giving up now be a lack of faith?
I was rolling all these thoughts around and around in my head last night. I felt like my brain was the powerball lottery cage.
Then I remembered Ann’s story. Ann is a great lady who had struggles similar to mine, but overcame them all to nurse her tongue tied baby. You can read her story here. She used a series of transitions to get her baby to the breast.
So here’s the general plan. It will be subject to change as we go.
1. Bottle feed Ruby upright (so she still has to work to draw milk out of the bottle). Insert the tube of the homemade SNS into the corner of her mouth. The SNS will be empty, but she shouldn’t be sucking in air either because it is hooked up to an empty syringe. This is to get her used to having the tube in her mouth.
2. Bottle feed Ruby upright. Instead of inserting the tube after she is already eating, place the tube on the side of the bottle so that she takes both into her mouth at the same time.
3. Put breastmilk/formula into the SNS.
4. Clog the bottle so she become used to getting milk only from the SNS. This will make sure she is actually sucking to draw the milk out of the SNS and get her used to the flow of it, without the panic of not having the bottle. (to clog the bottle, use ice cold water and put some coconut oil in it. I learned this when I originally added coconut oil to the formula. It solidified and clogged the bottle).
5. Feed her according to #4. Towards the end of the feeding switch her to my finger with the SNS. Over time, switch her a little sooner each time. Until her she exclusively eating from my finger and the SNS.
6. Feed her with my finger and the SNS. Towards the end of the feeding, switch her to my breast with the SNS. Over time, switch her a little sooner each time until she is exclusively eating at the breast with the SNS.
7. Nurse her with the SNS. During periods of letdown, take the SNS out of her mouth. If she becomes frustrated when the flow slows, put the SNS back in.
8. Overtime she should get used to the flow of the breast and not panic when the flow of milk slows in between letdown.
Whew! That was a lot! But hopefully it will work and we can get Ruby back to the breast WITHOUT a tremendous amount of stress.