Making Her Way Back to the Breast!

I’ve successfully fed Ruby using the homemade SNS and my finger a few times. She doesn’t seem to mind it unless she’s very hungry. Then she won’t take anything but the bottle. So I’ve been feeding her mostly via bottle but when the house is more settled, she’s interested in eating, but not extremely hungry, I’ll feed via finger. I feel pretty good about it.

Last Saturday we had a major break through. My husband was home with us all day (this doesn’t happen very often), Loretta was taking a nap, and we decided to give the breast a try. I supported Ruby’s head in one hand, held my breast and the tube of the SNS in the other, while Michael held the syringe. I applied a mixture of coconut oil and sugar onto my nipple to coax her on. She fought us for a little while, but we got her on. We had to force the breast and tube into her mouth, but once Michael gave her a blast of milk, she went to town. She ate all 20cc of the syringe.

Later in the day, we tried it again. Success! But this time she only ate 10cc because she was still full from her meal. A few minutes after nursing, she spit up.

We are in the middle of all of our youth camps, so things are very busy for us (Things are always busy for us, but it’s worse than usual). We haven’t had another successful attempt until today.

Loretta was watching a Bible video while laying on the floor next to me. I finger fed Ruby 10cc until she lost interest. Ruby played on the floor with Loretta for a few minutes, then I decided to give her the rest of the syringe (another 10cc) at the breast. This is really something, because I have to support Ruby’s head with my leg…. yeah….. not too hard if it’s a small infant… but she’s 7.5 months old. She’s learning to crawl. Not an easy feat. Then she gets really interested in the tube and keeps pulling it out of my hands. Although my last name is Guerra, I still have Cowden blood flowing through my veins. My Mama taught me “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” (Freaky expression, I know, but true none the less).

I tucked the tube under my breast, ran it up that way, and held it on the underside of my nipple, instead of to the left or right. She latched right on (W00T!) and nursed like a dream until the syringe ran dry. But this is the cool part…. I wasn’t giving her much milk through the SNS and yet she was swallowing a great deal. This means milk transfer FROM THE BREAST! (Please hold your applause until the end)

So here’s where we are now…. Michael and I are planning a week where we put away the bottles and keep her eating either via finger or breast (with the SNS, of course). I just found out Sunday that I will be going to North American Youth Congress (again, please hold applause until the end). There’s no way to think for a moment it could be practical to feed Ruby via finger or breast there. Maybe in the hotel in between services. We’ll probably try it then here and there, just to keep Ruby at it. But I don’t want to set her or me up for failure in a busy, chaotic environment.

More good news! In the middle of writing this post, Ruby woke up from her nap. I finger fed her first, then got her back onto the breast with the SNS. I’m not an expert, but I did nurse Loretta for a long time. Loretta also sucked on my finger for comfort instead of a pacifier. I remember the suck being stronger than what Ruby’s suck is currently. I called Mary Ryngart and left a message about it. (Mary is the IBCLC in Gainesville that was present when Dr. Sullivan clipped her tongue. I would see in her a Doctor’s office so that means my insurance will pay for it. Whereas, Kristen Gartner (I love her) is independent so it would not be covered.

(Now you may applaud!)

On a side note: The Breast feeding doll is stupid. Not because it’s breast fed. But why pay $90 for one, when any doll can be breast fed? Just throw away the bottles that come with it. That’s what I did for Loretta.


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