I have this elaborate plan of how to get Ruby to nurse again. I started it but I planned to wait to really get serious about it after we got home from Youth Congress (Youth Congress is a biannual event we take our youth group to. It’s a 3 day conference and there’s usually 18k+ people there. This year it’s in Columbus, OH).
I occasionally feed Ruby with the homemade SNS (HSNS) and my finger, just to keep her from digressing, but I primarily still feed her the bottle. Monday morning I gave her a bottle when she woke up. I didn’t realize it at the time, but somehow the nipple of the bottle cracked. She was flooded with milk. She made it through the bottle, but kept coming off and choking. The next feeding I used my finger and the HSNS. She took and long nap. When she awoke, I tried to give her the bottle and she refused it. After making several attempts, I gave up and fed her with my finger again. She has been eating this way ever since.
I noticed that her suck was very week. I started using the HSNS with the syringe. By doing this, I could control the flow and keep her interest. She wasn’t strong enough to pull the milk down herself. I kept working with her all day. By Monday night, I was able to put the end of the tube in the bottom of a bottle of milk and let her suck it out.
She was also bringing my finger to the very back of her throat. I kept my finger on the soft spot of the palate and put a little downward pressure on her tongue. This helped her suck significantly. By the end of the day, she was also doing this on her own.
I continued to feed her like this Tuesday.
Wednesday morning I weighed her. She lost weight. This isn’t a huge surprise to me, I expected it. She didn’t eat nearly as much the last two days as she was on the bottle. She also is having to actually work for it. But I am not very worried about it. Anytime there’s a significant change in eating pattern like that, there’s a learning curve. The first two days she was really just figuring it out.
So I know that I have to make sure we get her to eat me. I played around with the HSNS and the Medela SNS. I noticed that when using the small sized tubing for the Medela SNS, the flow is faster than the HSNS. I started feeding her with the Medela SNS.
The Medela SNS is the biggest pain ever! I hate using it! But I know it’s not realistic to try to feed her in public or at church with an open bottle of milk and a tube going to her mouth. The Medela SNS can hang around my neck.
She took in a lot more milk today and in short amounts of time. I believe we are on the right track!
But we leave for Youth Congress on Tuesday evening. So I am really hoping that I can transition her to the breast before then.
One of the mom’s groups that I follow brought up the topic of getting a baby back to the breast that has been refusing it. Someone mentioned using Vanilla. Apparently, babies love Vanilla. They can’t get enough of it. You just rub some onto your nipple and they take it.
So I tried that tonight. And I’m here to tell you that it really does work! Ruby nursed with the Medela SNS on the breast for a good 3-4 minutes. Of course, she just realized a few minutes into it that she doesn’t like to nurse and stopped. But that’s huge progress.
So tomorrow, I have a friend coming over to help me get her back to the breast. The fun part is that we are supposed to host a party for the youth and a sleepover for the guys tomorrow night. Kinda nerve racking… But I’ve noticed that since I’ve started getting involved in church and ministry again, things with Ruby have gotten a lot better. Maybe it’s because I’m less stressed because it gives me something else to think about and do. Or maybe it’s a God-thing. I stepped out in faith and he backed me up! Yeah… He’s pretty cool like that. (It’s late and I’m tired.. can you tell?)
Anyway… so that’s where we are now. Enough rambling. Good night!