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The art of not giving up!

June 18 1998 20:24

Our daughter is finally here!  A tiny baby 5 lbs 6 onces ….  18.5 inches long.

She is beautiful!  The cutest baby in the nursery!  I know every parents think that about their baby but mine was awfully cute!

She had the most perfectly round face with big almond shape eyes.  She had a tiny cry while all those other big babies were so loud!!!  She had a tiny spot on the back of her head that had no hair, she had a tiny purple spot on her forehead and a little skin tag by her left ear…..  Other than that 10 fingers, 10 toes and a cute tiny nose….

Emily was born in the time of breastfeeding madness….. where you “had to” breastfeed.  Emily didn’t want to!!!  The drinking containers (my breasts) were bigger than she was…..  She didn’t latch, she didn’t suck and couldn’t swallow……  My breasts became public properties to the nurses at the hospital…..  They all had a different approach that was supposed to make Emily drink….. Well that didn’t work and quite frankly at some point regardless of their good intentions, I couldn’t stand nurses grabbing my breasts!!!  MY Boobies!!!   Not public property!

The doctors ordered tests and it was decided that her not drinking properly and turning blue while we were feeding her had to do with not knowing how to swallow!  We were cleared to go home with our daughter, all we needed to do was take our time feeding her…

Did we ever!!!

You know those babies who drink 8 onces and go for a nap!?!?!?  I’ve heard they exist!  I believe some of my nephews were like that but in our house there was none of that.  No drinking, no napping!

I pumped milk for as long as I could, I started with a manual pump, got on a path to tendinitis so I switch to electronic…. talk about feeling like a milk cow…. not sexy, not stimulating…. but I did it for my daughter!  Emily drank maybe 2 onces at the time and to get those 2 onces in her took a couple of hours.  Put a tiny amount in her mouth, sit her up straight, put a hand on her tummy, once you felt the sip go down (yes, you can feel that….), sit her up straight and don’t move her…….  wait maybe 5 minutes and repeat….  The waiting was to help her keep the milk in.  Regardless of how slowly we got the milk in her, she vomited at least half of it……

One day, I will tell you about the time her godmother decided to play with her just after she was done drinking….

Feeding Emily was a 24/7 adventure.  We just kept giving her small amount of milk hoping it would stay in, hoping she would keep enough to stay alive!

My house was a mess, I had on-going piles of laundry (all the vomiting) and I was exhausted…. Emily didn’t sleep.  She drank, vomited and cried……  She slept maybe 4 hours on 24 hours and they were not in a row!!!

To this day, I am not sure where the energy and tenacity to continue came from….

One thing for sure, by the time she was diagnosed and that the doctors talked about feeding her by tube….. I knew we could keep her alive without it!  I knew that it was hard, I knew that the tube might be easier but at the end of the day, I wanted her to learn to eat, I wanted her to learn to use her tongue and cheeks…..  I wanted her to developed those muscles so maybe one day she would talk…..!  Maybe one day she would say “maman”

When faced with a never ending task, how long will you keep going?


4 thoughts on “The art of not giving up!

  1. Yes..I know what you mean. Sophie drank such small amounts and than vomited all the time. It was so difficult to get enough nutrition in her. But look at how strong and beautiful Emily is now 🙂

  2. Sophie had many similarities from birth with feeding. I pumped for the first six weeks while she was in the NICU but was lucky she latched on when I brought her home and was able to nurse her until she was 14 months old. For three years we fought off the feeding tube and everyday I am grateful I refused it.

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