Jett entered our lives in a fury. He was feisty from the start! After ten weeks of bedrest for preterm labor (he couldn’t wait to meet us!), I had sudden onset preeclampsia and underwent an emergency induction. 44 hours later, and Jett’s heart rate was decelerating and we had to get him out immediately. The emergency C section was tough to handle as we’d taken classes and prepared for a natural labor. He wasn’t breathing well at birth and was whisked away to the NICU where he was put on a CPAP for oxygen, an IV for stabilizing his blood sugar and delivering antibiotics, and placed under warming lights to regulate his body temperature. David went to see him as soon as he made sure I was stable in the recovery room. When he returned to show me pictures and fill me in on Jett’s condition, he found me hand expressing drops of colostrum. I was dead set on breastfeeding him, and didn’t have any idea how long and hard of a journey this would be for us.
Every three hours, around the clock, I pumped. It was 15 hours before I was able to see Jett. He was off of his CPAP by then. It was about 24 hours before he was allowed to latch and try and nurse. We had lactation consultants meet us in the NICU to ensure we started off on the right track. Everything seemed like it was going well. He was taken off of antibiotics after cultures returned normal. Jett was able to regulate his body temperature so the warming lights weren’t needed anymore either. Three days in the NICU 1 and we were transferred to a NICU 2 room where we could share. He still had complete monitoring but was being weaned off of his glucose line and relying on my milk for sustenance. He was very sleepy, like most newborns, so he was nursed every three hours and I pumped after every feeding.
Five and a half days after Jett was born, we were cleared to go home. We couldn’t wait to settle into our own schedule. He was still too sleepy and didn’t wake to nurse so we kept the three hour schedule of nursing and pumping. By a few weeks old, we spoke with some more lactation consultants and found he had a tongue tie and lip tie. On Jett’s one month birthday, we drove 2.5 hours to Charlotte, NC for the laser procedure in hopes it would solve our sleepy, poor eating nurser. We started seeing a craniosacral therapist (CST) to help release any tight muscles caused by Jett’s ties and to help re-train him to nurse with his freed tongue and lip. I slowly quit my pumping and tried letting Jett get hungry on his own. He didn’t seem to need to nurse much except in the evening. He was fussy between 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm and nursed between screaming every night. The rest of the day, I nursed him when he woke up and before bed. He was gaining and growing!
Our struggle with feeding issues were just starting.
Note: The introduction posts are merely to give a brief overview of why we live the way we do. I will, later, do in depth posts on topics such as FPIES, infant feeding disorders, tongue and lip ties, finding a knowledgable GI or allergist, the GAPS diet, low breastmilk supply, etc.