So a cup is the answer

Woah, how did an entire week fly by without a blog post?  I am just tired. I get little chunks of sleep here and there.  Some nights I fall asleep while sitting in the nursing chair holding Savanna.  Some nights I fall flat on my face tripping over Sam in the dark.  Some nights I tell myself that this frequent feeding phase is very short and one day I will miss it.

On Friday night my Street Photography class had a “field trip” to a professional full service print lab.  I really wanted to go, but the downside was I had to leave Savanna at home for about 3 hours.  Since she still wouldn’t take a bottle, she would go hungry while I’m gone.  Oh I was so torn.  At the end I decided to go on this field trip, and asked Cliff to try giving her formula in a cup while I was gone.  If things went sideways, he could text me and I would rush home in 10 minutes.

While doing the tour at the print lab, I kept checking my phone and Cliff never texted me.  When I got home at the end of the night, he proudly told me that Savanna drank formula from a cup and she was already asleep.  She wouldn’t drink much, but enough to tie her over till I got home.  I couldn’t believe with all the different bottles and nipples we tried, the cup is the answer!  I was overjoyed with relief that if I had to be away for a few hours, Cliff can manage feeding Savanna with a cup.

Now I really need to go to bed because I have some shooting to do tomorrow.  Here is one of my favorite pictures from this week.  It looks like Cliff and Savanna are having a conversation, and Savanna isn’t quite agreeing with what daddy has to say.  I can just imagine her arguing about her curfew or something.

Savanna-6165

Introducing: The exclusively breastfed baby!

Since I last wrote about Savanna rejecting most of the bottles we offer her, she has now further rejected the last bottle at night too.  So for about a week now, she has not taken an ounce of formula.  She couldn’t be tricked into even taking one sip from the bottle.  To make up for the lack of milk production, she feeds 11 or 12 times a day (compared to most babies this age feeding 6 or 7 times a day).

I was worried because she went from taking 350 ml of formula a day to taking none.  What if she is not getting enough?  I certainly did not feel that I was making that much more milk to make up for the shortfall.  So the public health nurse came last week to weigh Savanna.  It turned out that she had been putting on weight within the healthy range.  There was really nothing for me to worry about.  The nurse said I probably produce more milk than the past even if I didn’t feel the difference.

I went from being worried to being totally ecstatic.  From the time I had Joshua, I’ve always wished I could exclusively breastfeed my baby.  That never happened with Joshua for whatever reason, possibly because he just had a bigger appetite and I couldn’t catch up to his demands even with all the nursing and pumping.  When it didn’t happen with Savanna for the first 3 months, I settled for breastfeeding and supplementing.  But there was always that innate desire to exclusively breastfeed.  It’s probably not a big deal to someone if she has always been able to exclusively breastfeed, but I’ve always been a bit envious of the moms who could.

Now I truly got what I wished for.  It’s a huge deal to me!

The frequent feedings result in less sleep for me at night, but I wouldn’t trade what I have now for sleep.  Before I know it, Savanna would be starting solid food and the time to sleep more will come with that.  It’s all too soon these little beings grow big and grow up.

I got what I wished for

You know how I’ve always lamented about the fact that I can’t produce enough breast milk, and have to supplement with formula for my babies?  Well, now that Savanna is dead set against the bottle, in a way I got what I wished for.  I no longer really have to give her bottles.  Ha.

Since my whiny post about her rejecting the bottle, the situation has not improved.  During the day, she would reject all the bottles I offer her.  The little stinker.  We’ve thrown out so much formula lately (ka-ching!).  I tried using an eye dropper to drop formula into her mouth, and she just spits it all out.

At night, she would reject most of the bottles.  The exception is the one right before bed.  Around 9:30 or 10 pm, she is generally so tired that she’ll nurse with her eyes closed.  That’s usually a good time for me to sneak a bottle in there.  She can be tricked to drink anywhere from 10 to 30 ml.  It’s very little, but I think it helps her feel fuller and she sleep better.

Night time feeding is a bit of a nightmare.  When she was taking more formula, she would have a 4 1/2-hour stretch of sleep, then a 3-hour stretch.  Now it’s anywhere between 2 to 3 hours.  So all that means is I’m up a lot more often at night to feed her.  She also feeds more frequently during the day.  Some days it feels like I have a baby permanently attached to me.

For the first 2 1/2 months we had a comfortable routine we established and followed.  It stressed me out the most when this new pattern first emerged and I didn’t know she was changing things up for us.  I’ve now come to terms with it is what it is.  Besides, for my baby to prefer the breast over the bottle is a much better problem than the other way around.

Savanna-5036

Baby rejecting the bottle

Savanna has been taking the bottle since the day she was born, because I knew I wouldn’t produce enough milk based on my experience with Joshua.  So it has been 2 1/2 months that she’s been breastfeeding and taking a top-up bottle at every feed.  I thought this kid doesn’t have a problem switching between the breast and the bottle.

WRONG!

Here I thought I’ve got this second child all figured out.  Nothing should be as difficult as having the first child, right?  Sigh.  Wrong again.

Last week, she started rejecting the bottle about half the time.  But the other half of the time, she’ll still take the bottle.  Normally she would drink about 350 ml of formula a day in total.  This went down to about 200 ml a day last week.  I figured, ok, maybe she doesn’t really need 350 ml a day.  200 ml is ok with me.  I didn’t think too much of it.  Then this week, she rejected the bottle pretty much completely.  In the beginning of the week I can still trick her to drink a little bit, so she would drink about 100 ml a day.  She was obviously hungry after breastfeeding, but just would NOT even contemplate the bottle.

This means that last night she was feeding every 1 1/2 hour.  That means I got about a total of 3.5 hours of broken up sleep all night.  That means a VERY grumpy mommy.

I have to confess, I had thoughts of throwing her on the ground at 4:30 am when she was wailing and I was exasperated.  I swore and yelled, which was very productive in increasing my blood pressure and killing some brain cells.

Today, she drank a total of 10 ml of formula.  Right now Cliff is trying to give her a bottle, and she is wailing.  This has been going on all day today, and my heart is just about to break in half.  She’s hungry, angry, wailing, kicking her little legs, but she just won’t take the bottle.

I changed the nipple to a faster flow one.  That did nothing.  I changed the bottle.  That did nothing.  I went and bought a new bottle today.  That did nothing either.

I have no point to this post, and no ask.  I am simply frustrated and worried and exhausted.  If she needs to feed every 1 1/2 hour again tonight, I might have to hang myself.