I am thrilled to report that Collen ate 8 times today!
Last night, I was at my wits end. Jeremy watched as I desperately tried to coax Collen into eating. Collen screamed and pushed away....and I sat there in tears. I just wanted to feed my child, and he wouldn't eat. It was completely heart breaking.
So, for a week now Collen has been on a "strike" of sorts between the hours of 4 and 8pm. He would refuse to nurse, and if I attempted to nurse him, he would throw his head back and just scream. Some days, he would refuse for hours on end and end up missing two feedings. A couple of days, he only ate 5 times. Concerning? Yes. Frustrating? Yes. I felt helpless. Nursing is hard even when the baby is eating fine because you never know just how much they're getting. Throw in the baby refusing to eat, and it's a recipe for a meltdown....on both ends (mom and baby).
After last night, I had had it. I was out of ideas....and out of patience. Not patience with Collen; surprisingly, I've been able to remain extremely calm considering the situation. Last night, though, Jeremy finally got to see what it was like, and he suggested that I call the Pediatrician and/or lactation consultant today. I didn't know what to do anymore, and my patience with myself was running thin.
I went to bed last night and just watched Collen sleep. I prayed so intently. I knew that I couldn't handle this on my own. I had tried everything to no avail. So, I told God that it was His. I couldn't handle it. He had to take care of it, and I trusted Him to do so. I told Him that I knew today would be better.
So. Much. Better.
Collen ate 8 times today!! He only fussed once, and I was able to coax him into eating much more easily than the past few days. I called both the lactation consultant and pediatrician's office. The lacatation consultant didn't really tell me anything I hadn't already read online, but she and I did come up with a few strategies that I hadn't tried yet. I took Collen in to the doctor just to have some peace of mind on the wellness side of things. I wanted to be sure his weight was okay and that his health checked out. He had gained a pound and three ounces since his two month visit, and he is up to 15 pounds. He actually went down 5% on his growth chart - going down from 90% to 85%. That's not a big concern. The doctor didn't like that he was only eating 5 times some days, but he didn't have any clear answers for me. I liked what he said - "Babies don't read the books." In other words, they make it up as they go along, and they don't always do "what they're supposed to do." He didn't seem overly concerned and knew that I just needed his reassurance. (This Dr. is so wonderfully compassionate....I so enjoy seeing him.) I wish they were all like him.
The lactation consultant seemed to think it was a mini-nursing strike. However, one of you provided a suggestion that sounds very close to what seems to be going on. Collen is not a good napper. He cat naps, which leaves him more tired. Have you ever been so tired, but you were only able to catch a few naps here and there...never a FULL sleep? It leaves you feeling even more exhausted. That seems to be what he's doing. He will take a good, long nap in the morning, but most afternoons, I can not get him to settle down for a long nap. So, the evening rolls around, and he's sleepy, hungry, and wants to be awake and see everything. He knows that if he eats, he'll get sleepy, which means he'll miss something. At this point, he's so tired he can't settle down to eat, so he just cries....and cries...and cries some more.
Today, I determined that I would go back to feeding him every 2 hours. Overnight, I let him determine the length between feedings...typically 4-5 hours for 2 feedings. After that, it's every 2-3 hours. Feeding him every 2 hours again seemed to work in his favor. He might not have been overly hungry, but he wasn't to the point of starving, yet, so he was more agreeable when it came to nursing. If I waited until 3 hours, he would be more reluctant because he would get mad about having to work for the food....no instant gratification. This seemed to work out much better today. He fussed one time, and it was because he was sleepy...and hungry. So, I gave him his paci, just to soothe him, and then offered to nurse him. He went for it, ate, and then took a nap.
All day, each time he ate, I've just said over and over, "Thank you, Lord, for hearing and answering my prayer." I can't give anyone else the credit. He heard my plea, and my son ate well today for the first time in a week.
Today was a lovely day.
Thank you, Lord!