Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Shots, sticks, spit-up...

Kate and Maddie had a rough day at the doctor's office. Not only did they get their two month shots, but they also had to get their blood checked. They were both diagnosed with anemia at birth, and have been monitored since to insure all is well. Another test was also sent off to check their development of blood cells...can't remember it's name! Ha They endured it all well and calmed quickly after all the shots. We received good news that their hemoglobin levels were good, and our doctor is not concerned about adding more iron supplements. Matt and I both were blessed with getting spit up on! ;) 

We had spoken with the pediatrician a week ago about Maddie's eating difficulty. In many ways she has regressed in her ability to eat, suck, swallow, find rhythm, etc. It is difficult to know if it is reflux, trapped gas, or still immaturity. Today the pediatrician was able to witness a feeding! He truly understood our concerns about both girls. We don't just sit down and feed. Rarely do either of them just take a bottle. It is a long, laborious process for most feedings. They stop, take breaks, forget to lower their tongue, get chocked, fuss, refuse to take anymore...Our main concern is lack of volume and calories they are consuming. They take anywhere from just 1 1/2oz-4oz during the day, but then typically 5 oz at night. For their actual age they take very little, but for their adjusted age/size they should be taking at least 2 1/2 oz per feeding. Once looking at their weights and growth chart, our pediatrician became more concerned. They barely gained a few ounces this past week, and just aren't keeping up at the pace they need to. He has referred us to a Speech-Pathologist at Arkansas Children's Hospital to be evaluated for the eating issues. 

I once again had started breastfeeding them more frequently this past just doesn't get them what they need. He has suggested that we use formula half of the feedings to help with extra calories. The Enfacare formula also provides some added vitamins that preemies need. I want so badly to be able to breastfeed them...but in seems like all the cards are against us! My supply just doesn't keep up, they struggle to latch, and they do not receive what they need while breastfeeding. The pediatrician was very quick to say that he doesn't want me to stop trying, but that we need to limit direct breastfeeding until we see more growth. It will also be some time until we will be able to drop the middle of the night feeding. The past week they have been going from 8:15/8:30-until around 3:00/3:30. Even if they would sleep longer, we would have to wake them to feed. They need all the calories they can get! I would love a full nights sleep, but I will also do anything to have healthy babies. 

The pediatrician also discussed with us that even though the girls were not super premature, they developmentally seem more at their "adjusted age" of 6 weeks. They are showing many good signs: being alert, smiling, holding their heads up, rolling over...but aren't necessarily at the development of a 10 week old. It's difficult as a parent to come to grips with the road ahead. I know it could be SO much worse, and I'm so grateful for how well they are doing. I worry about their future, and have to daily trust that whatever comes our way we will make it through. I'll take them back for a weight check after Christmas, and we will pray for big growth! 


  1. Amy, I cannot identify with having two babies not eating well but my Savannah had a lot of difficulty eating when she was born as well. I know every day seems like a week when they aren't eating well so I know how stressed you must be. Just know that this will pass and it will not go on forever. They will learn to eat in time and you WILL be able to look back on this and see how much they've accomplished. I will pray for you guys! -Amy Morledge

  2. My son was 4 weeks early and had difficulty eating. A lactation consultant told me he needed his tongue tie cut because he couldn't properly curl his tongue around a nipple. We got a few more opinions and they all said the same thing. It really helped afterwards. Your girls are just precious!