I remember the first time they let us try. He was about 2 days old, and since he was doing so well, they thought they would let him try nursing, at least to see where we were starting so we knew where we had to get to. He was a natural! He would latch great and have a few good sucks and then come off. Not bad for a preemie, and a 2 day old. But then we had our share of setbacks and it was another 3 weeks before we were allowed to nurse again. I completely understand the doctor’s decision, it takes a lot of energy to teach him how to nurse, and he didn’t have a lot of energy to waste.
So when we were allowed to start nursing again, it was every 3rd feeding. He was still getting 100% breastmilk – I was just attached to a pump every 3 hours and he was fed through an NG tube. The first feedings were a bit of a battle. He didn’t want to latch, or if he did he didn’t really want to work at eating. So we would end up giving him most of his feeding through the tube again. We spent a lot of time doing skin to skin, or kangaroo care – whichever you like to call it. And then on February 22nd he finally got it. And not only did he figure it out again, he took more than he needed to! We would always weigh him to see how much he was taking, and he took about 11ml more than he needed to, almost half an ounce. One of our favourite nurses Seena was across the hall in another pod and heard that our little man was a ‘piggy cheeks’ and came over to see how he was doing. She was amazed and so happy that we were finally back on track. She’s the nurse that was there the day that we had to stop nursing 3 weeks before and you could tell she was sad for us that day. I’m so happy that she got to share our joy that day.
I think I’ll remember February 22nd as a great day. February 21st, not so much, but February 22nd was a great day for Gray and I. And during the hard days now, I just remember what it was like before that, and these days don’t look so bad.
Gray is almost 7 months old! Just thinking about the fact that 6 months ago he was just starting to nurse, and now he’s a champ. Makes all the hard work at the beginning worth it!
Have a bfing celebration to share? Make sure you link up to the BFing blog hop over on LifewithLevi’s blog.