After our initial huge success with weight gain of 13 ounces in two weeks I was ecstatic and I finally felt like I could go back to living a bit more normally. Apparently that was a huge mistake. Two weeks after his weight check, we had Robin’s five month appointment. He had only gained 2-3 more ounces in the two weeks since his weight check. Minimally he needed four ounces, preferably more since he is so skinny. The doctor we saw that day was one we don’t often see and she wasn’t concerned. But I was. When I spoke to the lactation consultant she was concerned as well. She recommended I try to get in to see one of the two other doctors who have been following my son’s weight situation or consider a new doctor’s office. She also recommended that I ask to bring him in for a weight check, since a month is too long to wait for check on his progress and in the meantime increase his intake of supplemental breast milk by bottle to 12-14 ounces per day. As it happens, his reflux meds also need to be adjusted, he’s had some really rough nights.
Yesterday we were able to get in to see one of the doctors who had been more closely following Robin’s case. The good news was that he had gained another 4 ounces in six days. The bad news was that it was mostly because of the extra supplementing and my frozen supply is running low. My friend who provided frozen breast milk is about to wean her daughter and now that my sister is staying home with her son she isn’t pumping much at all, so both of my sources of extra milk are drying up, literally and figuratively. My pediatrician was sympathetic, and suggested a formula she thought would be most like breast milk. I left the office with three sample cans and a heavy heart. I’m still hoping to avoid using it, but taking those formula cans was definitely a low point for me. I don’t know how much longer I can make the frozen supply last and I’m trying to pump as much of my own as possible to increase my supply, but I don’t know if I can realistically pump 12 ounces a day in addition to nursing. We’ve also started adding tiny amounts of solid food each day to start getting him used to them. We are focusing on high calorie solids like avocado and banana. Hopefully we can still avoid needing formula. Mostly because it’s expensive , just supplementing will cost us almost $50 a month, possibly more. If I were to give up nursing entirely we’re looking at more like $100 a month. Right now it’s a matter of trying to meet in the middle. Keep supplementing until he begins nursing better and his diet consists of enough solids to replace the supplements. Once we have another few weeks of solid weight gain we’ll start experimenting to see how much of a supplement he really needs and hopefully begin to nurse exclusively again.