We've had a rough few days here mostly due to some feeding problems with Chase. When we went to MUSC last Tuesday, they told us he did great with his swallow study and could now handle thin liquids (i.e. breastmilk). We were ecstatic! The recommendation was to breastfeed every other feeding and give him a bottle in between with thickened milk, but slowly decrease the amount of thickener we use in the bottles until it is just breastmilk. We tried that for the first day or so, but it seemed the poor guy would spit up a lot of the bottle, while he appeared to keep the milk down when he nursed. Weird, right? So hubs and I made the decision to just jump ahead to exclusive breastfeeding and eliminating the bottles. That was working REALLY well for about a day. Then we noticed about three hours after he'd nursed, he would spit up a decent amount of milk. Only it's not really your normal "milk spit-up" so much as a mostly clear spit (TMI?). We've seen it come from his mouth and his nose, and usually it doesn't appear to upset him. But it definitely upsets me. Hubs and I attempted to discuss it this morning (more on that later... maybe) and we're guessing we'll go back to doing what MUSC recommended, supplementing with bottles in between breastfeeding. The down side to this is that it means I get to hook myself back up to that durn breast pump, which (as you might imagine), after 11 weeks of use, I'm quite sick of it!! I calculated that when Chase was exclusively bottle-feeding, I spent an average of 3 hours per day hooked up to that thing, which equates to about 90 hours per month!!! I really don't want to go back to that! As of right now, I'll be pumping every other feed, so I guess I'll keep telling myself that 50% is better than 100%!
Please pray that Chase learns how to handle breastmilk consistency feeds so that we won't have to go back to thickened feeds and stop breastfeeding. It's obviously very important that Chase continues to grow so he's nice and big for his next surgery (which will probably be in April or May), and if he spits up the breastmilk, he's not getting the calories he needs. I really don't want to go back to thickened bottle-feeds, but it has to be about what's best for Chase, and not what I want.
Just an FYI... Chase's cardiology appointment went great yesterday (in and out in only TWO short hours! woot!). He weighed in at a whopping 11 lbs. 5 oz. (with a dry diaper on) and was up to 23 inches in length! Dr. Horne said his saturation is great, his pressures are great and his heart function is great! In fact, he said that for an HLHS baby, Chase is as good as you can get! As if I didn't already know that!? I'm so grateful our journey has been what it's been. There are so many other families out there who are truly struggling or have lost their precious HLHS angel. God has blessed us with our sweet boy and we thank Him DAILY for the gift of bringing Chase into our family!
Thank you for your continued support and prayers. We've got other challenges happening right now, too, but they aren't related specifically to Chase and aren't really something I'll discuss here. I'll just say it's still an adjustment period for our family and all four of us being confined to our house almost 24/7 is a challenge.