Friday, March 26, 2010

Weighing in

Peter Ambrose has finally regained his birth weight. Or rather, he’s on the verge of doing do (he was born at 7 lbs. 4 oz., and today he weighed in at 7 lbs. 3oz.).

PA’s weight has been a source of struggle for us. We dutifully reported in for our one-week appointment with pride and a sense of accomplishment, emotions that were soon dashed as the nurse practitioner told us that PA was dangerously underweight.

When he left the hospital, PA weighed 6 lbs. 12 oz. This seemed to be a normal loss. However, when we got home, PA refused to eat the first day. Or rather, he had so much trouble maintaining his latch that he kept Bethany and I up all night with little to show for it. Finally in the early hours, he latched on and ate and ate … and then threw up.

He ate sporadically the next few days, but slept long stretches. We decided to let him dictate the schedule, which turned out to be a terrible mistake.

So, on PA’s first official post-hospital weigh-in, he weighed 6lbs. 11 oz. – less than his hospital departure weight, to say nothing about how far he was from his birth weight.

So we immediately acquired a pump, began using lactation tea, started Bethany on a Fenugreek regiment, put PA on a stricter eating regiment and returned to the strenuous schedule of feeding every 2-3 hours followed by 20 minutes of pumping after each session. The first few days were miserable, much more than the first days home from the hospital. And so we went in the second time sure he’d put on weight, only to have our parental confidence dashed yet again when we found he’d LOST weight (6 lbs. 9.5 oz.).

The nurses began to push us towards using formula, something we had tried very hard not to pursue (for a variety of reasons). I finally made a deal with Bethany: we were going to push at least one ounce of fluid into PA through a bottle (with a special breast-like nipple, very cool, btw). If that ounce could be breast milk, great. If not, I was going to start supplementing with formula.

She agreed, and we both settled in to a long series of feedings, pumping, bottles, etc. (Poor Bethany would lose so much sleep, that we eventually moved to a schedule that had me staying up most of the night and a good chunk of the day so that she could sleep in between. Thank God this all happened over my spring break).

Then on Wednesday we had the moment of truth: if PA weighed low again, the nurses were going to have to become more involved and we were going to have to start coming in daily for weight checks. But the work had paid off: PA weighed in at 6 lbs. 14 oz. That reading meant he had gained five ounces in 48 hours, and we were so relieved to see his weight headed in the right direction.

So we kept it up, and today we found out he weighs one ounce less than his birth weight, meaning he once again gained five ounces in 48 hours.

So we’re relieved. We know we still have a ways to go, but we’ve also been told that once we get to the 7.5-to-8 lb. range, that he’ll begin to take over more.

But at the rate we’re going, that’s sometime early next week. We’re already sleeping more and are much more calm about his ability to grow and survive.


Katherine said...

Glad to hear that PA is turning the corner. Keep up the great work and let us know if we can help with anything. :) Katherine

Dad said...

Well, his Dad was a very picky eater.

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