It has been a noisy house here for the last week or so. Isabelle has started refusing her bottle. It started of slowly, crying for a few minutes for one bottle a day but has rapidly degraded to crying and screaming for a full hour or more for every single bottle. She won’t take a bottle from me at all and in fact I need to hide out of her sight for her to even consider the bottle. Usually these stand offs either end with her begrudgingly taking the bottle and finishing only half or her falling asleep because she is so exhausted from fighting. Isabelle almost always looks angry with her little brows furrowed and intense stare, but during a bottle battle she looks like the angriest little baby I have ever seen. Her face is red, there is steam coming out of her little ears.
All our nerves or frayed. It’s not a choice that we are feeding her these three bottles a day – she is still on fortified breast milk to try to get her caloric intake up. It’s already a big pain to pump everyday so the fight makes the whole situation even harder to deal. I think that with a child that didn’t have special needs like Isabelle I would have given up by now. I’m also not too certain about the efficacy of feeding these bottles to Izzy when she spends an hour before each bottle in the most high energy aerobic Kung Fu work out a baby can muster. Over these last few days she’s ate less meals total per day because she has been so busy fighting. Coupled with the energy burn off I am struggling to believe that feeding these bottles will result in a net increased caloric intake when compared to strictly breast feeding. To top everything off her weight has dropped a tiny bit as well.
What frustrates me the most about these bottles is that we see 3 different teams that are monitoring her weight very closely. And each time I have a visit with them they tell me Izzy is not gaining enough weight, but they don’t give me any strategies on how to actually help her take a bottle better. I know that it is tough and we just have to be consistent and patient. My dad is coming down this weekend and is going to help me work on the bottles until hopefully she stops the bottle hunger strike. My mother in law found this website that gives some pretty good tips on tactics to try. So far nothing works well but we will keep trying. I just don’t know how long we should be trying for to get her to gain weight adequately or when we should give up and exclusively breastfeed because then at least she is eating.
To top it off, I’ve gained 3 pounds since the initial 10 pound weight loss after birth. Even with the constant bouncing and breast feeding. Now steam is coming out of my ears.