Friday, March 06, 2009

feed me, seymour

Ok, so, that's interesting! It turns out NONE of us actually knows how to feed a baby! (joking)

Seriously, though, the comments to my last post were very interesting. And I understand all the people who were scratching their heads and trying to recall what they did when feeding their 6 month-old babies, because that's totally me with Daughter. I know I fed her. I know she liked the food - I managed to write that part down. And I have really sketchy info in the baby book about how she was eating at 8.5 and 10 months...but aside from a few photos of her in the high chair, I have no idea how I started her on solids. So, so frustrating.

And I know I will not do my son any harm by giving him minimal solids now - babies get most of their nutrition from breastmilk or formula for the first year anyway.

There are two things at play here, for me. One is that I subconsciously want to get rid of his g-tube as quickly as possible, and of course I refuse to believe that he might have to keep it for more than a couple of years. Possibly unreasonable, yes, but people, after what I have been through it is pretty reasonable for me to be unreasonable sometimes. I guess I am struggling with rushing him into eating regular foods/meals because I need to prove that he will be able to eat. It's a very tricky and emotional road to navigate when you have a child with a feeding tube, let me tell you.

And the other thing is that I am parenting my son under a medical microscope. He is constantly seeing medical professionals from many disciplines, and while my brain realizes this is totally ridiculous, I live with the constant fear that I will be "yelled at" by one of these doctor-types for doing something wrong.....not necessarily harmful, but somehow not in the best interest of my baby. So, for example, I am sorely tempted to dump one bottle (6 oz, or 144 calories) and replace it with two "food" meals (making up the calories with cereal/milk mix and fruits/veg). I have to believe this is the path Daughter went down - she could not have been nursing a total quantity of 30 ounces per day PLUS eating all the food she consumed. I just don't believe it. But the difference is, when you breastfeed, no one has any clue how much the baby is actually getting. You just have to go by their weight and general appearance and assume you're doing ok. With these infernal bottles and stinking g-tube, I have total accountability. There is no fudging or faking it. If he doesn't gain enough, it is totally on me. Talk about a tricky emotional road. Which is filled with potholes. And speedbumps. And is poorly lit, to boot. Ay-yi-yi.

Oh well, I guess I will continue to do the best I can. What else can I do? I just wish I felt more confident about it.


Pam said...

It all comes down to this Kate - you know your baby better than ANYONE and that includes all the doctors and specialists he's seen over the past several months.

You know what he needs Kate - you're doing a great job:)

Pam said...

By the way - LOVED Little Shop of Horrors with Steve Martin. Classic!

Karen said...

Yep, what Pam said. She always says it just right.

Mrs Lemon said...

I haven't been in your shoes about the emotional side with the doctors and all, but there is just no guilt like the guilt a mother puts on herself.

Take a breath, please :) You are doing it right actually :) (from the lolcats)

Louise said...

Just dropping in to say that I can relate with your frustration over breast v. bottle feeding. My little one was early, and we were pushed by doctors and nurses to feed him a certain way (volume, etc.)-- how I wish he'd just been able to breastfeed exclusively! Would have meant so much less heartache on this issue. Hang in there!