Evan had gotten a taste of beets. He looks like he was just in a hockey fight...but it was just some fun with yummy beets! hee hee hee
Let me begin by saying...I LOVE my son. He is my everything. After wondering if we would EVER have children and being sad and broken month after month (year after year!!!) hearing "negative"...our boys finally entered (and Zac just as quickly passed on) our lives and changed us forever. I love all my children, my three in heaven and my little buddy here on earth. I am fortunate, I am greatful, and I am very full aware of how lucky I am.
I always new motherhood wouldn't be this picture perfect, never any stress life...but I never knew how crazy it could get!
This was a very difficult week. Since Monday Evan had decided he no longer wanted to take a bottle during the day. Our daytime bottle feeds turned in to battles, and inevitably with me bursting in to tears. I'm sure Evan is cutting more teeth, but it was almost more than that. I know he is tired of his formula. During the night and first thing in the morning he will take a bottle because he is too tired to fight it and too groggy to catch on. But during the day those little lips seal TIGHT shut and there is NOOOO getting that nipple in his mouth! And if it does...he only bites and chews on it and then starts howling! I tried Tylenol and teething gel, I purchased a variety of new bottles, sippy cups and "big boy" cups. I tried calm settings, I tried settings that would keep him distracted from the task at hand. Forget it. I don't know how much formula my sink got the pleasure of drinking rather than my son!
Then it happens...the total FEAR sets in. I'm a failure as a mother, a set-back is occuring, my son will end up in the hopsital again, he won't gain weight. Yup...those are the fears that go crashing in my mind.
I've spoken to his dietician a number of times and she has told me if he is getting a min of 18oz on MOST days then that's ok...but what happens when I can barely get him to take half that amount! Yesterday I finally spoke to one of Evan's NICU doctors and he said after hearing what's going on that it is sounding more like a battle of wills vs. a medical concern. And yes, teething may be playing a factor. He said that as long as he is staying hydrated and having proper wet diapers he'll be okay, but if his diapers start to feel less wet and he won't take any type of fluid, then take him to emerg for a hydration assessment. Ugh! I told him that I had (out of desperation) giving Evan a tiny bit of whole milk to see if he would take it...and guess what...he GUZZLED it!! BUT, I am not allowed to give it to Evan until he is at LEAST 9 months corrected age...which will be Feb 28th. Yet ideally older is what they would rather see...more like a year corrected. Ummmm, I don't think so. I understand that because his digestive system is that of his corrected age and not birth age it is harder for him to break down the proteins in cow's milk. But if he isn't drinking the formula then WHAT DO I DO!!??
I actually caught myself thinking...maybe this is God's way of saying..."see, not so easy is it!". I KNOW I KNOW...a TOTAL lie from the enemy! And even caught myself hearing the lie "how would have you handled BOTH your sons if Zac had come home?!" UGH, that thought, that LIE just makes me sick thinking I was actually falling for it. But I tell ya, the enemy knows my weakness. He knows I am so afraid of something going wrong with Evan that he is just firing all these horrid lies at me, and right now I'm weak enough to fall for them! I feel ashamed that I listened to those.
I just so badly want Evan to continue to doing well, and he IS! Even in all of this frustration this week and the lack of his formula intake he has continued to gain weight very well. He LOVES solids!!!!! He goes crazy when he sees me taking out the frozen cubes of premade food I do up for him. And he is so impatient for his food to warm up!
I started doing a trick that my older brother told me they did with their kids during teething...putting the fomula powder straight in to their kids cereal, veggies, fruit. And so far it is working, and I know that Evan is getting the caloric content and nutrients/minerals from the formula. Then we just work at what he'll take from a bottle/cup of his formula and now I just let him sip on water throughout the day so that he stays hydrated.
This morning was a success. He woke up at 1am and had a decent bottle, then another decent bottle at 8:30am. We went for breakfast and he munched on mushy banana, and now he is STILL sleeping!! I'm hoping that because he is napping so much longer and his feed time has gone past the norm that he will be willing to take his bottle...at least SOME of it! His afternoon bottle was a challenge, and then the same with his last bottle. I resorted to using a dropper out of desperation!! And sure enough he would drink it. I'm becoming more convinced it is his gums!
Every nurse/doctor that I've spoken to this week keeps telling me..."TRY not to be stressed especially while feeding him because he will definitely pick up on it!" UGH...I have been trying...but it's hard when in your head you just keep saying over and over "plllllllllease drink your bottle!"
Yesterday morning Evan had his 3rd round of his RSV shots. He knew exactly what was going on when we got in to the room, and when the nurses were ready and were approaching him he already started squirming. I always feel so bad with that holler of pain and then the sad tears...but it usually only lasts a short while and then he is okay again. But before his shots I had him lying down taking his pants off and I am SURE I saw three spots on his top gum where teeth may be working their way through. No wonder he doesn't want to suck!
They also weighed him for me, and since Monday he gained another 8.5 ounces...so that was really good! And helped to put my mind at some ease. He is now 18lb 9.5ou. It isn't so much the weight gain...it's the hydration.
Now, after everything we have been through...the struggle for children, the pain of a miscarriage of our first twins, the agony of pregnancy complications, the devastation of losing Zac, the emotional anxiety with Evan in NICU...I don't feel like I am allowed to have feelings like any other normal mother. I feel like I should only ever feel greatful and never have a moment of stress or frustration. I feel like I don't "get" to feel "normal". I feel guilty when I have a moment of frustration or anxiety. I feel guilty where I just need a good cry. I feel guilty when I need to get out of my house for a "break".
You have this perfect idea in your head before you try for children and then when you do...this perfect little place where there is nothing but good times and nothing bad ever happens.
Then when you do experience sorrow, pain and NOTHING normal or typical in the quest for a family...you feel guilty because a family is all you ever dreamed about.
Some days I feel very lost and forgotten. Some days I wonder where people are. Some days I wonder where God is.
Evan's feed tonight was a struggle, but sure enough...I saw at least 2 teeth trying to poke through. So I will keep that in mind the next time I feel my anxiety/stress rising during a feed. But afterwards Brett was off to hockey and Evan and I had an AWESOME night of rolling around on the floor, playing with toys, reading books and watching a baby einstein. OK...the movie was more occassional glances because Evan was WAY too busy to just sit still! He is so active it's insane!
As the boys first birthdays approach I feel myself feeling awkward and unsure as to what to do. Of course this is a big day for Evan, but I also want Zac honored and remember on his birthday too. I really want to do something in memory of him that will help others through the loss of a child, especially a multiple. I want it to become a yearly tradition. But I find myself feeling paralyzed when I actually start to brainstorm. I can't believe this is how I am to honor one of my sons! I'm just so afraid the day will go by without mention of my sweet little Zac. Yet, by no means do I want Evan overshadowed...because there is MUCH to celebrate and rejoice over with him!!!
Anyhow, if you could please pray for Evan and his poor little gums, and that while this is going on he will be able to stay hydrated properly and eventually get back on schedule with his bottle. And PLEASE could you say a prayer or two for me...for peace, for patience, for healing...for many things.