Ava did it! She latched on to me last night and took 12 ml and today at noon did it again and took 16! When I was looking down at her at noon I felt myself tearing up… with tears of joy and thanksgiving to God. Nursing her has been my dream from the beginning and having it finally realized is just amazing. And after all she has been though, I can’t believe she still wants to and even has the ability!
It was actually quite cute last night because every time she got a mouth full and swallowed she opened her eyes wide in surprise… such a new experience for her to have something in her mouth and swallow. And after two long months of being intravenous or tube fed, I’m just glad that she enjoyed it and went back for more. And that was a huge concern for me, that somewhere along the line she would lose the association of being hungry and putting something in your mouth to satisfy that hunger – because that does happen to quite a few cardiac kids – so getting her off to a good start now is amazing.
The lactation consultant came by to see us and so the plan is for me to try to breastfeed her every three hours or when she is interested, but to steer clear of anything that might give her negative associations. So if she gets poked and prodded by anyone, or has any tests, we will just skip the nursing that time and go directly to tube feeding. She has had so many people do things to her that she needs to build some trust and nursing needs to be a very safe place for her.
Talking about things being done to her, after the feeding study yesterday I had the privilege of putting her ng tube back in.
There’s nothing like sticking a piece of flexible tubing down your child’s nostril to show them you really care. Hopefully she won’t remember that. And hopefully if she keeps nursing like a champ and getting a bit more every time, the ng tube will soon be a thing of the past. Here’s hoping.
Isn’t God amazing? I’ve been told by so many people that nursing probably wouldn’t work out for us it sure hasn’t been fun pumping for the past two months, but in God’s perfect timing things seem to be coming together. And even if things go down-hill from here (we are still in the hospital so only know how to practice cautious optimism, haha ) I will always carry with me the fact that I got to breastfeed her. But I can’t wait now to move forward.
Thanks again for your prayers. We serve an amazing God!