Saturday, January 24, 2009

For Melissa

Before the bottle. Notice his thin arms and face.

I've been meaning to write this for about a week, but with the new job, I just haven't found the time. I'm writing this post for Melissa so she can see how well she does her job.

Melissa is my cousin, and we grew up more like sisters than cousins. I love her dearly, and I hate that we are so far away from each other. Melissa is also a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, and one thing (among many) that neonates have problems with is feeding. So, when it comes to feeding difficulties, Melissa is an extremely qualified resource. Many times in health care we sacrifice our time and energy for people that we don't know, and sometimes we never see them again. But sometimes, all of that knowledge can pay off in a big way for the ones we love. That's why I'm so thankful for Melissa.

As some of you may remember, Logan was having some pretty significant feeding difficulties. When he was born, he refused to nurse, and it took Alyssa a lot of work and patience to get him to a point where he was nursing well. After Logan's foot surgery, he started having problems again. He would nurse for a few minutes, then arch his back screaming like he was in pain. Alyssa was tired, frustrated, and upset, but to her credit she was persistent. She knew how important breastfeeding was, so she continued to work with him.

At this point many of you might say "Why didn't she just give him a bottle?" Well, she tried, and he would not take it. She tried pumping and bottle feeding him, and she tried formula, but he would not take the milk. He would take the nipple but as soon as the milk hit his tongue, he'd start a screamfest. His Dr. started him on some medication for reflux, and it helped some, but still he wasn't feeding optimally.

Fast forward to Tuscaloosa, and to condense a very long story, I had been talking to Alyssa about Logan's feedings, and we were both concerned, so I thought Melissa might be able to help. On Saturday night, Melissa took him and tried to feed him a bottle of formula to no avail. The next night, she had Alyssa bring him out to the hospital while she was at work. She weighed him, and then gave Alyssa several formulas to try. She hit the jackpot with a thickened formula that he kept down better than the thinner ones Alyssa had tried.

We had a little (OK huge) fight with Logan to get him to take the bottle, but once he figured out how good it made him feel, he ate like a pro. Alyssa still has to use a special bottle shaped like a boob to get him to eat. However, Logan is growing, and happy, so it's worth it.

Well that's an extremely long story cut short, but I just wanted to post it to thank Melissa for everything she's done. As a caveat, I must emphasize that breastfeeding is absolutely the best way to feed your new baby, and Alyssa worked really hard to do this, but Logan had special needs that made it difficult. I am very proud of her for her patience, and I don't know how many 20 year old, first time moms would have worked at it so diligently. She did not fail, and she did what she needed to to take care of Logan.

Below are some pictures of Logan after he started taking the bottle. Notice the new chubby cheeks. He used to be very fussy, but now he's content and happy. But do you know what the best bonus is...he came to Grandma's and spent two nights with us while his mom was having some job interviews. You know what, I didn't mind those 4 a.m. feedings one bit.

Alyssa and Melissa are both very relieved that Logan's eating.

Only 6 days after the bottle. Notice the chubby cheeks.

12 days after the bottle.

3 weeks later, and still growing.

Logan loves his Grandpa.

No comments: