Today I went into the office for half the day and then worked from the hospital in the afternoon. I had a sobering conversation with the doctor this afternoon about E’s feeding progress. I guess maybe I was naive or in denial but I kept thinking any day the light bulb will go on and he’ll figure out how to nurse. But the doctor today gave me some preliminary information about the possibility that E could end up having g-tube surgery. Basically they insert a port in his belly directly into his stomach, so instead of feeding him through a tube that goes down his throat, it goes straight to the source. It’s a semi-permanent solution to chronic feeding issues. In some ways it makes life easier becaue there’s no tube for him to pull out, and while dressed he’ll look just like a normal baby. But… surgery. And the dashed hopes that he’ll just grow out of this. Granted, we’re not quite there yet. The doctor said we still have a few weeks before we start seriously talking about surgery. But the fact that he’s not made any progress after that initial latch a couple weeks ago isn’t good news, either.
The physical therapist stopped by after I talked to the doctor, and I could barely get a few words out to her before I broke down. I’m just so heartbroken. But she’s going to work with us and help us hopefully move toward feeding by either bottle or breast. I had held off on introducing a bottle because I’d really like him to breastfeed — but it’s not even like a bottle would help at this point. In fact, the physcial therapist said she wouldn’t be comfortable giving him a bottle because it would probably overwhelm him and he’d shut down. She gave us a few pacifier exercises to do whenever he’s alert, and then maybe we’ll see if he’s ready to try a bottle in a week or so. Meanwhile, I can keep trying to nurse him a couple times per day. Once we introduce a bottle — IF he even takes it — there’s probably no going back to breastfeeding. But as much as I hate the idea of giving up on breastfeeding, today’s conversation with the doctor certainly put things in perspective. I’ll happily bottle feed over having him go through surgery and feeding him through a hole in his belly.
Of course, we got all this news right before D and I had plans to go to a concert tonight (yes, another one. We had a busy summer planned, thinking I would still be pregnant!). We had a good night out tonight together, though I kept spilling my soul to anyone who would listen. I guess I was a real buzz kill tonight.