Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

State of the Amy

I went back to the hospital and brought Stella some things she had forgotten to take, such as a bathrobe for when the wake her up in the middle of the night to go up to her child and nurse.

Then we went and visited Amy. We found that the nurse had already bottle-fed her—but at least it was with the mother's milk that Stella had pumped earlier.

I'd like to avoid feeding her from a bottle if possible: both to avoid confusion between the two types of sucking required for breast and bottle, and because sucking from the breast makes it produce more milk than if you pump. But I think I'd rather have them feed breast-milk from a bottle than have them feed formula.

When we told the nurse that earlier this morning, she had drunk about 20g in two sittings, she said that 30g would be more appropriate given her age, and that if she didn't drink enough, we might have to supplement with formula.

But I'm not too happy with that suggestion, since for me it's the start of a vicious circle: child doesn't drink enough -> you feed it formula -> it's full -> it doesn't drink as much at the breast -> the breast doesn't produce enough milk -> child doesn't get enough to eat -> you feed it formula -> .... I'd rather that she nurse more often, so that the amount of breast milk produced builds up over time.

I told the nurse there not to spare Stella, and to call her down even in the middle of the night whenever Amy wants to feed. She said that when it's pretty busy, they usually do that since they're glad for the help; if it's not busy, they sometimes let the mother sleep [presumably, feeding the child formula, then]. I said to call her down anyway, and she said she was sure the night shift would do so, but I'm not completely convinced.

Stella said she drinks a lot more and more often at night than during the day, so I hope Stella gets to nurse regularly in the next couple of nights so that Amy will gain weight and so that Stella will produce enough milk for her from the frequent feedings. Stella said I shouldn't worry too much about that and that things will work out in the end.

The nurse who admitted us to the NICU ward was Sister Franziska: a pleasant young lady. I'm glad we got her and not a harridan of a nurse, for example.

When we were down there, during a quiet moment, I had the opportunity to give the child a blessing. I asked the nurse whether it would be all right to anoint its head with a bit of olive oil and give it a blessing, and she said that would be just fine. (I thought I'd check beforehand anyway since I didn't know what they thought about dabbing stuff on children in the NICU.)

Amy sleeps quite a bit; the nurse asked whether she did so in the previous hospital as well, and Stella said yes; at least during the day. This also worried the nurse a tiny bit since while little children sleep a lot, they shouldn't sleep quite as much, or be so droopy. The nurse guessed that maybe Amy was harbouring some disease, though they couldn't find any evidence for an inflammation in her blood test. If it's that, perhaps she'll get over it in a while on her own and will start to be more active after that. (She also thought it might be low blood sugar, but that didn't check out, or maybe a beginning neonatal jaundice, but she thought that unlikely since her bilirubin levels were fine.)

I hope they figure out what's wrong with her or that she is, after all, well enough.

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