Thursday, August 13, 2009

R.I.N.D.S. v2.0

The implementation of the R.I.N.D.S. has been, shall we say, problematic.

In the first week, Chloë and I were having feeding difficulties. She wouldn't stay latched on and fussed a lot and was therefore crying and unhappy; I was hurting and worried she was underfed and therefore crying and unhappy. Then came the jaundice issue, which was caused partly by her being underfed--without enough to eat she wasn't able to wash the excess bilirubin out of her system fast enough, plus breastmilk apparently contains enzymes that inhibit the liver's ability to break it down.

The doctor advised us to start supplementing, which we did--first with ready-to-serve Enfamil formula from the hospital (which smelled terrible), then with the copious formula samples we've received and pumped milk as it was available, which it wasn't, very much. The lactation consultants we consulted advised us that Chloë has "tongue thrust," which explained why she wasn't able to stay latched on and therefore didn't get enough to eat. Many people advised us it wasn't our fault Chloë had ended up in the NICU, but we knew the truth--that it will go on her future list of reasons to order our execution whether it was our fault or not.

To deal with the tongue thrust and shallow latch issue, I got a nipple shield, which basically makes the R.I.N.D.S. more like a bottle. Evidently the Borg implants are contagious. Tuesday, because Chloë's weight gain has been excellent, bordering on excessive (ten ounces in the five days after she got out of the hospital, then seven and a half ounces in the next five days after that), the pediatrician prescribed a feeding schedule to get her off the supplements and to increase the R.I.N.D.S.'s supply (presumably diminished by the small amounts Chloë was able to extract at first). It involves not letting her get as full as she's now used to, which was a touch grueling as she didn't think this was a good idea at all, and let us know. Emphatically. "Is it really so bad for her to get a bottle at every feeding?" I asked Eric yesterday, over the squalling. "What will the pediatrician say if we go back Friday and say we've given up and we're just going to use formula?" Only we won't do that if we don't have to. Did I mention that stuff smells terrible? And it's looking like we won't have to; the R.I.N.D.S. are producing better and Chloë is happier today than she was yesterday. I'm cautiously thinking the new improved version of the R.I.N.D.S. will be a success.

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