Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The (Not-So-)Great Feeding Crisis of 2012

So I know I've mentioned it on here before that we've been having trouble feeding the girls, initially just Tamsie but now Evie too. Basically what it looks like is that at the majority of feeds, the girls eagerly suck down their milk or formula... for about five or ten minutes. Sometimes they eagerly suck it down the whole time, until it's gone, but usually panic sets in at the five- or ten-minute mark. The screaming commences, and the girls turn their heads or force the bottle out of their mouths with their tongues and absolutely refuse to take any more. Given their petite frames, this is not a good thing, and it truly disturbs their poor mama to no end! They're doing great with weight gain, but we need them to keep packing on the poundage, so we push them to take a full feed. We give them a few minutes and then try again. Sometimes it will work and they'll take down the rest. Other times they want nothing to do with it, and they just scream and scream and scream some more. Honestly, this is the most aggravating thing I think I've ever been through. It's pure torture to watch your children, who were born prematurely and thus have a lot of catching up to do, scream and refuse to eat, when you know how crucial it is that they get the volume of food that they need in order to continue to thrive. Plus, it's awful to see them in pain. I have come to absolutely dread feeding sessions.

Evie at the doctor's office this morning. She wasn't having these types of problems initially, but I guess she saw Tamsie getting lots of attention for it and didn't want to be left out!
She's baaaaaack! Tamsie eagerly awaits the doctor's newest insight on what's causing her to despise eating so much.
We've been to the doctor about this twice already and have tried all sorts of different combinations of food, medicine and bottles. When we make a change, we see improvement for about two days or so, and then the screaming starts up all over again. It's obvious the girls are in pain from reflux, but we just don't know why it is that nothing seems to work. It's pretty much the least fun guessing game we've ever played. 
This is what often happens when I feed Evie: she eats until she refuses to take any more, and then she just falls asleep in my arms. When I wake her up, she cries some more. The black on her bib is from Colic Calm, which we have been giving the girls in an effort to get them calmed down enough to give the bottle a try.
Today we learned that Chris had a milk allergy as a baby and had to be on soy formula. Armed with this info, plus the news that Tamsie started throwing up last night, we took the old girls back to the doctor this morning. We are switching to soy formula for now. If that doesn't work, we will have to have tests done on the girls' upper GI tracts in three days, and then we'll have to see a GI doctor. We are hoping and praying that everything resolves itself once we get them used to taking soy with rice cereal! I just can't bear to watch them keep crying every time they eat. If everything works out the way we're hoping it will, we have the doctor's permission to cancel the tests and the appointment with the GI doctor. Please pray that we are able to do this!

Other than that major issue, the girls are super-easy. We took them out with us to eat at Macaroni Grill on Sunday night, and they were as sweet as they could be. People kept coming by our table and asking all about them (once again, making us feel a little like we were having dinner with the Easter Bunny), and everyone kept telling us how lucky we are to have these sweet girls. We say we're very blessed! Even when times are so tough it's hard to even think straight, I wouldn't trade them for the world. I love them more than I can ever describe.

Evie at play time

Tamsie's feet got a little too chilly so she broke out the house shoes from Uncle Noah

Poor Evie needs a manicure. She's scratching her little face all up! I was trying to show off how long her eyelashes are and how much her hair is growing. Of course, it's hard to tell in a picture because she's blonde, just like her mama!

Tamsie's profile in this picture looks exactly like her profile in one of the ultrasounds we have. I know a lot of babies come out looking nothing like their ultrasound pictures, but our ultrasounds were actually very good previews of what our babies now look like! Evie is in the background here, and that's Chris working on his computer in the middle. He's been having to work from home a LOT lately to help me out with feeding them during this whole process. I am so very thankful he has a boss who is letting him do this. I can't imagine handling it all on my own right now. We're praying things go back to normal around here pretty soon!

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