On Sunday, we sent a bottle with Juliana to the nursery. In theory, the little girl should have been hungry. She hadn't eaten since 2 AM, and church starts at 9. We had tried to feed her right before we left, but when the little girl doesn't want to eat, she doesn't want to eat. One of my friends, Anna, works in the nursery and there is no one I'd rather leave Juliana with. Anna is a calm and loving lady. She has the ability to get any baby, no matter how fussy, to calm down, just by holding them and talking to them. I let Anna know that if the little girl got fussy, she could try to feed her with the bottle that was already made.
When I went to pick Juliana, Anna said, "I'm so sorry, Jenna. I tried to get her to drink some of her bottle when she got fussy, but she just acted like she was drinking." I assured Anna that it was alright; that the little girl likes to "toy with your emotions" when you're feeding her, that that was perfectly normal for Juliana. On a different note, Anna was able to soothe her right to sleep.
My point is this, if Anna couldn't get her to eat, then it's not just me, Ryan, Theresa, the grandparents, etc. So, we still continue to get up twice in the night to feed the little girl, as the night time feedings are still some of her best. During the day, she will eat between 5-6 ounces from 6:30-6. I know what you're all thinking, because that's exactly what Ryan and I think, "that's not normal". No, it's not, but we will continue to do what it takes to get food in this little girl.
Ryan and I had noticed that her legs have gotten a little meat on them (yay). We'd noticed that the 0-3 month clothes she had been wearing were getting a little small, and had finally switched over to all 3-6 month clothes (yay). The little girl turns 7 months at the end of this week, and we've been carefully monitoring and tracking all the food she has been eating- since birth. Ryan even prints out a graph that we take to doctor appointments, so that they can see that she still eats about the same amount of food she ate as a 1 month old.
Today, Juliana had an appointment at the gastroenterologist. I stripped her down to her diaper, and we weighed her. She had gained a pound in a month- this is a new record! I was excited. I had been feeding her when they called us back (hey, any weight counts, why do you think I didn't take her diaper off?). Dr. Smith was pleased as well. He told me, "I've been worried since I knew you were coming in today. If she hadn't made a big weight gain, I was afraid of what I was going to have to tell you." His statement took me by surprise. We knew he wasn't happy with the weight gains at all the previous appointments, but he never showed any worry. If Juliana hadn't made a big weight gain, he was going to send us to Children's Memorial downtown, and we were going to have to get her on a feeding tube.
Juliana is back on the growth charts (she had been on a slippery slope going downwards). She's hanging onto the 5th percentile by the tips of her fingers, but we will take it. Nothing has changed. He still wants us to do both night time feedings (sleep will have to wait awhile longer). We still have to concentrate her formula. She's still on both medicines. And we will still be working with the feeding therapist and dietician. He is hopeful that in the next 2 months, she will stay at the 5th percentile or even move to the 10th. All of our hopes are that she continues to gain and to eat.
Thank you for all the encouragement and prayers. You'll never know how much we've appreciated all of them.