I got a bit smug over the weekend. I thought “We’ve got this.” I was sure we could figure out Kiran’s feeding issues without needing to put the NG tube back in. He gave us three good days. I tried a faster flowing nipple, we started using new gas drops that actually help him burp (he has never been a good burper!)…I thought we were on the road to success!
Monday morning, his first two bottles of the day went really well! I thought we had broken the curse….and then he started flat out refusing to feed. I tried every trick I know. I even offered him a bottle of just breastmilk (not fortified, no formula mixed in)…but, from 12:30 on, he ate nothing.
You cannot force an infant to eat.
I know this. I’ve lived it so many times. So why does it still feel like a failure, somehow, that I can’t figure out this new puzzle he is throwing our way?
By 6 pm, when he completely refused yet again, I knew I needed to do something for him. Our GI doctor’s nurse, who I talked to earlier in the day, had told me it was ok for him to have a bad day. But this was a hunger strike! I knew he had to fast for three hours this morning before our appointment (stomach ultrasound and upper GI, to try to figure out the feeding mystery)…I was fairly sure he shouldn’t go almost 24 hours with no food!
Our wonderful home health nurse happens to be the nurse on call on Monday nights. She called and spoke with our GI Doctor (who also happens to be the one on call on Mondays) – They were in agreement with me: the NG tube had to go back in.
Backstory: the reason we even had the tube out over the weekend was because we had a heckuva time getting it in on Friday, and our home health nurse wasn’t able to confidently verify placement. We ended up taking it out and decided to give him a break – he started feeding well orally – we were riding it out again, hoping we’d have a breakthrough.
Well, our home health nurse came to put the tube in last night and again, she couldn’t verify placement. We tried taking it out a little, pushing it in a little – we just couldn’t problem-solve what was going on. And of course you never put food down an NG unless you know for sure it’s in the stomach – it can go in the lungs and this would be very dangerous.
So, last night, around 8 pm, we were once again headed to the ER so we could verify placement via x-ray. The poor dude had to have that tube put in three times before we got it right. And we got home about 11 pm last night, just to turn around and be back downtown for our appt this morning at 7 am.
And of course, Kiran didn’t cooperate. He wouldn’t take the contrast fluid by mouth, so I’m not sure how much information we really got from the upper gi.
Let me be clear: Ultimately, I am so thrilled Kiran is stubborn and a fighter. But sometimes, it is our curse.
So we continue forward trying to solve this mystery. I am starting him on a gentler formula to see if that helps with some of his gassiness. I don’t pretend to know what else to do. I have racked my brain for the past month trying to think of anything and everything that could be making him refuse feeds.
I have to realize: I am not a doctor. This one might just be beyond me. I’m trying to let it go. I don’t want it to consume our days.