Another appointment down. I finally feel like we are moving along on this journey and I am so at peace with where we are at right now. What a wonderful place to be.
We received bad, good, and great news at Zachary’s appointment.
The bad: Our insurance will not cover the formula Zachary needs to be on. The current formula that we are trying is about $25-$30 a can (double that of regular formula). We are hoping and praying that this one works because if it doesn’t, our next option is a formula that is about $50-$60 a can.
The good news: IF we can get Zachary on a good variety of solids by the time he is 1-year-old, we can take him off of the formula and supplement with Rice Milk. That means that our commitment to formula would, essentially, only be for the next four and a half months, as opposed to the next 3-4 years which is what we originally thought.
The great news: Zachary gained 10 ounces in 3 days. TEN OUNCES! He was 16lbs 11 oz at our appointment on Tuesday, and went up to 17lbs 5 ounces at his Nutrition appointment (Friday). That moved him from the 15th percentile to the 24th percentile in less than a week. The Nutritionist was singing our praises. Nathaniel and I sang God’s praises the whole way home.
One a side note – he is barely on the charts for his height… about 1.25 percentile. We are anticipating a huge growth spurt, but are still calling him “Peanut” :)
So the Nutritionist was amazing. She really was impressed with how well Zachary was doing based on my limited diet and the fact that he had not had any solids. She also gave us a chart for foods to try and what order to try them in based on his extreme sensitivity to foods. So once we get him completely onto formula and have concluded that it is working, we can start slowly introducing solids. I am so anxious for the day that we can have an actual list of “safe” foods! I believe the possibilities will be endless after I can get an approved list.
So how is Zachary doing?
He has been a champ with this formula transition. We are moving along very quickly. We are already at 4 oz my milk to 2 oz formula. We are hoping to be half and half by Monday which means the total transition may even take less than 2 weeks as opposed to the 3-4 the Doctor originally anticipated. I haven’t seen any sort of improvement, but what I’m hopeful about is the fact that things haven’t gotten worse. We haven’t seen any negative reactions to the formula whatsoever which means that there is a great chance once he is off my breast milk, he will be feeling all better. This is our prayer.
And how am I doing?
I am on day 4 of not nursing and it is so hard for me to put into words how very difficult those first couple of days were for me. I went through so MANY different emotions. Zachary took the weaning process amazingly well. During the day he takes the bottle like a champ, but the night time is hard for both of us. I am still not used to the physical act of getting up and warming a bottle. As a breast-feeding mom, I was blessed with the luxury of not having to fully awaken to feed my baby. And Zachary isn’t used to having to wait for the bottle to get warm. But we’ll get into a rhythm and I’m sure it will continue to get easier.
The hardest part about weaning Zachary from my selfish standpoint is losing his smell. I loved Zachary’s smell. Every time I held him I would gather in his sweetness. And nursing is the ultimate closeness I can feel to my child. Losing that is very, VERY hard for me. I am still mourning the loss of it. It sounds crazy when I write it all out, but it’s how I’m feeling. Maybe part of it is the fact that the smell of this formula is so offensive to me. But it’s now reflected in his sweet little body and all I can smell on him is this awful formula. I am learning to bond with this new Zachary, but it’s an adjustment.
Every time I warm up a bottle I wonder if I am doing the right thing. If there was another way we could have made breastfeeding work. But then I remind myself that if this formula does work, nothing else matters. Not his smell or the fact that I am not nursing him. And now, I can tell myself that he is gaining weight, and that, also, is progress.
So what is next?
We have a follow up with our Pediatrician on Wednesday. I’m anxious to talk to him some more and let him see Zachary’s growth. We will get Zachary weighed again and that should be encouraging as well. Our follow up appointment at Children’s isn’t until February. And until then, we continue to pray. We continue to lean on God and hope that our transition off of breast milk goes smoothly, that the current formula works, and that we can keep moving forward with solids. We pray for a big giant list of approved foods that Zachary can eat… ones that will be yummy in his little Milk Protein Intolerant tummy and ones that I can be creative with so that he isn’t too deprived of a “regular” diet.
We now have a lot of “good” days with Zachary and we are enjoying him so very much. Last night, the three of us laughed on the kitchen floor for over 10 minutes. Zachary was laughing in response to our laugh, which in turn, made us laugh more, and then him laugh even more. It was a beautiful moment we all shared and I tried to capture the joy of that moment as something I hang on to forever in my heart. That moment makes all of my hurt and disappointment about breastfeeding disappear.
We are daily reminded to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer”. Romans 12:12