Daniel is doing quite well, latching on the breast and taking in anywhere from half to two thirds of a feed. Then he gets tired and likes to relax with the boob in his mouth, which I love to watch. Last night the nurses gave him two bottles, and I have noticed that today he did not latch that easily anymore, it took him about ten minutes each time to convince himself that the boob is a good idea. I am pretty sure that the bottles have something to do with it, although the nurses are quite reassuring that preemie babies don't have much of a preference regarding which method of feeding is used. I don't know if I buy this hypothesis, given what I am seeing with my own eyes.
My advantage is that I am bigger and smarter, and more experienced than my little man. I have my methods to get him to latch, even though it takes some time. One method involves walking around and bouncing up and down, for some reason I have noticed that both Emma and Daniel have the instinct to latch onto something when being gently bounced. Perhaps they are trying to anchor themselves onto something stable? It almost seems to be an inborn thing, and I have tried to test it out on other babies in the past, but the mothers seem reluctant to walk around or bounce on a giant fitness ball while breastfeeding. Understandably...
My other method involves the increased flow that comes with the SNS, which I am going to be allowed to bring in tomorrow and try out on him. The nurse that will be on tomorrow said that I could, so it is an individual thing depending on each nurse as to whether I will be allowed or not to use it in the NICU.
If these two methods fail in the end, I am going to come up with other methods, but incidentally I know that I can make peace with bottle feeding as well, if he does not want the breast anymore. I hope it does not come down to that, but I very much doubt that, if it does, it will be the sort of thing to still upset me in five or ten years.
My expressed milk totals around 350 cc per day, and he is feeding about 340 cc's, so I have surpassed my own expectations at this point. It seems that today I might do even better, as I am increasing almost daily by a couple of cc's over the past week. I almost felt like I got an A in Math when the nurse said she was going to freeze some bottles of my own milk today (insert big grin ;).
Daniel is 35w1d today, and I am guessing he will stay in the NICU for 1.5 to 2 more weeks, but it is almost impossible to predict at this stage. Apparently one day they just click, and they are unstoppable at oral feedings, after which they get discharged 2-3 days later.
I will update as soon as that happens, and hopefully sooner.