Thursday, 5 November 2009

Breast is not best

There'll be a little wait on more photos, I'm afraid, as Paul's sorting Alice's midnight/1am feed (he's much better at getting her fed and winded and sleeping soundly) and I'm pathetically not savvy enough to download stuff from the camera and get it to appear on the computer.

Our tiredness has been exponentially increasing over the past few days but we're still making it through the days without sleeping - little second and third winds seem to appear from somewhere, and I think in a strange way the situation with Maggie gives us more energy to handle all of this. Sort of.

Yesterday the decision was made to switch Maggie from breast milk to a special high calorie formula, as the fact that she isn't gaining any weight is becoming a more pressing concern. A nurse described it to me as a 'failure to thrive' - you gotta love that sensitive hospital terminology. But it is upsetting to see the ever-widening difference between Maggie and Alice - Maggie still looks, and feels, like a delicate newborn and Alice feels like a growing baby.

There was a worry that the formula wouldn't agree with Maggie - she'd been sick when they tried a different kind previously - but it's one day on and she's keeping it down, and still keeping to two-hourly feeds. Better still, she seems to have needed less suction and oxygen since making the switch - the only trade off is that the stuff is so heavy that she's pretty much knocked out as soon as it goes down. But she had a lovely colour to her cheeks all day and seemed very content and peaceful.

All of which made it more difficult to meet with people from the local children's hospice this afternoon to talk about the care and support they can offer Maggie, and us, once we leave the hospital and for the years to come. Lovely people, and a lovely service they provide - but it's just a reminder of the reality of Maggie's disability. A reality that we're getting quite good at avoiding a lot of the time.

To be fair, Maggie's pretty good at helping us to avoid it when she's so cuddly and cute and responsive and perfect - and when it looked like she smiled today when I took the piss out of Paul in front of her. That's my girl.


  1. Atta girl, Maggie. If you smile when you're mum takes the piss out of daddy we'll have you in stitches when Aunt Mary comes along.

    And good girl for keeping the formula down.....probably not as yummy as breast milk, but you gotta do it to catch up with Alice....then you can get home to her and save her from big brother Tom's music!

    Love you all


  2. Remember that you have done the most important part with your breast milk. The first few days are the most (can't remember the name they give to that funny looking first milk - contains the good stuff, I'm told).

    Also, remember that it's an amazing feat that you have managed to produce breastmilk at all, considering the stress and pressure you're under. I needed drugs to keep my milk going I felt so stressed. (They were called something like "Dom Perignon" which seemed ironic...) The formula milk is great as long as Maggie can digest it (which it sounds as if she is). Tom and Olly both had it, to the point where they wouldn't drink anything else for years and I had to take cartloads on holiday!

    Understand how you are feeling about the whole "disabled" world fear. It's very early days to be thinking about these issues. It also probably seems like a completely alien world. It isn't - we've "survived" and our lives are fab. Like everyone else, I'm still sending you all the positive vibes in the world and wanting you all to stay positive and focussed on the here and now.

    Focus on your girls now. Whatever happens, or doesn't happen, in the future, they are still perfect.

    Sending you all my love,

  3. Go Maggie! I like early rebellion. She's probably smirking at Alice and the music Paul is subjecting her to!

    XXOO Sarah

  4. Hi there! - seems like day by day things are changing really rapidly - you're learning more stuff, seeing different developments, having to deal with new information. No wonder you're knackered. From the outside it seems like an intensive course not just in baby-rearing, but involving so much more. Avoidance is the easiest short term option - but you're doing great by keeping strong, doing this blog, keeping you/us informed - you couldn't do more. Hurrah for the Furbish-Saxton tenacity, is what I say! Big hug, Bev xxxx

  5. Tao said...
    Love you all very much and love the fact that Maggie seems to have thatthat imfamous sense of humour. I know nothing of breast milk or really food perhaps:-)..but I do know you are both the most intelligent, articulate and loving parents anyone could wish for. So dont worry too much about words or phrases and stick to your guns when feeling overwhelm by hospital staff or talk.HUGE HUGS FROM COLD LISBOA

  6. they can increase the calories to you breast milk and still use it.

  7. Maggie and darlings, you are 4 weeks old today! It's amazing how many people you two have touched and affected in such a short time....most people won't do that in their entire lifetimes. Your mum and dad are going to provide the absolute best for and make you the happiest that you can ever imagine!! Can't wait to see you, little ones! Big hugs and kisses to your mum and dad too.

    Aunt Mary and Uncle Bob