So I had my follow-up MRI yesterday....
My sister, Calli, is here visiting for the week so I scheduled my MRI for when she would be here to help (I don't think I could have down it and kept some sanity without her!). It had been a month since Connor had taken his last bottle so I wanted to do a test run to make sure he would still take it. On Sunday, I pumped a couple of ounces and had Calli try to tie it to him at his next feeding. He didn't remember what to do with it at first but I came over and helped him latch on to the bottle and then Calli was able to give him the whole thing. I wasn't as worried about Monday anymore since we got him to take a bottle and he was ok with it.
My MRI was scheduled for 9 am Monday morning. I nursed Connor before I left and had a bottle ready to go for when he wanted to eat next. This was also the first time leaving Connor with someone other than his Daddy and for more than 30 minutes, so I was anxious the whole time I was gone and just wanted to get back. Having just met Calli on Sunday, he did pretty well for her and eventually settled down for a nap in her arms. Connor definitely gave her some experience with a high-needs baby since our nieces seem pretty laid back as babies. She had attempted the bottle before I got home too but he wouldn't take it. Uh oh.... this wasn't looking good all of the sudden. I arrived home and tried to see if I could help him take it like the day before, but nothing seemed to be working. I gave him some colic calm to see if that would help settle him enough to take the bottle. I even tried a medicine dropper that he's usually good at taking things with... but he just screamed more. I even dropped and spilled like 4 oz of breast milk trying to get the flow restrictor off the bottle so I could use the medicine dropper. I called my neighbor over to see if she could help. While she was here I went into my room to pump since it had now been 3 hours since Connor nursed and I was hurting. By the time I was done, he was screaming again... I couldn't take this all day. I just wanted to cry with him :(. We calmed him down, my neighbor left to go get us some other bottles t try to see if a change in bottle would help (we had tried the couple that I had already). Calli took him into the nursery and turned his ocean wave cd on and tried to see if he would take some more. He eventually fell asleep and she was able to put him in his crib where he napped for an hour. Between all the attempts, we estimated he maybe ate 2-3 oz. For the next bottle, I wanted to make sure it was really warm and not just room temperature like the last one and maybe that would help. He woke up at 1:30, I changed his diaper and then handed him to Calli with the nice warm bottle. He still wouldn't' take it but I could see by his body language and his cries that he was really hungry. If I held him, he would turn toward my boob in hopes of getting what he so wanted. It broke my heart that I couldn't give it to him. I figured if he wasn't taking the bottle from anyone else whether I was there or not, I might as well try to see if he would just take it from me. Before I cut dairy out and Connor was super fussy in the evenings, I would sometimes have to dance around the living room to get him to latch... so I tried it with the bottle, and thank the Lord , it worked! He took about an ounce from me and then I gave him to Calli to get a few more ounces (so I could go pump and dump again) and he ended up eating about 4 oz total. I felt so much better that he had actually eaten with less crying. He fell asleep in my arms this time but we had to leave 30 minutes later so he woke up when I set him in his car seat :(. He didn't cry though, so I thought maybe he would go back to sleep once we got in the car. I packed up 2 bottles and 2 bags of milk with his stuff and off we went. I had Calli sit in the back-seat just in case... and it was a good thing too because he started crying to eat again shortly after getting on the highway. One of the bottles had a little left from his last feeding and I had been warming it in my lap while we drove just in case, so she gave him that while I tried to warm one of the bags go milk. It was icy still and not warming fast enough and he wanted more, so I got the bright idea to stop at Starbucks... bought a drink for Calli and got a water bottle for myself and asked them to give me a venti cup filled half-way with hot water. Instant milk-warmer! Quickly warmed the milk and Calli gave him the bottle. We arrived at the Connor's chiropractor just in time. He was happy to see her and was great for his appointment. While we waited for the workshop we had to attend (more on his chiro in another post), I needed to pump again. He was tired and was getting cranky so Calli walked him around outside while I pumped under my nursing cover (that was so awkward by the way). Then I took Connor and rocked him to sleep while we listened to the workshop on how to take care of your spine so as to not cause subluxations. It was only 30 minutes and of course he woke up when I set him in his car seat. He quieted down for a bit and then started screaming again. The second bag of milk was still pretty cold and not warming up fast enough so I stopped at Starbucks again, bought a bottle of water and got another cup of hot water. Warmed up the milk while swinging through the drive-thru of Chick-fil-a. We parked in a spot in the parking lot and I took Connor out of his seat and rocked him outside of the car to get him to eat while Calli ate her dinner. When she was done, she took Connor so I could eat. Then we packed him up and headed home. Connor fell asleep along the way and actually stayed asleep after getting home and tang him out of the car (which usually doesn't happen). But since it was bedtime, he was out for the count. I figured I might as well just stay up until he was ready for his next bottle so I could have it ready and pump before too. So I caught up on some dvr, chatted with my sister, edited photos, and was up later than I've been in a long time. Connor ate at midnight and we finally went to bed around 12:45ish. He woke up again at 4 and I was up until 5 giving him his bottles and pumping, then he woke at 6 for another bottle, then finally at 7:30 and at that point I figured we were close enough to 24 hours and let him nurse again. He was so happy to finally be back to normal! And I was glad not to have to fight with anymore bottles and pumping and dumping. I give huge props to moms who exclusively pump...it's double the work and such a pain!
We survived and I never want to do this again. Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if Ken were home since Connor took bottles from him really well... or maybe if Connor was older and eating solids.... but it was still rough on us both and it's one of those things only a breastfeeding mother can understand. If you ever know someone who has to do something like this due to a medication being taken or whatever the situation.... please know that saying that "it'll be ok" or "it's only for a day" is not comforting in the least, especially when that mother has to listen to her baby cry and know that she can't give her baby what s/he wants. Acknowledging that it's hard and it sucks and hoping things go well/better/etc is a better way to talk that someone about it.
I have my neuro appointment next week and hopefully the results are good and this MRI was clear!