So, it turns out that Amelia has had some apnea problems. I had to practically beg for information about this apnea because one of the neonatalogists isn't as forthcoming as I would like. Apparently, there are a couple of things going on.
When she was born, the doctors decided to give her nutritional supplement through an IV. It's called a pic line (not sure how it's spelled) and it's a central IV that goes deep into her body. That thing is a source of frustration for me, because every time I try to breastfeed her, the pic line alarm goes off, saying that it's blocked. Every single time, at least 2 or 3 times per feeding.
This nutritional supplement consists of fats and lipids and apparently is standard (in this hospital at least) for premies. Not that I was consulted.
The first neonatalogist said that because she was latching on and getting quite a bit of milk (they weigh her both before and after feedings to see how much she's getting), we could go with on-demand feedings. That means that they wouldn't force her to eat at certain times or intervals, but would let her decide.
This morning, the neonatalogist decided to change the order slightly to try to ween her off the pic line. Not that I was consulted. The result of that weening was that they wanted her to eat a certain amount every certain amount of time.
Because of this, I was pretty upset when the nurse told me they would be putting a tube in her nose or forcing her to take a bottle if she wasn't eating that certain amount every certain amount of time. And I only feel slightly bad about pretty much yelling at both the doctor and the nurse about this whole thing. I told them that I did NOT want her to be bottle-fed and I really did NOT want her to have a tube in her nose. I really really really don't want her to forget how to breastfeed. That was a massive source of frustration with Felix and I don't think I can handle that mentally again.
The doctor conceded that they would hold off on weening her off the pic line to make sure she's getting her feedings by breast first. And wouldn't you know it, they turned down the pic line again and she still got a great feeding last time I was in.
The other frustration is the apnea thing. The neonatalogists have both told me that no hospital will send a baby home if it has apnea. Well, after practically yelling at the doctor this morning, I finally got him to tell me that there are certain levels of this apnea. And Amelia is having bad enough apnea that it will keep her in the hospital for 7 full days after her last episode. Since she had an episode this morning (change of color or 20 second documented without breathing - this morning it was the color change), that means I won't be able to take her home for at least another week.
This is one of the reasons why I think it's premature (hah!) to ween her from the pic line. If we know that we have at least 7 more days before she can be discharged, why can't we just ween her a lot more gradually? It doesn't make sense to me to fill her more full of tubes and force her to take a bottle that will only make things more complicated once we get her home. Plus, she's already back up to her birth weight so it's not like things are any kind of desperate... You can imagine my heartbreak at not being able to have my baby yet. She is in every other way healthy and it just kills me to not have her here. I'm finding it extremely difficult to adjust mentally to having this baby that I don't actually have. I will concede that the hormones left over from pregnancy might be making things worse, but I doubt I'd be happy with the situation any other time.