My 9 week old baby decided to arrive a whole month early - he was slightly jaundice and a little slow to gain back his birth weight (although I think the scales were off, but that is a different story), but other than that he was healthy. The pediatrician put a lot of pressure on me to supplement in order to get my baby back to birth weight - so I started pumping and bottle feeding. My baby had a great latch from the start and in my opinion was doing well breastfeeding until I introduced the bottle when he was only 3 days old (I realize now that I could have/should have tried other things first but I was a wreck those first few weeks trying to get my baby to gain weight).
2 LC's and a nipple shield later and my baby was back to nursing but was a very "lazy" eater - he would fall asleep at the breast almost as soon as he latched on and I would have to move on to the bottle. I came down with mastitis at week 3 and that is the week that my baby actually started feeding a little better and falling asleep less (which I've read is typical of a pre-term baby). We were making small progress since then (he would nurse for longer periods of time) but a couple weeks ago (week 6) he started crying and arching his back during feedings - both bottle and boob. He'll then be extremely fussy/crying until he falls asleep and we repeat the cycle all over again.
He has a bit of silent reflux (rarely spits up) and I'm thinking that this is what is bothering him - but the crying/screaming doesn't happen at every feeding (is this usually the case?). We've tried a chiropractor, Colic Calm, gripe water, keeping him upright for half an hour after feedings, nursing upright, extensive burpings - I cut out dairy at week 1 and I'm in the process of eliminating other gassy foods. We even ordered a tucker sleep wedge, but I must say that he is typically a very calm nighttime baby and rarely cries during the night. Today he actually cried real tears and it was a screaming painful kind of cry when I tried nursing him. I think we've exhausted all of the more natural options and need to move on to reflux meds - if that is what this even is?!
I just feel so bad for my baby. Has anyone experienced anything like this? If you put your baby on meds, did breastfeeding improve? My goal is to exclusively breastfeed (and to burn my pump parts) but I'm not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel at the moment. I'm starting to doubt my body's ability to give him what he needs - he cries with my milk. Lately I've been in absolute tears while pumping because of all of this.
Sorry this is so long winded, I just needed to vent/purge to someone! Any advice/suggestions are appreciated.