My dd was born at 27 weeks, and is now 36 weeks gestational age and 6 lbs. We have been able to try oral feedings for the past 1-2 weeks. She can coordinate OK, once took a whole feeding from the bottle and sometimes gets a good rhythm with breastfeeding. However she is virtually always sleepy. I have never once seen her wake up hungry or cry (well, she cries if her blood is getting drawn etc but never fussy or hungry). She is rarely awake and alert. She is gaining tons of weight- like, one and a half ounces per day. She is otherwise healthy.
So, I know I have to be patient and wait for her to wake up, but it feels like it's taking a long time. I feel like she is getting overfed and thus never hungry but the nurse reassured me that it was just a matter of patience. Any one else with any similar experience? I need to work on my patience but I think I'm just not ready yet ;)
I'm so sorry - this must be so hard on you!
I think it's pretty typical though for a still pre-term baby to be very sleepy. My 32-weeker was like that until right around 37-38 weeks. He finally got the hang of eating and breathing coordination at 38 weeks and was discharged then. My 34-weeker (a girl) had an easier time with it and was discharged at 35.5 weeks. It seems like the earlier they are, the more time they need because there is so much to overcome.
I know the patience is hard when you just want your baby home! But it will happen. You are definitely in the home stretch though! Best wishes to you and your little fighter!
I think it's typical. They told us that 7lbs was the magic weight, at 7lbs they will be alert, wake themselves up if they are hungry and become typical newborns. They were right for all 4 of our kids. Kincaid and Travis were born at or over 7lbs and never had to be woken up to be fed, they woke themselves up, ate till they were full and then went back to sleep, even at 1-2 days old. Janelle and River we had to wake up, it took cold wash cloths on naked bodies to keep them awake and feeding them took 2 people, one to keep the baby awake and me to nurse them. Janelle didn't weigh 7lbs till 8 weeks old and River didn't till 6 weeks old (which equals 4 weeks old adjusted for both of them) and they did wake up at that point.
Look at it this way, even though she has been outside of you since 27 weeks, she is still only a 36 weeker. If she were born right now at 6 pounds and 36 weeks she would be sleepy too. Try not to think of her as X weeks old, but as 36 weeks along and things may make a little more sense.
Rikki ~~ Married Aug 04 ~~ DD Feb 06 ~~ DS Oct 07 ~~ DD April 12
My 31 weeker stayed sleepy until well after her due date. I think its quite normal for them to be so sleepy that you have to wake them up for feedings. Their little bodies are doing SO much growing right now!
My boy was born at 33 weeks and the adage that 7 pounds is the magic number was true with him, too. Once he reached 7 pounds he was able to be more awake and alert for his feeds. He was much more like a typical newborn rather than a sleepy preemie at that point. Just have to be patient... I know it's sooo soo hard!
And if your ultimate goal is to BF, please please please keep up trying even now while he's in the NICU. I made the mistake of thinking we'd just wait until he got home to get it established and it wasn't that easy...
I think we were in the same DDC so our babes are probably similar adjusted ages. DD came home from the NICU in late October, at 38+5 weeks, with her NG tube in- she never really woke up there. She only needed it at home for 4 days. But she is still an awful eater. She has an oral aversion and I think until she gets past that she isn't going to be able to breastfeed. We still try a few times per day, but keep it very positive, low pressure, and thus very brief. She's latched a few times but only sustained once. I had always felt that eventually all babies can breastfeed but as I learn more about oral aversion I feel blessed that she is just capable of eating orally. Plus there's also plain old nipple preference going on, I imagine. I'm working full time (she's at home with DH) so even if she could breastfeed I'd still be doing lots of pumping. Otherwise she's doing great, with chubby cheeks and smiling and sleeping well, and her only residual issues from being so early are the oral aversion and retinopathy of prematurity. In some ways I no longer feel that big a loss from not breastfeeding- we missed out on SO many normal newborn things, that just seems like part of the package. And she is getting exclusively pumped milk. So... we keep trying, maybe someday she'll be ready, and the boobs will be ready and waiting for her...