Yesterday Lillian’s weaning coaches recommended no tube feeds if she drank at least 300 mL of milk. The day prior she drank about 360 mL. Well, her grand total yesterday was a whopping 720 mL of milk! Double what she drank the day prior! And she’s on pace to do the same today. We were rewarded with rebound weight gain of 32 grams in one day (10-15 grams per day is good for a baby her age). How does 720 mL compare with what she used to get by tube before the wean? It’s about 200 mL less. But, unlike before the wean, she’s not throwing any of it up. And what’s really interesting is she drank that during the day, between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m., whereas before we had to feed her about half of her volume overnight in a continuous slow drip because she couldn’t handle more than about 500 mL during the day.
We were curious to see how Lillian would do with no overnight feeding for the first time in her life. Dave and I planned ahead how we would divide and conquer if Lillian woke up crying to be fed overnight. Dave was going to do those feeds since I wake up in the middle of the night to pump–this is similar to our previous division of labor with me making Lillian’s milk and Dave loading in her feeding pump every four hours. He was so excited about feeding Lillian that he actually hoped she’d wake up in the middle of the night–it was really sweet. She sleeps in our room, so she basically woke up when we went to bed, when my alarm went off for my middle of the night pump, and at 5:00 a.m.–these are the times she was most likely to wake before except that she’s a lighter sleeper now that her belly isn’t continuously full of milk. Not bad!
Lillian had a routine doctor’s appointment today and her doctor was excited to see a bottle in Lillian’s diaper bag. But she was absolutely floored when I told her Lillian was already off tube feeds. She couldn’t believe Lillian was weaned just 12 days after we told her we were starting. She was so happy for us! I also called Lillian’s gastroentologist’s office to find out the protocol for removing her tube. I would have loved to see the look on his face when his nurse told him my question. We were just in his office a couple weeks ago, and Lillian was wailing inconsolably as we fed her using her portable pump. He didn’t think Lillian could make any progress eating until her feeds got more comfortable for her, hence his prediction she’d have the tube until at least her second birthday. Instead, we were told if we can go three months without using her tube and she had good weight gain during that time, the tube could come out.
The most exciting news is that Lillian seems to feel great–she is happy and playful and energetic and felt so good today that she didn’t want to miss a moment by napping. I remember crying in Dave’s arms a few months ago lamenting about how miserable our baby was. He didn’t know what I was talking about because she seemed so happy to him. But her schedule at the time meant he saw her during playtime and I saw her during feeding time–and that explained the entire difference in our perspectives. Now she gets to be a happy baby all the time. What more could a mother ask for?!