This past week, terms like "g-tube" and "ng-tube" were spoken. Why? Because you finally decided that you'd had enough of this whole "eating" thing. For the past few months, you've consistently been on the razor's edge of refusing nourishment outright, and we've constantly stressed about what would happen if you one day just decided to turn your head when presented with the bottle. This past week, we got to find out.
For a few days, feeding became simply impossible. No matter what we did, no matter what kind of distraction we offered, nothing would get you to drink your milk. Your mother and I basically went into a panic. We called every doctor and therapist. We scoured Babies R Us and Walmart and raked entire shelves of baby food, bottles, and sippy cups into the grocery cart. We invented all manner of different ways to present you with fluids. I even started making "breast milk-sicles" in the freezer. The maddening thing was that you ACTED hungry. In some cases, frantically. But you just wouldn't eat. Feeding you has always been a difficult, stressful endeavor. This past week, it was amped up to a feverish pitch.
In the end, it seems as though introducing some formula into your breast milk may have been the problem. We stopped offering formula and in a few days, you began to get your appetite back. Still, we decided to test you for milk allergies, just to know whether we should avoid dairy in the future. Unfortunately, that involved a blood test. Unfortunately again, you have veins like your mother. The same way that the NICU nurses had a hard time getting a PIC line into you while you were in the NICU, the technicians at the testing center couldn't seem to get your blood. Three separate technicians kept sticking you for what seemed like upwards of 5 minutes.
I remember back in the NICU, when the doctors had to conduct some procedure or another that would cause you pain, it would break my heart to see your face turn red, your mouth open in despair, but hear nothing come out. Back then, the ET tube was muffling your vocal cords, after all. Back then, I remember just sitting there, wishing I could hear you cry. This week, watching you get those blood tests made me realize that I'd gotten my wish.