Love-Hate Relationship

Have you ever had something or someone that you felt like you had a “love-hate” relationship with? Well that how it is with his NAM. we are only 3 days in and I am definitely still in the “hate” part of our relationship.

Before going into the office for the NAM

Some details about the past couple of days. Wednesday (3/24), our appointment was a 10am and they tell us just to feed him before we leave for the appointment, but they forget that we live an hour and a half from the clinic. Which means if we need to leave by 8 (incase there is traffic), we need to start feeding him at 7. He eats every 3 hours, so he would need to eat at 10 which is his appointment time. So we decided that we would leave at 7, get there by 9 and feed him before the appointment. This worked out great (except he didn’t want to eat when we got there of course).

We get up to the clinic to check in and the receptionist says “did they call you and tell you if the device was back yet?” John and I both looked at each other like “seriously.” I thought surely we didn’t just drive 2 hours to be told that they couldn’t put the device in today. Thankfully it was there and all was well.

We have prepared ourselves for the absolute worst, because if it was anything like it was when they did the impressions, it was going to be awful. We get to the back and they start the process of “delivering” the NAM. John is still irritated that they call it “delivering. He said if they were delivering it to him, they would be driving to lagrange and not us driving to Atlanta. Lol

They get his device and take some pictures of his mouth before they fit it. Then they dry fit the device and take more pictures. They take it to the lab to adjust it as needed. When they get back, they dry fit it again to make sure it’s correct before they put the adhesive on it. It fits great (or so they say), so they begin the process. The adhesive that is used it fixodent, yep the same stuff people use for dentures. They put it in just like a retainer would go in, except it has adhesive in it. Once it’s in, it has to be held in place for 3 minutes. You can imagine how long this 3 minute feels when your baby is screaming in fear/pain:uncertainty. This 3 minutes feels like complete torture. Once the adhesive is cured, we tape his mouth 3 different ways to form a triangle. After they check everything and give us instructions, they give us the ok to feed him.

Just got the “delivery”

I was so confused on how to feed him because the button on the front was right in the middle, so where was the bottle supposed to go? Needless to say, he screamed the whole time we tried to feed him, wouldn’t even drink an ounce. So we asked the doctor how long should we expect this to be this way with his feedings and she said that we could expect feedings to be harder and this to last 2 to 3 days. I thought that’s not too bad, We could handle three days. Needless to say these three days have been the longest of my life.

Henry basically slept the whole way home from Atlanta that day, he had just worn himself out. When we got home it was time for him to eat again, so we attempted another bottle which was unsuccessful again. The evening pretty much went the same way and sleep was about as expectedwhen your baby doesn’t eat. Thursday was about the same. We are supposed to take out the device once a day for about an hour to clean it and give him some rest, but we let him have a two bottle break just to make sure we got some fluid in him.

We are 3 days in with the NAM and I feel like it’s getting worse. The love part of the love-hate relationship has still not surfaced yet. We have tried different bottles, techniques, and syringe feedings just trying to get a couple ounces in him. We kept it out a little longer Friday just to give him a couple full bottles but we are only supposed to have it out for an hour. When we put it back in, it literally feels (and sounds) like we are torturing him.
I’m determined to keep going with this but I’m quickly losing my mind, patience, and motivation. If he’s awake, he’s crying. If he’s eating, he’s crying. If he’s asleep, it doesn’t last very long.
Is he in pain? Is he getting dehydrated?

To be quite honest and transparent, nothing has made me feel more like a failure as a mom than this has, and it’s only been 3 days. I want what’s best for him and if it mean us being exhausted, and somewhat miserable for a couple of months, that’s what I’m determined to do.

We have been so blessed over the past couple of days/weeks, whether it’s been prayer, meals, supplies, car riding, etc, we just want to say thank you!

People have asked us if we need anything, if we need help, and if you know me, you know that I do not ask for help easily, but I just wanted to specifically ask for prayers for that. That I would let go of some control and ask for help. (Even though I’m not really sure I would know what to even ask for right now)

Specific prayers:

•that Henry adjusts to the NAM device

•that he picks up his feedings and starts taking his normal 3-4oz every bottle

•that John and I don’t take out our lack of sleep and frustration with each other

As always, thank you for your prayers and support throughout this journey.

-Kristen

What the NAM device looks like
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One thought on “Love-Hate Relationship

  1. Wendy Russell

    I prayed over those requests. I do not know that device – I guess Hope was way past that helping when we got her at 16 months still unrepaired. BUT I sure do understand the crying (everyone crying!!!) and the feelings with this whole cleft process and procedures. All I can say is those seasons do pass and you will have some easier times and then challenges come again. Hope has a surgery in June for putting bone in her jaw. In my prayers. Wendy Russell (I work with Kim – we communicated before your adoption)

    Liked by 1 person

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