I could tell something was different about the way Molly ate pretty much from the very beginning. I nursed my son until he was 15 months old, and never had any issues. From the get-go with Molly something just did not feel right. Over the course of the first two months of her life, she gradually would stay on the breast for shorter and shorter amounts of time until she stopped showing hunger signs at all, would sleep through feeding times, and refused the breast altogether.
At first mostly during her middle of the night feeds she would outrightly refuse the breast. All it would take was getting her in position to eat and she would arch her back, scream, and go completely rigid. During feedings she would spit up and choke on milk and after feeds she would also spit up, this was something I was not used to at all. I think I used a burp cloth with my son about five times throughout his first year! All of this was a huge concern to me and had me so extremely emotional, I didn’t understand why my baby did not want to eat, when at this age all a baby is supposed to be doing is sleeping, eating, and eliminating! I completely dreaded all feeds and had no idea what was going on!
I made several visits to the pediatrician where we found she was steadily gaining or maintaining her weight, so he was not concerned. I also met with three lactation consultants, explaining the symptoms and fed her in front of them. Each time Molly decided to eat like a champ and I was given excellent marks on nursing! I felt like I was getting nowhere, while outwardly it seemed like she was fine, I knew that something was not right.
Extremely defeated and becoming more and more depressed with the situation, as nursing Molly was beginning to become even more of a challenge, my husband and I decided to try formula with her, to take some pressure off nursing. That only made her super constipated and she hated it! I couldn’t take forcing her to eat and went back to nursing and made another appointment with her pediatrician where he diagnosed her with reflux. No tests were done. Ranitidine was prescribed, nothing changed. Omeprazole was prescribed and once again nothing changed. She hated taking the omeprazole and had several choking episodes, which now I know most likely furthered her feeding aversion.
By the end of her second month, we had tried nursing, formula feeding, exclusively pumping (where my supply completely tanked) and eventually with no other options left, back to formula. Her pediatrician suggested we try Nutramigen, thinking maybe she had a milk protein allergy, she finally had no choice but to take the formula and we thought things were in the clear. Eventually Molly began showing the same signs she did when she refused to nurse. I was following US guidelines on how much to feed her and come to find out was grossly trying to overfeed her. We went from feeding her normally in our arms, to having to walk and bounce with her to feed, to distracting her with her pacifier first and then feeding her, to feeding her in her bouncer chair, to pretty much only feeding her when she was drowsy or asleep.
I was exhausted with worry and completely drained. It took so long to do a feeding with her, and my family was suffering. We weren’t leaving the house, because we had no idea when Molly was going to eat, and how much she was going to eat. My two-year old had to stay silent during all feedings, because any noise would stop Molly from eating, we eventually came to feeding Molly in dark rooms without any distractions. Our family dynamic was completely shot.
Throughout all of this, I had been doing tons of research online as to what could be going on with our daughter, and after going through blogs/parenting forums/YouTube videos/Facebook groups and searching other social media platforms like Instagram I kept coming across Lindsay’s name. I poured over her website and Instagram handle and anything that she had been tagged or linked in and decided that we needed to take a chance on her. By this time, I had also found some information on Rowena Bennett’s method and had ordered her book and was awaiting its arrival. We had ruled out upper GI issues and were waiting on a swallow study which would also come out negative.
I set up our initial phone interview filled with some doubt, on whether she was the real deal. But, after talking with Lindsay for less than ten minutes I was sure we needed to work with her, she was the first person in almost three months that understood what we were going through. Working with Lindsay was amazing. While my husband and I had read Rowena’s book we did not feel comfortable going about the process alone, and decided we needed the extra guidance and ‘hand to hold’ that Lindsay offered. We stuck to Lindsay’s personal feeding plan for Molly and took a very strict approach to getting Molly back on track. By the end of the first week of working with Lindsay we had already seen a HUGE improvement in all of Molly’s feedings and we could tell we were only going to go forward. Not to say I didn’t worry the entire time that one little thing could send us right back to where we started with Molly, but Lindsay reassured us that if we stuck to the plan and followed Molly’s lead we would not relapse. Almost two months after working with Lindsay, Molly is thriving!
Overall, I am so appreciative of the time and energy Lindsay put into helping our family regain normalcy in our lives. She fielded every text with the utmost patience whenever we needed a guiding hand – all while across several time zones from us, holding down her consultancy job, being a mother to two small children, and come to find out smack dab in the middle of a cross-continental move!
Words by Amy, New York, USA