Jolee’s Journey with the Bottle – Part 1 of 4

3 month old

It’s times like these where I’m just pissed off that I even have to work.

Yes, I wrote a post about how I could NEVER be a stay at home mom.

But, when something is wrong with your child…you want to do everything in your power to fix it.

So, she can’t take a bottle…let me stay home with her and feed her. Problem solved.

Except, it’s not that easy. If it was, I would have just stayed home in the first place.

As I’ve said many of times, we are drowning in debt, but not terrible bad debt like credit card debt. We literally have $500 on the only credit card we own.

BUT, we are drowning in my student loan debt.

Trust me, I have run the numbers every way possible to see if one of us could stay home. We would eliminate the daycare expense, but we would also eliminate an income. An income that we unfortunately need. One of our incomes, even with the eliminated daycare bill, does not cover all of our expenses.

Not to mention, I enjoy working. I need to work.

With all that said, I still cannot believe that I was granted an additional 6 weeks of paid time off. It was the absolute best case scenario. I got 6 more weeks of time away from work to take Jolee to all of her appointments, do all of her exercises, and try my best to get her to take a bottle so I could go back to work semi stress free.

As I hope you have read, we had our inital appointments with the chiropractor and the speech therapist. From there, I was doing exercises with her at home and seeing each of them weekly all while still trying to give her a bottle at home.

After her second adjustment with the chiropractor, I saw significiant improvement in her overall demeanor and mobility.

She was no where near as stiff as what she had been. The speech therapist kept expressing to me how important this was. The speech therapist couldn’t do the work she needed to do unless she was relaxed. And those first couple of appointments, she was the furthest thing from relaxed.

The fact that the chiropractor and speech therapist worked parrallel to each other is absolutley invaluable. They compared notes, the speech therapist made sure to schedule the appointments almost directly after the chiropractor so she could be as loose as possible. In my opinion, this relationship was critical for Jolee’s improvement.

At the chiropractor appointments, there wasn’t much I could do. I just sat and watched them do their thing. At the chiropractor, she was also getting body work which was completed by a cranial sacral therapist. They would just ask questions of how she was doing, what was the speech therapist saying, was she taking a bottle yet?

They were 30 minute appointments. I felt like they were over just as soon as they started. I was amazed what 30 minutes could do.

Literally in two 30 minute appointments she was a different baby. I could not believe it.

At each appointment you could tell Jolee was more comfortable each time. I was and am still amazed at how much the chiropractor helped.

I was more so involved with speech therapist at these appointments. We tried everything in our power to get her as relaxed as possible so she could work in her mouth and on her body and attempt to give her a bottle.

Those first couple of appointments were hell with the speech therapist.

Jolee cried a lot. She just didn’t want anything. Nothing could calm her down. The more we tried to calm her down, the more worked up she became.

The ST would work on her body and in her mouth as much as she could. We would have to take multiple breaks. Then, we would end the appointment with trying to give her bottle. The ST kept expressing to me that she needed to be in a relaxed state in order to take the bottle. When she tensed up, all of the muscles she needed to use to take the bottle tensed up, hence why she wouldn’t take a bottle.

3 month old

She wanted me to understand this was an entire body issue, not just a mouth issue.

We tried everything to keep her relaxed.

The easiest thing to do was to get here in a sleepy state. We would try and keep her sleepy to give her bottle. We tried bouncy chairs, the car seat, the yoga ball multiple times, I exited the room, I sat in rocking chairs and swings outside, we even put her butt naked in a bath to try and relax her.

I remember the time we tried the bath, I was super frustrated. I even told the speech therapist, we clearly can’t put her in a the bath every time to get her relaxed to take the bottle. How was this is a good idea? She kept telling me that in the beginning, it doesn’t matter how she takes the bottle, just as long as she takes it. When she is in the relaxed state, she learns how to use the appropriate muscles to suck on the bottle. Then, when she has mastered it, we can put her in a typical position and give her a bottle.

The day we gave her the bottle in the bath was my tipping point.

It was July 30th. I felt like she wasn’t making any progress. And I was supposed to return to work in 2 1/2 weeks.

I was pissed off the entire appointment. And then when she suggested putting her in a bath I was like, “Are you fucking serious?? Put her in a bath to take the bottle???”

So, I stripped her naked, put her in the bath tub the speech therapist provided and I watched her start to actually suck on a bottle.

What in the actual hell?

She by no means took an amount worth jumping up and down over, but she pieced together some sucks on that damn bottle. My mind was blown.

The speech therapist assured me she was getting to where she needed to be, but I was blind at that moment. I couldn’t see any progress being made.

I just knew I had to go back to work in 2 1/2 weeks and she was not taking a bottle.

After the appointment, I cried, a lot.

I was becoming worried about my job at this point.

I was miraculously given an extra 6 weeks of paid time off which I am forever thankful for, but now what??? What if in 2 1/2 weeks she wasn’t taking the bottle and I had to take MORE time off, but UNPAID.

To Be Continued…