My baby girl, Emma, was born at 34 weeks, 4 pounds 3 ounces. I was very unprepared for the NICU, and always felt like an outsider. I had told everyone about my intention to breastfeed my baby, but the nurses had their schedules and it did not include me (even though I could be there in 5 mins). They even changed her scheduled feedings without letting me know, so that when I showed up to nurse she had already been fed. We were blessed that she gained strength and the ability to breathe unassissted in a short period of time and we were allowed to take her home at 4lbs 6 ozs. I began breastfeeding exclusively. She was fussy, fought and was just lazy about eating (she would let the milk drip into her mouth then swallow). She was begining to get the idea and was latching on much better but by then she had lost 3 ounces and the doctors are insisting I give her formula in a bottle. Every time I do she eats till she spits up and I am right back at the beginning point in breastfeeding. I feel so frustrated. Will I ever be able to breast feed my preemie in a normal, natural way? The doctor said "in this case it just may not work" and that all the problems he sees is not with his 19 & 20 yr old patients, but with....well I'm 42....he made me feel it was all my fault. My son was born at 37 wks, when I was 27, and I breastfed him exclusively for the first 4months, then continued on til he was a year old. I realize a preemie presents a different problem, but should it be this difficult?