Monday, May 29, 2017

Oh what a night-Happy Memorial Day!

My MIL was supposed to come on Sunday, but ended up not being able to.  So my parents hung around with Isabella and I on the back porch.  Playing games, drinking wine, rocking/holding/feeding a fussy baby.  My brother came up and joined the fun a little later in the day.

Little girl seemed to be constipated so I called the nurse line (what did people do before those existed?!?!).  They suggested giving her an ounce of apple juice which we did, but then she wouldn't eat anything else.  Fortunately she had eaten a fair amount right before then but unfortunately it had been around dinner time.  I was confident that the stretch of sleep she has begun to fall into when I put her down around 9 (she will usually sleep until between 12-1) would vanish as she would be hungry.

I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong!  She slept her regular stretch and then ate like a champ a little after midnight.  She then slept another 2.5 hours and then got up for the day a little after 6.  Only two wake ups and both went super smoothly (ate, rocked, fell back to sleep all within 45 minutes!).  Maybe we are turning a corner and she will join the ranks of babies sleeping well through the night....dare I dream?!?!?

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Final Leg of the Road to Recovery?

Well I had my D & C and hysteroscopy (which I cannot pronounce to save my life for some reason) it went off without a hitch.    One of the 50,000 service providers who wandered through my room was a parent of a former students so that was kind of awkward, but once again for all the medical issues I have experienced I have nothing but good things to say about the hospital.

My parents came down last night so they could watch the baby and J.T. could go with me for the procedure.  Anesthesia is crazy.  One minute I'm being wheeled into a room and the next I am waking up in recovery.  It also have me a nice buzz for a couple of hours afterwards.

So what is it that she found you ask, well of course it was the one thing they thought was the least likely- retained placenta.  It was in a weird place which is how it was missed on both ultrasounds (an probably initially as well).  Hopefully this is the final piece of the recovery puzzle!

It is nice to once again have my parents here soaking in their granddaughter taking on lots of feedings and holdings so I can rest and get stuff done!

Saturday night I was determined to go out so we took Isabella to a craft brew place that is in a renovated house and we sat out at a picnic table on the lawn and played Brewopoly (yes it is a craft beer version of Monopoly) while Isabella slept.  I'm so glad this baby has proved to be so good out and about otherwise I think I would go nuts.

Looking forward to a week that will hopefully be somewhat back to normal (whatever that is these days!).

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Great Expectations and Guilt

I pictured myself as a somewhat crunchy, earthy new mom.  I knew that life would change dramatically, but knew I would be giving my little girl a good start if I was prepared to breastfeed, co-sleep (using a co-sleeper), and baby wear.  I made sure to be prepared with all of these things and 5 weeks in not a one of them is still viable:(.

I am still pumping, but spoke to the doctor about weaning yesterday as the bags of milk are beginning to overtake our freezer.  It will take about two weeks to see if soy is the answer to our feeding troubles and that is a lot of pumping that may be for nought.  I am struggling with the guilt though of being able to produce, to have it on hand, and not to give it to her.  However, I also have guilt that her feeding struggles might partially to blame on my breast milk.  All around the topic of breastmilk makes me feel like crap.

Isabella's Dock a tot just arrived.  It is a reminder of how co-sleeping with our noisy little girl did not work for us as at least one of her parents needs a good night sleep.  Figure it should be the one currently working outside of the home!  There is guilt here too as I want to do what is recommended best practice for keeping her safe.

Finally, the K'tan carrier worked well for taking walks the first few weeks though she was not a fan of being carried in it while I was in the house.  Now she won't get in it at all without crying (she is not a fan of facing inward or laying stomach/chest to stomach these days).  I also tried a sling, but her long body and my narrow upper body cause her to be squished.  As a result if my back starts to hurt from holding her or I need to get things done I have to put her in her bouncy, chair, swing or bassinet none of which she is happy about.  More guilt.

So on top of not being able to feed my little girl without issue (last night we were successful 2 out of three times, but today has been a disaster) I feel like a crap mom for not being able to do the things I set out to do that I feel are in her best interest.  Add to it the fact that I feel guilty for not savoring every moment given the fact we waited 6.5 years to experience the joy of parenthood. For sure mom guilt sucks:(.   However, would I have these guilty feelings if I had not set into place expectations that, while best practice, are not working for my child?  Probably not.  However, how do I transition my thinking to doing what is best for Isabella without following research based best practice.  I guess I need to find that mother's intuition.  It's got to be in here somewhere, right?!?!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Journey Down the Rabbit Hole Continues

I see my labor and recovery as the following equations:

Broken water + no contractions=Pitocin
Pitocin + back labor= epidural
epidural+big baby with a big head facing the wrong way=c-section
c-section=abscess + excessive post partum bleeding
Medicine + excessive bleeding= no change
No change=hystoscopy + D & C:(

Had my post-postpartum follow up visit today.  They have three theories as to why I am still bleeding (endometrial tissue stuck in the wall of uterus, placenta still remaining is unlikely as they have yet to see any on an external or internal ultrasound or polyps).  That's right, I am making up for a lifetime of good health in one season!  The good news is that I have reached my insurance limits across the board so this is a buy a bunch get one free special and is on the house.

The procedure will be on Friday and from what I understand, while I am put under anesthesia, is theoretically pretty low key.  My parents are coming back down (three times in 6 weeks-these people are saints) and J.T. is taking off work to come with me.

I just want to be better.'
On a more positive note, last night with Isabella went much better.  I find when I catch her before she is crying or she is drowsy feedings go much smoother.  So I just set me alarm to wake her every three hours.  All of last nights feedings went smoothly and there were only two difficult feeds and one fussy feed today.  Progress!

Monday, May 22, 2017


So Sunday night was not much better and with all of the crying and emotions I felt over the weekend I have begun to wonder if I may be heading down the path to PPD.  I, in fact, made this exact statement to J.T. this morning.  He suggested exercise, fish oil, and to reach out to the doctor.   We also decided I would drop the Summer I class I was supposed to start tonight.  Side note:  I somehow got through the rest of my spring semester and got three A's so arrogantly assumed taking a single summer I class would be a non-issue.  Had baby sitters lined up, ordered the text books, but given my state of mind it seemed best not to add anything else to equation so I dropped the class this morning.

I went to the stroller exercise class and it did feel infinitely better to be out exercising and commiserating with a mom of a sometimes fussy 7 week old.  I also called a friend and she was of great support.  During our phone call however one dog ate half a pacifier and the other one lost the use of one of his back legs.  So I got off and called the vet who wanted me to bring both dogs in ASAP.

That's right while running on fumes, I was supposed to bring in my 5 week old and two dogs, one of whom could not walk.  Somehow this challenge invigorated me and I was able to pull it off with Isabella only getting fussy towards the end of our 2 hour visit to the vet (which I think actually got us out of there a bit faster!).  They induced vomiting in the dog who ate the paci and popped the knee of the other dog back into place, so all in all a successful visit.  After the vet, I stopped at the Chick-fil-a and drove around Charlotte for 30 minutes while Isabella and the dogs slept in the back seat.

After dropping the dogs back off at home Isabella and I went to Target to exchange some things.  I am noticing that Isabella does like to be out and about.  Even though she just stays in her carseat or in the stroller maybe the change of the scenery does her good!

I also spoke to the doctor about my Postpartum Depression concerns.  Turns out my only symptoms were not just feeling hopeless on occasion or all the tears.  Apparently it is not common to lose all 30 pounds of your pregnancy weight (plus some) in 5 weeks.  Also it is not common to have trouble sleeping when you get the opportunity when you are getting virtually no sleep.   So, there you go.  The doctor said he would refer me to a counselor who is supposed to get in touch to do a more thorough evaluation and he mentioned meds, but said I would need to stay on the for at least 6 months.  I am certainly hoping that once I get my recovery issues under control (yup still bleeding) and a better handle on Miss Isabella's eating/sleeping things will look brighter, so I declined further discussion of the medication.

I gotta tell you, finding myself in this position has caught me completely off guard.  I have highs and lows just like everyone else but despite very stressful situations have always found ways to cope on my own.  The doctor explained that each person has a threshold.  For some being a first time parent and postpartum hormones are enough to trigger PPD.  For others the threshold is higher.  Apparently my threshold is  24 hours of labor, plus a c-section, plus stomach distention and a five day hospital stay, plus breastfeeding issues, plus an abscess and readmission into the hospital, plus excessive postpartum bleeding, plus a trip to the emergency room, plus no answers for the continued bleeding plus extensive medical bills from all of the above, plus a newborn with feeding and sleeping issues, plus being a first time parent and hormones.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Rough Weekend

It is great having J.T. home on the weekends.  He took care of Isabella for a couple hours Friday evening so I could lay down and let me sleep in for a few hours on Saturday and did Isabella's first daylight feeding.  I also finally got to get my hair done.  It is also nice to have another adult around during the day.

All that being said, it was a challenging weekend:(.  Unfortunately the medicine was not the magic cure for Isabella's eating woes.  Friday night she was up just about every hour and was fussy or all out screaming for most of the time she was awake ( she only slept about 5 hours total overnight and it was very choppy so I was lucky if I got 2!).  Saturdays feedings weren't much better though she did take some longer naps.  Despite having gotten virtually no sleep I had trouble napping when she was.
Saturday was virtually a repeat of Friday night except this time I think I dozed off a couple of times while she had the bottle in her mouth (yikes!).  Sunday she would only nap during the day if one of us was holding her.  Fortunately I found a great Netflix series to bingewatch (Life in Pieces); however, other than doing some mowing and tidying around the house all we got done was feeding and holding a baby.

In addition to the eating issues she also struggled to sleep well in her co-sleeper.  She kept wriggling around and either he face would end up in the mesh side or she would somehow find herself wriggled down to the bottom.  In either of this instances she would wake up and cry.

I cried off and on all weekend and there were definitely moments when I was holding her and she was screaming/crying that I just felt completely at a loss.  By Sunday needed to get a game plan in place.  I reached out to friends for advice and everyone was quick to respond.  It's crazy that all of them have had at least one kiddo who struggled greatly with eating, sleeping or both!

Morbid side note:  I got to thinking how did parents in the past cope with this (thinking before modern medicine and conveniences) so  I googled infant mortality (told you it was morbid) and it turns out at the beginning of the 20th century 1 in 3 babies did not reach their first birthday.  Fortunately, infant mortality has improved dramatically (by over 90%), but I guess it helps shed light on the biological struggles babies face and how much effort is needed to support them.  Put in proper perspective my kid is eating and is sleeping within normal parameters so even if it's an emotional struggle (well I guess also physical since I'm not sleeping) she is not in danger even if she is uncomfortable.

One friend mentioned her son had a dairy allergy.  Well since the doctor had mentioned dairy last week that is one direction we took.  I eliminated breastmilk starting Sunday evening (so that we could just focus on one variable and my production of breastmilk while just sufficient did not provide any buffer for spilt milk, a low production time, not finishing a bottle in a sitting, etc.) so we went with formula.  I plan to call the pedi on Monday about changing to soy formula.  I also set up a schedule in Google calendar that covered 7am-10pm.  I recognize that it may not be followed but it at least gives some structure which I am in great need of!  I also found different mommy and me type of activities to add to the schedule (Stroller Exercise Group, Baby Story Time at the Library, Weekly "play date" with a friend, etc) so that we are getting out at least once a day.  Isabella and I are also sleeping downstairs again so she can sleep in the pack and play bassinet (less wiggle around space) until the Dock a tot I ordered for her crib arrives on Wednesday.

Hopefully at least some of these little tweaks will make a big difference in the upcoming week because right now I feel like I am hanging on my a thread!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

5 Weeks Old & Silent Reflux

Yesterday I had one prayer.  I thanked God for his many blessings and asked him to keep baby girl comfortable.  He came through in spades!  After the early morning feeding, the others went rather smoothly.  He also helped me stumble on message board posts for "silent reflux" in babies.

I had google reflux for newborns before and it always included massive amounts of spit up and weight loss (which is clearly not an issue for our chunky monkey!).  However silent reflux symptoms definitely hit the mark:
  • Crying during or after feeding
  • Repeated hiccuping
  • Spitting up when laid flat
  • Choking
  • Weight gain/overweight as baby eats as a way to sooth
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty settling
So in talking with the pedi she prescribed medication for Isabella to take twice a day.  She said it would take a couple of days to take effect.  Hoping this does the trick because listening to her scream, watching her squirm, knowing she is in pain is hearbreaking:(.  We have already seen some progress because instead of trying fifty-thousand different things to sooth her which was likely just jostling the stomach acids around making her feel worse, I am focusing on keeping her upright, holding her and giving her the paci (when she will take it) to help her through.

She also got a clean bill of health from the pedi and is in the 86th percentile across the board for height, weight and head circumference.  She is quite the little her to bits!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tiny Tyrant

Isabella was up every one to two hours last night:(.  The good news is she was calm for each of her feedings.  That was until all hell broke loose around 5:30 and little girl could not be calmed for anything in the world!  She finally fell back to sleep around 8, but after NO sleep those 2.5 hours felt like decades.

Her feeding times seem to becoming more difficult as does going back to sleep afterwards.  I am looking forward to seeing the pediatrician tomorrow who I am hoping has some kind of magical answer (realistically I know she will not, but here's to hoping!).

I got two hour long naps, which made small dent but by evening exhaustion doesn't begin to explain how I felt.  I  could not make this tiny girl content to save my life!  Once she was asleep she was fine, but getting her there was soooo hard.  She didn't want to swing, bounce, be held, be put down, wore in the K'Tan, walked, fed, burped, not be fed, changed, dressed, undressed, or anything else I could think of.

Because of this (and the fact that I am still bleeding despite meds to stop the bleeding prescribed by my doc) I had also cried on and off for a healthy part of the day.  The tipping point was when I was trying to mix breastmilk and formula and could not math to save my life!!!!!!

Sorry postpartum nurse I saw the previous day seems like I may need a new PPD/Baby Blues survey :(.  I know PPD is no joke, but it just seems strange to be almost 5 weeks out and just now beginning to see some of the signs.  Allegedly this tiny tyrant is coming upon a leap (according to Wonder Weeks) so I am hoping that explains why she is soooo hard to please as if this becomes the new norm I am in trouble!

Tomorrow is a new day complete a visit to the pedi, fingers crossed she will have some answers!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sorry APA, we tried

The American Pediatric Association recommends that your baby sleeps in your room for the first year of life.  We thought that seemed a bit long, so we planned on having Isabella stay in our room for 6 months.

Well 6 months become one as this tiny child makes more noise in her sleep than 10 grown men with head colds!  As a result, the grown ups were getting even less sleep than they had imagined.  Fortunately, her room is directly across the hall from ours.  We also have a video monitor (J.T. said it's creepy and reminds him of Ghost Hunters--ha, ha!) so last night Isabella slept in her cosleeper in her nursery.  It seems to have worked pretty well-yay!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mothers Day

There are no words.  Today was an amazing day of celebration.

From texts, to cards, to gifts, and to an amazing video J.T. made (not a dry eye in the house), I felt very celebrated.  We also celebrated our mothers and J.T.'s step-grandmother along with our entire immediate families.

I love this tradition we have started in having our families over for Mothers Day brunch.  What was born from a place of sadness has now become such a source of joy!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

One Month

As I noted time is elusive these days and it is hard to believe (but not at the same time) that Isabella Grace is one month old today!

We got the bow and the stick ons as gifts.  It will be interesting to see if she every grows into the bow!

Likes:  Activity Mat, Being read/talked to, taking a bath, her hair styled in a baby faux hawk and going for walks in the baby carrier (K'Tan)
Dislikes:  Being naked, having a dirty diaper, and dawn (this seems to be her "witching" hour 4:30am-8am)
Milestones:  Lifts head off of our chests regularly
Other:  This girl is a freaking menagerie!  As a result of the MANY sounds she makes (primarily in her sleep) her nicknames include:  Tiny billy goat, piggy, and mousey.

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Gift

I knew immediately that something had gone wrong when I woke up in the middle of the night with this unusual feeling I had not experienced for a while...I was rested.  How did this happen?!?!

You see my mom had sent me up to bed after company left at 10 and I had set my alarm to come down at midnight, but I had failed to take the phone off vibrate so no alarm.  It was 3:00am!  Thanks to my wonderful mother who let me sleep, stayed with my baby while she slept and got up with her at 2 when she was hungry I got 5 whole hours of sleep in a row.  It's amazing how one can feel guilty and wonderful in equal measure.

Now it was my turn to send her to bed.  Then I pumped and laid back down.  Lo and behold Isabella didn't wake up again until 5:30 so I got two more hours of sleep on top of that.  A whole seven hours of sleep all in the same night!

It's amazing how your perspective can change in just one month.  Just one month ago on April 11 I got my last full night of sleep (about 7-8 hours) and now four short weeks later this thing that I once took for granted has become such a gift!

Other perspectives have changed too.  A friend came for dinner last night and asked how things were going.  I said it was amazing how fast time had gone.  She then said something about the days going fast.  I commented that while time has gone quickly it's not that the days go fast (and some of the nights have been verrrry long), but somehow time moves along quickly.

I know other perspectives have changed too, but even with my well rested brain I am struggling to pinpoint them at the moment.   I will have to come back to this topic soon.

So in closing I am going to reiterate my appreciation of the gift of sleep I received last night, so I'm just going to leave this right here...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hit or Miss and Manna From Heaven

Saturday night was smooth and then Sunday night turned out to be the worst night since we had been home from round one in the hospital.  The magic of the Boppy turned on me and she would only sleep while being held in it.  Which meant I was up with her from midnight until my mom came in the room at about 6 am.  She slept off and on and did some eating, but because I had to hold her I couldn't pump and her 3:30 formula only feeding led into a total meltdown!

Fortunately things were better the last two nights but now we seem to be struggling with falling back to sleep after eating during the day.  She fights going back to sleep (despite yawns and closing her eyes) and then gets overtired and worked up.  We must just be too interesting and she's afraid she's going to miss something:).

Yesterday we had visitors who left at about 5:30 and she was up to see them off and then stayed up (with only a few 10 minute cat naps) until 10.  JT, my mom and I traded off trying EVERYTHING and she finally just conked out after my mom sent JT and I to bed.

I don't know what I'm going to do when my mom leaves.  She had been taking on the late evening shift so I get a couple hours of sleep before the night shift begins.  I can only pray that this little phase ends before Monday when she goes back to PA...

Having my mom here has been great!  We have gotten lots accomplished, it has been nice having company during the day and an extra person to help me get some extra sleep.  With the extra help at the beginning of the week I kept having this nagging thought in the back of my head  "Don't get used to this.  You still need to figure things out on your own.  Next week it's back to normal!".

However, I realized that this nagging voice was dampening the joy of the current day.  I need to look at each day this week as manna from heaven.  That each day this week I do have an abundance of support and that I need to focus on this day not what may or may not lie ahead.  I am stealing my current joy by getting ahead of myself.  So beginning right now I am focusing on this day.  I am focusing on the time with my mother and my daughter.  I am focusing on the moments of rest, the moments of support and the moments of joy


Monday, May 8, 2017

God's Plan

We began attending our church in January of 2012.  In April we reached out to join a small community group.  God guided us to a small group of three other couples.

One of the couples had just had a baby (after coping with infertility) born at 24 weeks.  So their lives were spent at the children's hospital and then were homebound for the first year of his life.  Needless to say while we heard a lot about them, we did not get to meet them for quite some time.

The couple who led the group, I have mentioned before, were married they year before we were and began trying to start a family soon after.  Unfortunately, God had a different plan for them.  They experienced multiple miscarriages and when we joined they group were trying to determine what to do next just like we were.

The third couple started their family in a much more traditional manner.  Mom, dad, 4 year old daughter and 1 year old son.  Their daughter came as a surprise, so needless to say they had not experienced infertility, but walking through life with the group were amazingly empathetic to everyone else's experiences.

A fourth couple joined our midst a year or so later.  They also had two children, aged right in between the other two, but had experienced infertility in trying for their first.

In January of 2016, the lead couple welcomed their daughter Avery through the gift of adoption.  This past fall the first couple has rejoined our ranks.  And this spring we have added Isabella and Avery's biological sibling to the fold again through the gift of adoption.  This sweet girl was born just 2.5 weeks after Isabella.

In trading texts one noted:

It truly does bring tears to our eyes.  God brought us all together for a reason.  Our shared love of desserts, good food and adult beverages, and our shared experiences of struggle have bonded us together over the years.  The picture we will take truly demonstrates God's plan for comfort, fellowship and friendship in our lives.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Smooth Night and Visitors

Win!  Last night Isabella got up twice.  Both times she just ate, I bounced/glided her, and she went back to sleep deeply enough for me to put her back in the co-sleeper within 30-45 minutes.  They were quite pleasant times.  Interestingly I didn't not attempt to burp her either time, just kept her relatively elevated in the Boppy so she maybe the bottles and the fact that she is primarily drinking breast milk is helping.  J.T. said he was burping her less to, so maybe our attempts at burping her were just pissing her off rather than do anything productive.

Also, I pumped before she got up each time.  I am able to do this because she may be the noisiest sleeper who ever lived:).  She grunts, cries out, whimpers, etc. which I understand is normal, but it wakes me up and then I am on the ready for her to get up even though it usually isn't for another hour or so.  Pumping first or at a different time helped the feeding not seem interminable.

It was nice having a smooth night as the last couple of days she has been eating well, but sleeping has gotten funky.  After she eats she just wants to stay awake like she's afraid she's going to miss something!  Then she gets overtired.  Apparently there is a growth spurt in this third week that we can maybe blame.  Last night into this morning things have gotten much better so maybe she has done all the growing she is going to do this week:).

I like to fall asleep in my Boppy while bouncing on someone's lap.  My bouncy chair just won't do!

My MIL was great for holding and helping feed Isabella yesterday and watching her while I went to do our grocery pick up from Wal-mart (love this service at the moment) and J.T. was at the gym.  She also ran to Target to get the child some pants.  She has outgrown her newborn clothes for the most part and it has been kind of chilly with most of her 0-3 month clothes being summer wear we needed something to cover the poor girl's legs.  Overall it was nice just having some extra company and an extra set of hands for rocking this kiddo who seems to have hit a more needy phase.

My parents are in en route as we speak.  My dad is bringing my mom down and staying the night and then will go back tomorrow and bring my sister down for next weekend as we had originally planned for them to come down for Mother's Day.

Looking forward to spending the week with my mom and having her spend time with Isabella:).

Saturday, May 6, 2017

It takes a village

Despite my optimistic mindset, I had another bleeding incident last night:(.  It was identical to the one on Wednesday.  I decided we would only go to the ER if it didn't slow down, I got dizzy or started to run a fever.  I am getting smarter though.  Instead of waiting things out, I reached out for help from our families who have been offering.

My brother came over last night just so there were three adults in the house in the event I had to go to the hospital.  My mother-in-law came in this morning.  My mom is coming down tomorrow.  I don't know what anyone is going to do, but it will be good just having someone else around.

I am going to call the doctor again on Monday and see what is considered "normal".  It would be nice to be normal again...

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A turned corner, a step backwards, and three weeks old

So the last 24 hours feeding wise have gone much better.  I chalk it up to a few things.

First, extensive prayer!
Second, Dr. Brown bottles and feeding her upright using the Boppy.
Third, saving nursing for comfort at the end if needed (this was actually J.T.s suggestion)
Fourth, streamlining the formula process.
Fifth, hands-free pumping bra finally arrived.

Yay for improvement!

That being said, I also had a step back on the recovery front.  Last evening after pumping I felt a gush.  Sure enough my bleeding, which had been tapering off, had come back with a vengeance.  It was pretty gross and in contacting the triage nurse it just kept getting worse:(.  So she sent me to the ER.  Seriously?!?!?  ANOTHER hospital visit.

Our friend Stacy came down to stay with Isabella (I owe that girl a big gift card!) and we went in at about 9:30pm.  The good news is that I got sent home at 12:30pm after some blood work, an ultrasound, and a bag of fluid.  There were not other issues and it has since slowed down immensely.  I have a follow up with the Ob today from last week's fun and excitement so we will add this to the docket.  Hopefully it is just a minor set back and the healing will commence.

Today is also Isabella's third week "birthday"!  Our little girl is getting so big:).

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

More Feeding Fun

So Monday night's feedings had us both in tears (at least we staggered them so we both weren't crying at the same time).  She at least spread them out a bit so I got a two hour stretch of sleep in there and we only did two so that was a plus.

Burping is definitely a part of the equation, but I am struggling cause she doesn't wanna.  So she presses away from me (regardless of the burping position I try) and it leads to more frustration (for both of us).  I also suspect she senses my frustration which is likely exacerbating the whole process.

On the flip side, last night it was the before bed feeding that caused the most grief.  Fortunately, J.T. was there to help.  However, we began at 8:00 and I was finally able to put her down at 10:30.  During that time we somehow managed to get two feedings in as somewhere around 10 she began cuing for being hungry again and ate 3 more ounces.  This led to her sleeping until 1:00am, but unfortunately I woke up a little after midnight to go to the bathroom and realized I needed to pump so by the time she started stirring at 12:45 I did not get a chance to go back to sleep.

The feeding process actually went very smoothly (including burping!); however, she decided she wanted to be held and not be laid back down so we (actually I) ended up awake for an hour at each feeding before she would lay back down.  I would then pump.  She woke up more often so despite the feedings being less stressful, they were more frequent so got less sleep:(.

I got a good nap after a rough first feed of the day (she popped off the first boob after 5 minutes and wouldn't latch to the other); however the late morning feeding was a disaster.  Nursing went a little better (she ate from both sides!); however, because of my nap I didn't get to pump so she had to have formula only.  That was a disaster.  It took an hour to consume 3 ounces..12 burp breaks, 3 actual burps, screaming, tightening, crying (me).

After she ate she only wanted to be in the K'Tan so I took her for a walk in it, brought her home, at lunch and then called the pediatrician cause I can't do this anymore!!!!

I feel trapped in a puzzle I can't solve.  Nursing doesn't provide enough.  Breastmilk seems to go down more smoothly than formula, but in order to have enough I have to pump immediately after feeding her which has become challenging because she wants to be held.  We tried different bottles for the last two days at the lactation consultants suggestion, but that doesn't seem to have helped.  I found a box of bottles with a "venting system" in the cupboard so will try those next.

Part of me wonders if she is just so confused with all of the various parts and pieces and may be the source of the issue; however, I can't give her enough breastmilk to sustain her and formula seems to be her greatest nemesis.

I hate puzzles I can't solve!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Why is feeding my kid so dang stressful?!?

Clearly things went swimmingly at the lactation consultant...I wish.

So little girl is still only getting about half to 2/3 of an ounce from me when we nurse (despite being able to pump 2-3 oz. on average in 15 minutes).  Her suck reflux and palate are fine and she even stayed awake without Herculean effort but that's still all she got.

I would throw in the towel, except bottle feeding had become its own little nightmare.  Especially at night.  First it takes forever.  The consultant was surprised to hear that it took her 45 minutes to an hour to take down 3 oz. but yes that is our norm.  Add to that the last night or two she had started grunting, stiffening and cuing like she's hungry but than getting upset when I give her the bottle.  

Somehow despite all of these struggles, Ella has still managed to exceed her birth weight.  She is currently weighing in at 9 lb. 6 oz.  

So I guess the upside in all of this is that despite the fact that it feels like torture, I am managing to keep my kid fed.  Victory?!?!?

We left the appointment with the game plan of nursing during the day for 15 minutes (each side) working under the assumption it is giving her a portion of an ounce.  Then give pumped breast milk.  Then give formula.  Then pump for the next feeding.

At 60-90 minutes a pop x 7 or more feedings a day you get a grand total of 7-10 hours a day just trying to keep my kid fed.  Add to it some random crying, grunting, latching issues, spilled breast milk, and sleeping for me in 30-90 minute stretches, and I think I may have answered my own title question.

We are going to give this a go for two more weeks and end in a final consultation.  Hopefully by then I have something better to report on the feeding front!