Friday, September 11, 2009

Cause you know, it ain't real til you talk about poop

After two weeks, we see so many changes in our little girl. She's already up to over 8 lbs for heaven's sake! The public health nurse and the doctor are very pleased with her development; apparently her hips, skin, eyes, tone, control and various other aspects of her growth are all in perfect order. The doctor said to come back for her 2-month innoculations or if perchance something comes up in the meantime. Basically, all is good.

All is pretty good for me too. My uterus has shrunk down to where it ought to be again, my blood pressure is superb, I've lost 25 lbs (based on my weight at my 39 week checkup) and the muscles in my lower abdomen are knitted back together exactly as they should be. However, I'm not yet ready to go back to the gym according to the doc; the muscles higher up aren't yet knitted back together so I still need to take it easy. One day at a time -- much like during the pregnancy -- and I'll get there. I'll be happy to get back to the gym too! My neighbours graciously added a child care component to my gym membership as a gift to us so I'll be able to take advantage of that when the time comes. That'll be marvelous! I'm so very grateful.

Other than that, things in our house are, well, moving along. It's been difficult at times, that's for sure. And true to form for many babies, most of our difficulties are revolving around feeding, digestion (or lack thereof!) and elimination (and lack thereof!). And thus, the poop talk. Cause you know, parents gotta talk about poop. And while it's my first time as a parent, hubby's seen much of this before!

Feeding -- Petite refuses to nurse directly from the source. She is absolutely ADAMANT about that. She purses her lips, screams blue murder and pushes my breast away at each opportunity. I still give her exposure but I'm not forcing her. Sometimes after she's fed, she's content to just hang out at the breast and lie there, skin to skin, dozing quietly in my arms. And that's okay. But she will not, absolutely not feed from the breast. It just isn't happening. Added to that, I am not producing enough for her to have breastmilk exclusively. (Thanks PCOS and hypothyroidism!) They say to judge your milk production about 10 days post partum. And frankly, it isn't near where it needs to be. So my doctor prescribed the domperidone that I requested and hopefully in a couple of days, I'll see a difference. For the moment, I'm pumping as much as I can and Petite is drinking down whatever I can give her, and she's just loving it. We're still supplementing because otherwise, she simply wouldn't get enough to eat.

Digestion -- Petite is obviously digesting the breastmilk much easier than the formula. And that's good. What is bad is that she still has to have formula at all... because it's tearing up her little tummy. We've noticed that when she has breastmilk, she is much more content, sleeps better and has a lot less gas to deal with than when she is having formula. With formula, her little legs draw up frequently, she cries and alternates flexing and stretching her legs and body, trying to work the gas out. She doesn't burp well at all (much like my sister used to do apparently) and you can hear the gurgling in her tummy as she wails in pain. It's absolutely heartbreaking. However, according to the nurses and doctor, it's too early to change formula for her to see if another one would make any sort of a difference. I'm tempted to give it another few days with the current formula to see if anything changes, but then to try another one that we have, just to see if there's a difference. Additionally, I do have gripe water and although the doctor said there's nothing to suggest that it can actually help and they don't recommend it, I'm awfully tempted to see if it'll relieve her pain.

Elimination -- And accordingly, with the breastmilk, Petite has a much easier time with peeing and pooping. Honestly, with the formula, she sometimes goes for 36 or 40 hours without a poop and boy, you can imagine the poo-splosion when it finally comes! And when it does come and she's clean and happy again, she sleeps amazingly well and is happy and content. But when she is gassy and uncomfortable, she wails like a banshee. High pitched screeching, enough to tear your heart out. It's so intense that if it were an adult crying that way, you'd be completely hoarse. It's painful to listen to and all we can do is try to help her get the gas out of her system.

So we're doing the best we can to keep her fed (rule number one of course) and give her as much breastmilk as I can, and then to help her process the formula that she is given. We're working on it. I'm not giving up yet. I am still hoping to get her latched but it's going to be a helluva job. We tried tube feeds at the breast and tube feeds at the finger. We tried getting her to latch after she's had a bit of breastmilk and satiated the immediate need of hunger. We tried a nipple shield (she wasn't having ANY of that!), we tried different positions, we tried all kinds of things. No avail.

And then I have these special moments. Those moments when I get to gaze on her happy face. When I stare into her blue eyes staring up at mine. I feel her tiny fingers curled around my own finger. I hold her close and soothe her (according to my mom, she is most content in my arms than anyone else's), rocking her back and forth. I kiss her darling little cheeks and breathe in her new baby scent. And it is in these special moments that I get to smile and shed a tear of absolute joy. For I recognize how very blessed I am to hold Petite in my arms and I give thanks for these precious moments. Each and every one.


Patti said...

K - having just been through this with Jack, I have a few suggestions. I know this is total ass-vice but hey, you are more than welcome to ignore it.

We had to switch Jack to Nestle Goodstart formula as it has the milk proteins partially broken down, so it was much easier for him to digest. That took care of a lot of his gas.

Second thing was our paediatrician suggested these drops called "BioGaia". They are a probiotic drop that has the bacteria that babies are sometime lacking in their digestive system. We give Jack five drops a day and it's made him a much happier baby. These drops are very well researched and available at Shoppers' Drug Mart among other places. check them out online and you'll see what I mean. I swear by these drops and have even taken them myself when my stomach is upset - and they work!

My only other comment is this: gripe water usually contains sodium bicarbonate. Giving a baby gripe water can change the pH level of their little bodies. So be careful.

Glad to see that Petite is growing well. She's just so pretty!

Aurelia said...

The domperidone will rock your supply. You will have more milk than you can handle in 24-48 hours, so don't worry about that.

I can only suggest keeping on with attempting the breast here and there, not forcing it, but if you can find a way not to use the bottle at all, or to even use a bottle that makes her have to suck and work the facial muscles a lot it might help. The easy lie back and pour it down my throat version can make it hard to switch to the boob.

Syringing sometimes could be good? Anyway, keep on trying, you are doing well, and she looks wonderful!

Vee said...

Gil, I could have written this post there are so many issues we have in common. Interesting to read the feedback too.

Petite is just beautiful.
All the best xx

decemberbaby said...

Aw, she looks like a little doll!

I have no suggestions on the feeding thing, but I hope that with the dom it starts improving!

Saje said...

I hope that the feeding starts to go better soon. It must be so hard for you to pace the house with a fussy little one.

When my guys would refuse the breast we were also not keen on forcing. I would haul off my shirt (after closing the drapes) and put him in a carrier with his face right in line with my ladies. They learned to love the intoxicating smell. Eventually, they would go back to it for sustenance.

It is kind of like coming through the door and smelling fresh bread. You didn't have any inclination towards bread, but now you really want it since it smells so good!

mmmm, now I want bread!!

Anonymous said...

Rhiannon had the same digestive upsets as Trinity. She started out on Enfamil A+. I switched her to Similac Advance because I had a sample and my friend swears by it. Big mistake! It was harder for her to digest and the cramping was so much worse. So, the doc recommended Nestle Goodstart. That's when the projectile vomiting began...a nightmare. After an ultrasound at CHEO to check out her pyloras, I then tried Enfamil A+ Thickened (at the doc's suggestion) hoping that the weight of it would help it stay down in her belly. It helped a little. In the end, I put her back on Enfamil A+ and she did just fine. I never should have switched her in the first place. Some babies just have to go through a few weeks/months of colic. You deal with it as awful as it is and hope it's over soon. Good luck!

Jen-Jen said...

I wanted to point you to the book "Making More Milk" which talks about PCOS and supply issues. Here is a link:
Also, see my friend Celeste's blog, she has PCOS and also had supply issues the whole time (with twins):