Friday, January 22, 2010


I'm obsessed with it.

I looooove it.

So why doesn't my daughter?

Oh it's really not all that bad. It just isn't consistent. Some nights she has her last feeding at 8 pm and goes for nine hours. She might wake up once before then but a paci will usually hold her off. Other nights she only goes five or six hours before needing to eat. The problem is, once she eats she only goes another four or five hours max more before waking up and wanting to eat again. So if she wakes up to eat at 1:00 am, she might wake again at 5:00 am and then it's broken choppy sleep until 7:30 or 8:00.

(If I read this post the first two weeks after I'd given birth, I would have slapped myself upside the head for complaining. Sleeping four or five hours straight would have only been a far off dream of mine then.)

She is so tired in the evenings. She's really done by 6 or 6:30. I hesitate to put her to bed this early for fear of her not getting enough daytime feedings in and being up all night. Last night I was reading some things that said the earlier they get to bed the better they sleep because they're not overtired. She had gotten enough feedings in yesterday so I feed her for the last time at 7 instead of 8, and put her down an hour earlier than usual.

I'm going to blame last night on a bad coincidence.

She stirred and needed soothing (a paci in and a pat) at 10, 11:00, 11:30 (DH was still up thank goodness). I fed her at 1:30. She cried out a few times after that but went back to sleep on her own. She then woke at 4:00, 4:30, 5:00 and I finally had to feed her at 5:30, followed by waking at 7:30 and never really going back to sleep even though she was tired.

She was basically restless all night. I have narrowed it down to three (okay four) possibilities:

1) Her reflux meds are wearing off and we need a freshly compounded prescription (I totally agree with you Carrie- one month is bullshit, it stops working after two weeks). I put in a call to our pharmacy but they are giving me the "It's too soon" crap. I emailed my doctor instead. Hopefully we'll get this squared away soon, but not before the weekend of course.

2) She is going through some kind of growth spurt and was genuinely hungry. Starting solids has not helped her sleep longer consistently. That's bullshit too.

3) She might be teething already. It has been drool central and she pulls our fingers into her mouth and bites down HARD. I know it's a little early. I try to inspect her gums but her tongue is always in the way.

4) She is just a high maintenance baby and always has been.

I can't wait until I get some kind of "all clear" to let her go all night without feeding her. I wouldn't mind dealing with her waking if I knew it wasn't because of hunger. It would rid me of some guilt. I constantly wonder, "Is she hungry? Should I feed her?" My gut tells me that most of time it is not hunger. I really think she only needs to eat once during the night, not twice. If she didn't have the slow weight gain I probably wouldn't give in like I do. It's not the feeding I mind, that doesn't take long, it's the holding her upright for 25 minutes after (because of her reflux) that is the real drag. If she wakes and I feed her, we are looking at 45 minutes to an hour before I can get back to bed.

How long do your babies go without eating at night? When did you get rid of the middle of the night feed? Thoughts please. . .

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Record

My baby is setting a personal record. Probably not a good one.

She has not pooed in over three days.

Thank you very much rice cereal.

I asked her doctor about switching to oatmeal (thanks for the tip Shannon). He suggested we try that but said all cereals can be binding. He did not seem concerned because she was breastfed and said those babies can go a long time between bowel movements. Well, she is not exclusively breastfed anymore and she has never gone this long before. Before starting solids she would go 2-3 times a day. He said to wait for her to go and if her stool is hard then he'd have other suggestions for us. We started to oatmeal last night, if she doesn't poo by tomorrow, I'm calling the doctor back. This just isn't normal for her.

Okay, let's switch gears. I've been meaning to blog about going back to work part time. . .

This was my second week back to teaching. I am lucky enough to be doing a job share 50% of the time with another teacher. We share a class. She filled in full time for me until I got back. So when I walked in the room last week for my first day, they treated me like a substitute. I hate being treated like a substitute. I never liked subbing anyway and I think I only did it one day during my student teaching placement. It felt strange to be in my old classroom, teaching the grade I have for seven years, and to have 20 kids telling me how I am not doing it the "right way". "Mrs. So and So does it this way." "That's not the way Mrs. So and So does it." "Mrs. So and So let's us do this." Ugh! I was trying to be so nice because it was the first day after all. I didn't want to send them home crying, but give me a flipping break! This week I was able to crack down on them a little more. Their behavior has been horrible with me. In time I'm sure they'll learn what they can get away with with me versus their other teacher. I knew it would be this way this year. I just have to let some of my control issues go. Easier said than done. . .

Then there is the whole juggling mommyhood and work. I am very lucky that my husband is able to work from home on the days I go in. Poor guy. Talk about juggling, I don't know how he does it- taking care of Maddy and working. Thank goodness she naps now (anywhere from one to two hours two or three times a day) or he would not be able to do it. It is soooo much easier for me to go to work knowing he is the one home with her. I honestly don't worry at all. I am able to focus on work and I don't feel guilty. We are hoping his job will let him continue this arrangement until June when I'm off. If not I think we have enough family members who are able to chip in to get us by until then. We will have to look at a more long-term solution in August when school starts again.

Probably the most annoying thing about going back to work is pumping. I hate pumping. I am not very good at it and only get 3-5 oz total in 10-15 minutes, and that's in a morning pump. If I pump in the afternoon it is so pathetic, I feel like it was a big waste of time. On the days I work I pump in the morning when I get up. I usually feed her once before I leave. I have to pump at lunch and sometimes before I leave (it is late) or when I get home. My pumps are better on the days I work because I go so much longer between feeds. I think we can get by with my production. I was worried we'd have to switch to formula if I wasn't able to keep up. With all her issues, I'd prefer not to have to introduce formula for as long as possible. If I had to go back full time, it would be a different story.

Pumping at work sucks! We have a 45 minute lunch period. At 11:28 exactly I walk my class to the lunchroom, then race back to my classroom. I pull the drapes shut and lock the door. Then I sit and pump for 10 minutes and hope the janitor doesn't decide to come in. Oh the horror! By the time I clean up my supplies and get down the the staff room to eat it is noon and I only have 15 minutes to eat, go to the bathroom and call my DH for an update. So much for a break. I used to love my lunch break. Sigh. . . my days of leisurely eating ended long ago.

I keep telling myself I am doing what is best for my daughter. I am amazed I was able to keep her nourished with my body alone for four months (actually 13 months if you count pregnancy). But breastfeeding is a sacrifice. I can't eat spicy, gassy, acidic foods anymore or it bothers her reflux. Gone is my beloved Mexican food and pizza. I watch my formula feeding friends go away for the weekend and leave their four month old daughter with her grandparents. I don't produce enough milk to store to even consider that. I hear stories of how soon they all slept through the night. Their babies are plump and my baby is skinny. I worry I don't have enough milk for her anymore, even though I'm sure that's not true. That was my biggest worry in the beginning but I started to feel confident as she began packing on the pounds. With her slow weight gain now, I worry again. It is such a feeling of responsibility to know that you are the only one able to nourish her. It is a proud feeling, but it can be overwhelming at times.

I have sure spewed a lot of random thoughts on this post.

I better go change her diaper.

Let's hope for a dirty one!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Skinny Baby or Why I'm a Bad Mother

Friday we had Maddy's four month check up. I found she had only gained ONE POUND since her two month appt! Why didn't they just stamp "Bad Mother" on my head? Instead of taking blame, I turned to my daughter after the nurse weighed her and said, "Ooooh you're going to be in trouble." After all she's the one not eating right? She thought this was very funny and gave me a huge grin. I think it has a little to do with her reflux and not eating for long periods at each feeding due to discomfort. My side of the family is made up of lean people, so part of it might be genetic too. To my credit she did grow two inches and the head circumference had increased also. So she is growing, just long, not fat. The doctor was not too concerned. He had hoped she'd gained a little more weight though. Because of this and her reflux issues, we decided to start her on some rice cereal twice a day. Ideally, I would have liked to wait until six months for any solids, but I think in her case the pros outweigh the cons.

I am still struggling with what to do about her reflux meds. I had switched her back to Zantac for a couple doses until we could talk to the doctor. He suggested we mix the Prilosec with simple syrup (a sugar/water mixture) to see if she'd take it better that way. We tried her first dose with that last night. I'd say she kept about half down. This morning I tried Carrie's technique (thanks!) of slowly shooting it in the corner of her mouth while she was sucking on a paci. This worked and I think she finally kept a whole dose down. The real test will be tonight to see if it can be repeated. If not, I might just switch her back to Zantac. She really wasn't doing horribly on it and the doctor said if we go back to that we can up her dose of it again. I hate that we have to mix the Prilosec with sugar, but I'm assuming if they add flavor at the pharmacy that there is sugar in that too. ? Between that and the rice cereal I feel like I am polluting my baby with all this gunk I am shoving down her throat. I feel like she looks at me sometimes like, "Mom I just want your boob." Oh well. I think I am doing what's best. . . I think.

I have three days of work in a row coming up. That sounds like an eternity compared to my two last week. How did I ever do five? Oh that's right. I didn't have a baby.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Four Months

This week marked two important milestones. Maddy turned four months old and I went back to work partime. For fear of this post being too long, I will share about Maddy first. She's more fun than work anyway.

Wow four whole months. She has changed dramatically. She grew from a constant crying, screaming blob into a smiling, talking/cooing, little person. She has matured so much. She has found other ways to communicate and soothe herself. She sucks on her fingers like nobody's business and will take a pacifier now. She talks to herself when she's tired instead of screaming. She falls asleep for her naps in her crib after being put down relaxed but awake. Sometimes I need to go back in and soothe her with a paci or a pat, but I never pick her up anymore. Most days I only need to go in once or twice if at all. She still only sleeps 45 minutes to an hour, but I hope those times will stretch into longer periods.

What is still tricky about Maddy? Her reflux issues continue to keep us on our toes. About a week after we first upped her Zantac dose, I noticed it becoming less effective than it had been initially. It was very slowly becoming a problem again for her and us because she won't sleep as long as she should at night without the reflux pain waking her. This Monday I asked the doctor about switching to Prevacid. I know may people online who have had great success with this type (Proton Pump Inhibitor) of medicine. He told me that Prevacid was not approved for children under one. This surprised me as many babies online are on this. He suggested we try Prilosec instead. It is the same class of medicine as Prevacid. I happily picked up the Rx on Tuesday night and was happy to bring some strong relief to my daughter. The pharmacy had mixed it into a liquid compound that we could give through a syringe.

Tuesday night she promptly spit it out. Wednesday morning, she spit it out. Wednesday night she spit it out. Thursday morning she spit it out. . . Do you see where I'm going with this?

We have tried every trick in the book: shooting it down the back of her throat, shooting it into the side of her cheek, keeping her mouth closed to try to make her swallow, blowing in her face to try to make her swallow. This morning right after she woke up I mixed it in a half ounce of breastmilk and gave it to her in a bottle. She drank half of it right away because she was so hungry, but then she made a sour face and pushed the bottle away. I fought hard to get most of it in. Today I wondered just how bad this could taste so I stuck my finger in the medicine and tried some. OMG!!! I almost gagged. Really I almost did and that was just with a finger coating. I can't imagine a whole ml. The rancid taste was followed by a bitter finish. No wonder she won't take this! I wouldn't either.

I read online that when you add flavoring to the compound, it reduces it's shelf life, which now is only 30 days in the refrigerator. At this point I don't care if I have to get a new Rx everyday, just make it palatable. In the meantime, her reflux is back because she hasn't had any meds in her for three days! I'm so frustrated. I know in the long run this medicine will be better for her if we could just get her to take it. I'm ready to go back to Zantac.

Maddy's four month check up is today. I'm going to talk to the doctor about this. I will add it to my long list of questions. . .

Has anyone out there had their child on Prilosec? Does anyone know anyone who's child was on Prilosec? Is there any other forms besides a compound? Any dissolvable flavored packets like Prevacid? How the hell can I get her to take this medicine??? Help!

In other baby news, my daughter is a cross between Houdini and an Olympic gymnast. She finds new and interesting ways to perform tricks in her sleep. Her most recent includes rolling over in her swaddle and ending up on her stomach in the middle of the night. I didn't like waking up and finding her sleeping on her stomach so we bought some of those bumper wedges. These worked great until we decided to put her crib mattress on an incline due to her reflux. Now she scootches down past the bumpers and rolls over. This morning she was once again on her stomach. I've decided to Velcro her swaddle to the wedges so as she scoots she takes the wedge with her. She got both arms out of her swaddle this morning and woke herself up with her flailing appendages. There's never a dull moment with this one!

Stay tuned for my working mom adventures. . . (I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat.)