Monday, July 28, 2008

Figuring out the breastmilk issue

So, a little research and some looking back over the TrixieTracker logs, and I think we've got it figured out. For the last month or so JJ has been really distracted while nursing. So, to keep him interested, I'd let him do a few minutes on each side and kept switching him back and forth from side to side. In theory, it seems like a good idea. However, breast milk actually changes composition during the course of a feeding, going from a very thin fore milk (think of it like skim) to a fatty hind milk (think heavy whipping cream). And let me just say, isn't that the wierdest thing ever? I mean, what an amazingly cool and freaky thing that the composition of your milk changes during the feeding? But, I digress. Since he was going back and forth, getting just a few minutes on each at a time, he wasn't ever getting the hind milk, so basically he was filling up on skim but never getting the yummy cream! Which explains why a) he wasn't gaining weight even though he was eating for a long time and b) I kept getting knots (the hind milk was never draining out). In fact, it turns out that what I was doing (continually switching back and forth) is a technique for increasing your milk production!

To fix the problem, now I only feed JJ on one side at each feeding. We're also supplementing with formula during the day (and I'm pumping to keep the supply up). Hopefully, we'll be able to keep the formula to a minimum and eventually get him back on breast milk only. We'd like to get him back to breast milk only because a) formula is freakin' expensive! b) formula stains when he spits it up (ewwww) c) JJ likes the breast milk better (so would I - the formula smells funny to me).

Let's hope this works.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Failure to Thrive

We took JJ into the pediatrician today because he seemed a little skinny to us. Sure enough, he hasn't gained any weight since his 4 month appt (he's 5 1/2 months now). The doctor says we need to start supplementing with formula and adding proteins to his solids (ie giving him beans/legumes/etc.) He said that based on the charts, he's officially no longer in the "normal" range which classifies him as failure to thrive. He's grown almost an inch, and he hasn't lost any weight, and he's spot on or ahead for his developmental milestones, so the doc doesn't think he's sick, just not getting enough protein and fat.

I'm so upset. I've tried so so so hard with the breastfeeding and thought we had a good rhythm down and all. I make sure I'm available to feed him every two hours if he wants it, make sure he's having plenty of wet diapers, ... he's getting plenty of volume (10 wet diapers a day, easy)....apparently he's not getting enough protein and fat from the breast milk. The doctor says it's not an uncommon issue. He said that there wasn't anything I could do to fix it and that sometimes women just don't have the right composition, but that just sounds wrong to me somehow. I need to talk to my sister - maybe she's got some good lactation consultant type tips.

Intellectually I know that this isn't my "fault" and that I didn't do anything "wrong". But that doesn't mean I don't feel totally worthless and like I failed some how. I cried for hours after we got home. Poor John did his best to cheer me up, but I guess I just need to get on top of this. I mean, I will do whatever it takes to make sure JJ is happy and healthy. I just wish that "whatever it takes" didn't mean formula. :(

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

La Leche Conference

My sister came to Dallas this weekend to attend the La Leche League conference. She's looking into becoming a lactation consultant which is totally cool. She was invaluable in helping me with JJ when he first got here. I'm way more comfortable with her advice than any random stranger and she's so good about being non-judgemental and such. She got JJ and I cool shirts too! Mine is a black nursing tank that says Supply and JJ's is a little white tank that says Demand. Too funny!!

They had lots of really neat sessions at the conference including all sorts of medical studies. She got to meet some of the founding members and talk to them too. One of the gals told her this story that just cracks me up. Apparently she was on a plane, traveling in the crowded coach section next to a woman and her baby. The baby started to fuss, obviously hungry and the woman was looking a bit concerned about nursing in a very crowded plane. She told the lady who she was and to go ahead that it was totally cool. Meanwhile, the guy on the otherside of this woman was getting really uncomfortable realizing there was about to be breastfeeding right there next to him on the plane. The gal from the LLL leaned over and said "Sir, I can see you're uncomfortable with this woman nursing. I'm sure she has a blanket in her diaper bag and would be happy to give it to you to put over your head until she's done." LOL!!! That is classic.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Slept 9 hours!!!

Elves have snatched my baby and left a changling in his place. Except it's a changeling that naps really well and sleeps all night! JJ has always been upside down on his sleep - that is, babies are supposed to sleep like 14 hours a day or something and he's typically awake 14 hours a day. He rarely naps over an hour (usually only 20 minutes at a time) and he wakes up at least once, usually twice a night to eat, only sleeping 3-4 hours at a stretch. Well, Saturday night he slept 8.5 hours! So I'm thinking "total fluke". Then during the day he took 3 naps - 2 2.5 hour naps and 1 1hour nap. WTF?!?!? Then last night, he slept 9.5 hours and this morning he is currently asleep and has been for an hour and 40 minutes.

So, on the one hand, I'm all "whoohoo!" and on the other hand I'm like "what's wrong with him?" He's not running a temp and he's not fussy or cranky or anything - he's his usual upbeat and happy self. I think I may call the pediatrician just in case. How whacky is that - being worried because he's sleeping enough? Ugh - sometimes I think being a mommy means not being happy unless you're worried about something!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Things I didn't fully appreciate before I had a baby...

  • Sleep
  • Using the bathroom without an audience
  • Sleep
  • The magical wonderfulness of one-handed foods
  • Did I mention sleep?
  • Being dry
  • Riding in the front seat of the car
  • Eating meals simultaneously rather than serially with my husband
  • Seeing my son smile and hearing him laugh

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Icklel Ickle Ickle

OK, so the freakiest thing happened today. I'm laying on the bed tickling JJ saying "tickle tickle tickle!" and he's laughing and all of a sudden he stops, looks up and me and says "ickle, ickle, ickle" clear as a bell, same rhythm and intonation I'd been using. I was so totally shocked I couldn't believe it! It was very freaky. Cool, but freaky. I mean, he's not saying mama or dada yet so to have something so clear come out was really weird, like possessed child weird! John says it's normal to have that happen once in a while and of course I couldn't get him to repeat the feat...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

7 1/2 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG - he slept 71/2 hours in a row last night! Whahoo! Of course, I woke up every 3 hours wondering why he wasn't awake and checking his breathing, but still very cool...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Visiting great granddad

We are currently up at my pappa's house on Table Rock Lake in Shell Knob, MO, visiting. JJ got to meet his great grandfather (my pappa) for the first time and the hit it off after a couple of false starts. At first, JJ was a little fussy, but after my dad showed pappa how to hold the little guy (facing out - he hates to be snuggled like a baby unless he's *really* tired), they got along great! Pappa took him out on the porch and they just sat there, swinging in the glider, looking out at the lake and woods, Pappa singing songs to him, for hours. Too cool!

In fact, this has been the "sing to JJ" trip - John and I always sing to him, but on the drive here he was soooooooooooo fussy (1.5 hours of crying nonstop in OK with nowhere to pull over?), we ended up singing to him in the car nearly the whole ride. Then, when we got here, anyone who picked him up would start singing to him - my mom, dad, granddad... his cousin Ben (5 years old) even sang to him at one point! Fun stuff :)