Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Two Months!

Kaiden is two months old today! He has certainly come a long way. Take a look at his lists!

Things I've Known How to Do

Make eye contact and follow objects
Support my head (mostly!)
Know Mommy and Daddy's voices

New Things That I Do

Suck on my hands (I finally found them!)
Self soothe when going to bed
Cry because I know it gets me attention, even if nothing is wrong (And you can really tell it's a fake cry)
Kick at my toys
Reach toward my toys with closed fists

I am probably leaving some things out, but as you can see, things are going well! He has breastfeeding down to an art now (thank God), and we don't have any more issues with it besides coping with my overactive let down.

We are dealing with a newish obstacle, though. Kaiden was diagnosed with reflux last week, though...we've suspected it all along. It's been getting worse, and he has been in more pain because of it. So, now Kaiden is back on Zantac twice a day, and he is given a rice cereal bottle twice a day as well. We've seen a difference and the reflux is less now...but he still has moments when it sucks and I feel horrible. Last night, he was trying to talk to me, but the reflux kept coming up into his mouth instead, and he made the saddest little face and started to cry in frustration. I started to cry too, and my husband had to calm everyone down.

We go back to the doctor the first week of December for his two month check up, his vaccinations, and a follow-up to our reflux regimen. I am hoping that there is some improvement, but not much has happened since Friday. It's only been a few days, so maybe it will clear up by the end of the week.

His first Thanksgiving is coming up, and he will be meeting his daddy's side of the family for the first time. We are super excited about it! I plan on making a feathered headband for him to wear, that is, if I can get to the craft store tomorrow!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone! Remember what it is you are thankful for, not the things you do not have. This time, last year, I was coming up on my embryo transfer, which took place on Thanksgiving. That embryo didn't take, but I am thankful that it didn't, or I wouldn't have my precious Kaiden.

Monday, November 18, 2013

7 Weeks!: We are chugging along...

I know it's been a little while since I've posted last. I've had lots I've wanted to post about, but I hardly ever have the time to surface for air these days, and when I do, I have to decide if I want to take a shower or spend some time on the computer.

Kaiden is doing very well. He is now 10 lbs 1 oz according to last week's weigh in with the lactation consultant. He is still having lots of gas issues that we can't quite figure out. I thought it was the formula, so the pediatrician told me to stop all formula and to feed him only breastmilk. I did that for over a week, and it was very exhausting because Kaiden still isn't exclusively breastfed. So, not only was I having to get him to nurse more, but I had to find time to pump during the day as well so my supply didn't go down.

Kaiden was also going through a growth spurt at the end of week five, so he was constantly eating. The result? Sore, sore nipples. So sore. I was in so much pain that I was in tears, and just when I thought things were getting better (since Kaiden was now breastfeeding more than he was bottle feeding), my pain was getting in the way. I spent the better part of week six going back and forth between a nipple shield, ice, heat packs, lanolin and sheer willpower to only give my son breastmilk. Eventually, all of the pain and stress caught up to me, and I had a meltdown. My mother in law came down to spend the day with me and give me a break.

It was then that I made the executive decision to use the formula again when I needed to. This took the pressure off me to pump enough for Kaiden during the day when he would refuse to nurse. In turn, I stopped stressing out and Kaiden came back to the breast. Now, I am happy to say that he breastfeeds all through the day and usually only gets a bottle at night. There are times he wants to play at the breast and not eat, which results in Kaiden pulling and biting my nipples. So, I give him a bottle then to help my boobies out.

We still don't know what is causing all the gas issues. The mainly breastmilk diet has definitely improved things, but he still has very bad days when he's in pain. It bothers me to see him like that, since there's nothing I can do beside giving him gas drops and gripe water. I will be calling the doctor again to talk about the possibility of him having reflux issues that the Zantac just wasn't taking care of.

Developmentally, Kaiden is still a little a head of the game. He's "talking" much more, smiling brightly back at people, especially those he knows. He has discovered his hands and puts them in his mouth to self-soothe more often. He kicks at his toys when he's in his bouncy chair. He's great. :) Always so alert and attentive. I love spending time with him and watching him figure out how to make a noise back at me when I talk to him. I think he has it down now, though. When he first started "talking" he'd usually hiccup, sneeze and spit up before a voluntary sound came out. There's less of that now. :P

Here's a picture from six weeks. This is his "Mom, I don't want to eat anymore" face:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Week 5: A Letter to Kaiden

Dear Kaiden,

Yesterday, you turned five weeks old. Right now, you are asleep in your rock and play right beside me, and smiling in your dreams.

Last year on this day, I was taking stimulation drugs to kick my ovaries in gear and get them producing eggs. Thirteen days later, you were created. You were one of nine kick ass embryos that made it to day five, and then to freeze a day later. Although I was sad that the embryo we put back didn't make it, I am glad that it meant that I'd get you instead. I couldn't imagine not having you.

In this past week, you've started to "talk" more and smile. You track objects with your eyes and reach for them when you really want to. You are awake more often than you are asleep, and you always want people to pay attention to you and talk to you.

How you went from being a little embryo in a petri dish to being the tiny human you are today is a miracle...and I am so glad that you were given to me after such a long road of failures and pain.

I love you.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Week Four: My Little Pain in the Butt

I will break this post down into sections, since lots has happened in a week.

My Son

Kaiden is doing really well. For the most part. He is only four weeks old, but this week he's started to "talk" or coo back at you when you talk to him. He also has socially smiled a few times, but he talks more than he socially smiles. He is really good at tracking with his eyes, holding up his head (and his upper half), throwing himself around, and generally being a little wiggle worm.

We have taken to calling him "Bug" or "Buggy" after the fact that he's a cuddle bug and can never get enough cuddles. My favorite part of the day is when I can bring him into bed with me, cuddle and nap. When he is in his co-sleeper, he wiggles to the edge closest to me and complains if he wants cuddle time. This usually happens after his 6 am feeding. If we cuddle with him, he'll sleep until around 10 am, when he gets hungry again. I love this boy more and more every day. And how could you not love a face like this?


First off, thank you for all of your support. I really appreciated all of you reaching out to me in some way or another.

Breastfeeding got better...and then we had another set back. Last weekend, Kaiden started to refuse the breast again, this time differently than before. He'd latch perfectly without the shield, suck a few times, then tug backwards with my nipple still in his mouth, then shove his face into my boob full force. Then, he'd let go and start screaming, refusing to get even close to my boob after this point. Needless to say, this was very distressing and annoying. Two steps forward and a billion steps backward. No matter what I did, he wouldn't come back to the breast.

After doing a lot of reading and speaking to my lactation consultant, I have come to the conclusion that I probably over an overactive/forceful letdown and an oversupply of milk. This has created a few issues, all which run into one another, like a domino effect.

The biggest issues is that it hurts Kaiden. When my milk lets down, it is spraying him in the back of the mouth. One site compared it to turning on a fire hose and hitting a person with it. This would explain why Kaiden pulls backwards and arches his back to get away from it. It also explains why he refuses to go back to the breast if it is literally hurting him.

The other is a nutritional issue, which I will get into in a moment.

Yesterday, I read that going back to the nipple shield helps with forceful let down because it slows down the flow of milk before it gets to the baby's mouth. So, begrudgingly, after all my hard work to get him OFF the shield, I put it back on...and he came back to the breast. There are other things I have to do to try and help this issue for the long term, which I will discuss with my LCs and report back on here. I have read pretty much everything out there on overproduction and overactive let down, so if you are thinking of something in particular to suggest, I probably already know about it. The problem is, we still have to determine if I am suffering from oversupply as well, and I don't want to mess with my routine right now if I'm not, then throw my supply off.

This leads to pumping. I have been really working on my pumping routine, because I simply couldn't keep up with Kaiden's demands. As of last Saturday, I was only pumping around 8 ounces a day. So, since my son has started to eat 3-4 ounces in one sitting...that meant I couldn't feed him all breastmilk all day long. I had to use more formula (which became an issue that I will get to later).

As Kaiden was nursing, then stopped, my supply was all messed up. So, I rented a hospital grade pump to help empty my breasts and get my supply back up. I've been religiously pumping at least eight times a day. This means I get up twice in the middle of the night, sometimes three times, to get those sessions in, and then pump throughout the day. This is a lot of work. Just as much work as breastfeeding is. But, I cherish my pumping sessions because they are quiet, and I can think and recenter myself when I am getting frustrated. As of yesterday, I pumped 15 ounces. This is almost double my output from last weekend, but it still is sort of low. So, I must keep on pumping and get my supply established.

Today, I've been able to keep up with Kaiden's feedings, at least in the morning. He usually gets formula at night.

Health Issues

Kaiden's been having some digestive issues. We wrote them off as being normal at first, but yesterday, I called the pediatrician, and I had to bring the baby in immediately to be checked out.

Mostly, he's been very, very gassy and uncomfortable. He's been spitting up more frequently, and sometimes even projectile vomiting. His bowel movements have been very loose and explosive. He was in pain every day, and no matter how many gas drops or gripe water we gave him, it wouldn't give him any relief. This would keep him up at night, and he'd be hungry often because he was either spitting up his food, or it was going right through him and out the other end.

The ENT put him on Zantac for reflux on Tuesday, thinking this might be the cause of his congestion that he's been struggling with as well. But, as of yesterday, I wasn't seeing any difference. I know it can take up to two weeks to work, but I thought it should have at least been easing his symptoms a little bit.

So, yesterday, after he had two explosive episodes, one episode of projectile vomiting, and was spitting up after every meal, I called his doctor. When I took him into the office, he had another explosive diaper, which was good timing, because I could show the doctor what I meant then. He said this was all not normal at all, and he listened to Kaiden's tummy, which was very rumbly and unsettled.

The pediatrician suspects Kaiden has a lactose sensitivity right now. I am to severely limit or cut dairy from my diet, and Kaiden has been switched to a lactose-free formula...which is very expensive. Thankfully, he gave us nine cans to sample for free, which should last us some time. He also gave us a paper to send to the company to get some more free samples as well. So, I should have enough to last until I can keep up with Kaiden's demands in breastmilk. We should see a difference by Tuesday, but I am already seeing a difference in Kaiden today.

The thing is, oversupply can also cause this lactose issue, and digestive issues as well. When a woman suffers from oversupply, the baby drinks most of her "foremilk" which is milk that is heavy in lactose, but not in fat. Because there's so much foremilk, the baby has a hard time reaching the hindmilk, which has all the fat. In turn, the baby is drinking lots of lactose that his digestive track can't quite handle just yet. This causes gas and fussiness and digestive issues. So, I may be contributing to these issues doubly so...which sucks.

Needless to say, we're still going through some stuff, but it is getting better. One day at a time. That's all we take, is one day at a time.

Every smile and coo is worth the rest of it. :)