Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Built-in Babysitters

What a luxury to have family around. I have always heard my friends talk about how nice it is when family comes to visit when you have children, but could never relate...until now. My in-laws came to visit us for the Christmas weekend, and couldn't wait to get their hands on Baby Katie - and keep her for the entire weekend! I was on hand pretty much strictly to feed and change her, and other than that, they took complete control (which was wonderful!).

Smyrna Dad and I were able to get out of the house, visit with friends, exercise and run some errands. I snuck away to the gym 2-3 times by myself, which was fantastic and even just got to enjoy doing stuff around the house while someone tended to the Katie Bug!

Every now and then, however, I would sneak in and get some Katie (and Tungsten) time!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I've been off the blogging circuit this week due to...well...lack of time to be completely honest! But, Miss Katie is sleeping (about to wake up from her nice long nap) and I had a couple minutes to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Our first Christmas as a family has been nothing short but wonderful so far. We have slept in, had breakfast, gone on our first family walk around the neighborhood and will open gifts this evening.

Here are a couple pics so far...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

1 Month Check Up

I have fallen off the blogging wagon this week...primarily because the only time I have been near my computer, I have had to spend my time wisely and order Xmas presents.

We went on Wednesday to Katie's 1-month check-up, and the doctor declared she was "perfect" - which, of course, we already knew! ;)

Katie now weighs 9lbs, 2 oz and is 20 3/4 inches long. She is in the 50th percentile for both her height and weight.

Since I have made some tweaks to how I am breastfeeding her, I have noticed a significant change in her diapers in terms of color and no blood! As a result, I have even had a couple cookies to celebrate!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Verdict

We met with the GI doctor today, and she believes Katie has a milk-protein allergy, but not one that is severe whatsoever.

She said that it is by no means to a point in which I need to restrict my diet anymore than I already have. In addition, and most importantly, she said that despite the fact that there has been blood in her diapers, the benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh anything else. She said that truthfully, she doesn't care that there have been trace amounts of blood - its not enough to be concerned about and does NOT want me to quit b-feeding.

We did talk to her about my conversation with the lactation consultant, and she didn't necessarily buy into the idea that I have a milk imbalance...however, I think we have already seen a difference in her diapers, so I will continue to follow the LC's recommendations, along with restricting my dairy intake. Bottom line is that it can't hurt to do both.

As far as we are both concerned, this chapter is finally closed. Katie is healthy as can be and that is all that matters!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Katie Bug is 1-Month Old!

We took her to her first restaurant yesterday and ordered a dessert to celebrate her 1-month birthday!

Poop, Poop and More Poop

People always say that when you have either a dog or kids, you will constantly talk about poop. I honestly had no idea how right these people were and wish I had a nickel for everytime I even utter the word "poop" to anyone who will listen to me!

On Friday, I took Katie to the pediatrician for a follow-up appointment so she could further examine her, and for us to receive the test results for C. Diff (which were negative). While we were waiting on the doctor to see us, Katie had a very bloody stool, which really seemed to alarm the doctor - enough that she got us in for an appointment with a Pediatric GI doctor for tomorrow afternoon. While she and I were talking, she mentioned a couple times that there is a possibility that Katie is allergic to the lactose in my breastmilk - something that I cannot seem to even possibly comprehend or agree with.

I got smart that afternoon and called Northside Hospital's lactation department. I figured out of anyone, they should have some good knowledge in this area. Without going into too much detail, the bottom line is that the lady asked me a series of questions - the key two questions being:

1. How is her weight gain?
2. What color is her poop?

I proudly talked about her 1 lb gain in 6 days and mentioned that her poop has been green. It was at that point that she stopped me mid-sentence and said that her poop color was a problem! I guess as a mother, and after taking a Baby Essentials class, I should know that her poop should be mustard yellow, but when our pediatrician told me that green is normal I didn't question it! In addition, she said the fast weight gain is NOT normal - she should only be gaining a 1/2 oz to 1 oz/day - not 2 oz/day.

Anyway, she said immediately that it sounds like we may have a "foremilk/hindmilk imbalance", meaning that she is getting more of the lower fat milk as opposed to the higher fat milk. The three biggest syptoms are quick weight gain, green poop and bloody stools.

Oddly enough, Brad and I both had come across a website earlier today, which contains the information below, and is exactly what the lactation consultant described.

Babies of mothers with oversupply frequently have bowel problems because the over production of milk causes the baby to get more foremilk ( the lower fat first milk) than hind milk. Hindmilk is the higher fat milk that comes later in the feeding. Because the fat in the milk helps to slow digestion, a baby who receives more foremilk than hind milk may experience very rapid digestion. This would allow some of the lactose, a milk sugar, into the bowel undigested. Once in the bowel, lactose creates irritation that often leads to gassiness and explosive, sometimes green bowel movements. Irritation also further inhibits the bowel's ability to manage the lactose, creating a situation that often gets progressively worse. This bowel irritation sometimes becomes so severe it can cause bloody stools.

She asked that I "block nurse" Katie all weekend - meaning to have Katie feed on "one side" for the entire duration of the feeding instead of switching halfway through, and then for the next feeding have her eat from the following side. This will ensure that she will definitely get the hind milk instead of the foremilk.

After reading quite a bit over the weekend on this imbalance/oversupply issue, so many things started to make sense to me. 1. Katie will often times "thrash" around while breastfeeding, arch her back and more or less bite down on my nipple - this is a HUGE sign of a foremilk oversupply. Apparently, this is her way of trying to stop the milk from coming to her so quickly (imagine laying on the ground trying to drink from a garden hose that is turned on full blast). 2. She would often times choke/cough within a few seconds of starting to nurse. This is also a huge sign of oversupply because, once again, the milk is getting to her too fast.

Again, we will go to the GI doctor tomorrow to get their opinion, but if I could bet money I would say that we are NOT dealing with a milk-protein allergy whatsoever...especially sine after 24 hours of block nursing, Katie no longer has green poop!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Crib Transition

These days, I am perpetually a few days behind with updates. I guess that is to be expected with a one-month old that tends to eat around the clock!

Anyway, last weekend we transitioned Katie into her crib for the first time. It couldn't have gone smoother! We put the camera in the crib, relied on the monitor and got some rest! Given that we have a video monitor, it is way to easy to fall into the trap of watching the screen so we can capture every movement! The nice thing I have found is that typically she will lay there, not making a peep, wide awake just looking around.

She still uses her moses basket and pack and play for naps, with the crib only being used for nighttime sleeping.

Definitely a milestone...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

In order to get stuff done...

Sometimes you just have to put Katie in certain spots in order to get stuff done.

Moses Basket = Shower Time

Bouncy/Vibration Seat = Laptop Time

Now, I just need Smyrna Dad home so I can have grocery shopping time!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Allergy Update

Just thought I would update everyone on Katie's possible allergy. As you probably remember, two weeks ago it was discovered that there was a small trace of blood in her diaper one afternoon when we were at the pediatrician. The most common cause of a bloody stool in infants is a milk-protein allergy. While there isn't a specific test the doctors can give Katie to determine if this is what the problem is, they typically ask the mother's to eliminate ALL dairy sources from their diet (the obvious culprits + ingredients such as whey). This coming Wednesday it will have been 2 weeks since I have started this new diet and am about 99% sure that I have not consumed any hidden ingredients.

Throughout all of this, the good thing is that we have not seen any traces of blood with the exception of the day at the pediatrin and the day before T-giving...other than that, apparently it's just a very small trace (microscopic) amount, which should mean the allergy is minimal.

Yesterday afternoon, however I went to change her diaper and actually witnessed her pooping out blood - I am not sure of the amount, but assume it equaled to an 1/8 to a 1/4 of a tsp. We went to the pediatrician this afternoon - met with a different doctor - and she is ready to really get to the bottom of this whole situation. She said that there can be two primary reasons for blood in the stool - milk protein allergy or a C. Dif bacteria. Details on the bacteria can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clostridium_difficile.

She doesn't seem to think that it is the bacteria, but wants to rule it out before we start pursuing the idea that it is something in my breastmilk. We have the pleasure of collecting some major stool samples by tomorrow - this time the substance will go into a tupperware-like container and taken to the lab. We should have results in 48 hours.

In the meantime, I need to schedule an appointment for Katie to see a Gastrointerologist - they will do a variety of tests (Not sure what that means) and then go from there.

The absolute WORST case scenario is that they will ask me to completely quit breastfeeding - an option that neither of us is happy about or think will actually happen - and she will have to go solely on formula. Anyway, please send some positive vibes that this isn't the case!

Oh - on a positive note, the little monkey put on almost a WHOLE pound in the past 6 days!! So, at least I know I don't have a milk supply issue...maybe just a milk quality issue. She now weighs 8 lbs 15 oz!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bonding Time

Smyrna Dad, Baby Katie and I have all had a wonderful week. Katie and I have been able to spend tons of time together - around the clock - and it's really paid off. Baby Blues seem to be gone and I literally can't wait to get my hands on the little monkey whenever she wakes up in the morning, or from a nap.

Starting tomorrow, Baby Katie is going to have a string of visitors between friends and family members, as well as neighborhood folks bringing us meals in the evening (how nice is that?!)! This is always challenging for me, as I have to figure out her feeding times well in advance, so that I am hopefully not having to whip out the boob while people are sitting here.

Looking forward to our second full weekend alone as a family...we will be partaking in some Christmas decorating!

PS - 4 years ago yesterday, Smyrna Dad and I got engaged! :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lunch Dates and Mani/Pedi

Everyone always told me leading up to Katie's arrival to take any offer of help when it would come up, so that's what I am doing! Smyrna Great Aunt Sandy was so kind to come over yesterday and watch Baby Katie for a few hours, while Smyrna Dad and I had our first lunch date as parents! Things were going so well, that I left the restaurant and headed to the nail salon for a little foot TLC. Honestly, it was heaven!

I didn't want to wait too long to leave Katie with someone else, as the longer I waited, the harder I knew it would be. I was so proud of myself for asking for her to sit with Katie and actually venture out for a few hours (and enjoy the time)!

Katie was so well behaved that the offer to sit again has been made. No question I will be taking her up on the offer! :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Survival and Weight Update

I have officially survived my first two solo days with Baby Katie, and honestly, it has been a million times easier than I expected. Having Smyrna Grandmother here for a couple weeks to get me acclamated, and having a weekend with Smyrna Dad and Baby Katie helped me ease my way into the past couple days...and I think I passed with flying colors!

I even ventured out of the house today, with Baby Katie, and headed down to the pediatrician's office for her last weight check! The little one has gained 10 oz in a mere 7 days, which was just the best news!! I can now cancel my lactation appointment as I think it is clearly obvious that the milk is flowing just fine!

Unfortunately, she is still testing positive for blood in her stool, which means that there is still some form of an allergy that is present. Now, whether or not the allergy is definitely a milk-protein allergy remains to be seen. She will get re-tested on Monday, and if she tests positive for blood, we will talk about next steps. As the pediatrician reiterated today, it does take approximately 2 weeks for the dairy to get out of your system, so it's still early.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we start to see some improvement in the next week or so!