March for Babies

Friday, June 30, 2006

Here's a Story

I grew up loving The Brady Bunch. Why wouldn't I, being a child of the mid-seventies? Lately I have been addicted to the Celebreality series My Fair Brady: We're Getting Married. It is like a train wreck, I can't NOT watch it. Man do they have issues. How many times can he say he doesn't think they are ready to get married? How many times can she say she doesn't think he wants to marry her? And yet, they continue their march towards the alter. Hmm.

This morning however it was a different kind of Brady that caught my attention. Azure stopped breathing, turned blue and her heartrate crashed. I never would have known had the monitor not gone off. I was this close to having T call 911 but I was able to suction her out (a HUGE amount of milky mucus plugging up her airway) and stimmed her for FAR. TOO. LONG. and got her going again.

And I thought yesterday was bad when she got her four month shots at the ped's office. I have never heard screaming like that in my life! But I would take that over the blue and non-responsive anyday. Blue is my favorite color, just not on my daughter's skin, thank you very much.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Answer: F-L-E-E-T

Question: How do you spell relief?

You might well remember my battles with the progesterone supps in early pregnancy. Those days when I thought I was pushing so hard to have a movement that my whole uterus (baby and all) would pop right out. Those days when I was slave to the Prometrium. Ugh! I bought a canister of Metamucil (orange flavor) which is still sitting in the kitchen cabinet, completely untouched since going off of the progesterone (horrible, rotten stuff). I must admit that I have joked several times in the past couple days about mixing a bit of that lovely orange powder into Azure's bottles. The poor child has been straining and grunting and SPITTING UP LIKE CRAZY trying to fill her diaper and it just wasn't going to happen.
I keep notes. I looked back at those notes wondering when her last dirty diaper was. I saw check boxes marked "wet fart" and "wet mess but nothing of substance" and I realized that the last GOOD stool she passed was on Sunday. SUNDAY!!!!!
Before she left the hospital she was "getting a chip" (a glycerine suppository) once every 24 hours if she hadn't stooled in that time. They weaned her off of them to go home. She hasn't had one since. When you look at your baby and realize she has continued to take food in for half a week but has not passed it back out (wet diapers not withstanding) you begin to wonder just how long it will be until she explodes. Then she has an episode of "nasal reflux" which means milky snotty vomit pours down her face from both nostrils and her mouth and you don't know where to apply suction first, and you realize that she IS exploding, only it is going the wrong way.
We have an appointment with her Ped in the morning so I thought about just waiting. Then I thought about how miserable she is and how it would just get worse overnight. I called the Ped's office. A warm bath they said. Stimulation with a rectal thermometer they said. Half of a glycerine suppository they said.
BINGO!!! I was off to the pharmacy.
She got the warm bath. Nothing. She unhappily put up with my mother holding her down while I did the dirty deed of the rectal stimulation with a greased up thermometer. Nothing. I squeezed in slightly more than half of a glycerine suppository, put on her diaper (one that was sure to leak per brand and the fact that it was too small, I figured I would play the odds) fastened her onsie, picked her up and PFFFFFFFFTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTH. Problem solved, out both sides of the diaper, up over the top, on my hand and spreading. Then it happened again!
I held her still (much easier now that she was happy again) while my mother fetched us a clean diaper (a good one that actually fit this time)a new onsie and the wipes. It took the both of us to clean her up and change her. I then sent her into the livingroom with Azure for her 5pm bottle (even though by this time it was more like 6pm) while I disinfected the kitchen (warm bath having taken place on the kitchen table while the remainder of our operation took place on the counter)*.
Results? A HUGE sigh of relief from a now peacefully sleeping Azure and one slightly less stressed out (but PMSing**) Blue. :0)

*You, like my mother, are probably freaking out at the thought that all this fecal matter (more like splooge) was applied liberally to our kitchen counter and floor. Please believe me when I say that it is the highest, largest and most easily disinfected workspace in the house and I have Lysoled and Cloroxed the place to a gleaming finish and will do so again before food is once again prepared in that same spot. I don't really care, my baby finally pooped!

**Yesterday just about did me in with the crying and refluxing and constant uncomfortableness that I could not do anything about. I was tired and frustrated and angry at myself for wanting T to watch her for a few minutes so that I could eat dinner and pump***. AF showed up this morning and the lighbulb when on. OH, it wasn't a case of "would someone please take my baby" it was just hormones! WHEW!

***The Domperidone arrived today. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Boobs Again

So I am now on my third yeast infection in as many months. Azure has not once shown signs of thrush, but, it seems I continue to get it over and over again. It hurts, my supply is shit. (1-1/2oz this morning when I used to get 8-12oz first of the morning pump). I spent the weekend trying to come up with a way to pose the question to T about whether I should continue to pump or not. Azure is not allowed to exclusively breastfeed. She requires extra calories and nutrients so she is getting breastmilk fortified with formula. That is to say the formula powder is mixed into the breastmilk. (Some people have confused the fortification with thinking that she is getting some breast milk and some formula, this is not the case.) The Ped told me specifically not to nurse her exclusively yet and at this point, with the yeast infection again I have not been nursing her at all the past few days.

Here is my issue. I know that for a preemie with a heart defect she needs all the immune boosting help she can get. I know it is better for her and for me to breastfeed for the first year. While she was in the hospital and I was running out of freezer space for all the uber lactating I was doing this did not seem like a difficult task at all. However, now that she is home and drinking as much fresh squeezed boob juice as I can muster and I am still raiding the freezer on a regular basis and my supply is dwindling... I am entertaining thoughts of giving up.

Following is my thought process:

1) I just ordered a one month supply of Domperidone. Our Ped/LC was not only un-opposed to my taking it, she is very interested to see how it works for me as I will be her first patient to try it. So, I have decided to commit myself to at least one month on Dom to see how it goes. If things improve, then I may continue with no other concerns...except these blasted yeast infections. (Yes, I sterilize my pump equipment and change my bra every day.)

2) If I were to quit pumping at the end of my Domperidone trial period the question of how to go about feeding Azure comes into play. Do I feed her out of the freezer stash until it is gone so that she gets exclusively breastmilk (fortified) as long as possible and then switch over to formula?
Do I feed her some breastmilk and some formula every day to make the freezer stash last longer and therefore stretch out the time period of nutritional benefit from breastmilk? (Did I read somewhere that freezing the milk kills off some of the antibodies in the breastmilk so it might not matter anyway? I can't remember and am too lazy at this point to look it up.)

So, where does that leave us? I will pump for at least the next month and a half (7-10 days shipping then 30 days on the pills) and see where we stand then. That would put us into August when I plan on returning to work, adding more stress to our busy schedule. Also, she would be almost 6 months old.

If it looks like I will need to stop (for my own health and sanity) then I will take up the nutritional questions with our dietitian assigned by the county health department and our Ped.

NOTE: I am drinking lots of water and pumping about 4 times per day, (although the minute I turn on the damn pump is Azure's cue to start crying/coughing/alarming/etc.) and rest is something I heard about once in another life but I think it is actually just a rumor. My boobs have gone soft where once they were full and firm and it takes so much breast compression to get the milk out T is afraid I will actually hurt myself.

I find myself looking for that bar with the mechanical bull.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

One Handed Bullet Points

*This motherhood thing is hard work!

*I do not think I fully understood the concept of 24/7 until now.

*The reflux is definitely a challenge. The gurgling in her throat just makes me shudder. It sounds like that scene in the beginning of the movie Scream where Drew Barrymore has been attacked and her mother picks up the phone extension and can hear her talking but there is that sick gurgling sound. It sounds like she is drowning in her own body. There is not a big enough bulb syringe in the world to get this milky mucus out. Blehck! The fact that she seems completely comfortable and oblivious to the milk streaming out of her nose makes it a bit easier to take. It bothers me more I think. It bothers T a ginormous amount.

*My milk production has taken a nose dive. For a while I was humming along pumping 2-3oz or more out of each breast at each pumping. Now I am lucky to get 2-1/2 to 3oz total per pumping. I must talk to our ped on Tuesday, she is also a lactation consultant. They say the best thing for your milk supply is rest, water and frequent pumping/nursing. I have lacked all three in the past week.

*It is easier to find Huggies preemie diapers than Pampers preemie diapers however the Pampers do not leak and the Huggies ...let's just say the Huggies make me have to do more laundry.

*I feel like at any moment someone will show up at the door and tell us there has been some terrible mistake and we have to give her back. I suppose this might be a bit like an adoptive parent must feel the first week at home. (?) I look at her face and see she has the Elephant Family nose and I still think, "Where did you come from?"

*I have a couple of fabulous kids books to tell you about but that will have to wait until I can type with two hands.

*A word to the wise. Try to keep the home monitor plugged in as much as possible since the alarm will go off at the most in-opportune time to tell you the battery is running low and you will mistakenly think that your child is dying when in reality you are simply the dumbass who forgot to plug her back in.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

We're Home

I am very sleepy and very happy. The reflux is bad so she must remain upright at all times. This means that the bassinet and crib are not getting used as much as the bouncy and swing (turned off). She prefers to be held.
The dog is doing great, she comes running to "help" whenever Azure makes a peep. I think if we let her she would lick the skin right off the baby, so we are not letting her.
We are all smiles and sleepy drooly yawns.