Thursday, July 23, 2009

One Month old today!

Emmalee is one month old today, and boy has it been a long month! I love being a mom, though it is definitely the hardest job I have ever had. When Emmalee was about 2 weeks old I said that I was amazed anyone would want a second child after having a first! I absolutely love our baby girl, but she has been a challenge for us. At about 2 weeks old I took Emmalee in to see our family practice doctor because she was refusing to eat. She would act like she was hungry (which she was) but then we would get to the breast and she would just scream and scream. We had also discovered around that time that anytime I had dairy products Emmalee would throw up and have green foul smelling mucusy stools. I brought these concerns up with the doctor and they pretty much blew them off and said it was most likely a stage and she was probably refusing to eat because she didn't like the taste of what I was eating. At the appointment she weighed 8 lbs 6 oz (1 oz above birth weight, 50%tile for her age) was 22 in long(99th %tile) and head circumference was 34 cm(50 %tile). That was a Thursday, the following Tuesday I brought her into the dr again because she was eating even less, and screaming all the time. Not just colicky baby or fussy baby screaming, but screaming like she was in pain every time she was awake. We could get her to take the bottle but she wouldn't stay at the breast for more than 5 minutes. Our family dr told us she just had colic and would grow out of it in 3-4 months and colic is neurological. He was not concerned that at three weeks she was only 8lbs 8 oz, only 3 oz above birth weight when she should be gaining 6-10 oz a week. Well, on Tuesday I went to a lactation consultant because I still just can't convince her to eat. She was weighed and still weighed 8lbs 8oz, she had gained nothing in a week. The lactation consultant observed us and noted that when Emmalee nursed she arches her back and fights against nursing. She said she thought it looked like she was in pain when she nursed. She is having us treat for a yeast infection as well as giving Emmalee a bottle every time she refuses the breast and stick at it to get her to eat. On Wednesday she started outright refusing the bottle. She would do the same thing with the bottle that she would the breast: arch her back, flail her arms and kick her legs, and SCREAM! I called the lactation consultant back and she said if we couldn't get her to eat we would have to tube feed her. She also said she couldn't diagnose but it sounded like reflux and suggested that I take her to a pediatrician not just our family dr. She told us when something is wrong with a big person, you take them to a dr who sees big people, when something is wrong with a little person, you take them to someone who sees only little people. So we took her to a pediatrician and we loved him. He took down all of her symtoms, family history, and examined her and asked lots of questions. As an afterthought I brought up her coughing and choking and asked if that was normal. Evidently it is not, and all of her symtoms are classic for reflux. He said she has reflux and likely has heartburn with her reflux. He also believes she has a milk allergy and possibly a few other food allergies. He told me to avoid ALL dairy products, even in small amounts. That is very hard for me because I love milk and dairy. He also prescribed a reflux medication that we have to give her twice a day, and said to supplement breast milk with soy formula because my milk production has gone way down because she hasn't been eating very much. He also advised using head & shoulders on her scalp face and upper body because what we thought was a bad case of infant acne is really some kind of dermatitis (he told us what kind but I forgot).
Well, after one night of medication and soy formula, she is a different baby! She threw up three times last night (not spit-up, though she does spit up after just about every time of nursing, but forceful large amounts of vomit) and Joel thought we should use mostly soy formula for now so that she doesn't throw up the medication. After the formula last night and this morning her rash on her upper body and scalp is virtually gone! And she isn't screaming nearly as much, though she is only sleeping except to eat.
Needless to say it has been a long, eventfull month for us, and very emotionally straining especially because we're a bit overly paranoid being new at thing whole parenting thing. It's difficult to see your baby scream and be in pain all the time and not be able to do anything about it. As sad as it is we would dread her wakefull times and were always relieved when she fell asleep. We've been staying with Joel's parents for the last couple of days to add extra hands to take care of her because this last week we were only getting a few hours of sleep because she was awake and screaming most of the time. Hopefully the medication will work and nursing will be more enjoyable for Emmalee and I. I'm excited to see what the next month brings! (hopefully not too many hours of screaming)
Oh, at the pediatricians office yesterday they checked Emmalee's height, head circumference and weight. She hasn't grown at all since her two week check up besides gaining a few ounces. Her head is now in the 10th %tile, weight in the 32 %tile, and height in the 70 %tile. We are seeing the pediatrician again on Monday for a follow-up appointment to make sure she is starting to gain weight.


Stephanie Braithwaite said...

I'm glad you went to the pediatrician. Like I said before, I think it's really helpful to see them since babies and children are their specialty. :)

Leserlee said...

I am so sorry. That sounds so horrible. But at least you are getting things under control now. Hopefully the next month of motherhood goes better. Have you tried pumping to increase your milk supply? Especially if you are supplementing with formula. This way you can build up a supply in the freezer. And you might as well start drinking soy milk and soy cheese and stuff like that, this way you think you are still having dairy, but you aren't, and Emmalee will still nurse.

Kathleen said...

I am glad that you went to the pediatrician and now Emmalee will hopefully start feeling more comfortable.