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   Thursday, March 30, 2006  

Yesterday my little man had his last Synagis shot. Less than 10% of all suspected cases of RSV are proving to actually be the dreaded illness. This means that in areas where there is little-no RSV reported, we should be safe to live like we have a normal baby boy!

He also weighed in at 11 lb 4.5 oz (though last time that scaled weighed him 2.5 oz lower than his pediatrician's scale the day before) and was 22 3/8 inches long. I can't believe how quickly he's growing!

He hasn't done much babbling/cooing -- just a couple of noises a day out of him. It still frightens him when he makes a sound and he looks around confused. Tuesday night he actually giggled two times, but again got that frightened look on his face (the look that says, "What the heck was that???") and hasn't done it since no matter how hard we try. The most we can get is a huge smile, with little squinty eyes and shoulders scrunched up. He'll get there though.

The first week of May I will be filling out a questionnaire from the early intervention office in our county. Basically, we have to attempt several different tasks with him and see what he does -- things like handing him a toy and seeing how long he holds it for and whether or not he tries to put it in his mouth, placing a toy in front of him and seeing if he'll reach for it, etc. I went through it the other day just for fun and in all but one category he falls in the "see a specialist" category. Granted, these are tasks that should be done by a 4 month old and he's only 11 weeks adjusted, so we've got 5 weeks until he should be able to do them. Really hoping we get there by then.

   [ posted  @ 7:38 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (1) ]
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My nephew has RSV and it has been one hospitalization after another for this little guy. He is now 3 years old, and it is still problematic. People just don't know about this illness. I wish there was more said about it.

   Thursday, March 23, 2006  

Isn't he the cutest little lowercase???

Firsts of note:

March 22 -- First sleeping through the night (midnight to 7 am; repeat last night, hoping two in a row is the start of a trend)

March 23 -- First coos/gurgles

March 23/24 -- Midnight feeding, held his own bottle of prune juice (granted it's only 10 ml [appx 1/3 oz])

   [ posted  @ 11:59 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (9) ]
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  Comments about my post, "Isn't he the cutest little lowercase???":
Oh my GOD. He looks JUST LIKE YOU.
Oh he is just adorable!!! Look at that smile! And those eyes! Oh, I bet you are so proud of him!!!
fzhevgWhat a TOTAL CUTIE!! And so big. Hooray, hooray!
Ignore the word verification that got into my last comment....
Totally the cutest. Great grin on that mug. *glee*

Good luck w/ the prunes btw.
OMG, he is adorable!!!!
I love that smile!
Nothing cuter than a smiling baby, especially when it's your baby!

He is gorgeous :-)

Here's to many more firsts....
He is soooo cute! Congrats!

   Wednesday, March 22, 2006  

What we did

I talked to my lactation consultant and she thought it sounded like he was ready for solid food, too. So we tried it.

We mixed up the oatmeal. I nursed him. Then we set him down and prepared to feed him the cereal. He was interested in the first bit that hit his mouth but by the second spoon decided he wasn't so much "interested" as "repulsed." He spit every bit of it out and cried hysterically.

It was bad. He was totally not ready, or maybe he was just too hungry as he did follow up with a 4 ounce bottle (giving him a total of at least 5 ounces taken in as he still refuses to finish a feeding by nursing -- he still does about half and half, but his nursing that time wasn't very effective and he refused to latch for long at all). So, maybe we'll try again in another week or two or three. We'll see.

I'm contemplating starting him on prunes rather than cereal. We bought some and the ingredients are prunes and water. He drinks prune juice twice daily to keep his bowels in check and the ingredients of his juice? Prunes and water. I'm thinking if we use that it isn't an entirely new taste sensation and we know the food won't cause a bad reaction since the juice doesn't. This way the only thing he's adjusting to is the spoon and the texture and not something entirely new. Of course, I'll talk to his pediatrician before I do anything that way.

   [ posted  @ 5:51 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (4) ]
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  Comments about my post, "What we did":
Try rice cereal first and mix it with breast milk. Make it kind of runny. Rice is a more bland flavor than oatmeal, and will take on the flavor of the breast milk so it won't be so strange for him. :)
Rice is reeeaaaalllly constipating, though, so if he's already having pooping problems that would be bad news.

I still don't really get why people want you to start feeding him if he's not showing an interest in food.
You say he's only five months old.. and if he was premature. Why on earth introduce solids at this point?!? Wait until he's interested. There's no health benefit, and you can introduce food allergies if you do this too early.

Really sounds like a bad piece of advice.
I have also seen reports of risks of diabetes and bowel conditions later in life that 'they' believe may be linked to starting solids too early...there is absolutely no harm in waiting (especially if you are not comfortable either) but perhaps a great benefit down the track.

   Monday, March 20, 2006  

To feed or not to feed?

I should post about my weekend trip to my in-laws, but my mind has exhausted that topic as I keep replaying the whole thing in my mind. In short, it was not so good. The only thing I'll say is that from Friday evening until noon on Sunday, my mother-in-law held my son for all of twenty-five minutes.

Instead of that, lets talk feeding. My little man is five months old today. At his four month visit, the pediatrician said that most babies begin eating solid foods between four and six months of age. He said that while we might feel it's a little early we should begin thinking about it. He stated that he felt that premature babies should begin with cereals a little earlier than full term babies as they will exhaust their iron stores sooner (and my little one does have a tendency toward anemia that required one blood transfusion and even with supplemental iron he still drops down to the "borderline" area). His suggestion was that perhaps we should start cereal at five months.

I'm looking at him and I just can't see it. I'm guesstimating his weight at around 11 pounds. He sits well in his bumbo seat (and looks quite funny in it being that he's so small).

I guess I'm just having a hard time right now dealing with the dichotomy. He's five months old. He should be 2 1/2 months old. He sits with support, he holds his head up well, he loves to bear weight on his feet and does so for long periods of time. But he's also just begin responsive smiling. He doesn't coo or make much vocal noise other than crying. He's fascinated by mobiles and likes to hit one toy (a ball with a bell inside and Winnie the Pooh sitting on top), but otherwise doesn't play with any toys. He won't grasp a rattle (but he will shake his pacifier at you on occasion and yesterday he liked playing with his new spoon).

I just don't know how to do this part...this making decisions as to when to move forward. I know my pediatrician told us to think about it and in our discussions said he thought five months would be a good time for it, but now that the time has come...is it really the right time?

   [ posted  @ 12:13 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (8) ]
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  Comments about my post, "To feed or not to feed?":
You know if you try feeding him cereal, he'll let you know whether he's ready or not. If he turns his head or closes his mouth and refuses to let you put the spoon in, he's probably not ready and you should wait a couple more weeks before you try again. But if you try and he doesn't do those things, he may be very ready. Our daughter was 8 weeks early and I think we started the cereal about 4 1/2 - 5 months or so. She loved it and we never looked back. Bottom line, though, you have to do what feels right to you.
Agreed do what you feel in your gut is correct for him. If you really feel like he's not ready a little more time can't hurt too much.
I agree with what's been said before me by these wise women.

Slow and steady is the course...but how you plot it is up to you, captain. He'll help guide you along the way too.
5 months is too early, according to the AAP, which doesn't recommend other foods until 6 months because of the increased rate of diabetes in babies who start solids earlier.

There is evidence that babies absorb a huge amount of the little iron in breastmillk, but once they start iron-fortified cereals they lose that ability to get all the good iron out of the milk. In other words, if you don't start with the cereal the baby can get iron out of the milk still.

His growth rate will go down once he starts solids because none of them (except avocado) have as much fat as milk does, so he'll fill up on less caloric food and stop gaining weight as quickly.

Also, read this article about babies going at their own pace (and the choking danger of feeding cereals):

Having said all that, if you *want* to start him now, of course you should do it! But it doesn't sound like you really want to, so I'm giving you scientific backup for why you should wait if you want to.

Also, having done it with one, feeding cereals and pureed foods is a big PITA. Almost a second job. I skipped the pureed stuff (and nasty cereals) with my second, and do not regret having that extra time in my day.
Just tried cereal with my two, who are 4 1/2+ mos., upon the doc's suggestion (if they seemed hungry, she said). They would be a bit over 3 mos. adjusted age, so I felt odd about it, but I thought I'd just try. My one guy wouldn't take it at all. My other liked it but had a rash the next day. I'm going to wait another month before another attempt. Just saying, I don't think it's bad to go with your gut, and even if you do try it the lowercase might prove you right, at least for now.
Not much to say as far as solids go as I am SO not there yet...

I am however VERY excited to hear the lowercase is sitting in his Bumbo seat. I have one for Azure (the first baby item I purchased while pg) and I have been afraid she might not be able to use it.

Good luck with the feedings. I agree that you and the lowercase will determine when the time is right.
I agree 100% with Moxie. If it were me, I would absolutely wait. If he shows sign of anemia, then you might consider it. And I think I would try iron supplements before cereal, even then. But until then, I would wait until at least 6 months if not longer, until it is absolutely necesary or he starts stealing you food and feeding himself.

I also agree that solids are a total PITA. I'm waiting as long as possible with this one!
I also was encouraged to feed solids to my preemie earlier because of his constipation (or technically infrequent bowel movements). My 31 weeker started when he was 4.5 months adjusted - and I didn't think he was going to be ready. Well, he took to it right away much to my surprise. His bowels seemed to have straightened out too (although I think his system needed to mature, not sure if to attribute it to all the prune puree and prune juice I tried to give him). 2.5 months adjusted does seem quite early... but each baby has different needs too. I hope in his own way, lowercase will tell you.

   Tuesday, March 14, 2006  

Since the birth of the lowercase, I haven't let myself take time to think about how much weight I had gained. I haven't stepped on a scale since before I became pregnant. My last known weight was around 110-115. I was wearing a size 4 or 6 depending on the style and clothing brand.

Since delivery, I'm still wearing my knock-off Juicy tracksuit. I have one pair of track pants that I bought at Target, size Medium, that also fit. Obviously I haven't even considered pulling out my size 4 jeans. That would just be crazy.

I truthfully don't know how much I weigh and am frightened to find out. I'm guessing it's somewhere between 130 and 140 but that's a truly arbitrary guess.

And I want to take the weight off. BUT...with the issues that I've had with milk production, I'm afraid to mess with my caloric intake too much (FYI, I increased the Reglan to 2/day and it's back up; will soon alternate 1 and 2 pill days until things stabilize, then back to 1/day for a while).

I was excited over the weekend when the temperature rose to the upper 50s/low 60s. We bundled up the lowercase and put him in his stroller for a nice walk around the neighborhood. I was winded after 30 minutes, but I felt so good! Of course, today there are snow flurries. Not anything that's even come close to sticking just an occasional flake floating by the window. Thank you Western NY and your damned lakes!

So...what's a girl to do? I can't handle living in sweats forever and I'd like to fit into some of my summer clothes once it gets warm. My college roommate is coming to visit in April and I really can't stand the thought of her seeing me the way I look now. Not that she would care because she's one of the least superficial people I know, but I would feel better. I was putting some photos in albums the other day and saw some of me when I was in college and damn was I skinny. Granted I lost 15 my freshman year (90 lbs) and had an accidental relapse of my high school eating habits (I didn't eat) during my junior year and dropped to 87 lbs (incidentally that low was reached after the weekend I met Mr. W in NYC -- too much walking around Manhattan and kissing to remember to eat!).

Still, I need to get this weight off or it could be years before I do. I know me. I get lazy. I get comfortable. I don't do it. What is a good plan for a mom with milk supply issues who really can't screw around with her diet too much and a baby who still eats every 3 hours (corrected age almost 9 weeks and STILL not increasing his amount per feeding enough to go more than 3 hours between)? I have a mom and baby yoga dvd that I just bought but haven't had time to do yet. I honestly don't have much time for anything.

My daily schedule looks like this:

9:00-9:05 -- Diaper.
9:05-9:15/30(ish) -- Nurse.
9:15/30(ish)-10(ish) -- Bottle feed.
10(ish)-10:15/30(ish) -- Pump.
Play with the baby, go to the bathroom, eat, etc.
12:00 repeat the cycle...and again at 3...and 6...and 9...

So...where do I find the time for me in there? The time to "exercise" and pay attention to my diet? And take a bath and brush my teeth?

   [ posted  @ 3:03 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (6) ]
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Right now I say don't worry about the weight. Your body changes after you are pregnant anyway. You might get down to the exact same weight and those size 4 jeans may still not fit. Just make sure to eat a balanced, healthy diet and it will all work out in the end. I never worry about losing the weight until after I finish nursing. Usually that means I still have 5-10 to lose, but I don't worry about it.
I have 4 month old twins so I have similar time issues, although they are feeding much better than little lowercase seems to be. I found that breastfeeding took off most of my weight, but it's distributed differently now. I've lost weight over my whole body except for my tummy, where it's all settled. I have started gym (with child care) and feel much better. It's hard to get out regularly, but it helps to at least have a good intention!
Don't go crazy over your eating habits and weight right now. As a former anorexic, I know you can stress yourself right into a relapse of old eating problems.
Relax, enjoy Lowercase, and try to make small changes. A salad at lunch, boiled eggs at breakfast, etc.
In all likelihood you will lose all the weight by 6-9 months postpartum, but everything won't go back into place until the baby is 12-18 months old.

Your best bet for losing weight without compromising supply is to exercise with the baby. When it gets warmer, put him in the sling and go walk around (that will take the weight off quickly) or do more brisk walks like you did. You could also sneak in some exercise by bringing the sling and when you go grocery shopping or to Target you can carry him in the sling instead of teh cart and that will sneak in soem exercise.

You can also do strength training at home. I've loved the Tamilee Webb DVD "The Science of Fitness: I Want That Body" because it has 15-minute workouts that you don't have to change your clothes to do. 15 minutes of ab work, or arm work, or butt work. Before El P was mobile I'd do it while he was doing tummy time in a pile of toys, but now he tries to wrestle me during the ab segment and it really doesn't work.

Oh, the other one is to put on some music and dance around with the lowercase for 15 minutes. He'll love it, and if you do it twice a day it'll burn some calories.
A lactation consultant recently told me that if you keep b-feeding past 6 mos., weight will come off more quickly. Don't know if this is just something she says to get people to keep b-feeding, but I like to believe it's true. Know what you mean about the lack of time...not to mention lack of energy to put into working out, even if I did have the time!
I have an 11 week old who sometimes still eats every 2 hours, and I have a lot of the same scheduling issues, although I gave up on nursing and now just pump and give bottles, and occasional formula. So good for you for keeping up with that. I know how hard it is.
I agree that it's a little soon to be worrying about losing weight. I do have some advice though about the meals thing; I hope it helps a little.
Try to wake up before l/c and have a Big Nutritious Breakfast. Then have snacky food that you can eat with one hand throughout the day, either when you get a spare minute or while you're also doing something else. Fruit or cut-up veggies; crackers maybe with cut up cheese you prepare ahead, things like that. Hard-boiled eggs, if you can stomach those. Then when Mr. W. is home, let him take a bottle-feeding shift, if he doesn't already. It does take some planning ahead, but it works pretty well.
There's another issue of needing down time to keep from getting frazzled, but I don't know any cure for that, except to forge ahead until about 13 weeks, adjusted. You're almost there.
Keep up the good work!

   Thursday, March 09, 2006  

Things have been crazy and it finally hit me that I haven't posted in over a week. My little man's fever lasted just over 24 hours and was not affected by the Synagis shot he had the day after his 4-month visit. That same day he had another follow-up exam to check for retinopathy of prematurity at the eye doctor. We had good news on that front -- the vessels have all grown in and matured and are NORMAL. This doesn't mean he won't have any of the other complications of prematurity (primarily strabismus), but it does mean that he doesn't need to be seen in the eye clinic until September!

On Thursday afternoon, we took our first road trip. We drove ten hours to visit my family. Of course, lake effect snow between Buffalo and Cleveland cropped up and made the trip take twelve hours. But, the little man handled it like a trooper. He didn't cry (until it got dark and we discovered how intensely he is afraid of the dark -- at that point, I held a small flashlight in his car seat, pointed away from his eyes with a blanket blocking it from shining outside of the car). He was very agreeable to being fed a quick bottle in the car and being changed on the folded flat front seat.

We had a great time with my family and it really cheered my grandfather up. He had a heart attack and two extensive surgeries to place stents in under two weeks and our visit was timed for a week after that. We only allowed my parents and grandparents to come into the house as everyone else has kids and we didn't want to let some in and not others based on their exposure -- the kids are all young enough that they just wouldn't understand that. My niece, however, did have her cousin drive by and let her come to the door to see the baby. She's usually such a tomboy that I wouldn't think she would care about seeing a baby (I know she didn't care when her brother was born), but she was determined that she *had* to see him.

In other news, my pumped volume of milk has drastically dropped upon returning home despite the fact that my drug dosage hasn't changed. I decided to up the prescription amount since it doesn't do me any good to take it for six months at the current dosage if I'm not getting any milk. Every extra pill I take cuts my length of time on the drugs down by one day however since my doctor refuses to up my dosage or let me stay on them for any longer than six months.

And in the last two days, my little man has taken to waking every two hours at night and then will take only about an ounce to an ounce and a half of milk (night time is bottle time in our house). It's got me at my very end since he's so awake and alert now during the day. I can't do that "sleep when he sleeps" thing because the few times he sleeps I like to actually eat something. And of course, lately the sleeping for him will only occur in my arms. It's all just very frustrating. (For example, this morning, he was fussy after eating and crying in his sleep. I let him lay on my chest in bed and he quieted and slept. I needed to use the bathroom, so I laid him down in his bed. He was instantly awake and wailing. I feel terrible about it, but there are times now when I just have to ignore his crying or I'd never get to go to the bathroom!)

(Not sure if I posted this when he had the fever...his appointment that day weighed him at 9 lb 5 oz and either 21 or 22 inches long)

   [ posted  @ 10:15 AM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (2) ]
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What are you taking to help breastfeeding? I am in the process of ending pumping for my twins who are 13 months plus through the miracle of Domperidone. No side effects, no prescription, tripled my production. Love it. Hate that it is not sold here.
Email me if you want the website.

To reassure you, I just gave my extra supply to my OB's office for them to give to their patients.
Oh, hon...I'm so sorry it's so tough at the moment. I'll be thinking of you and praying it gets just a little bit easier.

Much love to you, hubby and the lowercase.

   Wednesday, March 01, 2006  

Baby's First...Fever?

My lowercase had his 4 month physical this morning (at 7:40 am -- WHAT was I thinking???). He was poked, prodded, weighed, thoroughly discussed and then given his four vaccines.

He weighed in at 9 lb 5 oz and 22 inches long. His head circumference is now on the 7th percentile curve. His length and weight are nearing the curve. The ped is quite happy with his progress.

And then tonight he got his first fever. When it hit 100.5, we called the doctor to find out what dose of infant Tylenol he should take. It's dropped since his first dose at 8:30pm, but it is still above 99 when he typically runs around 98.0-98.3.

It's breaking my heart to see my little man not feeling well. And first thing tomorrow morning, he gets his eyes dilated to do an ROP check followed by a Synagis shot to fend off the evil RSV at noon. My poor, poor little man.

   [ posted  @ 12:22 AM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (4) ]
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  Comments about my post, "Baby's First...Fever?":
Awwww, hugs to mommy and boy! May you both feel happier and better soon.
Hope he's feeling better soon. Sometimes vaccines can cause a fever after, hopefully it has passed now.

Good luck with the ROP check.

He's a trooper! Hooray for his good visit.
Are they still going to do the shot if he's been running a fever?
Is everything okay with the little guy? Hope his fever was nothing serious. I am always afraid my guys are coming down with something, and I know that first fever will probably freak me out. Anyway, I hope the lowercase is doing better.

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