The Frankenbaby Chronicles

Two girls, three cats, some frozen sperm, a doctor's office, and a big dream.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Lazy Friday

We have been packed with plans all week, and it's nice to have a "day off" to just chill with the punk. We just got back from a little stroll around the back neighborhood, which just happened to coincide with "school bus drop off," so we got to see that there are a TON of kids in the back neighborhood. (Our street is full of retirees. They water their lawns all day. So sad.) I didn't see any babies, but hopefully there are some or will be in the future.

So what has gone on this week?

1. I took the baby to a holistic chiropractor to try to help her reflux. I have read that some reflux is due to nerve "squishing" during gestation and birth and that sometimes the nerves that control the pyloric sphincter can be compromised. Of course I had to find THE hippiest chiropractor in existence, who not only has helped tons of kids with reflux, but also said that my daughter "looked pale" like she "wasn't getting enough nutrients" and also "had puffy eyes" which was a sign of Something Else Bad. How do I always find these people? Anyway, she had me convinced for a few minutes that my daughter wasn't getting enough nutrients and I felt SO guilty - it was like the nonexistent milk supply saga all over again. But then I realized - dude, my kid gained six pounds in ten weeks. She is NOT starving. Either way, we have two chiro appointments for next week and I will see if it helps. Otherwise I will just chalk it up to a learning experience.

2. Due to what I thought were normal runny poops but were in fact diarrhea, we have switched to soy formula. I was REALLY reluctant to switch to soy because they just replace everything with corn syrup, and I don't do corn syrup. But then we found an organic soy formula that is made with brown rice syrup. I feel a little better about that. I also feel better about the fact that she no longer has diarrhea (cha cha cha).

3. We went to the dermatologist for the "rash." I put it in quotes because apparently it is not a rash, it is petechiae, or broken blood vessels under the skin. No one is "really concerned," yet no one knows why there are broken blood vessels in the punk's right arm. The dermatologist threw around the words "possible vascular disease" which about gave me a heart attack, so now the pedi is trying to get us in to a pediatric dermatologist in a city about an hour away.

4. We went to mama and baby group and since there are so many mamas, they split the group up and now I am in the "older kids" group. Gulp. That means I only have one more month of mama group! I really like some of the mamas and we have been doing some "extracurricular activities" on other days, like walks in the park or breakfasts out. It's nice.

5. Our little punk is going to be three months old on Monday! Holy carp, where did the time go? I can't believe she has been on the outside for three whole months already. We are nearing the anniversary of her conception and I can't even believe it. What a long and wild journey it has been to make a frankenbaby.

6. Since she is three months old, I am nearing my breastfeeding goal. It's funny, a month ago I couldn't wait for three months to get here because I was so frustrated... now that I have come to peace with my lack of milk I am hoping that my middle of the night milk doesn't disappear because I like to lay in bed with the punk on the boob. Hopefully she will continue to want boob for naps during the day, too. *sniff* I have already starting tapering down the domperidone and have already noticed a drop from 3/4oz to 1/2oz. It's only a matter of time.

7. We found a church community that we really like and have been "regulars" for the past several weeks. We're now planning to have the punk baptized in a Christian church. I really never thought that would happen, but I'm thrilled about it.

8. I have successfully (for now) orchestrated a nighttime schedule for the punk. She now goes to bed between 7 and 8 (usually around 7:30), gets up for milk at 4ish, and then is up for the morning around 7:30am with a pretty guaranteed morning nap between 9 and 10. It's amazing how grown up she is getting. :) Of course, Jen and I need to figure out how to make the most of the baby-is-sleeping-but-mamas-are-awake time. This is key.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Could this be the start of something awesome?

8pm - get ready for bed
8:20pm - passed out cold in the co-sleeper


6:40am - awake with bright eyes and a smile
6:45am - diaper, reflux meds, boobs
7:15am - bottle


8:45am - passed out cold in the pack 'n play

(to be continued)

Friday, September 21, 2007

High Maintenance Baby

cute girl in the hood

I can't believe I have a High Maintenance Baby. I don't know how it happened; I am such a Low Maintenance Person. Especially from a medical standpoint. I go for my annual checkups and that's it, for the most part. When I was pregnant, it felt weird to go to the doctor so often. How did this happen?

I think it happened at conception. After all, how many ultrasounds did we have? And the subchorionic hemorrhage and the lost twin? And then the small size, small placenta, thin umbilical cord? Oy.

And now? Let's see. We started with the weight loss and dehydration from my lack of milk. So we had weeks of weight checks and appointments with Lactation Consultations, breastfeeding clinics, etc. And then the fall from the bed at three weeks and the PICU hell. And once the weight came back up, we dealt with reflux. And a med that didn't work. And a second med that DID work but that seemed to be giving her abdominal cramps. And a third med that seems to work and costs a bazillion dollars. And we STILL have the abdominal cramps.

Today we went to the pediatrician AGAIN. No, really, when I walked in the receptionist was actually all, "You again?" Yes, I have become THAT MOM with THAT KID. And why today? Because last Friday at her 2-month appointment, she had a little rash on her arm that looked like something rubbed her the wrong way. The pedi thought so, too. And today, it's been a week, it's still there just as dark as before, and there is MORE. It's all over her right arm. So I had to take her back. Again.

My pedi looked at it. She called in another pedi. Neither of them had any idea and now they want me to take her to a dermatologist. My two-month-old baby! *I* have never even been to a dermatologist!! (Then again, I'd never been in ICU or ridden in an ambulance before...)

She also suggested we try soy formula because of the weird shrieking and abdominal crunches that seem like stomach cramps. Am I a bad person for hoping that soy is the magic answer to the spitting up, the reflux, the rash, and the cramps? So that maybe I can take a break from doctors until the 4-month check-up?


Friday, September 14, 2007

2 month check-up

The little punk had her 2-month check-up today. She is getting so big!

Height: 23 1/4 inches (65th percentile) - up 2 1/4 inches in 6 weeks
Weight: 11lb 13oz (57th percentile) - up 3 pounds in 6 weeks!
Head Circumference: 15 1/2 inches (49th percentile) - up 1 inch in 6 weeks

The nurse even did her height twice because she couldn't believe she had increased so much. She certainly doesn't get any tall genes from my side of the family! ;)

We ended up deciding to do the Pediarix vaccine today (DTaP, IPV, HepB) and I will go back on Tuesday to do the HiB and PCV if she doesn't have a bad reaction. The poor little punk screamed her head off when she got her shot, and it didn't help that we had to wait a while to be seen so she was long past her feeding time. She was starving and she screamed and screamed until she was all red in the face. By the time we got home, it was almost five hours since her last feeding (typical is between 3 and 4, closer to 3), so she chugalugged and then fell asleep. She is still passed out on her bouncy chair with a blanket over her. Awwwh.

I am so, so, so, so, so, so nervous about the DTaP shot, ever since I came across a woman online whose daughter developed static encephalopathy (don't google it, it's terrifying) from DTaP. Please pray, send vibes, or cross fingers that Gus is fine fine fine!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cute, Sleep, Shots


I am afraid to jinx us, but the punk has slept seven hours straight for the past two nights. Her sleeping has gotten longer and longer, and I think she is making her way to sleeping through the night.

On Saturday night we took her out too late and she was overtired and didn't fall asleep until midnight, but slept until 7am. I thought it would be a fluke but last night we got her into bed by 10pm and she didn't wake up until 5am! She probably could have gone a little longer but she was a really restless sleeper from about 4:30am on and the only thing keeping her from stretching and waking up was the swaddle... so at 5:00, I released her from the swaddle, she stretched and woke up.

She ate at 5, was asleep again by 6am and didn't wake up until 8:30am. It was lovely, simply lovely.

If this keeps up, she will be the best baby ever. (Well, she already is but she would be even BETTER.)

She was 10 weeks old yesterday. Holy carp!


Also, her 2 month check-up is on Friday (even though she was 2 months old almost 2 weeks ago by then) and we need to decide on vaccines. We're not anti-vax but were planning on a delayed schedule, but now I'm not sure because the one shot I was really leery of (DTaP) is the one that's most important to have now because Pertussis season is going to start up and it's most dangerous for the little ones.

So I have a shout out to all of the BTDT mamas - did you vax or not? regular schedule or delayed? reactions?


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A good night's sleep

The punk took a bottle at 8:30pm, nursed at 10pm, drifted off into some sort of sleep at around 10:15pm.

Then she woke up hungry at 3am. Jen gave her a bottle and I was feeling crappy (we have the crud) so I said "Eff it" to nursing. She was done by 3:45am or so and as soon as Jen handed her to me, she fell asleep. She was reswaddled and back in the cosleeper by 4:10am.

She woke up at 7:55am. I gave her Tagamet (she has to wait 20mins to eat), let her dance around in the cosleeper while I got all of the diapers out of the dryer, changed her diaper, and at 8:15am, I nursed her on my gigantic, I-haven't-done-this-since-10pm right boob. And then gave her 3.5oz of formula.

She was up for a while playing in her bouncy seat (she loves when we flick the weird toy in the middle) and fell asleep for a nap around 9:30am. I think she's congested because she is breathing hard and when she spit up earlier this morning during a burp, there seemed to be some green mucous in it.

Still, I would call this a successful morning. I think we're getting this sleeping thing DOWN, yo!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Two months of breastfeeding woes

The other day in the car, Jen reminded me of something that happened when we went to the next round of classes with our birth teacher for "just had a baby show and tell." (Every cycle, she gets someone from the previous cycle to come and 'tell it like it is.') Well, we talked about our birth and everything, and then we talked about nursing and I mentioned my lack of supply and all of that and Jen reminded me that Vicki, the birth instructor, jumped right in and said very quickly, "But that is /really/ rare and almost never happens." Which is crap, really. Nursing problems happen all the time. Sure, not everyone has hypoplastic breasts and can't make milk because of structural problems, but lots of people have supply issues. So, whatever.

But her reminding me just made me feel really bad about the whole thing. I haven't exclusively breastfed my baby since she was 5 days old and had gotten so dehydrated that she'd stopped pooping and peeing. She now is almost exclusively formula fed and I am the supplement, making about 3-4oz of breastmilk per day with the help of domper.idone. And you know what? That sucks.

I promised the baby a while back that I would take dom and nurse her for three months. It's been two months as of Saturday and this evening Jen asked me if I was going to nurse the baby before her bottle and I said, "No, what's the point?" I guess I'm burnt out of trying so hard for so little. I nurse my baby for 20 minutes 6-8 times a day and still give her 20-24oz of formula. It's like the world's biggest tease.

So it's September 3rd, and I have 27 days to go. I hope I don't completely annihilate my spirit in the process.