Monday, June 28, 2010

2 Weeks Today

Today marks Charlotte's 2 week birthday! Why does it seem like 2 months? She certainly looks like a 2 month old anyway... Overall things are going pretty good. We were doing great, rocking and rolling into a routine early last week and I was feeling like we were making progress from those tough first few days. But, as usual for life with a newborn, we got a curve ball mid-week last week. The lovely reflux reared its ugly head. We went, literally in 24 hours, from a baby who was eating every 4 hours, happy most of the time and in a good night routine - to choking, gagging, spitting up (through the nose), crying for hours and eating difficulties. Not good progress. The thing I hate the worst is seeing her in pain and not being able to do much to console her. That paired with no sleep pretty much puts a new mom over the edge.

Now I am one of those, who foolishly admits now, that thought "reflux" was the new buzz diagnosis for all babies who were fussy or who had gas. I've heard of more newborns on prevacid or other meds in the last year or two than ever and I kind of just thought it was the catch all description of a newborn with digestive problems (and what newborn doesn't have digestive problems). So for all of my friends who have had newborns with reflux please accept my deepest apology for EVER thinking that and belittling it. I have received payback and it's not fun. I was surprised at how quickly it started. We think a lot of it has to do with my milk and how it comes in (fast let down). She actually does much better with a bottle (with breast milk) vs. breast - which just hurts after everything I've been through to successfully breast feed to this point. So for the past few days we've tried all of the doctor directives - more frequent, smaller feedings, changing the way I nurse, keeping her upright, etc. After a sleepless night of crying and misery on Saturday we finally called in a frenzied/maddened state and demanded, "Give us the Prevacid or else..." Of course there is no easy or quick fix, but we have been better the past 24 hours. I guess I was naive - I thought breast feeding meant that the digestive troubles that usually accompany formula would be avoided. It's what kept me going the past week through all of the pain and difficulties I've had with it, knowing that maybe some of the digestive ordeals we had with Lowery (are still having by the way) would be taken care of. I will be honest and say that I've been so tempted to throw in the burp cloth on breast feeding the past couple of days. Why on earth is something that's supposed to be so natural so difficult?? It's frustrating and overwhelming. Most of all, it creates a lot of gray area - how much is she getting, what exactly is the problem with her feeding, which breast do I use, how much should I pump, should I introduce a bottle? And gray areas = nervous breakdown for me.

But I am hanging in there and am not ready to give up just yet. I'm determined to get this thing right. I mean millions of women world wide who don't have double electric pumps, breast shields and mother's love nipple cream can make it, surely I can. But I'm a wimp, I admit it. I'm not known for diligence or patience and this requires both. So everyone please pray for me and pray for Charlotte, that we will both persevere through this.

On a much brighter note, the good news is that despite all of the reflux just the past few days and all of the medicine I am on that creates challenges, we have a very healthy girl. She's grown over an inch, at her 2 week checkup today she measured 21 1/4 long and is in the 90th percentile. She's gained weight and totals 9 pounds, 8 ounces. She has developed some awesome bad habits such as loving the pacifier and being held, but is so precious I can't resist (yes, I hear all of you screaming "you're gonna be sorry"). She looks just like Steve - frustrating to carry and birth 2 children that look nothing like you - and also like Lowery, although I don't think she has Lowery's eye shape. She's very alert and active and, as everyone says, looks more like a 3 month old vs. newborn. Big Sister is helping a lot and adjusting just fine and overall we are making it as a family of 4. Thanks to our parents who have been so much help here driving all over the world, cooking, cleaning, anything/everything - and our new friends, who barely know us but have taken us under their wing providing meals and support. And we miss everyone in Springdale, having this baby makes us want to be home and share her with all of you. Maybe when we get through this reflux bit I will get better at taking pictures and providing updates, maybe...

Oh, and for all who have asked: yes, unfortunately I much prefer a c-section (sorry all of you natural fans out there, refer to above wimp admittance) and yes, she still has the crazy frosted highlights and has not lost any hair. Also, for some fun, I had many true wives' tales with this one: I had major heartburn (hair speaks for itself), fast heart rate and carried her very high (girl). A male employee in Saks saw me walking through a couple of weeks ago and said, "you're having a girl" - guess I was a pretty easy one to predict!

1 comment:

Erin said...

So glad to hear from you!! I'm sorry these have been tough. Beau had colic for the 1st 6 weeks (and I was like you, thought colic was just a wimpy way of saying I don't like having a fussy baby), but I'm telling you, NOTHING consoled him. So, I really do understand having a baby with a condition that you just can't control :) Reflux totally stinks, but it sounds like you guys are handling it as well as possible. Breastfeeding is definitely not as easy as it should be :) But, my advice would be to give yourself a few more weeks and see if things start to finally fall into place. It really does get easier and it's SO handy!! Call me anytime, I would love to "try" to help!! Btw, she is beautiful!! It's just not right to have children that look so darn much like their dad's!!!