Monthly Archives: February 2012

Got milk?

Okay, so after yesterday’s freak out for my dramatic drop in milk supply, I was really looking forward to going to the pediatrician and the lactation consultant this morning for some answers. If you remember, Brody lost an ounce and was down to 7lbs 20z on Friday, which really made me nervous, especially with the supply worries I was having. They weighed him today, and he was up to 7lbs 9oz! That’s only one ounce under his birth weight, which puts him right on track for two weeks old. I was SO relieved!! I felt like he was starving to death all weekend, eating constantly and my boobs felt so empty, I didn’t think he was taking in anything at all, but apparently I was wrong since gained seven ounces in three days. ¬†Also, his bilirubin level is still right about the same, so we are able to send back the biliblanket, thank goodness! Our doctor is not worried about the level, he thinks the breast milk is making the jaundice linger a little longer, which is not unheard of in breast-fed babies. Hopefully it will be back down by three weeks old.

My trip to the lactation consultant really helped, too. She weighed Brody when we got there, confirming his new weight of 7lbs 9 ounces. I fed him on both sides, then she weighed him again, showing a gain of 2.5 ounces. This is the perfect amount of milk for him right now, so she was very pleased. I guess I am making just enough for him, right now, with nothing to spare. I told her I was pumping after each feeding, and she said that was perfect and that I should see in an increase in two days of the pumping, so hopefully tomorrow things will be a bit more full!

She blames the jaundice for the sudden drop in supply that I had- jaundiced babies are sleepier, and therefore sleepier at the breast, as well. He didn’t seem to be able to stay awake, so he wasn’t stimulating my milk production quite enough to keep it at that same level. Now that his bilirubin levels have dropped, he is much more alert when eating, though I still have to tickle him and mess with him to keep him awake some of the time, but Knox was the same way.

I’m planning on taking some of your advice and making some lactation cookies, too. I’ve been eating oatmeal each day, and I did feel more full this morning than I have the past few days, I’m sure that’s a combo of all of the things I’ve been trying. Hopefully things will continue to improve!

And just because…

Milk supply woes

Up until the end of last week, breast feeding was going fantastically well. My milk came in around day three or four and Brody was doing an excellent job. His latch was good, though we had to work a little at first to get him to get enough into his mouth, and he got the hang of things right away. Right around Thursday of last week, my supply dropped a good bit. I remember this happening with Knox (we fixed it with more pumping and nursing), so I tried not to worry. However, when we went to the doctor and I found out Brody had lost an ounce, that started me worrying, whether I wanted to or not!

I did take one Benadryl (for the ridiculous foot rash) last week about that time, so I wondered if that had anything to do with it, but certainly just one pill wouldn’t have zapped my entire supply like this? Up until today, Brody has been pooping and peeing the right amounts, probably even more than he “needs”, with about 6 to 8 seedy mustard poops a day and then an additional 4 to 5 wet diapers on top of that. Today? He’s had a good six wet diapers but only two poops, and they were drier than they have been, so I’m getting concerned. He acts like he’s starving all of the time, I keep nursing on demand and have started pumping after each feeding to try to boost my supply back up to where it was. This morning, I got two ounces after feeding him but by tonight I’m getting nothing after each feeding, and I feel like Brody is getting less and less and is totally unsatisfied. I have no idea what’s going on.

He’s a very sleepy eater, also like Knox was, but he eats very frequently, and with his “output” being so good, I figured he was efficiently nursing. Today is the third day of me trying to nurse more often with no improvement, hence me adding the frequent pumping into the mix. I’m eating three meals a day and snacking, drinking lots of water, am reasonably well-rested and I ate two bowls of oatmeal today. I am at a loss here! I am planning on calling and visiting the lactation consultant in the morning and hope that she can help me. At least she can weigh Brody before and after feedings and let me know how much he’s actually taking in.

I have lost weight really quickly this time, even though I am eating a LOT all the time. I’ve already lost 25 pounds since his birth, so I don’t know if that’s had an effect on things? I’m grasping at straws, here, but I am getting myself so stressed out over this!! Breast feeding is super important to me, and I hope to do it again for a full year, so this is really throwing me off and making me so upset! I know he’s going through a growth spurt and is going to be hungrier than normal, but I just don’t think he’s getting enough, and I do not like the feeling of not being able to provide for him!

I just keep praying that I’ll wake up tomorrow with full boobs again! Come back, milk supply!!

New normal

This new life is pretty awesome, although it is taking some getting used to! As of right now, Trevor and I have kind of split the childcare duties- he takes care of Knox, and I take care of Brody, at least for the most part. I do try to get in as much “Knox time” as I can during the day, even if that just means holding Knox while he drinks his after-nap cup of milk. Trevor’s job is awesome for maternity leave, it’s so nice to have him here to help most all of the time. Today was the first time I had to take Knox to preschool by myself, but luckily Trevor’s mom was able to come help with that. I don’t want to be toting Brody inside the preschool with all those germs floating around when he’s so tiny!

Brody is doing well, we went back to the doctor on Wednesday for another bilirubin check, and it had gone down to 13.4. Our normal doc is out of town, but the “substitute” doctor said for him to wear the blanket for another 24 hours, let him be off of it all day Thursday, then come back Friday morning for *hopefully* the last check. As long as his levels don’t go back up after being off the blanket, we are finished with it. We are praying hard for low levels tomorrow! It’s been awesome having my baby boy unplugged again- life is much easier when you can move from room to room without lugging all of that stuff along with you.

I have had the worst, itchy rash on the soles of my feet since delivering Brody. It doesn’t react at all to hydrocortisone cream and I’ve been trying Athlete’s foot spray, wondering if I picked up something from the hospital floor. After over a week of intensely wretched itching at night time, I went to the dermatologist today. My mom met me there and sat in my car with Brody so he didn’t have to go inside. I was glad she came because I had to wait forever so I was able to sneak back outside to feed Brody when he needed it. Once I saw the doctor, she took a look and doesn’t really know what it is, other than some kind of contact dermatitis. She thinks it’s internal, probably from some kind of medicine I was given at the hospital. She thinks it will go away on it’s own, but she did prescribe me a cream to use to hopefully help. I was relieve to hear that 1) it’s not contagious and 2) definitely not fungal. I have been terrified of spreading some gross fungus to the boys! Still, hopefully it will be gone really soon because it’s driving me crazy!

We tried to let Knox “hold” Brody yesterday… that didn’t go very well! He pushed him away every single time Trevor got Brody close. Oh well, we’ll keep trying!

Today, I put Brody down to do tummy time, and Knox laid right down beside him! He lay there and play with his fireman toy while Brody squirmed around. That made me happy! I haven’t uploaded those pics yet, but I will get those up soon. In the mean time, here are a bunch of other pictures for you!

Brody’s first bath… or at least his first sponge bath!

Knox is super into having his picture taken right now! Love that silly grin!

First trip to the doctor’s office… guess he was anticipated the endless heel sticks that were to come!

Wavy hair? Could it be that this child may have inherited CURLS?! Only time will tell, but I’m a little excited about this. I ended up getting curly hair as an adult and Trevor had curls as a baby- we shall see!

This is the face I get from Knox every time he sees the camera! Squinty little smile.

Brody in his swing

Brody and I

Dear Jaundice… I hate you.

We took Brody to the doctor on Friday for a follow-up bilirubin check. His level upon check-out from the hospital was 7.4, so the pediatrician wanted us to re-check him in a couple days to make sure it wasn’t going up. When we got it checked on Friday, it was 16. Our pediatrician didn’t think Brody looked very yellow and actually did a second check to make sure it was correct- unfortunately, it was. So, we were given an order for a bili-blanket, which is basically a paddle of UV light that sits against Brody’s back under his clothes. The light is supposed to help break up the bilirubin so that Brody’s body can pass it out through his stool and urine.

He had to be hooked up to the blanket 24/7, unless he was getting a bath or a diaper change. It’s definitely bulky with a huge heavy cord behind his back and not very comfortable for him, plus since it has to plug in, it’s not very mobile. I’ve been spending most of the day in the living room with him while Knox has played with Trevor in the playroom. I was VERY ready to go back to the doctor this morning for his bilirubin check so we could get rid of it!! That didn’t go the way I had hoped. His level only dropped to 15.3 down from 16. Which means at least two more days of this blanket.

Obviously, I am so grateful that they have this technology so that Brody can be home with us while under lights instead of having to stay in the NICU. That was our biggest prayer, that he would stay out of the NICU! However, I do not have to like that he has to be hooked up to something all day long! I’m only human, and I don’t think any one is thrilled when their baby has a problem of any sort. I know a lot of people had to use the bili-bed, which is even less portable, and I cannot imagine how that would have been. I seriously hate it, but at least I can still hold him and feed him!! I am so ridiculously hormonal right now that the tiniest mishap sends me into fits of crying/ emotional breakdowns. When I found out he had to go on the blanket to begin with, I barely held it together inside the office, but I lost it when we got in the car. Today, I pretty much freaked out the second I got in the car. I was so ready to have zero issues this time around, granted this is a VERY small issue, but it just caught me off-guard. Today, I was convinced the level would be much lower since we have been very faithful with the light on for at least 22 hours a day. It was just so disappointing.

We go back in on Wednesday, and I am praying so hard that he’s able to go off of the lights, then. One piece of good news is that Brody is now gaining weight! He was born at 7lbs 10oz, and was down to 7lbs even on Friday. Today he was 7lbs 3oz, so he gained just over an ounce a day, which is fantastic. Hopefully he’ll keep that up!

I really need to load pictures onto my computer because I have so many cute ones of Brody! I promise I’ll give you more of those soon!

Brothers

Our original plan was to have Trevor’s parents bring Knox up to the hospital on Tuesday to meet his baby brother. However, in typical toddler style, Knox had his own plans. Unfortunately, big brother had a little bit of a relapse in his sickness and started coughing like crazy and feeling generally yucky. So, instead of meeting Brody, he had to take a trip to the pediatrician with his Daddy for some antibiotics.

When we were released from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon, we were very excited to introduce these brothers to each other. Plus, I just wanted to get my  hands on my biggest boy because to say that I missed him would be the most gigantic understatement ever. I had never spent the night away from Knox since he was born, so it was super hard to leave him for two nights!

When we walked inside, Knox was all smiles. He had seen Trevor since Brody was born but hadn’t seen me at all, so I was ready for those sweet hugs and grins! We put Brody’s carrier down on the coffee table, and Knox wanted to get a better look… at the toy attached to the carrier. Ha!

I took Brody out, Knox gave him kind of a funny look, then proceeded to run around the living room and play with everyone. Obviously, he was not super interested! When I took the camera out, he was such a cheeseball, posing for me and giving me a squinty smile in preparation for the bright flash.

When Brody cried, he looked at us, and kind of laughed when we did. Overall, he didn’t show much interest at all.

In general, he tries to totally ignore Brody… and whoever is holding him! Unfortunately for me, that means he has been tuning me out a lot since I’ve been home. If I call him, he turns to look at me, but if I have Brody, he looks the other way. I’m not going to lie, that stings. I’ve been feeling very guilty over not being able to spend enough time with Knox this week, but I know things will calm down soon. I’m trying to tell myself that this isn’t going to scar him for life, and that this phase will pass. It’s hard to be ignored and essentially have to miss him when he’s right there next to me. I’ve cried plenty of tears over this boy this week! I just have to keep at it, and each day is getting progressively better. I have purposed to let Trevor hold Brody for a while so I can sit and cuddle with Knox or sing a song with him, just anything to create some one-on-one time for the two of us.

I am thankful that’s he is not acting out or getting upset over Brody. I don’t think he really understands exactly what a baby is, but he isn’t all that interested in finding out yet! He did touch Brody’s foot yesterday, so I took that as being a step in the right direction! We haven’t let him “hold” Brody yet since he’s still getting over his sickness and is very snotty, but hopefully he’ll come around! Until then, we’ll keep at it until everyone is comfortable with our new family life!

For the record, I’m pretty darn thrilled to be the mother of these two precious boys. They totally fill up my heart.
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