Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"C" is for Cache

I have good news, and I have bad news.  First, the good.  My content baby is back!!  No more crying, and he's sleeping 6+ hours through the night again.  A quick visit with our pediatrician, Dr. Alka Sood, and the problem (See "C" is for Crying) was fixed.  After listening to the story of Tully's last couple weeks, Dr. Sood determined that Tully was not getting enough to eat.  No overfeeding.  No gas.  No reflux.  Simply hungry.  She noticed Tully wasn't gaining weight properly, and I told her I had just fed him while we were waiting, so she came back with a bottle of formula.  My mom saw my jaw hit the floor.  I was not ready for bottles, and I was definitely not interested in giving him formula.  Dr. Sood assured me that one bottle of formula would not undo all of my hard work over the last month, and she needed to see if he would take it to help determine if her hunch that he was hungry was really the issue.  It took him a few minutes, but once he figured out the bottle, he sucked down the formula like he hadn't eaten all day.  Poor little guy was so hungry.  Since I was exclusively breastfeeding I've carried around a lot of guilt after finding this out.  Tully was really thriving the first few weeks, and he was still putting out lots of dirty diapers.  He was gaining weight like a champ, but all of that changed in a matter of days, which leads to the bad news.  My supply is low.  I think several factors contributed to this decrease with stress being #1.  In order to increase my supply I have to nurse as often as possible and pump in between.  I can barely find two free seconds to go to the bathroom or feed myself much less an extra 10-15 minutes to pump a minimum of 8 times per day.  I won't mention all the time it takes to clean pump parts and bottles.  And after Tully peed all over himself and my living room, and my dog, Zach, puked up some small dead animal on the rug yesterday afternoon, I was convinced I needed help.  So in my attempt to eliminate as much stress as possible, I called in for backup from John, my mom, and a neighborhood girl who will start helping during the day until the nanny starts full-time in June.  Fingers crossed that my cache of milk returns, and I can do away with the formula for good.  I'm okay with some bottle feeding using breast milk, especially since it gives John and my mom a chance to feed the baby, but I'm really missing all of the one-on-one time Tully and I had during our nursing sessions.  He has to work super hard to eat, which makes him sleepy, so our time together is limited for now.

I should also mention when all of Tully's fussiness started, I eliminated dairy, nuts, and eggs from my diet on the off chance that he had an intolerance to one of those things.  He also had some really bad infant acne that was on his face and neck.  Looking back now I'm now I'm not sure that my diet had anything to do with his fussiness, and I'm left wondering if the lack of protein and calcium isn't contributing to my low supply.  I'm leaning towards reintroducing at least milk, so I can eat regular food again.  (Milk is hidden in EVERYTHING!)  I'm hoping his little face stays clear.  If not, no milk for me.

On another note--if someone needs fire kindling, I have a copy of the Babywise book that you're welcome to have.  We will no longer be implementing any two or three hour schedules in this household, and there will be ZERO more days of crying it out in the crib.  It felt wrong when I was doing it, and my instincts were right.  Demand feeding is the best option for our family.  I know I can't blame a book for my decisions, but the concepts we implemented from Babywise definitely contributed to Tully's unhappiness and weightloss.  I think it's a good idea for new moms to read the book to arm themselves with as much information as possible, but boy do I regret the days of trying to make Babywise work.

Also, a huge thank you to all of the moms, friends, and blog followers who provided encouraging words when I was trying to figure things out.  It was a rough week, and I really appreciated the comments and messages.  I was also really encouraged when I took Tully back in for his follow-up appointment yesterday.  Dr. Sood informed me he had gained AN ENTIRE POUND in three days.  This is huge!  Now that all the crying is behind us, I need to snap a one month photo of the little guy.  He's already 5 weeks old!

Here's a sweet pic my mom took of me and John during Tully's newborn photo shoot few weeks back.  John has been really patient and supportive through all of the craziness.  I know he's relieved to have our happy baby back too!


  1. Hey Ashley! Keep your chin up! It will pick back up before you know it!

    I wish someone I knew had blogged about this kind of stuff when I was going through it. Who knew breastfeeding could be so confusing?! I had some strange ups and downs for about 3 months. Somehow it all evened out. Ha ha.

    And you may already know this site: www.kellymom.com All your breastfeeding needs! Ha ha.

    Thanks for sharing. I'm sure you will help a girl out with this post!

  2. such a sweet picture! I hope all is well...this newborn stuff is tough!


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