Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Princess Fart-a-lot

Well, it's been another week...and another week of a very gassy baby. What gives? We've tried three different bottles, the surplus of which clutter our cabinets in what little space we have left for the baby supplies and we've switched formula from regular to soy, hoping that would help. I'm not quite sure it has. We've spent $15 for a bottle of Gripe Water which is supposed to be this wonder drug of a concoction but has yet to really work. Oh yeah, and if we were to use it at every feeding, that $15 bottle would last probably a week. Hey, if it worked, I wouldn't care if it was more...

We've been supplementing with formula since she's been born because she had jaundice in the hospital and they told us she should eat as much as she can...hard to do when your milk isn't it, so they gave us some formula. Plus, we thought that she would sleep more during the night with the formula...So, we decided to give her formula at night for all of our sakes. Little did we know this superior formula from the hospital was giving her gas. During pregnancy, companies are all too happy to give you free stuff, especially formula and I'm not talking a little baggy of formula either... I'm talkin' the full on cans. So, I started collecting them and had about five different formula cans by the end. Low and behold one of them was soy!!! So between the changing of bottles and switching to soy her gas problems should be solved right? Um, yeah, no. That would be too easy. Motherhood isn't meant to be that easy. But we found a decent bottle that seemed to help with the gas and we assumed the soy would have to help somehow...maybe it was...but something else was lurking around that distracted us from the actual problem at hand - the fact that her farts smelled like a dead animal crawled inside of her and died!

My beautiful, perfect child could now put any frat boy to shame with her farts... Holy moly... And they're not silent but deadly ones either...Oh no...they vibrate the couch and little wiffs of it comes out of her diaper slowly so you have to endure the smell longer than should be legal!

Regardless, this has been our life. However, she IS starting to sleep more at night, only waking up twice before 6am usually, which is great...!

Last night I came to a simple (yet with my mommy brain it wasn't so clear until now) conclusion: stop the formula and exclusively give her breast milk. Duh! Maybe it's the formula...breast milk is the easiest to digest and sometimes formula isn't, even soy. So, last night we started breast milk exclusively. It's not like it was keeping her asleep longer so why bother. Hopefully that'll help.

Oh another milestone (remind me to add that to her calendar): we took her out of the bed and put her in the pack-n-play. We were expecting a bassinett from someone and we never received it so we're using the pack-n-play. She did really well and it allowed us to sleep without worrying of rolling on top of her...Now, I just have to worry about her smothering herself in the pack-n-play or choking and my not knowing it...I guess the worrying never stops.

This morning, another epiphony: if we take out formula, that'll help, but what if we only use bottles half the time? What if I could finally get her to latch on and breast feed during the day. There's no air coming out of me (that I know of ) so maybe that'll help. Well, to my surprise, she actually did it. I used the shield I got in the hospital, which is plastic so it'll feel the same as a bottle and not piss her off too much. She totally went to town... I'm still figuring out the process and different holds, but maybe that'll help. I certainly have nothing else to do during the day so why not spend most of it with a baby on my boob until we both get it under control? Maybe that'll help...

oh yeah, and did I mention that the grocery store had her soy formula on clearance for $7.50 a can (half off) and I bought four? Too bad we're not using formula anymore...

2 packs of Avent bottles - $40
1 Playtex bottle - $5
6 Dr. Brown bottles - $30
4 cans of formula - $30
1 bottle of Gripe Water - $15
Relief from crying and atrocious smelling gas - priceless.

Until a new adventure,


Monday, May 4, 2009

Carol's First Month

Okay, so it's not May 7th yet, but tomorrow she is official four weeks old. So, here is a little update of everything (that I can remember) that happened during her first month of life.

Week One:
We spent most of her first week in the hospital recovering from the c-section and getting her newborn jaundice situated. We decided that physically breastfeeding was not in our cards, so we decided that bottle feeding with breast milk would be best. The end of week one brought us many visitors including my parents, Tricia's parents and her sister and partner. Carol's weight was still low at the first doctor's visit, but she assured us that during week two, it would increase.

Week Two: Carol's weight creeped up slowly, but not nearly enough as the doctor's would have liked. We were told to give her as much food as she'll eat. She went from 7.8 in the hospital and at the first Dr.'s appt to 7.12 in week two. Week three would provide us great relief and surprise to see how much she had gained. Tricia and I got out of the house this week and went to her sister's birthday party. Woo-hoo! Mommy had a cocktail...okay a few. Who am I kidding? How fun!

Week Three: By week three we were all getting to know each other a little better. The bottle feeding was going well, but she was still really gassy and sometimes you could tell she was in pain with gas bubbles. We've used Playtex Air Vent bottles, Avent bottles (at $9 a bottle!!) and this week we tried out the Dr. Brown's... The Playtex is our least favorite. The Avent bottles are okay, but she spits out half of what she's eating and there's too many bubbles in the bottle. The Dr. Browns are okay (even if you need an engineering degree to figure them out). She doesn't spit most of it out, there's no bubbles and they don't leak like the Avent ones did. So far, really no complaints about Dr. Browns...with the exception of the fact that she's still really gassy and boy are the farts starting to SMELL!!! Tricia went with me to the dr.'s when the baby again this week to follow up on the weight. The dr normally wants the baby to gain about an ounce a day...which would mean that over a week's period of time, she would gain 7 ounces. There were ten days between her visits and she was up to 9lbs!!! She gained twenty ounces over ten days. Double what they wanted. Needless to say, she caught up. In the waiting room, a woman asked us who the mother was and we responded that she has two mommies. The woman to our surprise said, "Oh how great! How lucky is she?! Not everyone has two mommies." We thought that was cute.

Into Week Four: Today is Monday and it's a milestone: the first time the poo came up the back of the diaper and onto the clothes!!! That was fun. We had her ankles by her ears trying to get that off....I guess it could have been easier to just roll her over... It's Mother's Day this weekend. Our first...And we're heading to see my dad and step mother over the weekend so they can see the baby. Our friend Jill had her baby shower this past weekend and her niece (okay, it's really her second cousin, but more like a niece) asked us a really cute question about the baby. Jill is a step mother and her niece (Olivia) plays with Jill's step daughter (Samantha).
Olivia: Who's the mommy?
Tricia: We're both the mommy. But Liz had the baby.
Jill: Yeah, like how Samantha has two mommies and a daddy.
Olivia: So, you're like the step mom then? (to Tricia).
Liz: I think it's a fair question... and really astute to be honest.

We'll keep you updated when more happens!

Dichotomy of Motherhood

So, I'm sitting at the computer, the baby wrapped in a long stretch of fabric somehow capable of keeping her on my body without falling out below, trying to balance a bottle between my chest and chin so I'm able to simultaneously write down my thoughts. Now, that's what I call multi-tasking.

I can't believe that Carol is already almost a month old. It feels like yesterday and ten years ago all at the same time. I can't believe this little human was the creature living inside of me all those months. I look at her with amazement. She's a little mini-me with the opposite coloring...and hair on her back and shoulders...hopefully that'll fall out soon.

For the most part, we have a simple and easy baby. Just needing basic things like food, comfort and the occasional pat on the back to help get a burp up. She cries when she's hungry, hurting, gassy or having bad dreams (do babies have bad dreams?).

Motherhood is crazy. It's an immediate feeling that all of a sudden your life is no longer your own. That you can't just up and leave to go somewhere and even after a long day away or at work, you still have work to do at home. Long gone are the days of veggin' on the couch...because soon enough, your child will need something from you. YOU... It's a crazy feeling to think that I'm someone's mother.

I wonder what she'll be one day. At the same time, I try not to let myself think past the next feeding...or rather, some days, I'm just not capable. Your life becomes compressed down to the two to three hour increments in between feedings. And thank goodness I'm not physically breastfeeding. I don't think I would be able to leave the house. It's bad enough with bottles let alone having to whip out a boob everywhere you go, regardless if I had one of those covers or not. Yeah, let's put on the cover, hold a baby on a seat with no arms (most likely), and try to feed her with one hand while holding her with the other all while she's screaming and people are staring (either because they are annoyed someone has the audacity to feed their child in public, or they're trying to sneak a peak). Yeah, bottles are wonderful.

Diapering is interesting. Such an easy concept on a doll or in your head...but a REAL baby has legs like a frog that don't stretch when you want them to. A real baby decides the best time to pee or poo is IN BETWEEN putting the new diaper on and the taking off the old one. Tricia's been peed on many of times...I almost got shot with poo when she sneezed during one changing. It's all par for the course, however.

There's a part of me that truly enjoys the three am feedings. Okay, let me wake up first, open my eyes and get situated, but once I'm awake and she's happy because she's got a bottle in her mouth and she's quiet, I feel like the world is my own. Tricia's asleep, the cats are where ever they're at, the baby's in my arms and my mom is down the hall. It's just me, and the baby and sometimes "Poker after Dark" or re-runs of "Law and Order". The Magic Bullet is looking more and more appealing to me, even if the acting in the infomercial is atrocious. It's quiet, cool and there's a stillness about that time of night - something that daytime doesn't afford. I like it and even though I'm tired the next morning, I look forward to the next night.