Friday, August 26, 2011

Ay yi yi!

Nine weeks later and we *think* (and hope) we finally have things figured out with Olivia's eating.  Sorry to any of you who are sick of hearing about this.  The majority of people who read this blog are family and good friends who do want to know.  This should be one of the last posts on the topic.

So right after I posted last Monday about her being lactose intolerant and finally having an answer--we hit a new set of obstacles and our answers were no longer so clear.  Here's a quick time line:

Monday-Dr. said she was most likely lactose intolerant.  I was to continue to stay away from dairy, get on a probiotic, and go from there.  I went to the store and bought the probiotic along with some soy based foods (to replace the dairy).  I ate soy based ice cream that night not thinking about it.

Tuesday-I took the (lactose free) probiotic.  Olivia started having excessive amounts of poop.  She would normally only go every third day, which is still considered normal for a breastfed baby.  The poops started changing in consistency (mucus/cottage cheese), smell (rancid), and color (green).  I ate the soy based ice cream again that night.

Wednesday- By Wednesday morning she had 10 green poops in 24 hours.  I knew that green poop was generally a sign of one of two thing.  Either a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, or a soy protein allergy.  I called the Dr.  She basically said the same thing.  I felt like she was getting normal feeds, so I ruled out the imbalance.  She said to avoid soy.  Yeah, not going to happen.  Really?  Soy is in EVERYTHING!  She said to call back in a few days if it didn't get better.

Thursday-I quit eating the soy products and kept on my dairy free diet.  The crazy pooping continued.

Friday-During the two middle of the night breastfeeds she was pulling off the breast in pain (but still hungry), arching her back, crying, stiffening her body like a board when I tried to sit her up to burp, etc.  I knew those were all signs of an allergy and I was just done.  I made the decision right then to stop breastfeeding.  I know all the benefits to breastfeeding.  That's why I chose to do it in the first place.  However, at some point the pain and discomfort of your child starts to outweigh the benefits.  I also knew (from research) that the dairy/soy free diet was very hard to follow and that I wouldn't be able to do it.  Avoiding obvious dairy for the month was hard enough. Our first feed Friday morning was Similac Sensitive.  The poop continued all day.

Saturday-A record 13 poops!

I knew I had her two month check up on Thursday, so I was holding out for that.  She was having a normal amount of wet diapers, so I knew she wasn't dehydrated.  I also knew by this point that the Similac Sensitive wasn't helping either.  While she got a little better, she was still showing signs of an allergy (excessive gas/poop, straining to poop, abnormal poop, fussing during feeds, etc).

The doctor pretty much confirmed what I already knew.  She most likely has a "milk soy protein intolerance" (MSPI) and we would have to go on the hypoallergenic formula. 

"A milk allergy occurs when the immune system mistakenly sees the milk protein as something the body should fight off. This starts an allergic reaction, which can cause an infant to be fussy and irritable, and cause an upset stomach and other symptoms....A milk allergy is not the same thing as lactose intolerance, (which is) the inability to digest the sugar lactose." source

She should eventually grow out of this as well.  Unfortunately, for now we have to use the hypoallergenic formula which is a small fortune and smells like dog food. Yay!  There are only two kinds out there--no generics.  We are using Similac Alimentum.  We have to use the ready to feed stuff (at $9 a bottle and she goes through a bottle a day!) for two weeks.  If she is tolerating it well then we can switch to the powder stuff (which is still expensive, but not quite as bad).  For whatever reason some babies can tolerate the ready to feed kind but not the powder (something about the corn?).  Hopefully she'll do fine with the powder.  Time will tell.  

Every account I've read of said that as soon as they switched to the special formulas there baby was "a totally different child".  I am hoping this is the case! :)  The other good news is that acid reflux is just a symptom of MPSI, and she seems to be doing better so she is off the prevacid.

The crazy week of poop didn't seem to hurt her growth.  She now weighs 12 pounds 8.5 ounces, which is the 88th percentile.  Her head circumference is 16, which is the 89th percentile.  She is 24 inches, which is the 95th percentile!  She certainly didn't get her height from me!  The doctor said it's all good.

We didn't get any shots since she was having gut issues.  We will be going back in a month to get her DTap shot.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Two Months!

 Olivia Grace, you are two months old!
What have you been up to? 
*Technically you are "sleeping through the night" now.  You make it anywhere from 5 to 7 hours.  After that it's usually a 3 hour stretch.  You wake up to eat between 5 and 5:30 almost every morning and then don't want to go  right back to sleep.

*We still have no routine.  Mostly this is because I'm trying to figure out how it all will all go when working around my work schedule.  Hopefully you'll be on one in this next month.

 *You are now taking a bottle every 3 to 4 hours.  You usually drink 5 ounces.

*You gave us (ok, me) your first social smile the day before you turned 6 weeks old. :)

 (what we refer to as "the side eye"... she's not so sure about us sometimes!)

*Your hands are still always up by your face.  This is especially annoying during feedings and when you puke.  Your hand always ends up in it before we can wipe.

*You have recently figured out you have a tongue. A long one at that!  You are constantly sticking it out and exploring this new found body part.

 (I didn't pose her hands like this.  She just loves her hands by her face.)

*Before you were born people were always asking what your nickname would be. Would it be Liv?  Livvy?  I said, "No it's Olivia". But I do call you all sorts of pet names like sweet pea, sugar, honey bun, pumpkin, etc.  Little Man asked me what a "sweet pea" was and then suggested I call you mac and cheese.

*Your eyes are still blue and your hair is still brown.  Although it's lightening up and has copper/reddish tints.
*You are still wearing size one diapers, but will probably be moving to the 1/2's next.

*You are still wearing size 0 to 3 months.  Some of the outfits are big, but most fit well.  You have grown out of few of them.

 (just keepin' it real!)

*You have really good neck control.  You like to be up and looking around.

*Even though you have good neck control, we need to do tummy time more.  I haven't done it as much as we should because of the puking and screaming.  I didn't want to add to the drama.  We have to give  you the opportunity to roll over.  You do a half roll so far.

 (This face cracks me up!)

*You are starting to really enjoy your swing.  You use to tolerate it for short periods of time, but now you actually relax in it.

*You don't prefer to be held in the typical baby/cradle hold unless you are tired.  You are nosy and want to know what's going on. :)

*You love to be outside.  It has seriously been over 100* here for something like 50 days straight.  We are only out to walk from the house to the car or the car to the store.  Even so, you can be screaming and the second we walk outside you stop.  For whatever reason you love the heat.  A Texas girl at heart?

*You are still sleeping in our room in the pack and play.  I've tried putting you down for naps in your crib but have only been slightly successful.  We need to work on that this month.

*Remember when I said last month that you didn't mind your car seat?  Well, you must have read my post and decided to mess with me.  You now hate it.  At least getting buckled anyway.  That's why I love that walking outside in the heat calms you down.

*You are constantly keeping us guessing!

(more interested in the ceiling fan than the picture)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2nd Month Must Haves

Yep, it's that time again!  We've made it through another (rough!) month.  We are still loving and using almost all of the items from our first month of must haves.  We have a few more to add to the list though.

Gas Drops

Oh my word--these are LIQUID GOLD for us.  It has gotten better, but there were times that gas drops were the only thing that would stop the insane screaming.  You are not to exceed 12 doses a day and I'm pretty sure there were some days where she got the full 12!  It was instant silence.  I don't think the drops could work that fast.  I think she just likes the flavor.  I don't care.  If it worked, then I was trying it.  We also use gripe water, but the gas drops work better.  Gad drops are medicinal.  Gripe water is more like giving your baby ginger ale for a stomach ache.  Gripe water works great for those pesky hiccups though.

Praise Baby DVD's
I have given these as gifts multiple times.  I have only heard great things about them.  In fact, my cousin Sonja said it was the best baby gift she got.  I knew I wanted them.  Thankfully, Olivia loves them.  We will lay her on the ottoman, push it close to the TV, and put it on.  Her little legs kick with glee and she will be content for the whole half hour.  I'm sure as she grows she'll enjoy them more and more.  Plus, they are filled with great praise and worship songs so I enjoy them too.  We have four of the DVD's and one CD.

A Vibrating Bouncer
 I registered for a bouncer that bounces on its own.  It's convenient and we used it.  My friend Jen got us this vibrating bouncer as well.  I decided to take this one to work with me so that I had somewhere to put Olivia when necessary.  What I found out was that she loved the vibrations and would sit (not screaming!) for an hour!  Our other bouncer doesn't vibrate.  I had no clue this would be important.  We ended up picking up a vibrating chair we found on clearance to use at our house.  We now have a total of 3 bouncers.  Desperate times call for desperate measures! :)

 We try to read to her daily.  When in the right mood, she really enjoys it.  Of course, I appreciate the educational and developmental perks. :)

Changing Table
 I know some people say changing tables aren't really necessary.  They say it's a waste of money--that you end up changing the baby anywhere and everywhere.  Maybe it's the convenient set up of our apartment, but Olivia is only changed on her changing table (or the pack and play changer in the middle of the night).  She enjoys her changing table, and I enjoy that the mess is on disposable pads.  She pees mid change (often!), she poops mid change (often!), and has even shot it across the room before.  I rather that be on washable wood then carpet or the couch.  The $115 was worth it in my book!

Diaper Champ
 I chose the diaper champ (as opposed to other diaper pails) for a few reasons. 1) I've heard mixed reviews on other brands. 2) I used it for Little Man, so it was familiar and I knew it held the smell in well. 3) You use regular trash bags. No buying the expensive refills.  It has worked out well.  We have just had a WEEK of excessive (nasty smelling) poop, and this thing has contained the smell and was super convenient during messy clean ups.
Side note--We finally get the puking and screaming under control only to move right in to 8 to 13 poops a day!!  We're a mess!  More on that drama to come.

Baby K'tan
 I never thought that I would be a baby wearer.  That's why I didn't register for any of the carriers out there.  However, my daughter has decided that she is a fan of being held ALL. THE. TIME.  Of course, she only wants to be held by me.  I would love to hold her all day long, but sometimes I have other things to do--like make Little Man's lunch and such.  Besides that-it kills the back.  My mother-in-law recently bought the baby k'tan for me and I am in love.  It has 8 different positions.  She can only be in about 2 of them right now.  Once she has better neck control we'll be able to try out other positions.  She loves to look around and see what's going on.  I think she'll love be able to look out.  It says it's good for up to 42 pounds or 4 years old.  I won't be carrying her that long, but I will be using it often now that I have it.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

God's Masterpiece

God's Masterpiece

From graceful lilies pure and white,
God fashioned lovely skin,
Forgetmenots he chose for eyes,
Then formed your baby chin.

He took a tulip bright and red --
'Twas one that did not fade;
A softer, sweeter little mouth
Before was never made.

Another flower next He used --
A rosebud, pink and fair;
Touched it to your dimpled cheeks
And bade it blossom there.

Then with His magic fingers picked
Two morning glories white;
Curled and shaped your little ears,
Soon they were fastened tight.

That crowning bit of golden down
Will soon become your hair;
He gathered pollen from the flowers,
And sprinkled it with care.

For dainty little fingers dear
And precious, tiny toes,
He used slender daisy frills;
A snowdrop made your nose.

This world and all within it
He created here for man;
But Baby was "God's Masterpiece"
Since time and life began!
(Poem by Dora Dinsmore)

Friday, August 19, 2011

I made it!

I kept saying that I just needed to make it to August 15th.  Little Man had two weeks with no school before he started Kindergarten.  That was two weeks were I was going to have to entertain and deal with a five year old while juggling the needs of a new baby.  I had to come up with places for us to go and do it with a five/six week old baby in tow.  This was causing me great anxiety.

I'm happy to report that we all survived.  I found some great places for us to check out.  Everything worked out.  Little Man was good and Olivia cooperated for the most part.  Success.

I have also made it through the first week of Kindergarten.  I must say that I do think I'm going to enjoy this set up quite nicely.  I go to work at 7:30 and get LM fed and ready for school.  We leave his house around 8:30, I drop him off at school, and am back at my place by 8:40.  I don't have to leave my place to pick him up until about 2:35 (school is out at 2:45).  After that we have rest (nap) time.  From there we go to our afternoon activities of Tae Kwon Do or gymnastics.  I am off at 6:30.  So far it's felt like I am sort of on vacation.  As time goes on and Olivia gets older, our days will be filled with library story times, Little Gym classes, and so much more.  For now, we're all still adjusting and I am liking the relaxed pace just fine. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011


When Little Man comes at me carrying things like these, I get a little a little excited.

Who doesn't love designer baby clothes delicately wrapped in tissue paper, put in cute little boxes, and adorned with a corner bow?

Leave it to my boss to have Olivia dressing in style! :)
with ruffles on the butt!

Future tennis star? :)


Little Man said, "Aw, and her belly will stick out"  Um... no, that's the back honey. :)

My favorite

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Follow Up Dr. Appointment

Olivia had her follow up doctor's appointment this morning.  She now weighs 11 pounds, 11 ounces.  She was 10 pounds, 8 ounces at her appointment two an a half weeks ago.  She was in the 80th percentile then and is now in the 82nd percentile.  The nurse practitioner said she's trucking along at almost the same rate and all is good with that.

The spitting up has decreased since our last appointment--both in amount and force.  That is, unless I ate dairy.  Which we now know is not going to work.  The screaming has decreased some, but it still sprouts its ugly head now and then.

Since I stopped eating dairy and Olivia went on prevacid at almost the same time, it's hard to say if the spitting up is better because of the medication or if it's better because I eliminated dairy.  The nurse practitioner said that since I did see such a difference in the times that I ate dairy, that she probably is lactose intolerant to some degree.  She may not even have acid reflux or need the medication.  We are going to keep going as we are for now.  Olivia's two month appointment is on the 25th.  A few days before then I am going to stop the medicine (it takes 3 days to get out of her system).  We can see what happens and talk to our pediatrician about it then--whether we need to go back on the medication or just be done with it.  Either way, she said most babies can stop taking the meds around 3 months and be fine.

The NP said I just have to stay away from obvious dairies at this point.  Olivia could have a milk allergy (as opposed to being lactose intolerant), but we haven't seen any of those signs and they won't test for that until she is bigger.  I will have to take calcium supplements (for me) and also probiotic supplements (that will transfer to Olivia through the milk, but will also benefit me).  She said I can also eat things that may have dairy cooked in them--for example, if a cake has milk in it or whatever.  The 350 degrees of the oven will bake off anything that could possibly be an issue.

I asked how long babies are normally lactose intolerant.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a set in stone answer like I would have liked.  She said it's not likely to be long term unless in runs in the family, which it does not.  She said around 8 or 9 months we'll introduce cheese to her and she how she tolerates it.  Then we might add yogurt a little later if she does well.  You get the idea.  If she does not tolerate it, then we'll try again in six months.  We'll keep going like that until we think she can tolerate it.  She said some kids don't grow out of it until 4 or 5. UGH!  I'm hoping that is not the case.  My gut says it's just a baby thing and that she'll be fine by the time she's ready for cow's milk.  Who knows though.

She then did a quick physical check on Olivia.  She said her stomach was really tight and asked if she had just eaten.  She had (probably 20 minutes earlier).  The NP said that babies stomachs do get tight, but that even so Olivia's seemed to be more tight than it should have been.  I notice that her stomach gets like that a lot.  I try to pump her legs or rub her belly.  We also live on gas drops.  The NP recommended once again that we take her to the chiropractor, especially since she was having gut issues like that.  We hadn't necessarily ruled it out, but it's usually not covered under insurance so we weren't in a rush to go either.  I guess we need to look into it anyway.  This also could be why we may have random screaming times.

Olivia has been doing really well lately, so we might have just gotten it all figured out.  Knock on wood.  I am avoiding dairy the best I can, giving her the meds, using gas drops and gripe water when necessary, and looking forward to moving on from this phase. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Saga Continues...

*Such a sweetie*

We are still trying to figure out what is going on with our sweet little girl.  We have some good days and some days that are just down right awful.  The medicine seemed to be working the first week or so.  Olivia still pukes, but it's not nearly as often or as much and it certainly isn't projectile.

 *Her "go to" face*

To recap (because some were confused)--She was diagnosed with acid reflux and given medicine for that.  The doctor told me to stay away from obvious dairy for now.  We were to give it two weeks to see if the medicine was working.  Then I could add in one dairy a week (cheese the first week, then milk the next week, and so on) and see how she responded.

*trying to capture a smile is tough*

Well... after about a week and a half of being off of dairy (I had gone off of it the best I could before even taking her to the doctor), I cheated.  We went out with friends and I had some milk based gelato.  This was NOT a good idea.  She was a MESS after her middle of the night feeding.  She was puking excessively, "coughing" what sounded like hair balls, screaming when awake, and sounding congested.  That solved the mystery.

*tongue peeking out*

The doctor did say I could have a small amount of cheese if mixed in a recipe.  It wasn't mixed in a recipe, but a week later I had a very small amount of cheese on a snack wrap from McDonald's.  People had said ice cream was one of the worst culprits, so I was hoping I could get by with a slice of cheese.  Her reaction wasn't nearly as bad as with the ice cream, but her puke increased once again and her screaming returned.  Needless to say, I am now avoiding all obvious dairy.  Ugh!  No milk.  No ice cream.  No yogurt.  No cream cheese.  No sour cream.  No cheese.  No cream--whipped, in coffee, in recipes.  No butter.  Do you know how much that eliminates?  85% of what I eat and almost all the recipes I rely on.

*ahh... the ever faithful paci*

I go back to the doctor on Monday to follow up.  I am hoping that it is a lactose intolerance problem and not a milk/soy protein allergy.  You have to avoid all "hidden" dairies then (casein, whey, etc.).  That's pretty much ALL processed food.  You may not realize it, but it's in EVERYTHING.  We would for sure switch to formula then.  Not only that, but there are only 2 formulas out there that can be used.  There are no generic ones either, and they aren't cheap.  Milk protein stays in your system (and your babies system) for up to two weeks.  Therefore, I don't think I can cheat and pump and dump like people do with alcohol.  Although, I will be asking the doctor about this.  Also, I know babies grow out of this, but I'm not sure when.  Living without dairy for months is depressing.  I'm hoping it's sooner rather than later.

Aside from the dairy issues, she's been having other times of screaming.  I'm hoping it was her 6 week growth spurt.  This is getting exhausting!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I Never Knew

I Never Knew 

© Martha L. Sheridan 

I never knew I could love so much,
until the day I felt your touch.

I softly kissed your tiny cheek,
and from under your lashes I saw you peek.

Your beautiful eyes so small and blue,
my sweet little baby just brand new.

I cannot wait to watch you grow,
from your little head to your tiny toes.

My daughter my love, my little joy,
my little angel, my baby doll toy.

I promise to love you with all my heart,
I'm here for you from the very start.

I'll comfort you when you cry,
I'll answer true when you ask me, Why?

While you grow be sweet and kind,
and show all others how much you shine.