Thursday, August 21, 2008

Not the best news

We took Sadie in to be weighed on Tuesday and she hadn't gained any weight at all this week. She's "ideally" supposed to be gaining an ounce a day right now. I made an appointment with the lactation consultant for the following day because she wasn't in at the time we were there.

We're also having other "issues" with Sadie. She's screaming during and after feedings, having problems pooping (she's screaming and pushing against me but not pooping, but she does poop once a day or every other day but she's obviously in pain) and feeding issues, as in she isn't eating enough (hence the no gain in weight, if only her mother had that problem!).

She's supposed to be taking at up to and closer to least 600 ml a day (20 oz) and let's see... Monday she ate less than 400 ml (13 oz) all day long (this was the worst day, she was crying so hard from her bowels and was inconsolable, this started Saturdaynight and continued until Monday when she finally pooped). After she pooped (3 times finally) on Tuesday she ate much better but still didn't make the 600 ml mark. Yesterday she was eating much better but still nowhere near where she needs to be and the gas pains started again yesterday.

She's bottle fed expressed breast milk only. We offer her as much as she wants every time she wakes/cries. Her problem is she falls asleep no matter how hard we try to keep her awake.

The lactation consultant heard what I was saying and suggested I take Sadie to the doctors just to be sure nothing was seriously wrong. So I made an appointment and went in at 4.

The Dr. said she looks great, looks healthy but is still concerned about her lack of weight gain this week (she stayed the same as last week) and how little she is eating compared to what she 'should' be eating, ideally. We're to continue tracking her food intake until Friday and come back then. If he's not happy with her progress then he'll refer us to a peditrician. You can't see a pedi here without a referal, all kids go to the family Dr. We'll also talk more about her screaming then. I honestly hope he just refers us. I need a peace of mind that she is okay and we're doing what's best for her.

After this morning Marco and I decided to try giving Sadie hypoalergenic formula at her feedings to see if it makes a big difference in her screeching half way through. Yesterday and this morning have already been too much with her screaming for hours solid. She is screaming until she passes out and is just inconsolable. Of course then she isn't eating because she's in pain and/or passed out. We've been so leery of giving formula but we're desperate. I have a feeling it's my milk that is giving her pains, causing her so much discomfort. Possibly she is allergic to it or one of the componets in it, such as dairy. As we're having latch issues as well it will take me days to try the "cut out this food group and see if it improves" method from my diet as I have a stock of milk in the fridge and wouldn't be able to pump enough to keep up with her supply.

I am trying not to let myself feel guilty for giving formula. I have really worked hard to establish a supply, try and get her to latch and feed her breastmilk as it's what is best for her but right now we have to try something different. I feel like I've done as much as I can do. This stress isn't good for me or the baby or Marco for that matter. I just want her to not be in pain and to grow big and strong. If that means not being able to breastfeed then so be it. I need a healthy happy baby.

A little update. We tried the formula and she screamed 30 ml into it just like she does with the breastmilk so I guess that's not what is causing her to react that way with the feedings. That makes me feel a little better. I'm going to discuss reflux with the doctor again tomorrow although she not showing many of the symptoms at all, just the screaming.

Thank you for the comments and encouragement. What is happening with her though is beyond crying to release energy, she is screaming, red faced, can't breathe for hours at a time.

Also, I won't let myself feel overly guilty for not breastfeeding. Her health comes first beyond everything and I know I have tried everything in my power to make it work so if it doesn't it just doesn't. Thanks again for the encouragement! It does help a lot.


Kirsten said...

Don't let the doctors worry you about her feeding schedule. Kids are like that. They eat when they want. Also, a lot of babies cry to release excess energy..don't worry...just enjoy this time...she'll catch up when she's ready...stick to the breast milk cuz it gives her the natural defenses at the beginning.

andrea said...

I beat myself up over not being able to breastfeed my son, and honestly in retrospect (and only 6 months out) I wish I hadn't made myself feel so guilty. He is thriving and happy and beyond intelligent :)

Seriously, the most important thing you can do as a mom is make sure Sadie is healthy and growing and happy, and if you end up formula feeding her you are NOT a bad mom. It frustrates me that women feel such intense pressure to breastfeed and then when they can't, and some women just can't, they are made to feel guilty.

I hope you guys figure this out and are happy with knowing you are providing for her, despite where the food comes from!

lifeshouldbestereo said...

I am not a mom, so that may mean that I can't have an opinion on this... all I will say is that I hope you figure out what causes her discomfort and if it IS your milk,then so be it. The reason she is not eating enough may be because she knows that it causes her pain. That's not a reflection on you or your milk, that's just a very clever baby!
I hope you figure out what causes her pain, and please know you're fantastic parents and take great care of your baby girl.

The Lassie said...

Oh girl...I could have told you about the formula thing beforehand, but you probably would have tried anyway to find out, which is obviously just fine. You don't potentially speak German by any chance? I managed to get through the really, really hard times only with the help of a forum (on the net, unfortunately German) - loads of professionals and other smart people advise you there. I would not give up just yet - quite obviously Sadie just needs to eat more. Have you ever tried a breastfeeding set (by Medela)? It's a bottle with very thin tubes attached to it. You fill it with as much milk as you need, hang it around your neck, using a cord, arrange the tubes slightly over your nipple and fasten it with tape that comes with the set. This way, you can make sure Sadie gets enough milk when you feed her, you help her get used to breastfeeding again and she gets an immediate feeling of success when milk comes (seemingly) from your nipple. You can adjust the dripping speed of the milk via the angle of the tube. I know a lot of women who managed to help their children find their way back to the breast AND monitor their food intake. This set has helped me too - Soph just at some point refused breastfeeding completely, because I had bottle fed her before. Do not feel guilty if you end up feeding formula...but do consider: you have enough milk, right? You just need to make sure she drinks it all, which you would have to do with formula, too. And your own milk is a million times better for your little baby than formula could be. I would definetely have continued to feed Soph formula, too, had it been necessary. It just wasn't, though and it looks like you're doing fine milkwise, too. Also, have you ever heard of KISS? You might want to look it up, as some children show Sadie's symptoms when they're suffering from it. And it can be treated, if that's what's wrong. *hugs*

~Mrs. JMS~ said...

You are doing a great job and you are right what makes a happy baby makes a happy mom and vice versa. I am not in your shoes yet but will be soon and already am preparing myself that it just may not is never guranteed.

I hope you find out something soon, you are doing all the right things! GL!

Nestie: jenn&tim05

Erin said...

Oh, that has to be so frustrating:( My oldest was *terrible* with feeding and it turned out she had a cleft palate. It was in the soft part of the palate way in the back. The only way you could see it was when she yawned. The poor baby couldn't get enough suction at all and it would take hours to feed her and she gained weight so slowly. The worst thing? There was bottle to help her eat and we didn't know about it. How that is, I don't know but you can be sure we took that info straight to the hospital for new parents with cleft palate babies. Before that she would fall asleep before was like she gave up knowing that it would take forever to eat:( New bottle=entirely different baby. Gained weight, ate easily, it was so much better!

And our son? That one had acid reflux *and* gas and OMG, what a pain. He would scream after feedings (may have been during as well, I don't remember) and when we'd lay him down. He had to be switched to a new formula (Similac Alimentum) just to get him comfortable. He was also on Zantac. Every thing and day was trial and error and I almost wished for colic, just so we had a name for it! We were miserable:( With the combination of the formula and the Zantac, he found some relief but it took us almost 6 months for us to get that combo right. He also loved to be bounced, but that kid was/is smart. He knew when we were bouncing him standing up (hated) or if we were sitting on an exercise ball and bouncing (LOVED it!). I think it helped with the gas, but it definitely brought us some quiet (and a little ab work!) and him some comfort.

Our 3rd? She's perfect. No issues *knock on wood*. I think she's our reward for the first two;)

Good luck and don't feel bad about the breastfeeding. The important thing is that your baby is happy and healthy. In the long run, that's best for all of you:)

Anonymous said...

When I had my son 2 years ago he was exactly the same....wouldn't breastfeed and had problems with the expressed milk we gave him. It turns out that the problem was that I was eating/drinking things he couldn't digest yet..the big one being milk. I cut out milk while I was pumping and he improved dramatically! Maybe have a look at what you are eating to see if that's what's bothering Sadie. I hope things work out for you guys!

Ellen said...

Sending positive energy across the world to you!!! Whatever you and Marco decide to do will be the right thing, Sarah. Babies are resilient and you are trying your hardest to make the best choices that make the most sense. Don't worry about what you are "supposed" to do (even if you really wanted that thing to work!), just figure out how to make things work for you and your family :) ~Ellen

Lissa said...

Hey Sarah,
We had the same problem with Hallie, she was inconsolable. I switched formulas about 5 times and ended up with Carnation Good Start, which is the same thing that Brenna took. It worked. But anytime that you switch formula, you are supposed to give it at least a week or two to work itself out. We learned the hard way while switching to all of the soy formula's etc. But anyways, that worked for us. She is a different baby. I felt like she didnt like me at first with all the screaming, and she would push me away...I hated not being able to comfort my baby. So dont feel like your the only one, b/c its not you. I hope that you get it straightened out. Love you so much! Lissa