Sunday, February 20, 2011

Crunchy Mama Love/Overall Brodie update (stolen from Sarah's post idea a while ago)

Before I was a mom and even at the beginning of my pregnancy I never thought I would become a "crunchy" mom. I hadn't given more than a passing thought to natural birth control, how I would give birth, breastfeeding, diapering, vaccinations, etc. I guess I just figured what the majority of the people did was sort of the norm and what was best for my baby. Then, I started researching each subject when the right time came around and discovered that the "norm" wasn't what I wanted.

First we chose to get off the hormonal birth control and switch to FAM (including temping and checking CM) with a non hormonal barrier method for fertile times. When we decided to get pregnant, it only took us 2 cycles (which were abnormal as well), 2.5 months to get pregnant! It was an awesome time practicing FAM and getting to know my body in more detail.

Then, when we got pregnant, I started researching natural childbirth. My friend Jessica had gone through the Bradley Child birthing course. I was immediately intrigued, especially since Jessica's birth/recovery was the best of anyone I knew. So, we watched a lot of informational videos, read a lot of research articles, and attended 25 hours of birthing class. We made a birth plan and had plans to not use any pain meds at all. Because of Brodie's heart decelerating/me being strapped to a bed and back labor I caved and got an epidural but besides limited movement and the epidural my birth went as I wished. No coached pushing, no episiotomy, delayed cord cutting, immediate skin/skin contact, no weighing/measuring for 2hrs, breastfeeding on demand, and alone time with just me, my husband and my son. LOVED IT! Next time I know not to go to the hospital as soon as my water breaks (I will be waiting til I can't stand the pain, then heading down) and I will be more assertive during labor.

I used to think it was just standard to have bottles in the diaper bag and feed said bottles to the child. I knew people breastfed, but didn't really think too much about the in public/all the time aspect of it. When I got pregnant I realized I wanted to exclusively breastfeed. Luckily for me, my child latched on really well in the hospital and despite some "potential difficulties" and a hard few days of engorgement that has been going GREAT! :) He is a nursing pro, still nursing every 2-3 hours and getting lots of great nutritional foodstuffs from my boobies. :) I'm very PRO breastfeeding in public and don't care if someone sees my to be them if they are offended. :P

I was convinced that I would be using disposable diapers with my child because the idea of cloth diapering was "icky" to me. I could never wash and deal with pee/poo in that way. Well, when Brodie was about a month old he got a rash that just didn't go away. I tried everything to get it to disappear, to no avail. After a month of this I decided I had to do something drastic. I looked up the possibility of allergies disposable diapers/wipes and found the advantages of cloth and some scary things about disposables. We decided then to make the switch to cloth diapers. It took us another month to order/gather all the necessary supplies and build up a stash large enough to go to cloth 100%, and we did when Brodie was just over 3 months old. Within 24 hours there was NO rash and since then his bottom has actually been "soft as a baby's bottom" and so much happier. :) It's saving us over 2000 dollars per kid as well. I feel so great about this decision and Nick is stoked that we went to cloth as well. I wish more people cloth diapered and discovered the cloth diaper goodness!

In terms of baby wearing, that was a relatively new term for me that I stumbled across while on a pregnancy forum. There are so many cool carriers and benefits to baby wearing that there was no way that I WASN'T going to baby wear. I currently have a stretchy wrap, a Mei tai, and an ergo ssc. :) I love all three and use them very very often. I just used one this morning while cooking breakfast and will use one tomorrow while gallivanting around doing errands. They all have some advantages that make them better for certain things. I've shared my knowledge with friends and because of my talks with them (and probably their own research as well) I now have 5 more people baby wearing with proper carriers! :)

We have started giving Brodie 1 pumped feedings worth of breast milk mixed with baby oatmeal/barley a day. The ped recommended this because he is so tiny for his age (weight wise). But, it has always been my intention to delay solids until AT LEAST 6 months. I don't totally consider what we are giving him a solid since it's just a thickened breast milk, but I'm also not going to give him any more than we are now until 6 months. I will not add water to the oatmeal instead of milk because I don't want him to miss out on ANY good nutrition from breast milk. People may say "what's the big deal?" Well, there are a lot of reasons to not give solids until 6 months at the minimum. This article has some great info: . When we do start solids I'd like to make my own baby food :)

Lastly, delayed vaccinations. We declined the eye goo in the hospital as well as the Hep B shot. There was no need for either of these with Brodie because they are STD related and we don't have ST D's. I have continued to decline Hep B and after the rest of his 6 month vaccinations will be researching all of the ones he is scheduled to get at his 1 year appointment and weigh pros/cons to each. I may be delaying/denying some of those vaccinations if they are not necessary at such a young age or at all.

So, all in all I have become quite the hippy/crunchy mom. The only thing we don't do is co-sleep (yet we did have him in a co-sleeper bassinet for the first 3 months). I'm happy with my decisions and encourage people to do research on the major aspects of parenting before they just go with what everyone else is doing. You'd be surprised with how much is out there to learn and is different than it may seem on the outside. Make informed decisions and do what is best for your family. :) I'd be happy to answer any questions if anyone wants more info on anything we are doing/have found.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Update on nursing/feeding issues

I was diligent about doing all 3 of the things that the Lactation Consultant told me to do in terms of upping the amount for milk Brodie was getting and helping to reduce spit up.

I cut out dairy for a week and noticed no difference in the amount of spitting up Brodie was doing...THANK YOU LORD! :) That means he's not allergic to dairy.

I have been pressing down on my breasts while he eats, and offering him both breasts at each feeding instead of just one. I am noticing him swallowing more and he almost always takes both breasts...I wonder if I was depriving him by not offering both?

I also tried pumping after feeding him on a side to see if he wasn't effectively nursing or getting all the hindmilk but I couldn't get more than a few drops. This is a good sign cause it means he is sucking me dry.

After a lot of discussion Nick and I decided that it was OK and wouldn't harm Brodie if I just pumped one feeding's worth of milk (whatever my boobs would produce) and added baby oatmeal to it. He seems to LOVE the oatmeal, sucking it down fast and crying when the bottle is done because he wants more. And, the best news is that when he eats it, there is NO spitting up afterwards. I gave him some water after it one time and he immediately spit up but it was just the water, not the cereal. Then the same thing happened when I let him nurse after finishing his bottle. He just barfed up the breastmilk that I had just given him. I have a feeling that Brodie is going to weigh a lot more at his Feb 28th appt and that the pediatrician is going to want to up the amount of times he eats the oatmeal. I guess we will cross that bridge when we get there :)

I can tell that Brodie is chunking up though. His face looks a little rounder and the tops of his feet have a little layer of fat now! Pray that the doctors get off our case when we go back to see about his weight! :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lactation Consultant Advice (4m2days)

OK, I called and left a message for my pediatrician saying I am not comfortable starting solids at this time (I want to wait until 6 months) and to see if I could get a reflux medication for him and see if that helps us with his spit up.

I also called the lactation consultant that is in Ramona and told her what was going on. She gave me 3 things to do:

-eliminate ALL dairy in my diet for a week to see if he spits up less (because Nick is lactose intolerant he may be as well)
-while nursing compress my breast to make him get more milk/suck/swallow more since I told her I don't hear him swallowing the entire time he is nursing
-after he is done nursing, pump on the same side he just nursed to get out any extra hindmilk he hasn't sucked out and feed it to him via a bottle immediately to help him get more "Fatty good stuff"

She also said because he doesn't have frequent bowel movements doing these things may help with that as well and if we start seeing them increase in frequency to once every other day or so we know we are on the right track. In a week she wants me to call back and let her know how it's going and if we are still getting lots of spit up then she said maybe just maybe we would talk about solids (I didn't tell her about the asking for a reflux med yet).

I looked up the WHO growth charts and unfortunately they don't bump him up percentage-wise in weight. I plotted each of his lengths/weights and the percentiles have gone down each time:

Birth 8lb2oz (75%) 21in (95%)

3 weeks 8lb10oz (35%) 22in (85%)

6 weeks 9lb12oz (18%)

2 months 10lb10oz (15%) 23.75in (80%)

4 months 11lb13oz (less than 2%)>

I'll keep you updated on how the new suggestions from the LC go, no dairy is going to be interesting for me but if it fixes his spit up than I'm good with it!

4 month Appointment

Hey all!

At Brodie's four month old appointment we found that he is 25.25 inches long (55% ile), 11lb 13oz ( less than 5% ile), and has a 41cm head (25% ile). He is a little peanut!

The doctor wants us to start solids with him ASAP and come back in 3 weeks to see if he has gained some more weight and is spitting up less (he still spits up a TON). She said there was new research stating it's better to start solids earlier. I initially agreed, but after looking into it more and reading the "research" (I found the article they published stating it) when I got home I have decided I don't want to start solids (at all) until 6 months. We may just need some reflux medication to help him keep more food down. I just call the pediatrician and let them know. I'm waiting on a call back to see if I can get an over the phone prescription. If anything, I found out from the ped that usually they outgrow the spitting up by 9 months/when they start to crawl. That's encouraging...only 5 more months! And, when he does start solids she said to give him infant oatmeal/barley instead of rice cereal because
of his lack of pooping...apparently rice can make him more constipated and since he already only poops 1x every 6-9 days we don't wanna make that worse. For my records, she said to give him 2-3tsp (or 1 Tbs) of cereal watered down until very runny with breast milk. Then wash it down with a few sips of water.

I also told them about his adhesive allergy and they made a note of it on his chart. They had me help them use cotton balls and press down on the shot sites to stop bleeding instead of using a band-aid. The nurse ALMOST put a band-aid on him and I had to intercept her and put my hand over his leg to stop her (she said she forgot).

I also talked to the doctor about his dry skin, and since I didn't know the name of Nick's skin condition she said just keep putting vasaline lotion or olive oil on his skin 2x a day.
Oh and I asked about a schedule for him since I only have the nights/early mornings on a bit of a routine so far. She said that at about 6 months babies can form a nice schedule but before then we can suggest times for him to nap by dimming the room and keeping the times consistent. So, I'm trying for a 10-11am nap and a 2ishpm nap. She said 10-10:30pm was too late for a bedtime, and to make it more like 8pm. Sooo much stuff to digest and figure out as a new mom! The only thing I forgot to ask about was signs of teething/if he might be since Nick and I think he is possibly doing all the signs of it.

Other than doctor visit stuff Brodie is doing great! He turned 4 months old on Saturday and is soooo animated and fun to be with. He rolls over from tummy to back (started doing this at 10 weeks 2 days) and can get on his side when trying to roll back to tummy. He LOVES standing up (and can stay standing without getting tired for over 5 minutes) so we ordered a jumperoo thing for the doorway. I can't wait to see how he does with that.
Um, what else.... He "Talks" up a storm to us and chuckles when we talk back. He grabs at his toys and pulls them to his mouth with ease, loving to eat anything and everything his lips touch. We are so blessed by him and are loving every moment of being parents (even the 3am feeding times!).

Ok that was a long enough post...but I wanted to get that all out in writing before I forgot haha. Next I'm becoming a crunchy mommy even though I never expected to be like this...