Thursday, March 26, 2009

le Reflux

le Darn it!


le Sonofabitch!


le Shit!

Sort of...

le Fuck!


I took Olivia to the doctor on Tuesday. We got some good news - no more blood in the stool. The Alimentum is here to stay. Not that I'm thrilled to be paying that much, but it would suck to have to keep trying out different formula and going back to the doctor with poopy diapers.

Since I like to be prepared, I took a print out of the symptoms of silent reflux, hilited the things that are happening to Olivia, and wrote notes on her reactions to eating. Balls (Ovaries?) to the wall, right? I wanted some medicine.

The doctor wholeheartedly agreed that she had reflux. Great! Then she said they don't like to give medication before trying other things first. Mmmmkay...I guess that makes sense.

The verdict: 1/4 tsp of Maalox or Mylanta 15-20 minutes before eating, and a tablespoon of rice cereal in her bottle.

After our doctor appointment, we went to Target and happily bought the Maalox and rice cereal. She was completely zonked all day after starting this. Great! She must be feeling better and getting some rest!

I am a flaming moron...

My baby screamed her head off from 5 am until midnight yesterday. Screamed. As in WTF GIMME BACK MY UMBILICAL CORD YOU FLAMING MORON!

I called the doctor at 2 and didn't hear back until 5. But I quit giving her the Maalox at her 2 o'clock feeding to see if it helped. Turns out that is exactly what the doctor said to do.

Am doctor, apparently. Will demand $165/hour when I go back to work.

However, in some sick twisted plot to test the sanity of everyone in our home, he also said that if she seems better after taking away the Maalox, then give it to her again tomorrow and see if she screams. Keep going with the rice cereal. Then call the office.

I wanted to tell him that I would do that if I could also shove the bottle of Maalox up his ass, see if he cries, then take it out, and if he feels better, test it again. I did not. I am only that weird in my mind (and on my blog).

By midnight, when things hadn't improved, I quit with the rice cereal, too. This was getting to be ridiculous! She was in pain before, but crying for a few minutes after a bottle - this was like a marathon of screaming that made me so anxious that I thought I had the flu yesterday because I was making multiple Oh-No-Here-Comes-le-Puke trips to the toilet. (le Puke never came.)

Her poor little face had dried up tears all over it.

Last night went pretty well. She's back to the pre-satan Olivia, having trouble eating and crying for a few minutes after a bottle. She slept for 2 hour increments all night. She is sleeping now.

If I don't get some Zantac today, I am heading over to the doctor's office with that bottle of Maalox...


You deserve a baby fix if you made it this far (sorry, it's a repeat if you know me on Facebook):

I just want her to feel better.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Well played, universe. Well played.

Let's just get to it, shall we?

Olivia has a milk protein allergy. She is in pain and cranky and pooping blood. I'm sure we can all plainly see what is going on here, but I will put it down on paper (er...screen?) to make it blatantly obvious:

Universe: You should've stuck with breastfeeding, you ignorant slut.

Jennepper: Indeed.

The plan is to feed Olivia Similac Alimentum - hypoallergenic formula with no milk protein - and recheck the poop on Friday.

I'm not sure if you've ever had the pleasure of purchasing Similac Alimentum. But if you like to be bent over the checkout lane at Wal-Mart and completely screwed by Similac? I totally suggest you try it!

You think I kid? The little screen on the register that usually shows the price instead reads " message from universe and its partner Similac: bend over."

Alimentum is pretty much double the price of the other Similac, which sucks. But what can you do? Happy baby = happy parents. We're learning that realllllly quick around here.

I'm not fully convinced that the milk protein allergy is the only thing going on here. The grunting? It continues. But it's not just grunting - it is the scream that follows the series of grunting that has me worried. The pediatrician agreed that it was wholly uncool, and said that we should notice a change in that behavior in 3 or 4 days after starting the Alimentum. Which has not happened as of yet, and we are on day 5.

(If you've had to switch to Alimentum for milk protein allergy - how long did it take to see an improvement in belly ache type behavior? Did you try Alimentum only to switch to something that worked better? HALP!)

(And! And! If your baby had Silent Reflux, can you tell me how you knew? Because Olivia barfs in her mouth and swallows it constantly, will not lay flat, and coughs and gags while eating. Dr. Google says its silent reflux. What thinks you, internets?)

(Feel free to point and snicker at the first time mom.)

Olivia has decided that she will only sleep in her carseat. This makes me feel like an epic failure, but ohmygodaslongasshesleeps!

And the sleep is noisy, and once I'm awake I can't fall back asleep because I am busy thinking really important things, like: GIMME BACK THAT FILET O'FISH; GIMME THAT FISH! Over and over in my head until I want to go to McDonald's and go totally postal on their asses.

(There are no tall buildings in my town on which I can climb in order to execute a more effective insanity maneuver. Plus I don't have a gun. Which is probably good.)

(I've thought about the building thing, though, because the gas pumps at the Marathon near my house say "Please Prepay in Advance" and I have to go there because they have the cheapest gas, but it makes me want to hit people because how does one PREpay in advance? Come on big oil! Come on!)

(Parenthesis: me likey.)

Cute things I want to remember about Olivia during her fifth week:
- Eyebrows. She is growing them. They are adorable to a ridiculous degree.

- Hair. She lost it all except a tuft at the crown of her head and a ring around the bottom that is so totally business in the front party in the back, dude.

- Fist. She has one. She finds it muchly entertaining and looks at it all the time. She hasn't figured out how to keep it in front of her face, though, so she looks surprised every time it comes into her field of vision.

- Fists. She has two. She eats them in anticipation for a bottle. Except eats is an understatement - she makes a NOM sound like she is biting into a giant sandwich. My girl likes to eat, whether it's formula or her own human flesh.

- Gas smiles. So cute. Need to be real ASAP.

- Voice. She is using it more - while she eats, while she lays around and kicks her feet, while she sleeps. I'm hoping for coos sooner rather than later.

- Fingernails. Have cuticles. This makes me all warm and fuzzy and I don't know why.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Month One: I think someone stole my baby!

And replaced her with a much larger, more alert baby! Or: replaced her with the white baby R. Kelly!

This month has been nothing like I imagined. And don't ask me what I imagined - I had no concept of what a newborn was like, and I had no idea how to care for a newborn.

I am now somewhat schooled on newborn care, but am still surprised that I managed to bring home a 5 pound bag of sugar, keep her alive, and not eat her delicious little feet in one loud NOM.

Being that I had never changed a diaper prior to February 14, 2009, I think I am doing an acceptable job. I've had a lot of practice, since Olivia (R. Kellyepper?) insists on peeing on me at 90% of her diaper changes. Diaper time goes as follows:

-Poopy diaper.
-Fresh Diaper
-Desitin glob on finger.
-Olivia Pees.
-Wipe off Desitin glob.
-Fresh Diaper part deux.

And for extra fun? There have been three times where I went through 4 or 5 diapers at once because just when you think there couldn't be another squirt of poop? THERE TOTALLY IS! MULTIPLE SQUIRTS! AND MAYBE MORE PEE BECAUSE WHY NOT, YOU KNOW?!

I'm sure all babies do their fair share of farting, but I am especially proud of the force with which Olivia can pass gas. Sometimes I have to look at her diaper to see if she burned a hole in it.

Olivia is a sweetheart. Really, she is. She is such a good baby, usually only crying when she is hungry or needs a new diaper. She sleeps pretty well too, which I hesitate to say since the last couple of nights have been particularly challenging. But hopefully it will pass and she will be willing to sleep on her back somewhere other than mommy or daddy's arms. (Please, Olivia? Kthxbye.)

But while I am on the topic, what the hell is the deal with the noisy newborn sleep?! She has started this whole grunting song and dance that lasts all night long. And while I swear she must be awake and pushing out the largest adult turd ever developed, she is sound asleep.

Have we had shitty days where she fusses all day? Yes, yes we have. Olivia and I went to meet her first little friend, Genevieve, who was born a week and a half after Olivia. And wouldn't you know that Olivia either crapped herself or cried for a bottle the entire time we were there. And then we left and she slept for like 7 hours.

You win some, you lose some, right?

The hardest part that I didn't anticipate was the lack of sleep. With Mark working, I am on night shift all the time, and ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY shift, too, during the week. I have been completely unable to nap when it is light out because I feel like I need to do so many things - then I start so many things that don't get finished. I actually sat down this week and tried to remember the last time I actually brushed my teeth, and from the bumpy feel of a tongue swipe, I would guess that it had been at least 8 years.

I'm feeling pretty good, although I'll admit that I wonder if I have postpartum depression - mostly on the nights when I've gotten 2 hours of sleep and can't stop crying when she cries. But then there are 3 or 4 good days in a row, and I feel fine. So that will be something to bring up at my 6 week appointment, I guess.

Today, we went out to eat with the baby for the first time. I was so so worried. It went fine - we went to the Olive Garden with Mark's parents, and Olivia enjoyed 3 ounces of the finest Similac with a dash of Gripe Water (for said grunting) and Mylicon (for said old man farting).

Week 1:

Week 2:

Week 3:

Week 4:

A month of our daughter's life has happened. It feels like we just brought her home! We started out with the tiniest, sleepiest jaundice baby in America. But now there's the wide eyes, the newborn clothes that gulped her up at first now fit adorably, the loose routine that we've developed. We survived diaper rash and a growth spurt that had us making bottles every hour to feed our hungry hungry hippo. We gave our girl her first bath and she loved it. We went shopping, visited family and friends, and ate at a restaurant.

It makes me sad that a month can pass this fast, and I'm trying to stop anticipating the milestones and just enjoy the now. I think that this parenting thing is hard, yet I love Olivia to distraction and the exhaustion is worth it. We waited so long for this baby - THIS baby, OUR baby - and it is unbelievable how everything is different and yet it is still all OK.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

No! Sleep! Till Brooklyn!

No, I'm not heading for the New York hills.

It's just that functioning on two hours of sleep makes me feel particularly beastie.

Especially since I gave my coffee pot the axe during fertility treatments. Coke Vanilla Zero just doesn't pack the same punch as a full 10 cup pot of coffee, you know? I like to consume my caffeine in amounts that make me feel downright manic.

It turns out the Coke Vanilla Zero is kind of a pussy in the caffeine department.

Olivia is a good baby. Really, she is. She smells of delicious baby, and she only cries when she needs something - diaper change, blanket, food. We've had exactly three bouts of inconsolable crying, and they were all after days when we visited with a lot of people, and I suspect she was overstimulated and just pissed off that she didn't get to sleep her full 20 hours.

Usually she sleeps about 3 hours at night before waking up poopy and wanting to eat (and poop again. My girl's a pooper). But every couple of nights, we have a situation where she just wakes up every hour wanting a snickety snack. And since I can't shove Oreos down her throat, which is how I deal with my need for a snickety snack, I am forced to prepare bottle after bottle of formula so that she can eat one ounce and then commence project Snoozefest.

(Speaking of formula...who are the assholes who determine the price of formula? Holy hot damn! It's like they actually want you to have to work the corner just to feed your baby!)

Last night, Olivia decided to save her elusive QUIET! ALERT! PRIME SOCIALIZATION! IF YOU IGNORE YOUR BABY SHE WILL HATE YOU FOREVER! period for 1 a.m. until about 3:30.
I mean, awake.
Wiiiide awake.
Until 3:30 in the morning.
Waiting for entertainment.

There are only so many rounds of jazz hands that you can do at that time of night before you start to hallucinate. It is very possible that I sang a Britney Spears song to my daughter last night in a feeble attempt to get her to doze off. But goddamn Britney with her peppy tunes did nothing to make Olivia drowsy. And as a matter of fact, I think she was trying to do the Ooops I Did It Again dance at one point but only succeeded in clawing a giant crater in her cheek.

(Clearly, she needs dance lessons ASAP)

The main problem we are having is that it looks like Olivia scraped her teeny adorable little ass across some gravel. So after a diaper change and the horrible bloody murder screaming that follows, she is not so much in the mood for sleep.

Her diaper rash got better, then way worse - like, raw and shiny and sad sad sad. One of my friends pointed out that the Nystatin ointment that the pediatrician prescribed might be making it worse.

Nice. I was smearing creamy skin-eating acid on my daughter's adorable ass.

So we've laid off the Nystatin, and I've been keeping her diaper free as much as possible. I've noticed a difference, but it is slow going. Not to mention that my baby lurves her a swaddle, so getting her to sleep diaperless with just a cover on top is like trying to kill her. Or so you'd think.

As far as ointments, we've tried Pinxav, but it doesn't stick to the raw skin, and I think the thickness is just too much for her right now. Right now she's sporting A&D. I'm thinking about buying some Triple Paste because I've heard it is awesome.

Dear internets: what advice do you have for diaper rash?
The sooner the diaper rash is better, the sooner I will be back out in the general public encountering morons who will provide me with many stories with which to entertain you.
Help me help you, people.