Posted in Infant, Parenting

How To Stump A Pediatrician

For those of you not following my blog on BLW, here’s a small recap of what has gone on so far.

We started BLW when my son turned 6 months old – nearly 3 weeks ago.  Seeing as neither my partner or I have any food allergies, we dove right in and avoided only foods that had a high risk of triggering an allergic reaction like nuts.  Things were going really well until I noticed one day that my son had a pretty gnarly rash on his lower face and forearms.  At first, I brushed it off as being an eczema flare-up, a decent assumption given that I only noticed the redness the following day after an overnight change of temperature from cold to hot.

The thing is, though, the next time I gave my son some yogurt, I wiped him down, sat him on his playmat and, when I turned around to start cleaning the table, he started screaming.  I looked at him and immediately noticed this his lower face, cheeks and the inside of his arms were bright red with little white bumps all over.  Enter Benadryl…  Eventually, I put two and two together and realized that my son was reacting to dairy, or, at the very least, yogurt.  Reading up on it, I found that it wasn’t uncommon for babies to have trouble processing lactose and that this reaction could just be the result of his system not being mature enough to handle it.  ‘No matter’, I thought, we’ll just wait a few months before reintroducing dairy.

Then, he had a reaction to tomato – the second time he ate it only.  I thought that it might be because the second time around it had been in contact with an acidic dressing, but I still decided to err on the side of caution.  Henceforth, I would only introduce one new food at a time.  I made some fishcakes.  New ingredient: panko bread crumbs.  I did not want to use the other breadcrumbs because I read in the ingredients that it had been produced in a plant where they also use milk ingredients (yeah, you can say that I was overcautious…).  The first time he ate some, he was fine.  The second time he ate some, he was fine.  The third time…the third time he had an allergic reaction.  His lower face was bright red again and some bright red patches with little white bumps had crept on his back as well.

Damn.

So…where did that leave me?  I had (read: have) no idea what my son can eat.  I mean, seriously, why is he fine one day and not the next?  So, I rang up my pediatrician’s office this morning to see if I could get an appointment and perhaps a referral to an allergist.  Her office was very accommodating and found a spot for me today!

Well, after spending about a quarter hour in her office, she was stumped.  At first, she thought I might be mistaking an allergic reaction with eczema.  I suppose, however, that after asking me the same question about five different ways and getting the same answer from me, she realized that I actually was able to distinguish the two (don’t fault her for asking in so many ways though, she was being thorough!).  What also confused her was that I hadn’t changed my diet since giving birth.  She told me that, according to what she knew, my son shouldn’t be reacting to food because he hadn’t had any reactions to the proteins that were in my milk.

Eventually, she took out her prescription booklet and a post it and told me that she would be referring us to an allergist at a children’s hospital.  I’m calling tomorrow to get an appointment.

In the mean time, we are going to continue solids and I will be jotting everything down.  That way, I will have a mine of information by the time we are able to see the specialist.

Posted in Infant, Parenting

What Do You Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed?

Because that’s how I’m feeling right now.

I don’t know how to go about writing this.  I don’t want this post to seem like I’m wallowing in self-pity, but something needs to come out and this is one of the only ways I know how.

I just got off the phone with my partner who announced that he’d be home around 7.  I wasn’t even able to finish the conversation in a civilized manner; I hung up quickly and burst into tears.  I don’t remember ever being so emotional, but these past few days (or weeks, or months – honestly, I don’t know) have been trying.

I feel as though I can’t catch a break.  When my son was a newborn, I was nursing for hours at a time, then he hit a growth spurt, then we started having problems with gas, after that we entered the “wonderful” world of wonder weeks.  Then came sleep deprivation due to prop dependency (where I was getting up 10+ times a night for a month just to put the pacifier back in) followed by sleep training, a tendonitis for me, teething, a growth spurt/wonder week combo and now, teething again.

I feel like all I do all day is try to function.  My son has taken to screaming at different moments; I never know when it’s going to happen.  Sometimes it’ll be for naps, or at bedtime or when he wakes up in the middle of the night.  Other times it’ll be when I sit him down on the floor or when I change his diaper.  It’s maddening because it just goes on and on and on.  And then, I have people around me asking me how are things.  All I can say is “good” (that *is* the correct answer, right?).  What do you want me to say?  I have no idea what an easy baby and what a difficult baby are like.

I’ve never had so many headaches in my life.  I’ve never cried so much in so few days.  My home is a mess – even by my standards – and I feel so alone – and feel guilty about it.

I’m lucky enough to be on paid maternity leave, I gave birth in November and am only going back to work in August.  My partner tries to help with a lot of things, but I think he’s feeling a little overwhelmed with how to manage work (he’s been having to put in extra hours), house chores, and this little human that’s taking up so much room in our lives.  I go out because otherwise I’d go crazy, but while I’m going out, I’m not taking care of the house and I’m not resting.  I love my son to death and I wouldn’t go back to my pre-baby life; he brings too much joy in my life.  But sometimes, like right now, I just feel like I’m losing it.

How do you stay at home moms/dads do it?  How do you working moms/dads do it?  How do you single parents do it?  Please tell me that I am not the only one.

I never thought that becoming would be easy.  But I also never thought that 6 months in, I would become an emotional mess at times.

There.  I said it.  I feel somewhat better.  I think.

Posted in Infant, Parenting

Oh S***, I Mean Crap, I Mean Poop – Yeah, It’s That Kind Of Post…

I ought warn you: I’m going to be talking about poop.

Don’t want to read about poop?  I don’t blame you.  I wouldn’t want to read about poop either.

That’s why I won’t be angry at you if you turn around and don’t read the post.

I’ll just shut my eyes a few seconds and let you back away.

*Shuts eyes*

Beep, beep, beep…

*Opens eyes*

Oh!  So you’re still here eh?  OK then, you asked for it.

Allow me to try to bestow some of the knowledge that I have scooped up so far in my whole 6 months of motherhood.

8 Pearls of poppy knowledge

1.  You’re an expecting parent?  Be ready to become obsessed with poop.  Its color, its texture, its frequency…  Yeah…seriously.

2. Breastmilk only poop smells good (can’t talk about formula only poop, is someone brave enough to fill me in on this?).  And by good, I mean a lot less stinky than the poop produced after the introduction of solids *gag*.

3.  Washable diapers are a must.  They contain the poop much better.  No blowouts!

4.  Washable diapers are a bust.  You have to start rinsing them once solids have started (because, at first, the poop isn’t solid) and that is rather disgusting.

5.  In breastfed babies (again, I don’t know if this is the case for formula fed babies), absence of poop is a telltale sign of a growth spurt.

6.  Incidentally, you’ll know a growth spurt is over when your baby starts to poop like there’s no tomorrow.

7.  You’ll be the one changing all of the poppy diapers.  Because fathers never seem to be around when one happens (this is what happens in our household anyways).

8.  It’s not abnormal for breastfed babies to skip several poopy days in a row.  Be thankful when it happens.

There.  That’s all I have to say.

But if you want to scoop up more poop – no, wait, that’s not right – if you want another blogger’s scoop on poop, check out the Gag-Free Baby Poop Color Chart over at the Incredible Infant blog.

Posted in Infant, Parenting

Getting Our Weekly Dose Of Vitamin D “Au Naturel”

Now, I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods, but up here we don’t get to go out in the sun uncovered very often in a year.  Between the long Winters and the grey Falls and Springs, it’s hard to get some natural vitamin D.  Given our situation, it’s not surprising that parents of a brand new baby are given vitamin D drops to give to their breastfed babies until such a time as they can start drinking cow’s milk.

Now, in my book, there’s nothing like the real thing.  As such, I started researching how much sunlight I would need to expose my son to in order to meet his body’s requirements for this important vitamin without needing to give him the prescription drops.  To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised with what I found out.

It seems that he needs a weekly total of 30 minutes of sunlight if he’s just out in a diaper (an average of less than 5 minutes per day) or 2h of sunlight if he is fully dressed without a hat (an average of about 30 minutes per day).  Well, that’s easy to do!

Encouraged by this knowledge, we decided to catch some rays yesterday (because it was a gorgeous day even thought it was hot and humid).  Besides having some yummy “ice cream” in his diaper on the balcony, my son also got to cool off in a makeshift pool filled with barely lukewarm water.

Needless to say, he was very happy and had an awesome time! (Plus he got all the vitamin D his body needed for the whole week!)

Posted in Infant, Parenting

Surprise, Surprise

Well…

I put Mr. Cranky down for a much needed catnap on his back about 45 minutes ago (no, actually, I put him down around 16:10 and he fell asleep around 16:45, but that is besides the point) and lo and behold when I go in to get him upon hearing him wake up with a panicked cry, I find the little man on his tummy.

He was definitely on his back when I left his room earlier.

Oh yeah, I am in for a fun night, I reckon.

And I really have to put his mattress down a notch now…

Posted in Infant, Parenting

Wonder What’s Going On? It’s Probably A Wonder Week…

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a little while now, but have lacked both the time and energy to do so.

You see, for the past month or so, my son has been going through the notorious pre wonder week fussy period.  Much like last time, it lasted a whole month.

Here are a few of the telltale signs that his little brain is about to go through another developmental leap:

  • – Naps and nights were a NIGHT’MARE.  It got so bad that on a few occasions I had to step out of the house for a few moments as he screamed at the top of his lungs (I swear, it was like he was being tortured) to calm down.
  • – He needed to be stuck to me all the time.  I could hardly ever put him down for a few seconds without him getting into a crying fit.
  • – He wanted to be entertained continuously; if I wasn’t chatting with him or letting him in on some fun activity, he would start screaming at me.
  • – Diaper changes reminded me of the time he was a newborn, they were spent with him screaming and kicking and twisting around.

– I started to question my ability as a mother.  This is probably the strongest telltale sign for me.  Every time I’ve started to feel that way in the six months that I’ve had my son, it always turned out to be right before a wonder week.

Of course, though, wonder weeks aren’t all bad as they are a surefire sign that your baby is about to start rocking some awesome new skills.

What awesomeness comes out of wonder week 26?

Here are a few of the things that I’ve observed so far:

  • – He can play with something using both hands.
  • – He grabs a ball that is rolled towards him.
  • – He knocks over containers to see what is inside.
  • – He throws things away (he is actually VERY adept at this now…).
  • – He drops things from his high chair.
  • – He is fascinated with laces, ribbons and the tags on stuffed animals and pieces of clothing.
  • – He observes adult activities.
  • – He pays a lot of attention to smaller details or parts of a toy or other object.
  • – He selects a toy to play with.
  • – He is starting to make connections between actions and words (such as hug, kiss, nap, let’s go).

– He puffs and blows.

What is wonder week 26 exactly?

Well, according to the authors of the book, it is at this moment that babies start to perceive the distance between two objects.  This explains why separation anxiety usually hits shortly after; they understand that their primary caregivers can go away without them.  They also become more adept at understanding relationships by associating a sound to an action or  an action to a consequence.

The best part?

Once the fussy period is over, I get my sweet happy baby back!

P1020011

 

 

 

Posted in Infant, Parenting

Breastfeeding With Teeth (His, Not Mine)

I’ve recently started to wonder when I’d start to wean my son off the breast.  You see, when I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to at least try to breastfeed.  I say “try” because I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself if it didn’t work out and didn’t want to feel like a failure if I ended up resorting to formula from the start.  As I’ve discussed previously, my desire to breastfeed wasn’t just based on the fact that research shows that it has many health benefits both for mom and baby, but also because I found it more practical and definitely less expensive.

I was thrilled when my milk came in and my son thrived (and is still thriving) on my milk.  It fills me with pride every day to see my “little chunkster”, as I call him, continue to grow and develop so well on “mommy milk”.

With my first goal of trying (and succeeding) to breastfeed met, I decided to set another goal.  I figured that I would exclusively breastfeed at least six months (the suggested minimal amount of time) and then start weaning right away.  However, as time went by, I realized that I really treasured the time I spent nursing my son (even if it wasn’t always easy), and so, I decided that I would continue past six months but would stop when he had teeth.  Well, now that he has teeth (very ouchy teeth, I should say) and is nearing the six month mark, I find myself needing to reevaluate my goal.

To be honest, I’m not ready to give up breastfeeding yet and, as the time for solids approaches, I’m feeling both the natural excitement at seeing my son reach another milestone and a sadness at the fact that I will no longer be his only source of nourishment.  Now don’t get me wrong, I know that milk will still be his primary source of nourishment until he is a year old “food before one is just for fun”, but still, he won’t be getting just milk…

It would seem that I am in need of a new goal…

Now you see, my official day back at work is on August 26th.  At that time, Little Dude will be just past the 9 month mark.  He’ll be staying with his dad for the last week of August and first week of September and then will start daycare.  What want to say is that I’ll keep breastfeeding until mid-August and then start introducing formula.  The fact of the matter is, I just don’t think that I will have the energy necessary to pump to make it to one year.  I think that I want to continue to nurse when it’s feeding time and I’m at home, but will give formula to the sitter and his father.

Sounds like a plan!

Except there’s something tugging at the back of my brain…

  • Me: “It’s a logical decision, I’m totally OK with it”.
  • My brain: “Are you sure?  I mean, you could pump”.
  • Me: “You’re right, but I don’t think I’ll have the energy to pump”.
  • My brain: “It’s just for three months, I’m sure you’ll find the energy”.
  • Me: “You don’t understand, my job is tough”.
  • My brain: “But you’ll only be working part-time.  Besides, breast milk is free and formula is expensive”.

Me: “I know, I know”.

*Bleh*, seems I haven’t made up my mind after all.

Oh well, *sigh* guess I’ll just have to take it one day at a time.