Friday, November 8, 2013

Maddux : Newborn Summary - 1 Month

Maddux is one month old today, November 8th. This is a summary of his first month:

One month old!

Hospital Stay:
Maddux was born on October 8th. The first several days, he cried and screamed quite a bit. It made me very nervous. If this newborn who was supposed to be sleepy was already screaming his head off, what would the next 6 months look like? He cried so much that the night nurses would come in and ask if he was okay. I think he was fussy and cried a lot for a few different reasons - 1) He is a baby :) 2) The drugs from my c-section caused him some irritation 3) He was very gassy and 4) My milk takes forever to come in and even though he was cluster feeding basically around the clock, he was only getting colostrum.

Coming Home:
We stayed in a hospital for a few days and we came home. We had a pack-n-play with a bassinet set up in our room for Maddux to sleep in. We got home on Thursday afternoon and he slept in our room on Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night. It was the three worst nights of sleep I have ever gotten. I'm sure it was the three worst nights of sleep that Matthew has gotten, too. We discovered several things about Maddux - 1) He likes to be warm. 2) He likes to be swaddled. 3) He is a LIfGHT sleeper. He wakes at the littlest noise. 4) He sleeps much better with white noise. Maddux slept almost zero in his bassinet. He would only sleep if he was held or nursed to sleep. I slept with him in my arms, nursing him almost all night. On Saturday night, Matthew slept holding him in the recliner for three hours so I could get some sleep. It was pretty awful and not at all what I was expecting (remember, I was expecting a sleepy newborn.)

Maddux latched on in the recovery room about 45 minutes after he was born. He nursed well and that was a big relief. He continued to nurse constantly for the next few days. My milk finally came in on Sunday (5 days after he was born.) He was much happier after that :) He was going about 1.5-2 hours between feedings. Once my milk came in, he stretched his feedings from 2 hours, to 2.5 hours, to 3 hours after a few days. It was nice to not be constantly sitting on the couch feeding him. He nursed every 2.5 to 3 hours for the next week or so, but it always took him FOREVER to eat. I had to push him to eat and it took him almost an hour to finish. Things seemed to be going well and he gained his birth weight back in 2 weeks.

Then, things took a turn for the weird. Maddux suddenly started refusing to latch onto and eat off the right side. He started off just doing it for one feeding. I just pumped that side and fed him the pumped milk in the SNS on the left side. He kept refusing the right side for the next few feedings, and then the next few days. We went to his 2 week check-up and I told his pediatrician about the trouble he'd suddenly had nursing on the right side. She watched me try to nurse him on that side, did an exam of him, determined that there was nothing medically wrong with him, and called in a lactation nurse who works in their doctor's office. She's a really great lactation nurse - I saw her when I had Maggie and Maggie had so much trouble gaining weight. She came in and watched me try to get Maddux to latch on and nurse. She tried to get Maddux to latch on and nurse. Maddux never did latch on and nurse off that side. She had a few ideas for me to try and we tried a few different things and a few different holds. He would not latch on. He was finally so hungry and worked up that I nursed him on the left side just to calm him down. He nursed on that side and fell asleep. The lactation nurse had a few things that she suggested I try at home. She said in the meantime to keep doing what I was doing. When I asked her about using the Medela Calma Nipple, she said that those nipples were wonderful for breastfeeding moms who were trying to go back and forth. She said that if I needed to feed him while I was out somewhere, rather than use the SNS (which is impossible to do discretely,) to use the Calma Nipple on a bottle. She gave me a few other ideas and told me to keep trying to get him to latch on.

I went home and kept trying to get him to latch at every feeding. He would always latch onto the left side, but never latched to the right side. We kept working on it. I kept pumping the right side. The problem with me pumping the right side has to do with milk supply - I am not able to pump efficiently. I have a great, high quality, double electric pump (Medela Pump in Style,) but my body does not respond well to the pump and I pump way less milk than I produce. Because I was only able to pump that side, my milk supply on that side went waaaaay down. I very quickly was not able to pump enough to feed him after he nursed. We kept working on it. Milk supply was still tanking. I began to supplement with formula in the SNS. Which led us to discover the next problem ...

Gas and Choking:
Maddux has always had bad gas after he eats. After almost every feeding, I had to give him gas drops. He would scream in pain with gas very frequently throughout the day. He would also choke when he would latch onto the right side and then pop off and cry and not eat anymore or even try to. I thought it was maybe a problem with my let down. I found out by accident that he also choked when he took a bottle from someone who was feeding him on that side. I'm not sure why - his pediatrician isn't sure either. I asked about aspiration and the pedi said that if aspiration were the issue, he would be aspirating at every feeding, not just one side, randomly. He continued to have bad gas until ...

Milk Allergy:
He began to have blood in his stool this past Sunday. It wasn't in every diaper. It was random, but it was still concerning. My mom (who's a nurse) has been here since last Saturday visiting. It became obvious that it was a big deal once it happened on Monday and again on Tuesday morning. I called the pediatrician's office and they asked me to bring him in. I did and after an exam and a few questions, the pediatrician determined that Maddux probably has a milk allergy. That explains the terrible gas pains, as well as the blood in his stool. For the formula supplement in the SNS or bottles, they gave us samples of Alimentum (a hypoallergenic formula.) For the nursing situation, I am not eating dairy.  It has already seemed to help quite a bit. The gas is almost totally gone as is the blood in his stool.

Maddux didn't really nap well the first week of his life. Of course, he didn't really get a chance to. :) He was held pretty much constantly because he was nursing, which was fine. Finally, when he was five days old, on a Sunday, I decided it was time for him to take a nap in his crib. I nursed him and laid him down and he fell asleep on his own. He woke about one hour later and I fed him again. The cycle continued pretty much all day. This was the day that my milk came in and he began to stretch the time between feedings. I also set up the white noise in his room and he slept great! He has continued this. I do The Baby Whisperer's 4 S's and lay him down awake and he falls asleep on his own.

Witching Hour:
Maddux has had a few "witching hour" moments after his 4:30 pm feeding and a few after his 7:30 pm feeding. I fed him, laid him down, and he never fell asleep. He didn't exactly cry for very long, he just couldn't fall asleep, and would cry on and off. I would finally go and get him and either wear him in a carrier or put him in the swing and he would fall asleep.

Nighttime Sleep:
Maddux has pretty much only woken up once in the night to eat since he was about a week old. I feed him around 10:30 pm and he sleeps until about 2:30 or 3:00 am when he eats in about 30 minutes. Then, he sleeps until he wakes up around 7:30 am. It is amazing. I feel very well rested.

Cuddly Baby:
Maddux is very cuddly. I love it - Maggie would literally never allow me to rock her to sleep. It was ridiculous. I had to let her cry-it-out because I had no choice. I could not even rock her to sleep. With Maddux, if he doesn't fall asleep on his own, I can rock him to sleep. It is very nice. :)

I thought I'd note that my emotions have been super wonderful. I haven't even really felt emotional. There have been a few moments that I've been overwhelmed and cried, but honestly, for the most part, I've felt great! Pretty much like my normal self. I'm continuing to watch for baby blues or PPD, but I haven't felt like anything negative is happening yet.

Here are some more pictures from his first month:

This is how much of our month went - Maggie crying and Maddux sleeping :)

Maddux and Aunt Mo at his first Sunday at church.

First time sucking his thumb. This was the first and only time - but I'm hopeful that someday he'll pick it up!

Maggie holding Maddux. She asked told hold the "baby."

Sleepy baby.

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