Sunday, November 2, 2008

Eat, Poop, Sleep, Repeat

Today's topic: our healthy boy

Other than a few small glitches, any of which would have been even easier to deal with if breast feeding had gotten off to a better start, LL has been in excellent health. (Being almost 9 pounds at birth will often do that.) He lost a lot of weight early on, but that was more my breasts' fault than his. All newborns lose weight immediately after birth, but he lost as much as they would "allow" him to lose before medically intervening. Then, he plateaued at that weight, refusing to gain. His pediatrician said that she wanted him to be back to birth weight by his two week appointment, and at that appointment he was... exactly at birth weight. Since then, he has gained weight admirably, averaging exactly 1 ounce per day, as recommended by the AAP. (He's quite literal, our LL. No overachievers here!) Now, at 6 weeks of age, he's well over 10 pounds, and quite comfortable in 3-month clothing.

LL also flirted briefly with jaundice, but we managed to quell the problem before it got too serious. His bilirubin levels kept rising for the first week, but never quite got high enough to merit intervention. Each time the pediatrician checked his blood, she'd give me a number above which she would be concerned, and each time, his number came in just a hair below. They told us the levels would drop if we could get him to poop more, which is accomplished by getting him to eat more, which wasn't happening because of the latch problems... so you can see why there was a lot of frustration and tears early on. The only "treatment" recommended for him, though, was sun-bathing, which is how we discovered that LL loves lying naked in the sun. I envision a future conversation with teenage LL about the dangers of skin cancer, but for now, this kid is quite the sun baby. The sun kept away the more serious jaundice long enough for us to solve the breast feeding problems, so it all came out well in the end. (And yes, he is now a champion pooper as well.)

There was a day or two there when we thought that he might be having problems with reflux or tummy upset, but it went away, so I'm hoping that it was just something I ate (spicy Chinese shrimp?) or a transient reaction to the thrush medication.

Overall, he's doing great. I am much relieved, because his sleep patterns are, um, not as great, and I was feeling so physically icky for so long after the c-section that I'm not sure I could handle it if he had health problems, too. So, after spending the first several weeks of his life focusing mainly on eating, we are now turning our attention to Newborn Issue Number Two: Sleep. (Thankfully, he's overall a very happy baby, so we've been able to avoid focusing on that other big newborn issue: crying.) Our attempts to get him to sleep are a whole other topic, though, so for now, we'll just say: healthy baby! Yay!

4 comments:

Amanda said...

Yay! Healthy baby! It sounds like LL is doing quite well and I'm told that the sleeping bit comes with time (but really what do I know?). I love hearing updates about you and LL!

Fertilized said...

Healthy baby is the best .. all others will fall into place. Keep up the good word and thanks for the thrush info

Jen said...

Yup...one issue at a time! For me though the sleep issue seems to be unavoidably linked to the crying issue. (No naps = insatiable crying fits.)

Hmmm...lying naked in the sun, huh? Sounds like a move to a nudist colony might be in order. Good thing you don't live here in Seattle because all you could accomplish here in November is the lying naked part!

Jennifer said...

Your life sounds much like mine right now. Eat/Sleep/Poop is pretty much the genre around here these days.

LL had been gaining weight just great. I think my little Julian (born at 6 lb 1 oz is 10 lbs now at 5 weeks...he's been a great eater!).

As for the jaundice...I'm so glad LL's levels didn't get too high. Jules did and we had to do the whole blue lights thing (it was a nightmare for that 1st week), and we had to feed him a lot more (that's what screwed up my bfing plan). I'm glad the sunlight worked and that LL is a natural sunbather! :)

As for the sleep issues...I've found that a few things work well for us...giving a light/snack feeding just before bed (it helps to calm/soothe Jules), swaddling (we found this to be key), and carrying down (this is a technique I read about in our baby book - you pretty much carry/cradle baby in a dark/quite room, lightly sing/humming to baby and rock baby in your arms to calm down and help fall asleep).

The key to carrying down is to wait to put baby in cradle/crib until baby is sound asleep (limp)...that way baby won't wake from the change in venue when you put baby down.

This works for us...maybe it'll help you. Good luck!