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Author Topic: Finally Here and SO Adorable! Or, the Mommies with New Babies Thread
Boon
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He'll be 7 weeks early Monday morning.

Right now, I'm syringe feeding him breast milk. I'm pumping like mad, trying desperately to keep up with demand. If I'm not getting enough to give him, then I'll give him some formula. He's getting my milk first, though!

If he hasn't at least regained what he lost last week by Monday... well... I prefer not to think about that.

I'd rather think about his big, huge, "Tommy Pickles" grins. Yep, he's been smiling (sometimes) for about a week and a half now, and it's such a joy to look down at him and see him just break out into a giant smile. [Smile]

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Boon
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Oh, yeah...and I refuse to get up in the middle of the night to fetch milk from the fridge, when he likes side-lying just fine, so he'll be getting at least 24 ounces during our waking hours and then whatever he gets comfort nursing in bed.
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Katarain
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Boon, that's how I felt when the pediatrician told me to give the baby formula. She had relented and said I could breastfeed first, but then to give the baby formula after each feeding. I had so much milk (it was the first day my milk came in, so I was positively bursting--haven't had so much since) that I let the baby fill up on breastmilk. Ooops! I guess I can't give the baby formula. She's not hungry anymore! (And I still have breastmilk on tap!)
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Katarain
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Speaking of side-lying...that's how I primarily feed Katababy. Are there benefits to other feeding positions? I read that you can have problems if you only feed in one position, but I sometimes feed sitting up with her on my lap--probably at least once a day. Sometimes I even stand during feeding, but that's even rarer.

Side-lying is just so convenient for both of us, but if she's not getting enough milk in that position, then we'll have to make some changes.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm out of milk at the end of a feeding. I feel deflated (heh--it's really odd), but I can't remember what size I used to be, so I think "Is this all me or is there milk left in there?" She seems to get plenty enough to spit up, though!

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ketchupqueen
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I fed Ems side-lying most of the time, too, my favorite position! 'Specially with the cracked tailbone I had, ouch. We were fine. If you get engorged do change her around, though. But she'll get milk just fine, you'll adjust to what she needs and what you're used to.

And usually there's a bit left in there but yes, you can "empty out" somewhat at the end of a feeding-- but you fill right back up! And if she keeps sucking you'll make more as she sucks it out, too.

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Christine
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Boon -- I'm so sorry! I wish I had something helpful to add but I just really hope he gets those ounces back by Monday.

Quality of breast milk....grrrrr.....

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by Katarain:
Speaking of side-lying...that's how I primarily feed Katababy. Are there benefits to other feeding positions? I read that you can have problems if you only feed in one position, but I sometimes feed sitting up with her on my lap--probably at least once a day. Sometimes I even stand during feeding, but that's even rarer.

Side-lying is just so convenient for both of us, but if she's not getting enough milk in that position, then we'll have to make some changes.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm out of milk at the end of a feeding. I feel deflated (heh--it's really odd), but I can't remember what size I used to be, so I think "Is this all me or is there milk left in there?" She seems to get plenty enough to spit up, though!

From what I understand, the benefits of using multiple positions is that more of your milk ducts are stimulated through the course of the day. Different milk ducts are stimulated when you lie on your side vs. when you sit upright.

I loved side-lying at night, but I usually preferred a sitting position during the day.

As for running out of milk -- you never truly run out of milk. Your body can always make more, but it's slower at the end of a feeding, fattier, and takes more work to get out. When a baby goes through a growth spurt (3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months approximate on all) they will want to nurse much more frequently, even past the point where you seem "empty" but they are getting something and they are also encouraging your breasts to produce more in the future to be ready for their growing needs.

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Katarain
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That's really good to know!

I've wondered sometimes, if she gets frustrated at not getting anything from me.

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divaesefani
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My first son gave up on breastfeeding at 4 months old. No matter how much we nursed, he was just never ever satisfied and finally refused to do it anymore. I tried every supplement know to help lactation with no improvement. I was pumping regularly. No luck. I was devastated. But I also knew that breast milk wasn't the only good thing for my baby...having a happy mom was important, too. So all worked out, even if I didn't like how.

I was determined to make it work this time. On day 3 in the hospital, the on-call pediatrician told me to supplement because my baby had lost 10% of his body weight. (Who made up that stupid magical number, anyway? He was perfectly healthy in every other way. Not even jaundiced!) I cried and said "No way! That's the worst thing I could do when I'm trying to get my milk to come in." My milk didn't come in until day 5 (same as last time). They weren't even giving my body a chance to work. The milk did come in, and it was ok for a day or two. After that, no matter how much we nursed, it was never enough. Since supplements didn't work last time, I decided I would try Reglan (a stomach medication that has a byproduct of producing prolactin). It worked while I was on the medication, but my supply dropped after I weaned off. Life was HORRIBLE for us. My baby that was born happy and content was a (cute) grumpy mess! After 2 months, I was on the verge of supplementing, as *I* was a wreak. I couldn't be a mom in that state.

I decided to give Reglan one more try, since I really wanted breastfeeding to work. I took it for a week, then weaned off. This time I used it in conjunction with 3 teabags of mother milk tea, diluted in 3 liters of water that I drank every day for 2 weeks straight. It worked. My milk production increased, baby was satisfied and everyone was happy. It's 4 months later and I haven't had a problem since. Well, I do have problem in that he won't take pumped milk in a bottle, so I can't leave him for more than 2 hours!! But I'll take that problem any day.

Have you talked to the doctor about Reglan? I was opposed to it for baby #1, but I'm so grateful that I gave it a try for baby #2. Maybe it could help you, Boon?

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ludosti
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Boon - How awful. [Frown] I really hope breastfeeding can work for you and I second the suggestion to seek a second opinion if your pediatrician is determined that you *have* to formula feed.
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by divaesefani:
(Who made up that stupid magical number, anyway? He was perfectly healthy in every other way. Not even jaundiced!)

The main concern at that point isn't just with bilirubin (which causes jaundice), but also with electrolytes. At 10% body weight loss of fluids, the risk of severe complications from the level of relative elevated sodium (hypernatremia) goes sharply up, e.g., brain shrinkage, seizures, brain bleeding, and brainstem herniation when rehydration is established that subsequently leads to death. These are the same forces at work that lead to the death from brainstem herniation of the woman who drank excessive amounts of water for a radio contest. Different specific mechanism, but the same issues were at play.

Unfortunately, the babies who are about to crash may be active, alert, and acting hungry. They don't always seem lethargic or irritable before the brain has acute and rapidly deteriorating problems. There are many case reports in the literature of newborns who were sent back home at 10% fluid loss because of a normal-appearing physical and neurological exam who then went on to have serious problems.

Of course, many babies don't have such problems and get through okay. It's just that there is a sharp increase in risk at that point, and when the physical exam is unreliable, the numbers are the best we have to rely on. Also, the rehydration generally needs to be done in a very controlled way because of the risk of brain being unable to avoid overswelling once the sodium has become concentrated enough.

---

I'm glad you found a solution that worked for you and your family! I wish lactation consultants were called in much more often and more quickly than they seemed to be. There are so many tricks and techniques to help mothers and babies get through that initial period of difficulty while still supporting breastfeeding.

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ClaudiaTherese
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Boon, I'm so sorry to learn of your difficulties with the physician and with getting the support you need at home. It sounds like a really horrid experience all around.

One thing I may be able to make a bit better -- when the physician was talking about the "quality of your milk," it may well have been a reference to those electrolyte levels, not to nutritious-ness in general. Breast milk can be very concentrated with regards to salts, and he/she may have been concerned about that part -- with formula or IV fluids, those salt levels are known and constant, and that gradual rehydration I mentioned above is just more controlled and doesn't happy so quickly or slowly as to put the baby at yet more risk. (But if this was the concern, it sounds like it surely could have been better communicated to you! [Frown] )

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Mrs.M
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Thanks, CT. I was going to say something like that, but my post would have read, ďMy doctor said... [insert clumsy, layman summary of what you wrote].Ē

Boon, your situation is setting off a lot of alarm bells for me with regard to your pediatrician, but not for the reasons most of the other moms are listing.

First, is she treating the baby for the thrush? Your whole family needs to be tested and treated Ė itís fairly contagious. Itís also usually pretty easy to treat.

Second, of course you can test the quality of breast milk. They did it all the time in the NICU. They can test it for thrush and yeast infections and check the fat and salt contents. They tested my breast milk pretty regularly because Aerin was slow to gain weight. I canít imagine that a pediatrician wouldnít want to test the breast milk of the mother of an infant with thrush.

Third, there are steps between exclusive breast milk and exclusive formula to help babies gain weight. You can add weight-gain formula to your breast milk and continue to feed the baby through a syringe. Thereís also MCT oil, which is basically fat that you can add to the breast milk. That helped Aerin gain. I donít know if itís available outside of a hospital setting, though.

I feel compelled to say that while I feel that the breastfeeding relationship between a mother and baby is both wonderful and important, Failure to Thrive is very serious. Iíve seen many babies hospitalized with it and thatís never what anyone wants for a child. The baby would undergo testing and most likely have feeding tube inserted; in addition to whatever treatment he ended up requiring. Personally, I would try the in-between steps, and then formula, because I have had a baby in intensive care and I would want to do everything I could to avoid it. On the other hand, it can be a relief to be in a place where you can see any and every specialist in a short period of time and have a medical team devoted to your child.

And to be perfectly honest, I would probably switch pediatricians.

You are the baby are both in my prayers.

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ClaudiaTherese
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I'd agree with you on all points, Mrs. M, with the added comment that an accurate home-based test for breast milk characteristics may or may not be available (I don't know which), but it can be tested at hospital or laboratory.

The Children's Hospital where I currently live has a technical article out that is available free though the Canadian Medical Association Journal: Neonatal hypernatremic dehydration associated with breast-feeding malnutrition: a retrospective survey.. It uses technical language and would need to be interpreted in context, but it may be of interest or value to someone.

What I found most pertinant is that the researchers found that [of the 23 infants] only about 1/2 the infants with worrisome hypernatremic dehydration had signs of dehydration on physical exam, and only about 1/3 had visible jaundice. They also found worrisome blood sodium levels in babies as low as 8% loss of birth weight, which is consistent with other data coming out internationally. The guidelines might be revised in the future.

Generally breast milk falls in a certain range of sodium levels, but this can vary throught the day and over several days to weeks. There are generally predictable patterns, but women whose babies had sodium problems have had their milk tested at 8 X the expected levels or more. Unfortunately, there wasn't any reliable way of telling whose milk might be very sodium-concentrated except by specifically testing the milk itself.

---

Edited to add:

Of note, though, just over 1/2 the tested milk was itself high in sodium -- for many of the mothers, their milk itself was in normal electrolyte ranges and still there was a high sodium level in the babies. In this series of case studies, though, there were many other risk factors that could have been identified with adequate prenatal and postnatal screening, but in some other cases, there were not.

[ March 29, 2008, 10:38 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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divaesefani
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Thanks for the info, CT. I'm glad to know the 10% number isn't just "made up." I just felt like they weren't giving my body a chance to make milk before all efforts were cut off. I'll keep your info in mind next time I give birth and make the best educated decision possible. [Smile]
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Boon
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::sigh::

On the thrush: yeah, but only because I insist. She says it's "not apparent" but I've never actually seen her look into his mouth while it was open. It looks very mild on his tongue, but I understand it can be down his throat as well. I have no outward symptoms, but I can feel it in my breasts (especially the right one) and up into my right shoulder and neck during and after a feed or pump session. I also have the most raging vaginal yeast infection, which she swears is not related to either the thrush or the antibiotics I was on shortly before the birth. [Frown]

So far we've been on nystatin (cream for me, drops for him, and they didn't seem to help at all), miconazole (for me), and I've been using APNO and grapefruit seed extract for a week and a half (couldn't find 1% gentian violet anywhere or I'd have used it, too), and added diflucan and probiotics for both of us Thursday. I'm finally starting to feel a bit more comfortable. I just pray this will cure us.

Michael and I are the only ones being treated. She has not offered testing for us, and I wasn't aware the rest of the family could get it since he's the only one nursing, ya know? Do I really need to have them all tested?

I'm fairly convinced at this point that we have a supply issue, compounded by pain on both our parts. From 4pm yesterday to 4pm today he ate 11 times, syringe fed the first ounce, then nurse, 1/2 ounce, nurse, 1/2 ounce, nurse, etc. During that timeframe he had 12 ounces of formula, 5.5 ounces of expressed breast milk, and spent an average of 15 minutes per session actually nursing. We do this every 2 hours (except at night, when we just nurse, so those total numbers are just from 4pm-midnight and 7am-4pm). Then I pump for the next feeding.

I was able to pump the most yesterday afternoon, but the amount I'm able to pump has been decreasing. I don't know why. I've only been able to get a teaspoon or so each session since noon today. I'm pumping for 15 to 20 minutes, about an hour after each feeding during our waking hours. I've tried changing the horn size, varying the speed, varying the suction, and I still get nothing.

Of course, the unused breast does nothing but drip the whole time he nurses, though. If I had about 3 more hands, I'd try pumping while he nurses, but I can't hold him and the boob and a horn and another boob all at once.

My nipples haven't been this sore ever.

During my spare 5 minutes at a time today, I made Moose a new fitted diaper from an old flannel shirt, an old t-shirt, and an old dishcloth. (And some new elastic. I'll add some new velcro when I can get to the store Monday.) I based the pattern on a size 1 disposable diaper, so it won't fit him for a long time, but It's So Darn CUTE and soft! Plaid flannel butt. [Big Grin]

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by divaesefani:
Thanks for the info, CT. I'm glad to know the 10% number isn't just "made up." I just felt like they weren't giving my body a chance to make milk before all efforts were cut off. I'll keep your info in mind next time I give birth and make the best educated decision possible. [Smile]

My son also lost 10% of his body weight in the first few days but my pediatrician never told me to supplement..he just kept telling me to nurse as often as possible. We did go in several times for weight and jaundice checks, though, and his weight started coming back up at the end of a week. I felt pretty good about the situation and about my doctor's treatment of it. He watched us closely while giving my body every chance to start working.
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Boon
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In case anyone was wondering, we're doing okay. Moose regained the weight he lost plus a couple of ounces while taking the 12 ounces a day of formula, so definitely a supply issue.

I'm currently on diflucan, Claritin, prenatal vitamins, extra b complex, GSE, APNO, fenugreek, blessed thistle, flaxseed oil, and acidophilus probiotics. Whew. I also have one hundred and twenty 10mg tablets of Reglan, with one refill, but she didn't know what the dosage should be for stimulating milk supply (she wrote it for 1 every 6-8 hours as needed, and told me to take however much I thought prudent). How much were you taking divaestefani?

Right now my plan is to keep him on the 12 ounces of formula supplement (we rigged up a SNS out of a syringe and a butterfly needle tube with the needle part cut off) until at least next Monday and then start the Reglan and slowly try to wean back off the formula.

I've also backed off the pump for the time being. I'm only using it twice a day now, and am getting about an ounce per side again.

This is SO not fun. I'm looking forward to the day all this extra work is unnecessary. [Smile]

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Christine
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I was wondering about you, Boon! I'm glad the baby is gaining weight but I'm sorry you're having to go through all this trouble!
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hansenj
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That's such great news about the weight gain! I was also wondering how things were going with you. You are amazing! I don't know if I'd be able to endure that daily process.

I feel very blessed that James is a good little eater. (Speaking of that...James' two month appointment is tomorrow, and I can't wait to see how much he's grown!)

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ludosti
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Yay Moose! I'd been wondering how things were going. I'm so glad he's gained weight, but I'm so sorry you're still having supply issues. I really hope things will increase quickly for you!!

Beanie is completely into her 3-6 month clothes. [Smile] She's also been having lots of diaper explosions this week. [Eek!] I'm trying to figure out if it's a phase, or if she needs the next bigger size diapers (I hope that's not it since, of course, we still have about 2/3 of a Costco box of diapers in the current size). I'm also totally thrilled that I found a Rainforest jumperoo (we don't have a handy doorway for an in-the-door jumpers) for $30 on craigslist and she loves it! I'm working on transitioning her to the cradle, since she's getting too big for the bed co-sleeper. It's a little sad, but at least she'll still be close for nightly feedings.

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divaesefani
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quote:
Originally posted by Boon:
I also have one hundred and twenty 10mg tablets of Reglan, with one refill, but she didn't know what the dosage should be for stimulating milk supply (she wrote it for 1 every 6-8 hours as needed, and told me to take however much I thought prudent). How much were you taking divaestefani?

I was on 10mg 3 times a day. I was instructed by my lactation consultant to take it full force for a week and then slowly wean off. She said if you stop abruptly, so will your supply. Like I said previously, the first time I weaned off, my supply dropped, but the 2nd time it stayed strong. I used mother's milk tea the 2nd time, but it looks like you've got plenty of stimulating herbs to help the way the tea did for me. If you have questions about the Reglan, I'd find a lactation consultant, as my doctor wasn't sure the correct way to use it for BF either.

I'm glad Moose gained weight, and I hope you're able to wean off the formula. It looks like you've got a good plan of action! My prayers are with you.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Christine:
I was wondering about you, Boon! I'm glad the baby is gaining weight but I'm sorry you're having to go through all this trouble!

Ditto!

That's a lot of things you're taking! I hope they do the trick!

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hansenj
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Wow. Nothing could have prepared me for the look on James' face when he got his 2-month shots today! I actually thought I was prepared because I knew it was going to be very sad from talking to other moms, but it was awful! I think the look on his face is plastered on my memory now. I thought I might cry a bit after it happened, but I didn't realize I'd burst into tears so quickly. [Frown] If only there was a different way to administer immunizations!

In other news, he's happy and healthy! He's 12 lbs 12 oz now!

Unfortunately, that was most likely our last appointment with our wonderful pediatrician before we move. I'm not really looking forward to finding a new doctor in Portland because I'm afraid we won't be able to find anyone as good. It takes a lot for my husband to trust a doctor, and he really trusts our current doctor. I guess I'm just worrying about all the unknowns...

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ketchupqueen
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I was just talking about this with my mom last night... I think the nurses think my husband and I are unfeeling because we just say, "Yeah, she's gonna scream, how do you want me to hold her?" when we take our kids in for shots... It's not that. But I was raised by a nurse who treated ME that way, and he was a vet tech... We care but the shots are necessary. So we try to distract the kid, hold the kid down, get through it, and THEN worry about their comfort.
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ludosti
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Shots are no fun! [Frown] But yay for a healthy growing baby! [Big Grin]

I felt so bad that Beanie screamed for her shots (and for the weighing too). Granted, she didn't start screaming until after the 2nd of 4 shots, but it broke my heart. I know that babies pick up on our moods, so I worked really hard not to be anxious or overly upset (I'm really proud of myself for not crying). I'm hoping that with some better planning on my part things will go better the end of this month (for her 4 month shots). She'd fallen asleep in the car on the way over (it's about a 45 minute drive to the doctor's office) and woke up hungry in the waiting room. I nursed her while waiting for the doctor, but since she'd just woken up, she didn't eat as much as she needed to, and realized shortly before shot time that she was still hungry (so that contributed to the screaming). This time, I'll leave earlier so when we get there I can get her all the way awake (maybe we can run next door to Sprouts for a few minutes before her appointment) and nurse her (in the car or the waiting room). I may also ask if I can hold her while they do the shots, since laying her flat on her back is pretty much guaranteed to make her cry on its own. I was able to get her calmed down after a couple minutes by nursing her and I'll probably do that again.

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Christine
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I was able to nurse my son just as soon as they gave him the shots, which seemed to help a ton. It was hard to watch, but I know they're necessary and it's not like he remembers. I seem to recall him being extra sleepy for the rest of the day and then going back to his smiley self.
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rivka
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kq, I'm with you, and probably because my mom was pretty matter-of-fact about them too.
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hansenj
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I think (hope?) I'll get tougher as I get more used to being a mom. [Smile]
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Katarain
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My little one has only gotten a couple of heel sticks and a pku test. What with all of the controversy over vaccines, I'm not going to have her vaccinated--at least not while she's an infant. I saw Jenny McCarthy on Larry King last night, and she was talking about all of the mothers she's talked to whose kids had their shots, got a fever, and then stopped talking. It's not like they were saying that the vaccines themselves caused autism, but that certain children have conditions that make them high risk, and a fever or whatever reaction they can have to the vaccines can bring on autism. This, of course, is my lay persons summation. I realize it's more complicated than that. McCarthy, and the doctors who agreed with her, didn't have a problem with vaccines themselves, but with the schedule of vaccines and how it is not tailored to each specific child's needs.

I told my doctor I wasn't going to let her get vaccinated now, but that I was open to the possibility later on. My doctor didn't blink an eye--she wasn't judgmental or rude about it at all. She did mention that autism rates had gone up since thimerasol was taken out of the vaccines, but I don't believe that mercury is the only cause or trigger of autism. I also don't believe that autism is the only risk of vaccines.

I do, though, understand how important vaccines are to our civilization, and like McCarthy pointed out, hopefully the fact that so many parents are hesitant and resistant to vaccines now will make the CDC pay attention to concerns, admit connections, and to make changes.

On Larry King they also talked about a girl who got autism and the government admitted that vaccines were the culprit (or maybe just the trigger?) and were awarded a settlement from a fund meant specifically for damage done from vaccines. Her name was Hannah, I think, but don't quote me on it.

But about pain and needles... Katababy cried more the first time from having them hold her foot, restricting her movement, I think. Because the second time, she winced in her sleep from the needle prick, then she slept through the entire thing.

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ketchupqueen
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Katarain, she didn't have a PKU test, she had a newborn screening test. [Wink] [Razz] (Sorry, my mom worked Newborn Screening for years and it's a sensitive point that "it's not called a PKU test!")

I vaccinate on a schedule that feels right for me and my kids. Bridget was sick most of her first year, cold after cold after cold. It didn't feel right to get most of her vx done while that sick; I did the first few and stretched the others to times she was well. Then she got all caught up at 18 months when we had them give 7 vx (6 shots) at once... She didn't like it but it was done!

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Katarain
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Well, that's what the nurses called it. If they want us to use the right terminology, they need to too. [Smile]
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
Katarain, she didn't have a PKU test, she had a newborn screening test.

Which tests for PKU, neh? Which would make it a PKU test, even if it's not officially called that.

None of the ways to measure iron level are officially called an anemia test (or an iron test), but that's what all of them are referred to colloquially.

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ketchupqueen
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Yes, I had a nurse that called it that in TX. I corrected her. She got a little irritated with me, I think more because I explained in detail what disorders the state of TX tested for, how long they had been testing for them, and signed the consent form without reading it...

(Here in CA, you don't have to sign a separate consent, you only have to sign something if you have a religious exemption. Which is very rare. Otherwise they just do it. But the nurses were a little surprised when I called to make sure that they were going to do it within the proper timeframe-- 24 to 48 hours after birth-- for Bridget...)

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ketchupqueen
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It tests for PKU and at least 3 other disorders in every state. It is not just a PKU test and the reason the Newborn Screening people don't like it called that is that the nurses who call it a PKU test aren't always fully informed on the other conditions and quite often aren't fully aware of proper procedures... It's part of an overall education issue. [Smile]
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ketchupqueen
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(There was one Newborn Screening Coordinator who had a little rap she did when she went out doing training. *giggles*)
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
It tests for PKU and at least 3 other disorders in every state.

Ah. That certainly is not something they ever made clear to us.
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Christine
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Somewhere out there are delayed vaccination schedules that people have thought through and it may be a good idea, if you're thinking of delaying, to look into it. I know that there are some diseases that it is very important to vaccinate against early whereas others can wait. (I'm not sure which is which because unless I have a sick baby, I'm going with my doctor's schedule.)

I also understand that the recent round of complaints is against the # of vaccines given at the same time and that they are just suggesting to spread them out.

Last time I checked (2 years ago when I had my son vaccinated) there was still no substantive link between vaccines and autism.

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ludosti
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I certainly respect people's rights to choose a vaccination schedule that works for them. Personally, we chose to vaccinate on the traditional schedule both for my daughter's wellbeing and for my mother's (who is immune compromised and is prone to some of the diseases for which children are vaccinated).

There has been lots of anecdotal evidence to suggest a link between autism and vaccination, but no studies yet (that I am aware of). I think it is interesting that there has been a substantive link identified between autism and being premature. Autism is an interesting thing. I have wondered why it is so much more common now than it was 50 years ago. Environmental issues? Better screening? More trendy?

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Mrs.M
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Boon, I've been keeping up w/ y'all's progress and I'm glad things seem to be improving. Having to do all the prep work is stressful, but things will seem that much easier when you can let up a bit. I remember that each time just one of Aerin's meds was discontinued it felt like I had all this free time.

Okay, at the outset, this is a very touchy subject for me. I am the parent of an immuno-compromised child who has a preliminary diagnosis of autism. There is ZERO clinical evidence that vaccines cause autism. There has been extensive research and it's time to put that effort and money elsewhere. Jenny McCarthy is doing so much to hurt autistic children everywhere and I wish she would SHUT UP. She is an actress (and I use the term loosely) and a Playboy model who has NO MEDICAL TRAINING WHATSOEVER. Who cares that she talks to parents of autistic children all over the country? I talk to parents of premature babies all over the country - does that make me a neonatologist? There's also no evidence that diet or vitamins or gluten or whatever these parents are clinging to this year has any effect on these children. It's extremely frustrating for those of us who accept our children's disability to see the limited amount of resources being put into what is essentially grasping at straws. Aerin received all of her vaccinations on schedule (or as close as you can get with a preemie). She never had any significant reaction (red bump at injection site w/ chicken pox vac) to them and they saved her life. So all of this research and publicity is meaningless to her, as it is to the thousands of other children who could have benefitted from more money for therapy and early intervention.

There is not an autism epidemic. There are many reasons why more cases are being diagnosed, but it's not that there are more cases to diagnose.
The clinical definition of autism has changed, screening has improved, and awareness of the condition has improved. There is actually a lot of over-diagnosing going on and it's doing a lot of damage.

Autism is a spectrum disorder. This means that children with any number and combination of traits that fall within the parameters will be diagnosed. Not all of these children have autism and, of the ones that do, none of them are alike. Aerin most likely has Asberger's, which is very different from a child with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, for example.

Finally, the link between autism and prematurity is deceiving. Often it is the reason behind the premature birth that is the cause or trigger. For example, there is a link between placenta previa (placenta covers the cervix) and autism and they're researching a link between toxemia and autism. Also, there is a link between advanced maternal age and autism and AMA mothers are more likely to deliver prematurely, as well.

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rivka
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*applauds*
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ketchupqueen
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The latest studies I have seen on vaccines and autism show no link between vaccines and autism.
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scholarette
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Mrs.M- I was trying to think how to make the points you did, but you did it so well. [Smile]
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ClaudiaTherese
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Edited to add this, because I want to be very clear: I am convinced that everyone involved in the discussion here and elsewhere wants what is best for the children involved. That is wonderful and remarkable -- if only more disagreements were had because of such love and dedication!

---------------------------------

Can I adore and respect you more, Mrs.M? I think not. [Smile]

Not only do the latest studies show no connection between vaccination and autism (as ketchupqueen noted above), but former studies have been discredited. This was in part due to the investigation into the (hidden) paid connection between the central researcher and families trying to sue because of their children's diagnoses.

When that came out, all of the 6 or 7 other researchers who had co-authored the reports on the research formerly withdrew their support and repudiated the findings.

Jenny McCarthy used to attribute her child's behavior characteristics to his being a "crystal child" with her his "Indigo Mom." She ran a website called www.IndigoMoms.com for awhile, but despite her very firm and sincere conviction about that explanation, it has been discarded. Zip, nada, no longer mentioned. I expect this current belief will follow eventually.

As Mrs.M says, she has no medical background, and she actually makes many flagrant errors in assessing what science is out there. I have no doubt of her love for her child and her dedication to him, but she is not the person to cite as a critical authority on any of this.

--------------------------------

Boon, I'm so happy things are going better for you and your little one. It sounds like you are strong and in charge -- awesome.

[ April 04, 2008, 01:11 AM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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Katarain
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Katababy is smiling now. [Smile] She's just under six weeks.

It's soooo cute! [Big Grin]

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Boon
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[Big Grin]

Moose is doing well, gaining well, and is down to 7-9 ounces of formula a day. Our doctor had my switch to Nutramigen because of some reflux-type symptoms, and I've cut out all dairy (not easy, let me tell you!) from my diet.

I still believe the thrush caused out problems to begin with. I think it hurt him so much to swallow that he avoided it as much as possible by not nursing effectively, bombing my milk supply and causing the weight loss.

I had to give the breast pump back before WIC would help me buy formula. Sad, I know. And they don't have (or even know about, most of them) supplemental nursing systems. Fortunately for me, the nutritionist at my local office is a very nice lady and is very dedicated to breastfeeding. She was given an SNS by a LC at the hospital when her now-seven-month-old was a newborn with a weak suck. She still had it and gave it to me last week.

I know there is a small risk with used breastfeeding supplies, but I know this woman, she knows she has no diseases, the unit has been sitting dry on her shelf for months, and I washed it with hot soapy water, rinsed with a mild bleach solution, rinsed it with tons more hot water, and boiled the sucker for ten minutes. [Smile]

It's a lot easier to feed him when I don't have to refill the syringe so many times during a single feeding, breaking his suction to replace the tube. Now I can just fix the "bottle," tape the tube to one breast, latch him on and let him nurse. I wait until he starts getting fussy, like the flow has stopped, and then turn on the SNS and let him have 1 ounce. Then we switch to the other breast and do the same thing, but then he can have as much formula as it takes for him to be full. We do this 4 times a day, with regular nursing in between and all night. And like I said, he's down from 12 ounces to between 7 and 9, without me restricting his intake at all. WooHoooo!

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rivka
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That's great, Boon. [Smile]
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Liz B
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Oh, Boon, that's terrific. I missed your first update, and I have really been thinking about you and Moose. I'm so happy to hear he's doing well! I can believe that cutting out dairy is hard, hard, hard...good for you for doing it.

Baby smiles are the best, aren't they, Katarain? [Smile]

We've been vaccinating Nathaniel on schedule, so he had his 4 month appointment last Monday. I was dreading it, but he didn't cry as much for that one as he did the 2 month...he didn't even need me to nurse him afterwards. He was a little fussy for a couple of hours afterward, but that was it. Our last Synagis shot (RSV antibodies) for the season is tomorrow--he has no reactions or fussiness for that, but last time he cried and cried.

He was 14 lbs, 10 oz. at his 4 month appointment...we're so happy. (Birth weight was 5 lbs.) The doctor was very pleased with his developmental progress, too, and thought he might be caught up by his first birthday. [Smile] (Preemies are generally expected to catch up to term babies by age 2.) And he's *long.* At 4 months, he's completely out of his 3-6 month clothes. The 6 month size fits perfectly, so we've been getting 9 month stuff for summer, hoping it'll last for May-September.

Let me preface what's next by saying that I naturally wish Nathaniel had been full term. Nonetheless, his being premature has helped me to be less anxious and more at peace with his developmental progress. Since preemies tend to meet developmental milestones closer to their corrected age, and sometimes later, it's so much easier for me to just be happy with where he is and what he can do, instead of worrying about where he should be and what he should be able to do.

I worry about lots of other things, of course. I panicked today because I thought he might have a cold, and that it was my fault for letting other people hold him on Friday, even though the people in question washed and sanitized their hands first. But it looks like he's OK after all.

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hansenj
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Wonderful news, Boon! [Smile]

We just got home from an apartment-hunting trip to Oregon over the weekend. James was amazing on the airplane! He slept most of the time. I think the apartment hunting wore him out quite a bit, but he was a trooper!

Now, I just have to worry through the next week or so that he's caught a bug from the recirculated air. Every time he sneezes I think, "Oh no! I got him sick!" He's a tough guy, though, so here's hoping!

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hansenj
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We had a first the night before last. James slept for ten hours! TEN! [Big Grin] It was insane. (I was feeling rather engorged by the time he woke up. [Wink] ) Last night was more normal, but guess what's normal? Seven and a half hours! We are definitely blessed. We're also definitely spoiled. (I'm sure future children will not be this easy.)
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