Monday, August 22, 2011

What is that noise?

Mr. T has been a loud breather and nurser pretty much since he was born.  I have mentioned here that he also had trouble sucking and wouldn't take a pacifier.   We saw some improvement after the first cranio sacral treatment, but then things changed just before and then after the second treatment.  I didn't understand why we were back tracking.  He was taking a pacifier easier, but nursing wasn't going well and I was frustrated.  He would gag, wheeze, and refuse to nurse.  Then, if we did successfully nurse, he would be super fussy afterward and hated laying flat. 

I began to notice that he would wheeze and do this weird hiccup thing (not hiccups, but kind of sounds like it) even when he was just laying there or if he was getting upset (regardless of position).  I blamed most of the nursing issues on my over-supply of milk and started feeding him only from one breast at a time (versus swapping sides halfway through).  However, I had no idea why he was making those other noises.  I began to wonder if I just forgot that Superman did this or if this was really something abnormal.   

Then I went to Moms Group on Monday. 

Another mom announced that they finally figured out why she was having so many nursing issues.  Her daughter was diagnosed with tracheomalacia (Some resources/explanations can be found here and here and here).  She began to talk about the symptoms and I couldn't believe my ears.  Mr. T had those same issues!  I asked more questions and our leader told us more about it.  I still didn't understand it completely, but I knew enough that made me want to schedule a doctor's appointment for as soon as we could. 

The next day I got my confirmation.  The pediatrician confirmed that Mr. T appeared to have a "typical" case of tracheomalacia.  You cannot get a definitive diagnosis without having a scope done to see what is actually going on.  However, our doctor didn't recommend going to the ENT .  The doctor didn't want to us to have to put Mr. T under anesthesia if we didn't have to.  If things get worse and he stops thriving, we will certainly reconsider.

At any rate, other than keeping him upright and giving us acid reflux medicine, he didn't have a lot of information to tell me.  I have been nursing him upright in my sling pretty much exclusively and that definitely has improved things, but my shoulders are beginning to hurt having the sling on (what seems to be) 90% of my awake time.   

Today I went to see a lactation consultant in search of a better solution to nursing.  She wasn't my usual consultant, but she could see me today (and since Superman is at daycare today, I jumped all over it).  She showed me a way to use the Breastfriend to help him sit up while nursing.   We wrap it around both of us and the cushion supports his back (he is "sitting" in my lap, back up against it).  It worked well at the office, so I am hoping that it will provide some much needed rest for my shoulders and back. 

I am beginning to feel more comfortable with this diagnosis.  I am still anxious that it will get worse or that he will get an upper respiratory infection.  I worry that we are still missing something and that I am making the wrong decision not to go to the ENT specialist.  However, all in all things are getting better.  I will be sure to post an update if anything changes. 

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

One Month

I don't know where this past month went, but I do know that there have been days that I thought would never end.  Kind of strange to have time move so fast and slow simultaneously.   I guess the good news is that I have survived.  I don't think I have done it very gracefully at times and I will tell you that there have been tears, but we all have survived and that is what is important. (insert big smiley face here)

Mr. T is doing great.  He is growing a ton and looks more like a 3 month old instead of a one month old.  He has the nursing thing down for the most part and he has even nursed in the ring sling while I was pushing Sam in the swing at the park!  He had his first cranial-sacral therapy last week for his sucking issues and I credit the treatment for his greater ability to latch without getting frantic first.  He is also starting to latch onto our fingers a lot faster.  He will have at least 2 more treatments to see if we can get him to latch onto a pacifier without a ton of coaxing.  I don't care if he doesn't ever want a pacifier, but I want to make sure he can latch if he wants to do so.   He has also started to take a bottle, which is huge!  He doesn't like to drink very much from it, but it is a start.  (I really need to be getting more sleep and that means one bottle a day when possible.)  Overall a really great first month for our little boy!

Superman is adjusting to being a big brother AND dealing with typical 18 month+ type stuff.  While he seems to love his little brother, he has shown that he wants more attention than he was getting before.  We have worked on finding special times through the day for just S and I and that seems to help.  His tantrums (which usually include hitting or throwing) seem to also be improving, thank goodness!!  I am sure that we are no where near the end of them, but at least they are more manageable now.  

My husband has been back to work for just over 2 weeks.  I had been letting him sleep at night, but now I am waving the white flag and asking for help.  The current plan is that I will go to bed after my 9-10pm feeding and then my husband will give Mr. T a bottle at around 11-12.  We did this at the end of last week and I was able to get 5-6 hours of sleep, even though he only took about 2 ounces of milk.  We had stopped because it seemed like Mr. T didn't want to eat till later, but at this point if it means I get more sleep, we are doing it.

Speaking of me....well, I am doing okay.  I am holding out hope that if I get more sleep, I will feel better.  I will post more about this later if sleep doesn't "fix" things.  Thankfully, I feel pretty good physically.  My healing has gone so much easier than it did with Superman.  I have been doing some walking, but hope to get back into a routine soon.  This should help with my mood too.

If anyone has some great tips on balancing sleep, parenting, and time for yourself, please share!  I sleep during naps (when not nursing) and once Mr. T goes to bed I want some time to myself, but feel like I should be going to bed so that I can get more sleep. 

I am also looking for good, quick snacks for me.  I tend to eat granola bars, goldfish, and cheese when I need something quick.  I want something fairly healthy, but is still easy to grab and go.  Thanks for the help!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Who needs sleep? (2nd Edition)

ME!!!!  I need sleep! 
Way back when Superman was about 3 months old I posted about my struggle to sleep when he stirred in his bassinet, Superman's struggles with sleep thanks to some gas, and how I had started singing "Who Needs Sleep" in order to just survive the day.  Well I am singing it once again...

Mr. T is a pretty good sleeper, for a newborn.  That isn't my issue.  My issue is that my body is screaming at me for more sleep.  Like most moms of newborns, I haven't slept for more than 4 hours in several months.  When I was pregnant it wasn't so bad because I was just getting up to pee and then heading back to sleep.  Now, even though I am only nursing him a couple of times a night, I am up for about 40-60 minutes each time and falling back to sleep isn't as easy.  I have also tried sleeping during Superman's nap time, but some days Mr. T's nursing schedule and a short nap just don't allow for that to happen.  If I do nap? Most of the time it is just an hour or so.

I am not asking for much.  I just want 6 straight hours of sleep.  I want to wake up and feel rested.  I am not even asking for this every night, just once or twice a week.

So tonight we are going to try out the bottle with Mr. T.  With his sucking issues, I have been hesitant to introduce it, but I am desperate so I am crossing my fingers and handing the feeding duties over to my husband tonight.  If things go well, he will take over the last feeding before midnight each night and I will get some much needed sleep. 

Wish us luck!  I am going to bed!