Thursday, October 29, 2009

Piper's Two Month Well Baby Check

We had Piper's Two Month Dr. Appointment on Wednesday. She did well! Here are her stats:

Weight: 11 lbs 1 oz
Length: 22 3/4 in
Head Circ: 38.5 cm

Her weight and length put her right in between the 25th and 50 percentiles. So we've got a peanut this time! She was bigger than Morgan when she was born, but is gaining weight at a slower rate. The Dr. said that each baby develops differently and this is her pattern vs. Morgan's. Everything else checked out nicely and like Morgan did, she "performed" well when showing how high she could lift her head while on her tummy. I was curious what she'd do because I haven't been very diligent with "tummy time" with her. We'll be working on that.

She's doing well on the Zantac we've had her on. The "colic" has definitely improved, either due to the medicine (for reflux) or just because she's 9 weeks old now. She's passed the fussy peak (around 6-7 weeks), so things are looking better all the time. We'll keep her on the medication for now.

She's smiling and making cute baby noises (oohs and ahhs) now. This is the best part, seeing their personality come out. She's not just a floppy, red-faced newborn anymore. She's also spending a lot more time just hanging out instead of yelling whenever she's not eating or sleeping. Whew!

On a final note, we all got our flu shots on Tuesday (except for Piper since she's less than 6 months old...she'll be protected as long as I'm nursing, so I'm soldiering on as long as the supply holds out). We're hoping to get some appointments for the H1N1 vaccine for the weekend of the 7th. Then we should be set for the winter.

Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment. Morgan cooperated so well, but Piper...not so much. Once she started yelling there was no stopping her. The photo shoot was done. Kind of funny though.

I like my little sister...but if she would just stop yelling...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Filling in the Gaps

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Even with my Dad's help this last week, it's been hard to have any extended time at the computer. I'm either feeding one kid or reading a story to the other...not to mention the slacking in any household chores. My house is a mess!

As I looked through the posts since Piper arrived, I realized I never explained what was going on with breastfeeding this time around. I mentioned I was on medication to help with milk production (that resulted in some serious anxiety). Basically I've had the same problems that I had with Morgan. My body just doesn't produce the volume of milk it should. This happens to some women who have had breast reduction surgery or have thyroid issues...but I have none of these problems. I'm just one of those people who have trouble with this for no reason. I have a few friends who have dealt with this too, so I am not alone, but it is still extremely frustrating for me. I was really hoping it was going to be different this time. Part of the reason I had an unmedicated birth was that I knew that sometimes pitocin or other interventions in the birth process can interfere with milk production. Here's what happened with both babies:

Milk doesn't come in until 2 to 5 days after delivery. I started feeding Piper just as I was supposed to, about every three hours. Newborns aren't too hungry the first few days so you have to just put them to the breast no fewer than 8 times in a 24 hour period. With Morgan I didn't feed her as often, so I thought this might have been part of the problem, but apparetnly not. Feeding them often stimulates the milk production and gets things going. For a bit I thought it was going to work better this time because by day 4 I was engorged, I felt sore and full. This gave me hope! With Morgan I had nothing happening by day 4. We went to Piper's first pediatrician's appt on day 5 and she had lost 8% of her birth weight. This was not bad as they don't like them to lose more than 10%, though she did look a little jaundiced. I had an appt with a Lactation Consultant (LC) that day and because of the jaundice she got me going on a regimen of feeding, using a breast pump and supplementing some formula until my "milk came in." Though I was engorged, the milk was not flowing as it should. This is also what happened with Morgan. I tried with her for 4 weeks with very little improvement. She was what the LC called "happy to starve." She just fell asleep at the breast and really didn't understand that was where her nutrition was supposed to come from.

With Piper it is different in that she is not "happy to starve." At almost 2 months old now she really lets us know when she is hungry. She nurses fairly well...but I just don't have quite the milk supply she needs. With many techniques from two LC's and a good medication we are almost there. She gets about 75% of what she needs from me and we supplement in the evenings with 5-7 ounces of formula (across a few feedings and a bigger "bedtime" bottle David gives her). I am proud that we've made it this far, but it's still pretty stressful. The afternoon/evening feedings can be rough as she swings her arms around, scratches at me and sometimes cries. She is also on and off the breast a lot with makes me sore. This tells me that the milk supply is not good at these times and she is not getting the milk flow that she gets from the night and morning feedings. It is easy to supplement with some formula here, but the way she fights me is not only hard on me physically, but emotionally too. I feel so bad that she has to get so frustrated.

The good thing is that she has had consistent weight gain (not big gains, but consistent). She has her 2-month appointment with our pediatrician on Wednesday, so we'll see if she's still doing well. The breastfeeding really just moves forward on a day to day basis at this point. When we have a good feeding I think I can stick it out for a while, but when we have a bad one I think I'm ready to quit. And...the seasonal flu and H1N1 flu throws me for a loop too. I want to give her the best I can, nutrition and protection-wise, but I also need my sanity too. We have help from my parents for about 10 more days (which has been a godsend). We'll see how it goes when I'm on my own during the day. So, that's my saga and where we are at at the moment. I'm trying my best to relax and be OK with either way we go, but I am so torn. I'll keep you in the loop...if you're interested. :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009


I think you've all seen these letters in some of Morgan's old posts. STTN is an "internet abbreviation" for "Sleep Through The Night." I see it on my Mommy message boards all the time. When someone has a new baby the countdown begins for when they will STTN. Some babies do it early (six to eight weeks), some do it late (beyond 6 months old or even a year), but every parent longs for that day. Well....I think I can say Piper did this for the first time last night. I'm sure it was a total fluke, but it was a nice one nonetheless.

She had been going to sleep between 11:00 pm and Midnight, give or take a few nights (I can count on one hand) at 10:30 or so. Then she will (fairly consistently) sleep about 5 hours until waking up to eat. Then she'll go back to sleep for another two or three hours. This worked OK, but the late bedtime is getting hard on me, so I really wanted to slowly move it up. I checked the old log I kept for Morgan and we are approaching the time that we were able to get her to go to sleep earlier. So, I decided to "experiment" last night. With parenting I find many things are experiments. You just try new things and figure out what works and what doesn't.

So, I thought it was time we tried an earlier bedtime. For the last few nights I thought she looked pretty overtired in the evenings and wondered whether she could go down for the night earlier. Last night I figured out that she would have plenty of feedings in by about 8:30-8:45, so at about 8:45 I nursed her for the last time for the night. As we are supplementing some formula at night, David gave her a bottle right after and we managed to get her asleep by 10:00 pm. Woo Hoo! Even if she woke up more in the night, this was already a victory. So, about 3 am I woke up to some "rousing noises" from Piper. I went to the bathroom and when I came out she was quiet again. I dozed on and off and she finally woke up for real at...wait for it...5:45 am!!! She slept almost 8 hours! I wish I had slept soundly all that time. If she keeps doing this I'll be in heaven!! Even if she doesn't, the earlier bedtime is a step in the right direction. I know with Morgan we had her at her usual bedtime, about 7:30-8:00 by the time she was four months old. So, at almost 8 weeks we're making some good progress.

Well, the "biscuit" is waking from her nap. Gotta go! I'll keep you updated on if the STTN continues!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bumbo Baby

Piper had her first taste of the Bumbo seat the other day. No, her head is not that strong yet, but she is resting it against the back of the seat. Morgan wanted to pose with her, so here are some cute shots.

...eyes and EARS...

...and MOUTH and nose...

...head, shoulders, knees and TOES...

Ta Da!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Many Faces of Piper

We took some similar pictures of Morgan about this age (six weeks), so I thought I'd try to get some of Piper. She's showing more expression now. We think we've already had some real smiles too! Note, again we are using a damaged camera. The viewfinder is not the best way to frame a photo as you'll see that I've chopped off the top of her head in most of these photos. Oh well, I'll work on that. We've ordered a new camera using some reward points, but it will take a few weeks to get here (why? I don't know) help is on the way!

Hi guys. What's up?

Uh Oh! Here come's that silly sister again!

Arent' I cute?!

Another open mouth "smile"

Not a great photo, but you can see the top of her head!

Mommy and Daddy see a lot of this face...yes, I am bright red too.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Disappearing Act

A few of Morgan's toys have "mysteriously" disappeared this week. She has a "move and crawl" ball that we have had since before she could actually crawl. I bought it at a second-hand store along with a walk and ride toy. We affectionately call it the "Crazy Fun Ball." When you turn it on it plays music and rolls around the floor on its own. It has lots of buttons and lights on it...and she loves anything with buttons and lights. Her new, favorite place to play with it is in the walk-in closet in our bedroom in the dark. The problem is that lately anything round gets thrown and this ball is not meant to be thrown. She'll pick it up, and toss it forward and it goes thump, thump, thump across the floor. It's really quite jarring if you aren't expecting it. I did not witness it, but apparently the ball made a trip down the stairs recently too. I'm surprised it didn't leave a mark on the wall when it hit the bottom.

So, the Crazy Fun Ball is taking a rest in the hall closet right now. Morgan doesn't seem to miss it, but if it showed up again I'm sure she'd be thrilled. The ball has also been joined recently by the nursery rhyme storybook (was also thrown several times) and a bucket with orange juice lids...a homemade toy borrowed from a friend that needs to return to it's home. I'm sure we'll be rotating many toys in and out of this closet in the future. Once she learns how to open doors, we'll have to come up with a better hiding place, but for now it works for us.

Friday, October 9, 2009


I am feeling better. Thank goodness. It was the medication I was on that caused the sudden anxiety increase and luckily it dissipated within a few days once I switched to a different one. I still have a lower level of stress and anxiety at times, but nowhere near the level of awfulness I was feeling. I still consider myself to have some post-partum depression, but we've got it under control now. Phew.

Thanks to everyone who left an encouraging comment or sent an email. It really helps to know my family and friends are pulling for me/us. I'm also so glad to know people are following our blog. It makes it that much more fun to add updates and pictures. I love reading others' blogs, so it's nice to know ours is read too.

Here's the latest...we think maybe Piper has some reflux going on. I went to my 6 week follow-up at the OB and took Piper with me. She had a full-on screaming attack when we got there. They were very patient and let me feed her and calm her down before my appointment. The Dr. mentioned that one of his daughters had what is called "silent" reflux, which does not manifest with lots of spitting up. I'd wondered about this before, but the nurse at our pediatrician's office kept telling me that if she didn't spit up, it wasn't reflux. So...we took Piper in to see the Dr. today and we started her on some Zantac. If it truly is reflux that is bothering her (besides the "colic" diagnosis), we should see a difference in her behavior within 3-4 days. I've wondered, is it bad for me to "want" my child to have a problem like reflux?! I guess its just because if she does, there is a treatment for it. If it really is just "colic" we still have 6-7 more weeks of dealing with it. We are at the 6 week mark which with all babies is the "fussy peak," so hopefully this is the worst of it and then we'll be on the downswing. Part of me hopes it is reflux, so we can have some relief sooner, but as with Morgan...if it is colic we will endure and come out the other side OK.

I've got some pictures to download from the camera. I'm so behind on this! Piper is getting so big already. I'll do my best to post some new ones of her and also Morgan's silliness soon.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Warning: not a happy post, but needs to be acknowledged.

I thought it would be different this time around. That's what people say about having a second child...they say it's always different than the first one. Either the child is more mellow (or less mellow) or they sleep better (or worse),etc. So, that's how I had it decided in my head...that Piper would be different than Morgan. She is different in many ways, but to my disappointment my personal experience has been the same as it was with Morgan.

Again, I've been suffering with Post-Partum Depression. Mine seems to manifest in the worst way, depression with anxiety. This time I tried to avoid it by getting on medication earlier, but I've still had the same debilitating feelings as last time around. Possibly it's because of an additional medication I've been on to help milk production (now switched to another with less side effects). I should know soon if the anxiety ebbs. Yesterday I tried to put the way I've been feeling in words other than "feeling like I'm constantly going to throw up" or just feeling "awful." I finally decided it felt like "I'm never going to feel OK again." That is about the worst feeling ever. You just can't find a way to relax or at times, to even breathe evenly. The sleep deprivation adds to the misery too.

At least I know it passes. Colicky babies like Morgan, and now Piper, grow out of it and they start to sleep in longer stretches. It happens, but it takes time. When you have the amount of anxiety I have, time passes very slowly and you have to concentrate very hard to get through each day. Luckily I've had lots of help and more help on the way. My sister is here this weekend and my Mom is coming back on Tuesday morning. I don't know what I'd do without their generosity. David had to go out of town for work two days last week and is leaving this afternoon for another overnight trip. Though I posted good things last week when I was on my own, they were tough days and made it clear that I'm not yet ready to be on my own.

That said, asking for help is hard. You want to do it on your own, to "power through it", to "grin and bear it," but you also have to know when you've reached your limit. When I again got to that place where I somehow "understood" the thinking of my maternal grandmother, who took her own life when my Mom was a baby, I knew I needed to call in reinforcements. (Sorry to mention this Mom, but family history is a reality for me). I love my babies fiercely and I have loved seeing Morgan grow from a colicky little creature to the joy of our lives. This will happen with Piper too. She is on the verge of starting to show her personality and we will start to reap the rewards of our hard work (feeding, lulling to sleep, quieting colicky cries) soon. It's just so hard when you're in the thick of it. We will pass through and come out the other side. A few more weeks...I promise to keep you posted.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sweet sister

I finally had a few minutes to check some things on the computer just now. I'm reading some blogs and suddenly noticed that Morgan is standing next to Piper who is sleeping in the swing. This makes me nervous because she likes to "help" push the swing...usually pretty hard and with jerky motions. Sure enough, she is "helping" push her in the swing, but gently this time, and gazing at her sweetly. Then I see her pick up the binky that has fallen out of Piper's mouth. She looks at it, then at Piper and tries to shove it back in Piper's mouth. So sweet, but funny too. Piper shakes her head back and forth a little, but stays asleep. Morgan gives up and moves on to her phonics toy. Then she comes back again and tries to shove her finger into Piper's mouth. Then she jumps up and down holding onto the swing...may it's time for Piper to wake up, but hopefully not as she falls out of the swing due to the crazy convulsions of her big sister.