Monday, June 6, 2011

A tale of much spit-up

Well, as I'm sure you could tell from Friday's post, I wasn't in the best of spirits going into the weekend. And unfortunately, the weekend bore up that early prediction. It was a rough one.

We had two really bad nights in a row, and I was in that sleep deprived newborn haze of seeing pacifers and burb rags strewn over every available surface in my house and walking around with dried spit-up covering my blouse and in my hair. In our "TMI alert" for the day, my nipples were killing me and I felt teary and trapped. Saturday night was particularly bad. The baby was extra fussy and seemed in some clear discomfort and was up every 20-30 minutes throughout the night. I was a basket case by Sunday morning.

Yesterday, I had an epiphany: I think Anne has, to some degree, acid reflux. The sheer volume that she spits up is comparable only to a geyser. I did a little research, and come to find out, *all* newborns have some acid reflux. Their esophoguses are immature and they all spit up for the first 6 to 12 months of their lives. Anne's might be a bit more advanced than some, so I considered calling the pediatrician. But I read a bit about home remedies, and apparently if you incline them after eating, and while sleeping, this can help. I did that yesterday, and lo and behold, we had an excellent night last night and a much better day today.

Last night, I was able to put Anne down by 8:30 pm, and she slept for 4.5 hours. That's the most sleep I've gotten since she was born. After that, she slept for 3 hours, and then was up at 6 am for the morning to nurse again. That's excellent for a newborn.

This morning, I feel like a new woman. Getting some rest does wonders for ones physical and emotional health. We decided to observe her for at least a few more days before calling the pediatrician. She hasn't spit up nearly so much today, and I credit the inclining after feeding. Her bassinette is also slightly inclined, and that must be why she prefers to sleep in there. Side lying nursing is a total disaster for her. She gets all kicky and archy, and seems to have a hard time breathing well in that position, so I never feed her in that position anymore. I always have to sit up to nurse her.

So, I'm feeling better. I've also taken a gigantic amount of pressure off of myself with breastfeeding. With Hank, I never used formula. I didn't even know how to mix it until about a week ago. Feeding Anne has been so much more of a production, and my emotions (and poor, poor nipples) have taken a real beating. We've given her a few bottles of formula, and I feel SO much better knowing the pressure isn't always on me to feed her, sore nipples and all. A little formula isn't going to hurt her, and I'm just feeling BETTER.

I know supplementing can affect my milk supply, but, well. This time, I have a different perspective. My mental and physical health is not less important than Anne being exclusively breastfed. She's getting plenty of breastmilk (she's gained nearly 2 pounds since she's been born, up past 9 lbs, little chunker!) and receiving the nutrition that she needs. That's all that is important.

So, this morning, I'm feeling grateful for the hope that I feel today. That everything is going to be ok.

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