Support for parents of preemies & NICU babies, #2 - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 284 Old 04-25-2006, 09:55 PM
 
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I haven't read through the whole thread yet, but I want to introduce myself.

I'm Cat and my dd was born 4/17. She was 36w4d. I had PTL starting at 26 weeks, and had been on terb and bedrest since then. I had also spent about a week in the hospital and had to have mag at one point, when they gave me the steroid shots as well. At 36 weeks, they took me off the terb, and I went into labor within days. I had a csec, because my last labor was hell, and my son wouldn't come out after pushing for hours, and I didn't want to go through that again. But, now I question my decision, if I had tried and succeeded at a VBAC, she likely wouldn't have had the breathing difficulty. When she was born, she aspirated a bunch of amniotic fluid, which landed her in the NICU. She was under an oxygen hood for a few days, before being upgraded to an oxygen canula. Her canula came out about 2 days ago, and she's breathing great now. I was really starting to feel better and more optimistic about bringing her home. But, today she failed her carseat test. Which now means that she can't come home until Thursday at the absolute earliest. I'm just so upset about everything, and I'm really scared that I'm developing PPD from all the stress. I don't remember being anywhere near this emotional with my son. He was born healthy at 37w3d. I'm pumping craptons of breastmilk for her, so she hasn't been given any formula. And, when I go in, I get to bf her directly, but it's just not the same. I feel like I have to ask permission to mother my child. It just feels so strange. I almost don't even want to bother going to see her in the NICU, because I just feel so worthless when it comes to caring for her. I'm not really sure why I wrote all of this out. I just feel rather helpless these days. Thanks for listening.
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#122 of 284 Old 04-25-2006, 10:10 PM
 
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OMG Cat, I sympathize so much with you. I remember feeling those feelings so strongly. hazel failed her carseat test twice I was in tears the whole day both times. And while of course I loved her, I hadn't yet bonded fully with her, and there were so many damn RULES about interacting with her, while my big girl at home needed me and was worried and could voice that! So I ended up being emotionally overwhelmed and not wanting to spend a lot of time in the NICU. I tried though, and though it seemed to drag by forever, it was over with pretty quickly and she was home. Try to focus on your life together after Thursday, even though the next two days will be hard to live through.

And a tip, if she fails the carseat test a second time, ask to have the next test done when you aren't there, so you don't have to lurk around all worried and anxious for an hour. They did ours on the late shift, at 3am, and when I came in the next morning they told me she passed and we could take her home that day. It was a fantastic surprise!

I still need to post more about splitting my time in the NICU and at home. I had a really hard time with this choice. As I said earlier, I hadn't fully bonded with hazel and Mel needed me and was worried about me (I'd been in the hospital for 5-6 days). We tried to keep her schedule as much the same as possible, so she went to preschool half days 4x/week. We went to the NICU at that time every day. Then usually we'd try to go back at least once or twice a day after that, taking turns watching Melanie and visiting the baby.

Because she needed to be on full "nipple feeds" before she could come home, I had to make the difficult choice about bottle feeding. She wasn't latching well and getting milk (we weighed her before and after feedings) so we continued to try breastfeeding but allowed her to be bottlefed breastmilk. It was simply not possible for me to be in the NICU every 3 hours around the clock with another child at home to care for. This was our biggest challenge. It took 3 months for her to learn to nurse, but she did. And her big sister helped with my milk supply
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#123 of 284 Old 04-25-2006, 11:53 PM
 
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{{{HUGS}}} We're all here for you and ready to listen. It is really difficult to bond with a baby that is under someone else's rule. G-d willing, she will come home quickly.

Rivka, mommy to 3 big boys and a set of b/g twins
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#124 of 284 Old 04-26-2006, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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BeanBean didn't have to do the carseat test because he was born at 37w3d, but Bella did because 37w was the "cutoff." I was horrified that she even had to do it. : Bella is relatively healthy, and her NICU time was fairly "easy," she did very well after the first few hours, but I'm still messed up about all of it. I really felt so guilty about it that I had to find a way to be there with her as much as possible. I left the NICU when they did reports and when I was too tired to keep my eyes open. This was definately made easier by the fact that Mike was with BeanBean and BooBah the whole time that I was in the hospital anyway. I didn't feel too guilty about that, and Mike didn't feel too badly about not spending much time with Bella; I think that we both knew going into the pregnancy that Mike would initially spend most of his time with the older kids, and that I'd spend most of my time with the baby.

The first time around, I felt like I had to ask permission to parent BeanBean; this time, I was just really irritated that I had to wash my hands so much. Other than that, I just jumped in. The nurses were very nice, and happy to step back and let me take care of Bella. Some seemed surprised that I was so eager to jump in and deal; I later realized that they thought that I was a lot younger than I am, and that Bella was my first child. They were just surprised that I wasn't totally clueless. I didn't really care, I was just eager to get her out of there. Every time someone asked me if I needed anything, I'd ask when I could take Bella back to my room. I just had nothing else to say.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#125 of 284 Old 04-26-2006, 10:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momma2emerson
I'm just so upset about everything, and I'm really scared that I'm developing PPD from all the stress. I don't remember being anywhere near this emotional with my son.
I'm so sorry you're feeling like this. It *is* normal to have this emotional roller coaster. I remember the first time I tried to change DS's diaper in the NICU... I couldn't quite get it. I've changed diapers before, but couldn't change one on my own son! I was so embarrassed that I had to have the nurse help me change a diaper. I broke down crying, and cried for about the next hour! The nurse then told me that after one of her kids was born, she actually cried when her DH asked for the remote control. At this point, your hormones are so messed up, that it's hard to keep control of those emotions. I also broke down crying at the beginning of a church service when they mentioned DS's name during the beginning announcements. This was a week before he came home, and he was doing really well - just feeding and growing. But I cried for most of that service! Just couldn't stop myself. Someone who saw me crying came up to me later and asked if anything was going wrong with DS, but no, he was fine! It's just me that had the whacky hormones going on.

I also definitely relate to the feeling that it's not your child. It's really hard to feel like a mom when you're not allowed to do what you want with your own baby. I didn't bond with DS until he was close to 3 weeks old, and that's mainly because he was moved to the Pediatric ICU as an "overflow baby" (they needed more NICU space and also needed to have someone in the PICU to keep it open). In the PICU, it was a private room with a recliner and TV. The nurses allowed me to hold him all day, just about, and that's when I finally started bonding with him. In the NICU, I'd been allowed 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon - that's it. Kind of hard to bond when you can't even hold your baby. :

Your feelings and emotions are all normal for this experience, and it will get better. Hopefully she'll pass that car seat test Thursday!!! They did DS's test overnight as well, so I wasn't there... just got the news the next morning when they said "he passed!" They did the test a couple days before he was supposed to go home. He still needed to make it to 5 days with no apnea episodes, and they counted the feeding apnea in there (which I wasn't sure was fair - he sometimes forgot to breathe while eating, but I learned to watch for signs that this was about to happen, and take him off when he needed to take a "breathey break").

Take care of yourself, and here's a big . You'll get through this, and you'll have your beautiful baby home soon. You WILL bond with her, and feel like a real mom to her, once you're home and "allowed" to do whatever you want.

Mama to Tornado Boy (6/04), The Brute (11/06), and Mischief (05/09)... expecting in February '15
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#126 of 284 Old 04-26-2006, 11:00 AM
 
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Glad this forum is around! I too feel like I'm in this parenting limbo with my little guy. 2 times a day is about all I can go see him right now, & it just isn't enough! I feel like I should be holding him all the time! He is so much more calm & sleeps so much better on me. I just keep reminding myself that its only a few weeks, but still its hard.

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#127 of 284 Old 04-26-2006, 11:09 AM
 
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Cat we so understand you. I was rather depressed during our stay and had to go speak with someone, which helped immensely. I didn't feel like she was my daughter at all for the first 2 months, then she was transferred in to the special care nursery and i started to start feeling the bonding. I've worried that she wouldn't be very attached to me when i brought her home but she's very attached to me.
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#128 of 284 Old 04-29-2006, 10:23 AM
 
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Well, our little girl is still in the NICU. She finally managed to sit in that dang carseat for 45 minutes without difficulty. But, she's still having issues. She's been off the O2 for over 5 days now, and most of the time her O2 sats are 99-100. But, she'll randomly dip down to the 70s or 80s. She hasn't required any intervention to come out of them. She recovers on her own, but they're wanting to watch her for at least a few more days to make sure that she won't need any intervention. At first, they thought the dips were from her adjusting to being off the O2, but now they think she either has sleep apnea or a soft larynx. And, it looks like when she does come home, it will be on an O2 monitor. We have an appt this afternoon to meet with the home healthcare agency to learn how to use the rental monitor.

And, I'm starting to notice issues with nursing her. She takes a bottle great for the nurses. She'll latch on fine for me, but sometimes she'll only nurse for about 5 minutes, and then push off and play with my nipple even though she still seems hungry. Sometimes, she'll stay latched on and eat well though. I really wish that I could cut out or cut down at least on the bottles she's getting, but that's not an option so long as she's in the hospital. And, everytime I have difficulty with her nursing, it's such a blow to my ego. It makes me feel even less like her mom, which I already don't feel that strongly towards her.

I am so sick of this crap! Part of me wants her home so badly, and part of me doesn't know what I'd do with her if even if she was here.
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#129 of 284 Old 04-29-2006, 10:44 AM
 
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It may takea long time for her to really learn to nurse, especially with the confusion from the bottles. But if you stick to it, she can learn (it tooks us 3 months, nipple shields, and a couple of trips/calls with a good LC).

You'll know what to do with her when you get her home mama! It may take a couple of weeks, but that's what happens when you bring home a new baby anyway, the adjujstment period. Yours will include the oxygen monitor, but pretty soon it will seem like second nature. And then pretty soon after that she won't need it anymore!
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#130 of 284 Old 04-29-2006, 11:40 AM
 
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our nursing relationship took off as soon as I could stay at the hospital for 24 hourse straight and just nursed him. Is that an option for you? do they have a room for you? I would maybe insist that they make this available to you. My son was given bottles for a couple of days and I was really worried that I would go home with him doing both but we went home just nursing. I know every situation is different but the more that you can be there with her the better. She is your daughter! I always felt the nurses were telling me..."oh you don't have to be here all the time, etc" and I stood my ground, I knew the more I was there the sooner he would come home.
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#131 of 284 Old 04-29-2006, 12:11 PM
 
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Hey Cat, I remember the apnea episodes well. They are usually just the baby's lungs still maturing. My hospital doesn't send babies home with a monitor - they just keep baby until they can go 5 days without apnea. I hope that your baby's apnea will clear up soon, as I've heard that those home monitors can stress you out a bit. I remember the day we went to pick up DS and he was laying in a bassinette with NO monitors on him. My heart jumped! I was thinking "What if he'd had apnea today and the nurses wouldn't have noticed?!?!?" It really took me a bit to figure out that yes he was ok and was breathing. Most of his episodes, especially the ones while eating, were the type that dip into the 70s/80s and then come back up. He did have some where he completely stopped breathing and the nurses had to jiggle him to remind him to breathe. He even did it once while I was holding him. But that was early on when he was still very young gestationally.

For nursing... Are you using a nipple shield? That can help immensely in getting baby on the breast 100%, even though they are a pain to use (baby knocks it off while flailing in hunger, and then it is just worse because baby has to wait longer to let you put it back on). Definitely talk to LCs, LLL leaders, etc. if you need to. Don't be afraid to CALL SOMEONE if you need help. That's what they're there for, and sometimes having someone see how you're nursing and give you some minor little tips can make a world of difference!!!

That's wonderful that your baby is going home soon. I know it's SO hard to wait. You will know what to do with her when you get home. In fact, you'll probably feel alot more at ease because you don't have nurses standing over you watching your every move!

Mama to Tornado Boy (6/04), The Brute (11/06), and Mischief (05/09)... expecting in February '15
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#132 of 284 Old 04-30-2006, 02:46 PM
 
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Well, they ran out of my bm this morning, so we got a phone call at the crack of dawn. I had been keeping it in our fridge, because they don't like to keep too much on hand, since they have milk for so many moms to store. Dh ended up going in to drop off a tupperware full of milk bags. I'm glad they called, instead of feeding her formula. They are really supportive of bfing there.

I'm totally over producing, so ds has been reaping the benefits. I weaned him last summer right before I got pg, and we've been giving him goat milk. But, for the past few days, he's been getting momma milk in a sippy. He seems to really like it. We weren't sure if he'd go for it or not, but he did!

We're going to spend the night with dd tonight, and ds will stay with the ILs. They have two Parent's Place Apts. there in the hospital. They want us to room in to get the hang of the monitor and such. I'm hoping to finally use some of her CDs and get some NB diaper fashion show photos. I'm hoping this will make me feel a little better. Also, being able to bf for the whole night will be nice.

Dh got to talk with the neonatologist this morning. They put her on caffeine a few days ago to see if it would help. If it did, then her problem is apnea, if not, then it's the soft larynx. Apparently, the caffeine appears to be working. She hasn't had any sleep apnea episodes for a day or so now, but she still sometimes desats during feedings. They aren't as worried about that though. The DR says that apnea is really common in babies of 38-39 weeks gestational age, and that babies outgrow it by 42-44 weeks. So, obviously they don't want to have to keep her in the hospital for another 5-6 weeks.

The DR said today, that she wouldn't go home tomorrow, but they're eyeing Tuesday, if she continues to do well. I'm just hoping she's home by the end of the week. This sucks so much! I'm watching all of these younger babies who were sicker than my baby get to go home, because they've improved so much. And, my baby who was only a few days shy of term, is still there and making such slow improvements. It's sooooo frustrating. Of course, I'm happy that these other babies get to leave, but I want my baby to leave!!! AUGH!

Thanks for listening again! I'm really appreciating that this thread is here.
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#133 of 284 Old 04-30-2006, 03:25 PM
 
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Those are some cute diapers, Tara!
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#134 of 284 Old 04-30-2006, 04:28 PM
 
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Cat, I'm so glad she's going home soon, even if it does have to be with a monitor. You're right... If she is going to have the apnea for a good while longer, than bringing her home with a monitor is definitely a better thing to do. DS had the feeding apnea too, and I just had to keep an eye on him and give him a "breathey break". The nurses there counted that as regular apnea though, and he would have gone home a few days earlier if it weren't for the feeding apnea. But oh well. He still was not in very long, considering how young he was.

Good luck with your overnight stay, and I hope the nursing goes well all night!!! You're doing great, and your baby will be home soon.

Mama to Tornado Boy (6/04), The Brute (11/06), and Mischief (05/09)... expecting in February '15
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#135 of 284 Old 04-30-2006, 09:02 PM
 
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Anyone here have a hard time with their baby receiving a bottle? DS got his first bottle today & it was really hard. DH gave it to him. Until now he's just been fed through the tube & at breast 2-3X a day. I suppose its the way it needs to be right now. I just wish it didn't have to be...

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#136 of 284 Old 04-30-2006, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had a really hard time with Bella getting a bottle (happened after we left the hospital, when I was too tired to get up and prepare the fingerfeeder). I took it as a personal affront, and still feel guilty thinking about it. : It's really difficult for me to not take these things personally, especially since I feel like I'm totally responsible for Bella having been small and born early.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#137 of 284 Old 04-30-2006, 10:43 PM
 
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When they first started DS on a bottle, I felt SO GUILTY. Guess what he'd do? He'd have an apnea episode at every single feed that I gave him! The nurses could give him a bottle and he'd be fine. My parents had given him a bottle, and he was fine. It was horrible. Then one night, I found out he did the same thing for the nurses that night. Phew! So it wasn't just me - he really was just having trouble with it coming out too fast and him forgetting to breathe. Luckily, the LCs convinced the nurses to let me start bf'ing soon after that, and I was able to deal with that better.

But yes, starting on a bottle was tricky. They are still learning that suck/swallow/breathe reflex, and it takes practice! Plus the milk comes out faster with a bottle. But it's amazing how quickly things can change. Sometimes they'll have a problem one day, and the next day it's gone. Very weird! So hopefully yours will figure it out really soon.

Mama to Tornado Boy (6/04), The Brute (11/06), and Mischief (05/09)... expecting in February '15
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#138 of 284 Old 05-01-2006, 11:25 AM
 
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Eleanor has a harder time coordinating breathing with the bottle than at the breast. She tends to gulp down the bm in the bottle and desats sometimes. She doesn't usually desat while nursing (sometimes right when my milk lets down, but not usually), but I'm having a hard time getting her to latch well sometimes. She seems to have more trouble with my right boob, and I can't figure it out; they really look the same to me. I remember ds having more trouble with one side than the other, but I can't remember which boob it was. I had to use a nipple shield with him on the one side for about a week. I may have to pull it out for dd to use on the right boob. She's getting milk out, because I can hear her swallowing, but I don't think she's getting her lower jaw far enough back to be comfy for me.
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#139 of 284 Old 05-01-2006, 01:30 PM
 
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The hospital had to teach me how to give a bottle. The baby had to be propped so she was almost totally sitting with my hand supporting the back of her neck. I was to insert the bottle (much trickier than I ever thought!) with the nipple touching the roof of her mouth. I was then to depress the bottle against her tongue to encourage her to suck and swallow. AFter a couple of swallows I was to break the suction by tipping the bottle back up, thus encouraging breathing. Also, the baby had to get a certain amount of milk within a certain time frame - which was most difficult for us - turns out my baby is a very slow nurser and it was near impossible to get that to happen for her. The hospital felt that she would ahve been expending too many calories to drink the bottle if it took longer. By the time she hit her due date (a month later) she learned how to nurse and was doing it exclusively. Good luck!

Rivka, mommy to 3 big boys and a set of b/g twins
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#140 of 284 Old 05-02-2006, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momma2emerson
She's getting milk out, because I can hear her swallowing, but I don't think she's getting her lower jaw far enough back to be comfy for me.
Bella is still doing this-- she's a month old now, 12 days past her due date. Hurts like the dickens, and it doesn't seem to happen more often on one breast than the other. I'm going to a LLL meeting tomorrow to see if I can't get some input, because I think that she's big enough to nurse without hurting me now. After all, she's now as big as my son was when he was born.. then again, he couldn't nurse in the very beginning, either.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#141 of 284 Old 05-02-2006, 08:35 PM
 
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I am subscribing I"ll have to finish reading the thread and up date with my stories (4 kiddos )
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#142 of 284 Old 05-03-2006, 02:11 AM
 
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Hi all! My girls are actually getting ready to come home (hopefully tomorrow!) from the NICU after 2 weeks. They wanted to keep 1 and send 2 home, but our awesome nurse and I convinced them to keep all 3 because they all (and especially the one they wanted to keep) sleep better together.

My big question for right now is what kind of gift can you get for an incredible nurse. We actually had 4 of them (2 day and 2 night) who really seemed to go out of their way with us and made dh and I feel so welcome and in control and also seem to love the girls so much. I would love to get them something but don't know what or the protocol sonce these weren't the only 4 nurses who took care of them. Any ideas?

Miriam , mom to jumpers.gif
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#143 of 284 Old 05-03-2006, 02:52 PM
 
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I always brought in food. Big boxes of candy and homemade brownies were a hit, and they could share them amongst the whole staff. I also went back and gave some updated pics of Hazel to them and showed off how great she looks now.
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#144 of 284 Old 05-03-2006, 02:57 PM
 
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Yup. Food.
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#145 of 284 Old 05-16-2006, 05:01 PM
 
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Hi everyone - I'm just checking in. Josephine is home (since Feb) and a HUGE 9 pounds at almost 6 months. She has severe reflux so we deal with that and now she is struggling with eczema so I'm off all milk: . She is still exclusively breastfed, but just squeaks by on about a 4oz a week weight gain. I've tried bottles(ebm with calories added) but she won't take them. I also experienced her latch to be weak when she first came home - she would pull down on the end of the nipple and wouldn't transfer enough milk (plus it hurt!). I really worked with her to open up and I used a scale for pre and post feeds. She's a pro now!
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#146 of 284 Old 05-16-2006, 05:21 PM
 
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For reflux... DS was on Zantac when first diagnosed, and that definitely helped, but we had the unflavored liquid kind (which I think has alcohol in it? , and when I switched doctors and asked about doing the flavored Zantac instead, she switched him to Prevacid. That worked fine too, but gave him diarhea.

Then one day I was reading online about reflux, and found some info (and I don't remember where) about babies being more prone to reflux if mom had antibiotics during labor. Well, DS was born early due to PPROM, so yes, I definitely had antibiotics and lots of them. I gave him some probiotics, and sure enough, after a few weeks, we were able to wean off the medicines!

I don't think probiotics would cure all cases of reflux, of course, but it doesn't hurt to see if it at least helps. I just took an adult capsule and emptied it into a small container, then dipped my finger in it and stuck that in his mouth or in his medicine mixture. It was a small amount, and one capsule would last a LONG time.

Glad little Joey is doing so well! I'm sure her weight will catch up eventually. DS was on the small side for a long time, and then he got onto the actual age growth charts at 1 year, and by 15 months, he was 50% for weight - actual age! He's stayed that way ever since. He was 10.5 weeks early, so pretty similar to little Joey.

Mama to Tornado Boy (6/04), The Brute (11/06), and Mischief (05/09)... expecting in February '15
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#147 of 284 Old 05-17-2006, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been giving Bella probiotics to help with the thrush that we both have (mixing it with pumped breastmilk), but it hasn't helped her reflux; if anything that's gotten worse.

I really don't want to do the pneumogram... I'm hoping that I can get the doctor to give me some Zantac without it.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#148 of 284 Old 05-17-2006, 02:42 PM
 
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Is pneumogram a test? DS was given Zantac without any testing, thankfully. And it definitely worked. Just don't get the liquid - you want the dissolvable flavor tabs!

Mama to Tornado Boy (6/04), The Brute (11/06), and Mischief (05/09)... expecting in February '15
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#149 of 284 Old 05-17-2006, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, the pneumogram is a test for reflux. BooBah had one, as did ChibiChibi. It's not so bad, it just necessitates a day and a half in the hospital (the test takes 24 hours).

I'd be concerned about disolvable tablets because my kids like to take vitamins; they'd probably try to eat Bella's medicine, which would defeat the purpose of having it around.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#150 of 284 Old 05-17-2006, 04:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
I'd be concerned about disolvable tablets because my kids like to take vitamins; they'd probably try to eat Bella's medicine, which would defeat the purpose of having it around.
Keep it very high out of their reach?

Mama to Tornado Boy (6/04), The Brute (11/06), and Mischief (05/09)... expecting in February '15
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