Just an update, as I haven't had much time to get on here this month!!
Shortly after my last post, Alana went to a specialist at Children's Liver/GI clinic, and was admitted to the hospital for 6 days. They refused to let me BF her, as they worried the herbs were still in my system, while they fed her high-calorie formula. When I used my phone to look up how long the herbs stay in your system (24 hrs max), they finally conceded that I could begin "tomorrow".
"Tomorrow" came, and upon arrival at the hospital, they told me I still couldn't BF, as they were now worried about a condition called galactosemia, where one cannot digest milk sugars (human or animal). Again, I looked it up, and with this condition symptoms present within the first few feedings after birth, and the baby is incredibly sickly...no way she had this! Other than being underweight, she was healthy, and the sweetest, happiest little baby anyone could imagine.
They put her on a soy formula - I told them I was concerned about that, as soy allergy & intolerance runs in our family (not to mention the GMO chemicals and phytoestrogens...but I digress). When the nurse came in with it, she asked about my concerns that Alana would tolerate the soy - I said, "I can tell you right now if she'll be ok with it" and proceeded to muscle test her. She tested weak, and I said "Nope - she won't tolerate it." The nurse looked at me as if I'd just sprouted a second head. Sigh...crunchy mamas don't belong in the hospital!!
By this time, pumping wasn't yielding anything - literally, one drop on the breast shield - and mastitis was beginning, in spite of using every trick in the book. Even the LC at the hospital was stumped. I began to wait until the nurses had just come in for her vitals, and I was pretty sure we'd be alone for at least 30 min or so, and stealthily nursed her anyway. It was the only way I could clear out my ducts and keep up my supply!!
Within a day, she had dark red circles around her eyes and a blistered diaper rash from the soy formula...not helped by the chemical-laden Huggies they used in the hospital, which all my kids have been sensitive to. I finally bought some Seventh Generation diapers and brought them in, along with some Motherlove diaper ointment...again, they all thought I was crazy.
Her liver enzymes normalized, and the labs they ran (and boy, did they run labs! she was a pincushion, poor girl!)...they all came back negative. No PKU, no thyroid problem, no cystic fibrosis, nothing that was obvious. No one could figure out what was going on, so they pinned it on the herbs. She began gaining weight steadily, and they finally let me resume BFing the day they discharged her.
I still had to fight to get her off the soy or milk-based formula supplements - she gets constipated and vomits all the time with milk proteins - thank goodness one dietician finally listened to me!! They put her on a high-calorie hypoallergenic formula instead...I still worry what's in it, but at least she doesn't have bad reactions.
She is still going for weekly weight checks with the hepatologist, who says she's not gaining fast enough, and has instructed me to give her at least 3-4 oz of formula before nursing, and BF her for 10-15 min afterwards, "mostly for you", she said. (Ha!! Because mamas BF only for themselves?!) She is still only 2nd percentile, but eating great and gaining weight steadily, and her regular Ped isn't concerned at all anymore. But if Alana doesn't meet the Dr's expected rate of growth at her checkup at Children's tomorrow, or if the 2nd round of metabolic labs come back with something, she may be readmitted for placement of a feeding tube...which I will fight to the bitter end!
But it terrifies me, as there was just a news story about a mom in a similar situation, whose BF tongue-tied baby was losing weight, and was taken away by CPS when she bought the formula the Dr recommended but refused to take him to the hospital. And what did the hospital do when CPS brought him in? Fed him the formula.
SO frustrating, and heart-wrenching!! I HATE dealing with Western medicine and allopathic doctors...to have my sweet baby at their mercy is sickening. Please send some good vibes & prayers her way! Thanks, mamas!!