Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bumpy Roads

My apologies in advance, but this is going to be long.  Consider yourself warned.

I have made some vague, indirect references over the last month about CC getting a little more difficult lately.  Well, let me whisk away the veil of ambiguity right here and now: I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON, BUT I DON'T LIKE IT.

CC has stopped sleeping through the night, which she had previously been doing since the tender age of 3 weeks.  And as of last week, she has also stopped eating well.  Yes, you read that right -- little Miss Piggy has actually stopped gulping milk like there's no tomorrow for 40 minutes at a stretch.

These two things combined are wreaking havoc in my life.  My nights aren't restful, because I haven't had an uninterrupted night of sleep for almost a month now.  My days are frustrating, because every three hours I sit down to nurse a baby who used to love eating, and all of a sudden she won't.  She furiously gulps for about 5 minutes, then cries, then eats a few more minutes, then really cries, so I switch her to the other side, and she eats and cries some more, and this all just degenerates until 40 minutes later when she is shrieking, I am taking deep cleansing breaths, and she has eaten a grand total of 10 minutes.

Who, me?

Last week, before her eating issues started, I took her to the pediatrician to see if there was an underlying medical condition that was causing her general fussiness.  She weighed 13 pounds 5 ounces (perfect), and despite a thorough examination, the doctor couldn't find anything wrong with her.  Ironically, it was just after that appointment that she started struggling with nursing.

After her noon meal today, I decided it was time to call in reinforcements.  This was beyond my capacity to deal with alone anymore.  So I went to see a lactation consultant, certain that she would watch CC eat and then pronounce, "Oh, we see that all the time, just make this one little change and everything will get better."

Instead, our 30-minute appointment turned into two hours, during which my lactation consultant called in reinforcements of her own, and at the end of it all I had four women with almost 100 years of experience tell me, "We've never seen this before."

Everyone can tell me definitively what the problem is not.  It's not a milk supply issue.  It's not a let-down issue.  It's not a food allergy.  It's not reflux.  It's not teething, or a lingering ear infection, or any other medical condition.  But no one knows what it is.

Worst of all, after a 40-minute attempt at feeding CC during the appointment, she had eaten a total of two ounces.  Needless to say, this is not enough for a baby of any age.  And she still weighed 13 pounds, 5 ounces, which was not surprising.

So here's our new game plan.  For the time being, we will feed CC a bottle of milk at 6 pm (she doesn't seem to have an issue with eating from a bottle).  That way we know that she got a solid meal at least once each day.  I will also nurse her, however briefly, before she goes to bed at night.  These two things will hopefully get her back to sleeping through the night, and keep her from losing weight while she's going through this difficult phase.

Her 4-month appointment is this Monday, and I am hoping that she will have gained at least a little weight.  And I am also hoping that by then, I will have had at least one solid night of sleep. 


Mrs. G said...

So far so good in our department of sleep. We keep her quite busy during the day with her visiting me at the youth center and all the attention. But I have had a few times where she keeps unlatching constantly and then fusses.

B-Mama said...

Man, oh man! As I read through you discounted my first and second theories, reflux and teething. I would still double check on the reflux bc it takes time to develop and can be really irritating to the wee babes, causing feeding problems, etc. Does she have to spit up often to have that be a diagnosis? Could it be regurgitating only in the lower esophagus? Just some food for thought. Hopefully this is a "phase" and something you will conquer with time!

I will say a prayer for dear CC! And her poor Mommy!!

Morrisons said...

"Silent Reflux" is when babies don't spit up (it remains in their esophagus), but CC doesn't have any of those symptoms either -- no arching of her back, no crying after she eats, etc. I hope, for both our sakes, that this is a short phase!