Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Colic and Dairy

After my last post in which I declared victory in the Great Sleeping War of 2012 my baby promptly pulled the rug out from under me once again.

Belly sleeping worked for exactly 2 days...2 days people!  For 2 days I felt like an awesome mother.

And then everything went from bad to worse.

I've been in hell...and thus not blogging.

When you're a new mom hell is a 5 letter word known as COLIC.

If you've never had a baby with colic you will not understand...if you have my sympathy.

Baby Jett went from having a 2 hour fussy period in the evenings around 6 weeks to BEING FUSSY ANYTIME HE WAS AWAKE at 8 weeks.  We could sometimes get some smiles out of him in the first hour that he was awake in the morning but then it was FUSSY, SCREAMY, WHINY, MISERABLE BABY all damn day.  Nothing could soothe him.

He was also having a lot of trouble falling asleep and staying asleep during the day so I could hardly get a break from the crying.

He was miserable.  I was miserable.

I felt like I was losing my shit.  Rapidly falling into depression.

I would cry at the drop of a hat about anything at any time.  I didn't want to be around my baby and spent most of my time crying right alongside him.

For clarification at no point did I want to hurt my baby or myself but I REALLY wanted to give my baby to someone and have them bring him back to me when he was 6 months old and out of whatever fussy period he seemed to be stuck in.

I didn't care if I was going to one day look back on his newborn days and be sad that I missed them, he was making me hate my life.  Especially after fighting so hard for this I spent a lot of time trying to figure out WHY we fought so hard for this because in that wasn't worth it.  There was no joy, only tears.

It was bad, I was in a really bad place mentally.

And then the straw that broke my back.  My husband's travel schedule had him gone for 3 days one week and 4 days the next.  

I couldn't do this on my own...I wasn't going to make it.

Something had to change.

So I flew home for 2 weeks.  Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, Cousins, lots of hands to hold my fussy baby and give me a break.

AND at the urging of my midwife and pediatrician we decided to cut out dairy and see if baby's demeanor changed because Baby also had green foamy poop, spitup ALL THE TIME and burping and spitting up seemed to hurt him.

The green foamy poops are also a sign of foremilk/hindmilk imbalance and when you have an oversupply like I do, it's common for baby to get too much foremilk.

Dairy allergies are actually quite UNCOMMON in babies so everyone was skeptical, myself included, but we all needed to eliminate the possibility of a dairy allergy so that it wasn't looming in the back of everyone's minds and we could focus on the milk issue and soothing baby in other ways.

But wouldn't you know it, 2 weeks on the nose from when I eliminated ALL dairy from my diet his poop changed, from green and foamy back to yellow and seedy.

And then 2 days later, 16 days after my diet change, MY BABY DID A COMPLETE 180.

I have a brand new baby.

He started smiling ALL THE TIME when he's awake.  He started laughing.  You can SET HIM DOWN without him screaming.  He hardly ever burps.  His spitup now comes in tiny amounts and doesn't appear to hurt him on the way up.  AND HE SLEEPS BETTER.

2% chance of a dairy allergy and my baby is one of them.  But holy hell I'll take the no dairy for me over that fussy screamy miserable little thing I called my son a few weeks ago.  I feel awful that my screamy baby was screaming because his belly hurt all the time from what I was eating.

He still has that evening fussy time when he's really hard to get down, but it's different.  He's not screaming at us until he falls asleep, now he still won't go to sleep but instead stays up smiling at us trying to convince us it's not bedtime.

So happy and no one is holding him!!!

Hangin with the cuz in Oregon.

I'm happy with the change in my baby and thus will continue to be dairy free as long as I need to, but do you guys realize how many things have dairy in them?  It's actually quite a challenge to eliminate ALL dairy from your diet.  Take a look at this crazy list of ingredients that are all other names for dairy:


Now go look in your cupboard at the ingredient list of anything that comes in a box, jar or package.  EVERYTHING seems to have a dairy ingredient because oddly enough it's a preservative.

And eating out?  Nightmare trying to find dishes with no dairy!  I've taken to telling waiters I have a dairy allergy so they go check with the chef.  It's ridiculous!

The only plus I can find...besides the happy baby of that the things I can eat I can eat as much as I want because I am losing weight like there's no tomorrow.  Including pasta which has no dairy!  I am down about 5 lbs now from my PRE-pregnancy weight and about as small as I ever remember being.

We're talking high school weight here folks.  Lactation plus dairy-free equals one skinny bitch!

As nice as it is to quickly get my body back and be able to fit into all of my clothes, we're rapidly heading in the other direction in which all of my clothes are going to be too big.  I have to get a handle on the weight loss before it affects my milk supply!  I would love to be eating cupcakes and eclairs and other delicious pastries, because for some reason that's what I'm craving, but alas...those are dairy.

So, now that we've solved the fussy baby problem and I can set him down for short periods of time during the day we're on to trying to get baby to sleep somewhere besides in my arms at which point I might be able to really start blogging again...and baking dairy free desserts to soothe my new sweet tooth...wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Dirty Little Sleep Secret

Wow.  I blinked and 2 weeks flew by without me posting a damn thing.

So, here's what's been going on in Brennan household...

Sleeping has been shitty.

Baby Jett has been a BAD BAD sleeper lately. 

And when Jett's a bad sleeper we all suffer.

We were running into several different problems and they were all colliding making nighttime HELL and something I began to dread each and every day.

It all started with that awful night when I was by myself and he was little Screamy McScreamerson.  Ever since then every night he became a fussy little monster sometime around 7:00-8:00pm and without fail we had 2 hours (sometimes longer!) of terror baby before he would finally settle down to sleep.  This resulted in us and baby going to bed sometime between 9:00-midnight all together.  Some nights when things were very bad he would end up sleeping ON one of us because after 2+ hours of a fussy baby you just do whatever works to get him to sleep.  

We just accepted this as the way it was and tried to grin and bear it, hoping he would just grow out of it.

He WAS also at this point still giving me 3 hour stretches of sleep.   Only waking up briefly to nurse in the sidelying position and then back to sleep.

Then that changed and now he's on a EVERY 2 HOURS ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT nursing regime.  And the amazing sidelying position to nurse at night is no longer working as he ends up spitting up on me so that we both have to get up and get changed or he starts screaming half an hour after eating because he needs to burp.

And then shitty nights turned into shitty days as the only way I could get the baby to sleep and stay asleep was to sleep ON ME.  So not only was I getting no longer than 2 hour stretches of sleep at night but now all day long I had a baby chained to me and I felt like I couldn't get anything done.  I spent all day getting baby to sleep, trying to put baby down, baby wakes up screaming and repeat over and over again.  I WAS EXHAUSTED.

Something had to change.

After talking with my midwife about all of this we've decided on a few things.

The first thing we did is bedtime moved to 7pm.  No more waiting for him to wake up from his afternoon napping and then dealing with his meltdown for two hours.  If we can get him to bed BEFORE he melts down and becomes terror baby he sleeps through his witching hour.   If that means his afternoon nap immediately becomes bedtime, THAT'S GREAT.  Apparently Baby Jett was just overtired in the evening as this seems to work wonders with no more fussy baby in the evening.

We also are coming to the conclusion that Baby Jett may have a bit of reflux.  He cries when he burps or spits up like it hurts...and he spits up a lot.  And he despises being put down to sleep on his back.  So at the suggestion of my midwife I did something very taboo.


And it was like magic.


Do you know what this means?!  

This means I can do laundry.  This means I can cook dinner.  This means I can EAT.  This means I can take more than 2 seconds to get dressed in the morning.  IT MEANS I CAN BLOG AGAIN.

It's freedom.

After making this wonderful discovery yesterday I discovered something else too.

Basically ALL PARENTS END UP DOING THIS AT SOME POINT.  And no one talks about it because you're not "supposed to" do it.  

Well I'm here to tell you that ESPECIALLY if you have a reflux baby putting them to sleep on their belly works wonders and I wish someone would have let me in on this dirty little secret weeks ago!

As to the nighttime...we're still struggling...and no one has any brilliant suggestions for me that I haven't tried.  Some nights he'll give me 3 hour stretches, other nights, like last night, he'll give me one 2 hour stretch and then up every hour after that. 

Big sigh.

I can only hope that Baby Jett grows out of this soon because otherwise come 4 months or 14 pounds Baby Jett is going to end up in his nursery...and there might be lots of crying involved...both his and mine.  But I can't keep on like this.

Everyone cross your fingers that we start making some progress in the nighttime sleep department and that it improves just like the daytime sleeping.

Is there some other dirty little nighttime secret that no one is sharing with me because it's something else we're not "supposed to" do just like the belly sleeping?