Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Don't "Hiatus"

Get it...my little play on words?? Oh, I crack myself up! See...I don't want you to "hate us" for going on a brief "hiatus".


I am reopening the blog due to high "demand", but I will not be doing a lot of writing for just a bit. I was just diagnosed with mild post partum depression and am working on getting "well" prior to tending to "the little things" like my blog. I want to make sure that I can share with you all the joy that Finnley has brought to our lives, too. I don't want you all to have to only read about bad days and bad moods all the time. That isn't fair to Finnley, because she really is a sweet little peanut.

I just wanted to be honest about my current situation, although I know that having read some of my previous posts, many of you might not be surprised at my diagnosis. I was never ashamed of sharing our struggles with infertility, and I suppose I shouldn't be ashamed of sharing the fact that I was not oblivious to PPD, either. It affects many women, and I don't want to take away from their experiences by hiding mine from you all. I have been put on a low dose of an antidepressant (Zoloft) for the next six months, and I plan to attend a PPD support group at the local hospital where I delivered. It is a weird feeling to not really be in control of what you are experiencing / feeling on a day to day basis, but hopefully all of that changes in the coming weeks. I know I am making every effort to change my perspective, and with the help of the medication and by reaching out to other moms...I know that that change will come in due time.

I will be adding pics from time to time so you can see how our beautiful babe grows. Thanks for all of the support from those of you who have reached out to me and Matt. We appreciate it, as always.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

See That???

Right there.
That thing on my husband's knee.
That thing that looks like a towel?

Well, that ain't no towel!

In our house, with a reflux baby...that is what we call a

Or vomit catcher.

Or spew rag.

Or whatever of the like.

All the same here, folks!
And, it certainly got a workout last night!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

First Night without our Peanut

This is the hubby writing a post for once. Last night was our first night out on the town without our little Finnley. We knew, leaving her for the first time would be hard, but she was in good hands with our niece Maggie, who is a sophomore at Villanova. Finnley seemed to enjoy the night with her cousin because the entire night was without incident....thank goodness. She kept her meals down and was a good little girl for Maggie. As a parent, the most comforting thing was texting my niece to tell her we would be home after the encore and her texting back to say "take your time, everything is fine." As every day passes, we are one day closer to the reflux diminishing and Finnley being happy and healthy. We can't wait for that day!

On a side note, it had been since early July when my wife and I last had a date. Last night was a welcome reprieve that involved the Dave Matthews Band concert with great friends of ours, Jen & Troy. We loved our date night at the concert as it helped us realize that we can and will continue to enjoy all life has to offer us as a couple, sometimes with Finnley and sometimes without her.

Thank you Maggie for being a great cousin/niece and babysitter!

Friday, September 18, 2009

How Goes It...

Well, it goes. We can't ask for much more than that.

Finn has had some rough days. The reflux took a turn for the worse this past week. We had changed her over to a hypoallergenic formula, just to see if she had milk protein sensitivities and...all HELL broke loose. We can't be certain that it was the formula. It could be a coincidence. But...she started spitting up a ton. Like, almost 1/2 to 3/4 of her meals. Poor girl. That cannot be fun for her. And, I guarantee it was not fun for mommy.

We switched her back to her Nestle Good Start Gentle Plus formula, and we have started to give her "thickened feeds". We add a tablespoon or more of rice cereal to her bottle to make whatever hits her tummy more likely to stay put. We also have to add her meds to her formula, because her meds are too thin and cause her to throw them straight back up a lot of the time, too.

Initially the thickened feeds weren't great. She was refusing to eat a lot. And, she was still "spitting". And, she was choking a lot...which she always does, though. So, the pediatrician ordered an Upper GI study to be done on her to rule out anatomical abnormalities. That took place yesterday at CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia). All turned out ok! I was about in tears seeing her solely in her diaper and socks laying on the x-ray table...being fed a bottle of barium liquid. Uggh! Poor peanut! But, she took it all like a champ. She is going to be a fighter / trouper. That much I know.

So, we are just continuing on with our regimen for now. She has gained weight, which is great. Not a ton. Not as much as most "normal" babies would have. But, she is up to 8lbs. 6oz. Not what I would like, but she is at least the size of a newborn now. Hopefully the heavier formula mixture will allow her to add on more weight more quickly by getting extra calories and by keeping more down. A mommy can dare to dream!

In the past 36 hours she has only had one "episode" and that came after she gagged herself on her pacifier. She goes "nutty" trying to "root". And, she forces the paci deep into her mouth. And, sometimes she chokes. Guess she has a severe gag reflex like her daddy. Just another thing to be careful of with her.

She is sleeping "better" at night and having more alert time during the day where she isn't crying. I cherish those improvements. She still has a "witching hour" / colicky time EVERY night starting anytime around 6pm and up until she goes to bed. Not fun, but it will eventually get better, too....RIGHT????

On another note, tomorrow night Matt and I will be attending the Dave Matthews Band concert. Without. The. Baby. SIGGGGGHHHH! As much as I look forward to it, I also dread leaving her. She isn't a "normal happy baby". She requires special treatment and precautions. Infant reflux is much better when "rules" are followed. So, all I can do is offer up the "rules and precautions" and hope for the best! I know she will be fine, but it is a mother's right to worry. Especially the mother of a medically high maintenance baby. Thankyouverymuch.

Lastly, the pics this week are classic Finnley. She LOVES her hands. They are her absolute favorite thing in the world. She uses them to claw her face, to grab her pacifier, to hang onto the burp cloth after being burped, to push her bottle away A LOT...they are AMAZING! The other love of her life is in the pic, too...the pacifier. Oh how she adores it! If only it would stay in her mouth. She has started to jam her thumb or fist into her mouth and try to suck on those, too...the whole operation still needs some work, but she is getting there. I think there is no doubt that she will be right handed AND she will suck her thumb.

Hey, whatever makes her happy!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Look at Me!

Mommy and daddy almost had a total breakdown on Saturday night due to my refluxy and colicky behavior. Apparently they don't like it when I am in pain, am miserable, am screaming and hollering and crying and carrying on. Apparently. Because daddy sent mommy out to CVS at 8:30pm on their anniversary to buy the hypoallergenic formula to try. Happy Anniversary mommy!

My new formula smells bad. I don't really care, though. It makes me poop better. I don't cry when I poop now. Not really, anyway. Not like I did before where I would scream all day leading up to that fine moment...and then get beet red in the face while I strained to get it all out.

And, I don't scream as much during or after feedings. I don't arch as much. I guess maybe I don't hurt so bad? I don't know. Mommy thinks maybe that is it.

I still spit up. I still have bad moments. I still get refluxy and colicky. A lot.

BUT...LOOK AT ME...I actually have some moments where I am awake and not screaming...even when the pacifier isn't being held in my sweet little mouth. Can you believe it? LOOK AT ME!

Mommy says that she hopes that we get to have more moments like these and less of the moments where I am unhappy pretty much non-stop. Mommy is kind of nice like that.

One day, mommy...one day.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary...and, they don't get to be "crazy"

So, Happy 6 year anniversary to my lovely. I love you with all of my heart, and I can't imagine life without you.

We were supposed to be "celebrating" our anniversary at a work reward trip in Ocean City, MD. What stopped us from doing so? Reflux. Stinkin' effin' reflux. It makes life miserable for all involved. I hate reflux!!!

Finnley is just too cranky / miserable/ uncomfortable to take on a trip. Even a "short trip" that isn't too far away. I / we went back and forth a million times on what was the right thing to do, and in the end...we are staying home. It sucks because Matt should be down in MD with his team tonight, but instead he is going down tomorrow just for an overnight. Reflux affects the whole family, and we ALL suffer in many different ways.

I cannot wait to get to that elusive place of "it will get better". If we don't get there in the next couple of months, you might find me living in the nuthouse. Or, we might all be in the nuthouse. Or at least you might find us packing our bags for that sure to come trip.

In the interim, Finnley has started on yet another different medication. The Zantac made her throw up. The Axid just doesn't seem to be helping, although she doesn't mind taking it at all. So, now on to Prevacid. The Prevacid is hard to administer to an infant because it has to "dissolve in the mouth" and cannot be crushed. So, we have to dissolve the half tablet in water or formula...in a huge syringe...and try to get all the granules to go into her mouth instead of just sticking to the inside of the syring. Not an easy feat, but we will do what we have to do. Let's hope it offers some relief in the coming week. If not? Not sure. Maybe a hypoallergenic formula? Maybe...oh...who freakin' knows.


Friday, September 11, 2009


And, by "they" I mean "we".
And, by "crazy" I mean "certifiable".

And the answer?

The answer is YES!!!

Why, you ask?

Because this weekend we will be loading up our six week old refluxy baby and driving to Ocean City, MD. And we will be spending the whole weekend there. With our refluxy baby. For a work related reward trip for Matt's employees / dealers. The whole freakin' weekend. Did I mention the part about the refluxy baby? And her being six weeks old?

Oh, ok. Guess I did.

Check back sometime next week to see if we all survived.

And...HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, HONEY!!! Six years down and probably a couple more for us in store! If we can survive our refluxy baby, that is!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

5 Week Well - Child - Visit

Today was Finnley's second official "well-child-visit" at the ped's office. Now, due to the reflux we have seen the docs more often, but these are the "important visits".

Finnley weighed in at 7 lbs. 11 oz. That is up from her birth weight of 6 lbs 1 oz...and her lowest weight of 5 lbs 8 oz. Last time she was in she was at 6 lbs 6 oz...a great improvement overall. She is now also 20 1/2 inches long. She finally made it on the charts for a full term babe for weight, albeit only the 10th percentile. And, she is still measuring at the 25th percentile for length. Long skinny girl!

Let's see, what else (she types, losing her train of thought because Finnley is crying off and on continuously and needs to have the HOLE PLUGGED!):The doc said that the colicky behavior could start improving in the next several weeks. Not sure I buy that, but whatever. It is good to have hope! She (at that point) should also start "cooing" and making other noises that happier babies make. We will see about that, too!

The doc does not think that Finnley will have any developmental delays, and she thinks that Finn looks and seems great, outside of the reflux. She is ok with the formula change I made (going against their recommendation of Soy), and she is ok that we are keeping her off the meds. If she loses weight or if she doesn't gain it well, then we will need to put her back on meds. Ok.

She also said that Finnley is responding to noise well, following light well, and looks at things / focuses well. All good news.

Cradle cap? Just put some baby oil on it, brush the flakes off, and shampoo her a few times a week. It will get better.

Jaundice? Nearly gone. Eyes are clear. Just a touch remains on her forehead, but this is "normal". It will get better, as well.

Spotting a trend? Apparently everything "will get better" as time goes on. One can only hope!

I told her (sheepishly) that Matt and I had started having Finnley sleep in her carseat.

I am a fast typer, and I seriously can't hardly type one sentence before she has spit out the pacifier and starts whaling again.

Where was I?

Carseat. Ok.

So, the doc is actually on board with us using the carseat! She said that her son had reflux, too, and that they used the carseat for bedtime because it made his reflux "feel better" and helped him sleep longer. Well, hallelujah to that! Finnley went from not being in the carseat (insert more crying here...oh, and here...diaper change...now let's see...) and letting me get only 3.5 hours of broken sleep one night, including a three hour awake session in the middle of the night TO letting me get two bouts of 3 hours of sleep last night. I will take that.

Oh, the screaming continues....AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Seriously, where is the duct tape?

Anything else? Oh, I don't know. How can anyone think or type with screaming in the background? Guess I will save any other updates from this visit for another day. Like, when Finnley turns 18 and stops crying for two seconds. yeah. Something like that.

OK...wow...she must have been reading this or my thoughts...she stopped crying for a minute!

So, the doctor told me candidly today that she was miserable with her son who had reflux. She said that she and her husband (especially her husband) questioned why they ever wanted to have kids in the first place...that is how bad it was. Well, I know the feeling. But? She says...IT WILL GET BETTER!

Crying resumes. Must go...damn, she is lucky she is so cute...

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Poop Scoop

A few months ago if you asked me if I thought that I would be talking all about poop just a wee bit down the road...I would have thought "no". But, here I am in a new corner of reality, and I find myself talking about poop. A lot. When people ask me how my daughter is doing...I manage to turn the conversation into something about reflux, poop, constipation, gas, or some other ridiculous thing. Not: "she is amazing and wonderful and already reciting the alphabet while crawling around the living room in search of some intellectual knowledge". Nope. I talk about poop.

See, breastmilk caused her discomfort...made the reflux worse. So, she was irritable and colicky. But her poops were frequent. Yellow and seedy. Just as they were supposed to be. Then we tried formula for reflux babies. It did help with some of the reflux issues. But, the pooping stopped. It only occured every other day. And? It meant that while trying to poop there were lots of moments of discomfort, red in the face straining, and sheer unhappiness. For the baby, of course. And the poop? It was thicker and much more abundant at one time. The irritability was pretty bad, so we changed formula. We went with a more "gentle" formula that is supposed to be broken down further and hence is more easily digestible. The result? Thus far...poops more often, poops with less straining, and poops more like "breastmilk poops". Isn't this all just fascinating?

To me it is, because the more my baby poops, and the less she strains, the happier she is. Yesterday she actually was awake for almost four hours at one stretch, and she didn't cry non-stop for the whole four hours. She cried some, sure...but there were glimpses of a calm and content baby in there that I hadn't seen for quite some time. Leading up to this day and this blissful four hour stretch of some sort of contentedness...I had threatened to duct tape the pacifier to Finnley's face to keep it in her mouth. The pacifier "plugs the hole", as I call it...and keeps her quiet and relatively calm. She spits it out ALL THE TIME, though...so, it is not "reliable" in its mission. I was just trying to make it more reliable. That is all.

Is that wrong?

Well, maybe.

Let's hope the new formula keeps helping. For all of our sakes!