Postpartum Diaries: 5 Weeks

If you were joining me in hoping for a miracle to occur this past week, you’ll be sadly disappointed. Little Mav is as angry as ever.  I cried unhappy tears this week for the first time since he was born.  After a rough day with Lily and over an hour of Maverick screaming uncontrollably AGAIN, I just couldn’t handle it anymore.  I was panicking.  In those moments it feels like I’ll never get a moment of time to myself again.  It’s an exaggerated feeling, of course, but anyone who has children knows that when a baby is crying it can suck the life out of you. But, there’s good news. I had an epiphany this week. When Lily was like this, we would spend days trying to figure out how to comfort her but never found the root cause. After starting to feel myself spiraling a few days ago, I decided that I would make it my mission to figure out WHY he is so upset.  It might be a wild goose chase… but what if it’s not?  What if we figure it out?  What if this doesn’t have to go on for 5, 6, 7 months like it did with Lily?

image by Lily Sophia Photography

We took Mav to the pediatrician’s office this week to see if she could figure out what was going on. As expected, overall he looks great.  He’s gained 2 ½ pounds in one month (WOW), has a nicely shaped head and all his vitals look perfect.  We suspected he may have thrush but after examining him the pedi said the white we see in his mouth looks more like normal Epstein Pearls.  I’m happy it wasn’t thrush but a part of me was hoping we would finally have something we could fix to make him feel better.  She was out of ideas and sent us on our way.  My night nurse is also a pediatrician but she does research instead of practicing.  She and I always spend some time chatting before I head up to bed.  We discussed reflux but even though he is fussy and likes to sleep upright, he doesn’t have a lot of the other symptoms.   Then we talked about my oversupply.  I have no doubt it’s a part of the problem but even when I have almost emptied my breasts, lay flat on my back and take him off during my let down he STILL fusses. Then we talked about food sensitivities. My IBCLC has always assured me that nursing moms can eat whatever they want.  It is VERY rare to have a child with an allergy severe enough for them to be affected by what mom eats.  I never bothered with food elimination with Lily because I didn’t believe it would matter. My night nurse was telling me that one of her daughters had similar issues to Maverick.  She took her to the gastroenterologist and after doing a strict elimination diet they were able to narrow down a milk-protein intolerance.  Once she eliminated all dairy products from her diet, her daughter got better!  Will it work for Mav? The odds are against us but it can’t hurt to try.  I’m going to eliminate all dairy for 3 weeks (that’s how long it takes it to get it out of your system) and see if we notice a difference. I’ll keep you updated!  If that doesn’t work, I’ll be taking a tincture to lower my supply & if that STILL doesn’t work, I’ll be scheduling with a pediatric gastroenterologist.  I understand it sounds like a lot of effort but I would rather spend all this time trying to fix it than all of my time trying to get him to stop crying.

Our nanny situation, unfortunately, isn’t working out.  We’ve been doing a 2-week trial with the new lady and she just isn’t a fit for us. She has made a lot of unsolicited opinions about why she thinks Maverick is fussy.  She suggested that I put rice or oatmeal in his bottle.  Yes, you heard that right, put rice in a 5 WEEK OLD’s bottle. So dangerous.  Oh, then I was told that he may be crying because I’m “spoiling him by picking him up and feeding him so much.” Then she asked me if I can go to the pediatrician to check my breastmilk because “it probably doesn’t have enough nutrients. Maybe you should supplement with cows milk.”  It honestly makes me uneasy just repeating it.  She wouldn’t be responsible for caring for Mav, so the comments aren’t overly worrisome but she just isn’t meshing with Lily.  I feel like I have to babysit both of them because Lily is having trouble feeling comfortable with her.  It’s more work than it was when we didn’t have help!  My new plan is to try Care.com and see what we can find.  The agencies around here charge SO much money and we will only be living here for another 5 months or less.  Andy won’t be playing for the Falcons next year so we’ll either be moving to a new city for a new team or heading back to our home in California.  Which opens up a wholeeee other can of worms but I’m trying not to think about that for now.  One day at a time.

I got in a few walks and two workouts this week.  It feels nice to get some exercise in.  It isn’t “me time” since he’s with me for all of it and I’m working around his schedule but at least the endorphins give me a little boost!  It was 76 here in Atlanta the other day and I got to take a nice 45-minute walk in the sun with him.  I felt recharged the rest of the day!  He’s still sleeping in 4-5 hour stretches at night, unfortunately he hasn’t been doing those 6-7 hour stretches like he was.  Next week we’ll get him into a more regular routine and try to establish some sleeping habits. He already has somewhat of a routine: Eat at 7, scream his brains out for a while, fall asleep, eat again around 8, fall asleep on one of us for 2 hours, eat at 10, sleep in his Rock N Play until about 3 or 4, eat, sleep in the rock n play until about 6, eat again and then sleep on me until 8 or 9.  My hope is that we can start putting him down to sleep (instead of sleeping on us) at around 8 each night and start doing a “dream feed” at 10.  It’s normal for him to wake up in the middle of the night so that’s alright with me for the next few months!  Eventually I’d love to get him sleeping 7-7 like his sister but that will take some time!

Looking forward to getting him to 6 weeks and checking in with my OBGYN & pelvic floor PT! Hopefully I’ll get the “ok” to be more active.  Can’t WAIT to get on my spin bike.  Although, I’d be lucky if I could get 20 minutes to do it!

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