Thursday, March 20, 2008

4-month check-up, and more on breasfeeding

Romelie had her 4-month check-up yesterday. She did not like having her ears looked at – she refused to turn her head, so Dr. Mitchell had to pretty much force it to the side, causing her to scream and cry so loudly that nurses came it to see if we needed help! She chilled out a bit, even started smiling, and was rewarded with her 4-month immunizations. Needless to say, we had a cranky baby on our hands for the rest of the night. She has not slept well the last two nights, either, which means Chason and I haven’t slept well, either. We’ll see if she does better tonight.

The only news of concern is that she’s a bit underweight. Not underweight exactly – she’s still in the 75% for babies her age – but she’s in the 97% for length, and she was in the 90% for weight two months ago (by the way, she's 27" long, and 14 lbs 12 oz). So she’s not gaining weight as well as she should. Which means she’s not eating enough. Which I was afraid of. So now I feel a bit guilty that I’m starving my baby (yes, I know I’m being melodramatic, she’s not starving…but when she cries at the end of a feeding because she’s still hungry, I know that she is, genuinely, still hungry, so I feel even worse that I have nothing left to give her). The fenugreek supplement I was taking didn’t work, so now I’m taking Metoclopram which is usually prescribed for things like reflux and ulcers, but apparently sometimes boosts milk supply in breastfeeding mothers. I can’t tell if it’s doing anything yet, but I’ve only been on it for 2 days, so we’ll see. But if this doesn’t work, as Dr. Mitchell said, we haven’t come to the absolute bottom of our bag of tricks, but we’re getting pretty close.

I feel annoyed, though. Not at anyone in particular, just annoyed. Breastfeeding is supposed to be this amazing mind-body connection where the body makes milk, and then the baby eats it, so the breast tells the brain that it’s empty and the brain tells the breast to make more. And if it’s constantly making too much, it tells the brain to make less, and if it’s making too little, it tells the brain to make more. But for some reason, my brain to tell my body that it only needs to make 24 ounces of breastmilk a day. Period. And even through the baby crying and the mom stressing and the conscious mind telling the body that it needs to make more, the brain is simply not getting the message. Or maybe it is getting the message, but it’s not bothering to pass the message on to the body. Or maybe it’s the body that’s just ignoring the message. Or something else stupid. So cross your fingers or say a little prayer for me, because I would hate to go 4 months with breastfeeding and then have to start supplementing with formula this late in the game.

For fun, though, I finally have those pictures from her ProEx photo session. They’re pretty cute, though I’d probably go with a different photographer in the future (we didn’t get to set up any of these shots or have any say in them, so they’re super generic…but dang, she’s just so photogenic!).

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