Monday, September 26, 2011

What Would You Do?

I have so many things that I have wanted to post over the last couple of weeks, but if I even had five minutes to myself it seems like there have always been twenty other things more important to be done.

Two weeks ago Laila woke up. She went from sleepy peaceful newborn to gassy crying baby. This isn't the first time I've had this happen, so I knew right away that she probably had a hard time digesting milk protein. My other two girls were the exact same and both of them ended up on soy formula pretty quickly. I really want to keep nursing her though, which is surprising because I don't actually love nursing, so I've given up any food that contains milk, cheese, butter, or chocolate. As it turns out, that eliminates about 90% of what I eat every day. It has been pretty hard to adjust my apparently awful eating habits, but this new healthier diet has helped me to loose weight faster so that is one plus.

So the problem is, while cutting out dairy has certainly helped, it hasn't completely solved all the gas/crying/not sleeping. Laila is serious about eating and when she does eat she sucks hard and swallows a ton of air with it. I've tried nursing her in different positions, I only feed her on one side at a time, I burp her constantly, given her gas drops, and most recently tried Gripe Water. All of it combined helps a little, but she still has so much air in her stomach that I could burp her ten times and she would still wake up crying because there was one more bubble.

Are you sensing the real problem yet? She won't stay asleep! She lasts for all of 15 seconds after I lay her day, screams in her car seat and I've given up hope for the swing, which means that I spend all day nursing, then burping, then bouncing her in my arms while she tries to squirm herself awake.

If I had no other children and a cleaning lady, then maybe I could just sit and hold my baby all day long and not feel like life has been sucked out of me, but I have a three year old who still demands a huge portion of my attention each day and my house looks like the kids have taken over. I'm not only exhausted physically from lack of sleep, but mentally as well. And I've started to really cherish the moments when she is not in my arms instead of the other way around.

I'm sure you can guess from the picture what I ended up doing. In desperation I laid her on her stomach to sleep. She still squirms and grunts constantly, but she doesn't wake herself up anymore.

Then, I left the pediatritions office yesterday with a paper saying "Babies should ALWAYS sleep on their backs. Yes, we know they sleep better on their stomachs, but there is absolutely no exception."

I've been worrying all day and checking on her every five minutes to make sure she is still breathing, and the whole time one side of my head is saying "This is bad. Very bad!" And the other side is saying "This is the only way."

What would you do?


Ria said...

Oh it is tiring just reading your post. I feel for you. First of all remember that even though you feel like this is eternity, it won't last forever. My thought is wondering if there is another food culprit in your diet. Dairy is very common but any food that produces gas in a grown up may pass the problem on to the baby. (onions, broccoli, cabbage etc...) I had one friend whose daughter couldn't tolerate tomatoes, or citrus. You could try a food diary and see if there is a correlation between something you eat and her discomfort.

With Brooke we were supposed to have babies sleep on their stomachs and then by the time I had others the philosophy had changed. Any chance of propping her on her side. Or maybe swaddling her tightly in a blanket might help. My kids didn't like being on their backs either. Jordan slept most of the time in a swing. I gave up putting him in his crib because he always woke up but propped up in the swing he was happy.

Also it seems like your Mom had a problem with Tomas and had to hold him all the time. Ask her what she did.

And when your visiting teachers ask if there is something they can do for you, tell them they can vacuum the floor (which may mean they have to pick it up first).

The Michiganders said...

I'm a nurse so that probably shapes my opinion.

I would not put her on her tummy.

And I would buy soy formula.

But--she is your sweet baby girl and I truly believe in mother's intution. Folow the spirit about what you should do. I am soooo sorry. Zach didn't sleep through the night until he was four and I thought I would die.

but I didn't.

Natalie said...

As a mom with one baby, I don't have a lot of room to give advice. However, I remember feeling frustrated too with Ezra's lack of sleep.

He always seemed uncomfortable and would grunt, cough, and spit up. We started propping his bed up with books at one end so he was sleeping at a bit of an angle. He also had to be swaddled tightly with his hands down (and eventually a double swaddle--I know it sounds like a wrestling move).

I've also had friends that swear by these Nap Nanny things.

Jenn said...

I say do what works. People slept babies on their tummies for years and survived. I know they say it is a risk for SIDS but it's SIDS! SUDDEN death. There isn't an explanation for it so I don't think they can definitely say don't ever do it. I did it to both of my girls and they are fine AND our own mom is the one who started me on it. So I can tell you already mom will tell you it's okay to do it. Maybe just do it during the day and not at night. Whatever you are comfortable with. Just follow your instints.

Anna-Kare said...

I'm with the others.....every time I had a baby the advise on sleep positions had changed. I tried them all and finally just decided to do what the baby needed. Also, don't know if it would help but Amy had some problems early on and she had to sleep sitting up in a baby seat for several months until she could handle regular sleep positions. Could be worth a try. One last thing, I was really big on nursing my babies but Taylor couldn't nurse and I ended up putting him on formula. It was so traumatic at the time but we all lived through that adjustment and he thrived. That was the important part....he thrived. You have lots of experience with this sort of thing so I think you can just trust your instincts. I think your Mommy Radar will be sufficient! Good luck!

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