"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, April 19, 2009

"... Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." Matthew 6:8

This Bible verse has come to mind many times over since having Caroline! It's amazing how God knows our needs before we ourselves do. Before having Caroline I worried about labor and delivery. When I was actually in labor I had the most wonderful labor and delivery nurse- Lauren. She was the person that I needed at that very moment. When I was delivering Caroline the Dr. that was responsible for our care was the very doctor that I needed that day! This same need happened again on last Friday. Some of you know that I've been worried about Caroline's eating habits. Soon after she'd eat she would spit what I think was everything she ate right back up. She did this even several hours after eating. She does not burp very well but after spitting up she would have horrendous hiccups for 30 or so minutes and then it would seem that she would gag or couldn't get whatever she needed to up. So our pediatrician suggested that we visit the lactation specialist thats with the practice so as to rule out a lactation problem or a digestion problem.

Friday was our consult with, Denise, a board certified lactation specialist. Our time with her was very lengthy but our minds were somewhat eased when we left. The first thing she did with Caroline was weight her- she weighed 9 pounds 5 ounces. Then I began to nurse Caroline and did all the things that I normally do with her during a feeding. As I began to nurse she immediately noticed that Caroline was such an aggressive nurser that she was getting to much air (the reason for all the gas she's having and for all the squirming and fidgeting she does after a feeding). She also saw Caroline do the coughing and gagging during the feeding and commented that it was not affecting her but only me (I do over react in most situations but no one likes to see their child in distress of any kind). After this she weighed Caroline again and she weighed 9 pounds and a little over 8 ounces (8 and 1/3 to be exact, so in five minutes Caroline consumed 3 and 1/3 ounces of milk- this would be the intake of a five month old. I was told in the hospital that I should try and nurse her for 10-20 minutes and my goal at home was ten. Denise, the lactation specialist said that Caroline should only be getting anywhere from 2.5-3 ounces at a feeding and suggested that I nurse for no more than 10 minutes. We stayed a long time after I nursed her so Denise could see her reactions to burping in different positions and how she handled herself when she spit up. Denise concluded the reason for why she was spitting up so much is because she was eating so much and she knew how to get rid of what she didn't need- this made perfect sense. Denise also told us that Caroline is very organized with her digestion due to being a 40 weeker! She said if mothers who wanted to be induced at 37 or 38 weeks knew what a 40 weeker digestive track was like then they would never want to be induced and that the babies she sees would be cut in half! She said that Caroline's digestive system is fully developed and that Caroline was extremely organized with her eating but was a little messy with the nursing- too much air and not knowing when she was full. I told her that even after 10 minutes of nursing, Caroline would still root- and she said that even babies that are full will still root just like they do when they are hungry and that it would be tricky to determine if she was still hungry or not. So she believes that Caroline's issues are mechanical issues- things I can do to help her control the amount of milk she's getting and not so much a digestive issue- like reflux like I first thought.

Denise also commented that we were already establishing good parenting skills and that Caroline was doing great in a new environment with different smells and voices because Caroline was very calm the entire time. She said that Caroline was even better than most 40 weekers she'd seen as far as controlling her environment- this made us smile!!

I also asked Denise when I could start pumping so that could Sam could feed her and enjoy this part of her. She said that Caroline would not have nipple confusion due to again being a 40 weeker and that anytime would be a great time to start. I'm still going to wait a while to pump just to be sure!

Here's Denise's advice for getting Caroline better with her eating:
1. Nurse no more than 10 minutes.
2. Burp her more often.
3. Do tummy time- this will help ease gas pains.
4. Use a paci- this helps reduce spitting up spells. (She's just now taking a paci! She likes the Nuk brand with the latex nipple instead of silicone- thanks Natasha- you gave us this type of paci!)
5. Hold her upright for a while after she's nursed. (I've been doing this but I was so worried about putting her back down after each night feeding thinking that she would choke and I wouldn't hear her because I'd be asleep and couldn't help her).

After a few weeks if these suggestions do not work then we'll need to see our pediatrician to rule out a digestion problem like reflux. So this weekend we have tried this new schedule. So far its working and I can determine for the most part if she's rooting due to being hungry or full. She's still quite the spitter upper but its not projectile vomiting anymore. I'm still sacred to lay her down in the night after each feeding but this I've been told is a legitimate worry and because I'm a new parent. I have felt better since our consult with Denise- she eased our minds and made me feel like I could do something to help Caroline. She was yet another person of need that the Lord crossed in our path!
Happy 3 Weeks Sweet Caroline!


Liz and Tony Mitchum said...

Oh Melissa - What a sweet baby girl. I think Caroline looks so much like you - but of course things change. She is precious!
I am glad things are going so well.
Enjoy your time with her, I really wanted to see you, Caroline, MK and Heather, however it was a busy weekend. I am sure I will make it up there and we can all - get together.
Love ya.

Devin said...

So precious! I saw your friend's blog. She is truly a miracle! Hope you have a great week. ~Kathy

Daniel and Carrie Moore said...

Hey! Thanks for your sweet comments on our blog. I totally enjoyed your last post. You are right... God gives us what we need when we need it. Reading about baby Caroline's spitting up issues gave me some insight into Alli's problems as well. She is an aggressive nurser as well and definitely gets too much air. She is a pretty good burper but has been spitting up a good bit here lately. I wonder sometimes when she is getting too much milk. I've been pumping and giving her bottles because it's easier for both of us and I know exactly what she is getting which gives me peace of mind. It'll be neat to see how our girls grow and to share stories with each other!