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Anastasia's first year (2005)

Eating & Reflux (2006)

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March 2006


March 3, 2006

Anastasia's reflux does seem better now that her dose has been doubled. She's coughing and hacking and doing that reflux-swallow thing less often. And until yesterday, she was eating much better. Yesterday, though, all she wanted to do was sleep. She slept for 10 1/2 hours in the night, which put her way behind on her eating, and she never caught up.

I admit we've only tried solids once since she's been home. We had an "end of the paycheck refrigerator" with no veggies in it, so I finally sent my hubby out for some carrots. We put her in the high chair (which seemed absolutely enormous for her) and she looked at me like I was crazy when I offered her mashed carrots. Yesterday, she was so sleepy, I didn't try again.

We've been talking about how Anastasia is really starting to "wake up," personality wise. Her face reveals when she's happy to see you (she's all smiles and bright eyes), and her sense of humor keeps deepening. I've discovered she loves it when I put her in a cradle hold away from my body and then swing her rather hard from side to side and say "Wheeeee!." She laughs and smiles like crazy. She's also developing a taste for show tunes. I was listening to Spamalot the other day while cooking dinner. Anastasia was sitting in her bouncy seat, hanging out with me. I started doing a silly dance to one of the songs, and she laughed and laughed. Then I took her arms and helped her "conduct" the music. She thought that was pretty fun, too :)


March 8, 2006

On Monday, Anastasia had her second flu shot. She took it very well and hardly cried at all.

Anastasia's also taken to mimicking a few words. She's working hard on "hi," and has said it once or twice. "Mama" is another one she managed to get out once. But so far, she hasn't put them together :)

I've had a lot of emails from mommies with decided opinions about babies eating solids. Just so you know, Anastasia is not starting with rice cereal because it can cause constipation...and she tends toward that problem, anyway. So far, she's eaten carrots and sweet potato. She's getting pretty good with the carrots; she's actually eating and swallowing, and not just tasting little nibbles. The sweet potatoes, I discovered, need a little breast milk or formula added to them, or they are sticky as peanut butter and make her gag.

We've also finally graduated to bigger, 8 oz. bottles, and I'm gradually trying to get her beyond the 4 oz. per feeding mark.



March 13, 2006

This Sunday, my hubby mostly took care of Anastasia (as has become fairly typical; it gives me a little break). I went shopping, and when I came back, he had lots of funny tales to tell. I'll just repeat the "worst," which will probably embarrass Anastasia greatly once she's about 13.

While my husband was feeding Anastasia, she had a large wet burp. Hubby says she looked at the spit up formula, which had landed on her sleeve, licked it a few times, then sucked it right up...Nobody can say she's wasteful.

We're thankful Anastasia was in a good mood this weekend. She was not in good humor on Thursday and Friday. We called her Miss Jekyll & Hyde because one moment she'd be smiling and giggling, and the next she'd be screaming her head off and apparently throwing a temper tantrum. We were in shock, because it was so unlike Anastasia's normal behavior. We decided she was just over-tired, and encouraged her to sleep lots. It seems to have done the trick. Whew!

She does still have an evening "melt down," or, as my hubby calls it, a "system crash." Time to reboot! She gets pretty fussy around 6:30 pm or so, and there's little you can do but put her in the swing and encourage her to sleep. I'm sure a lot of parents know exactly what I'm talking about.

Most of the time, though, Anastasia is just about the sweetest, most laid back baby ever.


March 14, 2006

I know I'm sleep deprived when I leave off part of the posting I wrote...and I don't realize it until the next day!

I should have added that on the 12th, Anastasia turned seven months old, chronologically speaking. On the 23rd of this month, she'll be four months, corrected age. It's amazing to us that she's been in our lives so long; so much of 2005 is a blur. We sure are thankful for our little miracle!

I also should have posted that Anastasia is past the 13 lbs. mark...13 lbs. 3 oz., to be exact.


March 16, 2006

As you all know, Anastasia is just the cutest baby around :)  She's now at that stage where she doesn't know what to do with all her saliva, but instead of letting it dribble out of her mouth like most babies do, she's taken to allowing it to build up a bit; then she spits it out of her mouth. We joke that she needs a spittoon.

She's also quite fond of the two pairs of socks she owns that have rattles on the toes. They keep her occupied all day long.

Recently, she's taken to repeating "hi" over and over again. She likes it best when I say it back to her. Her eyes light up and I imagine her thinking, "I'm talking!"

Over the past week or so, Anastasia's eating has slackened off and she's been missing one daytime feeding so she can sleep. This means she's been waking twice at night to eat. She must be going through a growth spurt! I'm also sorry to say that when I try to breast feed her lately, she isn't the least bit interested. It makes me sad enough that I cried the other day. It's a selfish sort of sad, since Anastasia is getting most of the benefit of breast feeding (my milk). Still, it isn't what a mommy hopes for when she has a baby.


March 17, 2006

We just had a visit from a nurse who comes periodically to our home to check on Anastasia's progress. Primarily, she looks at developmental issues. She said Anastasia is ahead in verbal skills, but also wondered if there might be a problem in a physical area. One of the screening tests the nurse does consists of tilting the baby left or right in an upright ("standing") position. The baby is supposed to "correct" by tucking in her head and knees. Anastasia did this on one side, but not at all on the other side. The nurse felt it might be something to be concerned about, but said it doesn't seem to be cognitive, which means it ought to be a relatively "easy fix" with physical therapy. She's contacting a physical therapist, so we can get a more specialized perspective, and perhaps treatment.

I also talked to the nurse about Anastasia's monitor. She continues to have "slow heart rate" alarms, and I wondered if this was just due to being older (which makes the heart rate drop a bit), or if it was a sign of apnea. She said that it was definitely a sign of not breathing. When she's sleeping, Anastasia stops breathing, which in turn makes her heart drop. I should have asked whether this could happen with periodic breathing, which is common among infants, and isn't considered dangerous. ("Periodic breathing" is when a baby stops breathing, but it's for a short enough period that it's not harmful. "Apnea" is when the lack of breathing extends beyond this safe time frame.) Sigh. Someday Anastasia will be off her monitor...

In the meantime, I'm preparing to take Anastasia to the clinic this afternoon for her RSV shot. Poor baby.


March 18, 2006

Anastasia is big enough now that the nurse giving the RSV shot decided to give it in two doses - one shot per leg - so a big lump wouldn't appear on a single leg. Poor Anastasia. She cried tears, and then sobbed some more when I gave her some Tylenol afterward. But overall, she handled it a bit better, I think. I don't know why no one told me to give her Tylenol for mild pain and swelling before. I knew to do it with her inoculations, but I never thought to do it for her RSV shot until yesterday :(

Today, I gave Anastasia her second "big girl" bath. She's still in the infant bath, but she's outgrown the sling that held her well above the water. The first time I gave her a bath without the sling, her eyes got wide and she stretched her arms and legs like she felt she insecure. But then she really started to enjoy it and splash around. Pretty cute, if you ask me.


March 21, 2006

I'm a little behind in the news here, but on Sunday, we took Anastasia out for another walk...and this time, she kept her eyes open! Well, at least for a quarter of the walk. (That bumpy stroller just puts a baby to sleep, ya know?)


March 22, 2006

I try not too get too caught up in daily numbers, but yesterday, Anastasia only ate 16 1/2 oz. all day. (The goal is 26 oz. a day, which she rarely meets.) She just didn't seem the least bit hungry yesterday. It's extremely frustrating for everyone. I'm hoping that today she'll get back up to at least 20 oz., which is her typical low.


March 23, 2006

Anastasia ate a bit better yesterday (about 20 oz., plus some carrots...she does like those!), but so far this morning, she's eaten twice and vomited three times. I'm hoping this is a reflux problem, and not a sickness.


March 23 (part II)

Well, now she's eaten three times and vomited four. I checked her for a fever; she seems normal. She also doesn't have other signs of a cold or flu. So I called the feeding clinic and told them what was going on. They encouraged me to continue to look for signs of a cold, and to greatly water down her formula. Whether she has a virus or not, this should make it easier to digest, and will perhaps prevent her from vomiting so much. Since her feedings have been low and I'm concerned that she may need her reflux medication increased again, I also set up an appointment to go to the clinic in person next Tuesday.

On an entirely different subject, I got the latest report from the insurance company about what they've paid the hospital so far. It's official. Anastasia is now the "half a million dollar baby;" actually, so far the insurance company has paid out a bit more than a half a million. Thank you, Lord, for insurance!


March 24, 2006

After I watered down her formula, Anastasia did no more projectile vomiting, so I'm going to continue giving her the watered-down stuff through at least most of today. She still has no other signs of having a bug, thank goodness.


March 25 (part II)

Of course, right after I posted this morning, Anastasia vomited twice, right as I was giving the reflux medicine to her. This time, I could see it was almost certainly related to reflux. Each time, she gave that typical reflux cough, then suddenly projectile vomited. :(


March 27, 2006

No more vomiting, since my last post...Hurrah! I kept Anastasia on the watered down formula until yesterday, when I started mixing it according to the package directions again. I'll probably put her back on the "souped up" mixture (which uses a little more formula in the same amount of water, as recommended by the feeding clinic) today.

Anastasia is such a bright-eyed, happy girl most of the time. Her latest favorite thing to do is sit in the bouncy seat and have one of us take her by the wrists and help her sit upright. All we have to do is grab her wrists, and her jaw drops low and she's all big smiles. Too dang cute.

Oh, and we took a walk with her this weekend, and she actually kept her eyes open the entire time. In fact, she got a little miffed because she had to crane her neck to see the world outside her stroller.


March 28, 2006

Today, we went to the feeding clinic to discuss a variety of things. The staff there is still reasonably pleased with Anastasia's eating. They plot her growth by the month, and see that she continues to gain weight and grow in the 50% percentile for her corrected age. So, despite dips in weight, and days where feeding is a nightmare, Anastasia is doing fine.

The doctor didn't see a need to up Anastasia's reflux medication, either, and he didn't see anything too prominent with regard to her physical development - although, by that time, Anastasia was screaming from hunger and fatigue, so it may not have been the best exam. Still, we have an appointment to meet with their physical therapist in two weeks time, for a more thorough examination.

We also discussed Anastasia's apnea monitor. Over the past three nights, its "low heart rate" alarm has gone off frequently (at least every half hour), keeping us awake and making Anastasia sleeping less soundly. The doctor was surprised by this, and called the cardiologist we saw last month. He, too, seemed surprised, but they wondered if she was refluxing, and that was causing the alarm to sound. They suggested we lower the heart rate limit from 80 to 75 or 70, and see what happens. If she continues to get alarms, they may hook her up to a special monitor to see if they can discover any problems.


March 29, 2006

Well, we chickened out last night and didn't alter Anastasia's monitor settings. Even though the doctors okayed it, it's kinda scary to decrease the limits on her heart rate. Still, I plan to bravely do it this evening.

We are busy trying to keep my husband away from Anastasia, too. He's sick with a fever, and sleeping in the living room to keep away from Anastasia's crib and co-sleeper. Now if I can just keep myself from getting sick...

On a positive note, I'm always surprised how well Anastasia eats after we go to the feeding clinic...It's as if she understands bad things will happen if the docs find out she isn't eating well. Yesterday, she ate a total of 880 ccs (about 29 oz.), the most she's ever eaten in a day!


March 30, 2006

Well...I lowered Anastasia's heart alarm to 75 last night, and there wasn't a single beep from her monitor all night. But this afternoon, as she took a nap, suddenly was beeping all over the place.  Even though the doctor said it was okay to lower it to 70 (the rate for adults), I really hesitate to do that. I think I'll live with the beeps, instead.