Parental Panic

So we had a bit of a scare last week.  I'll start with a little bit of back story.  When Penelope was in the NICU she would sometimes have trouble with clearing her spit up and the nurses would have to use the aspriator bulb to help her from choking.  The actually kept her a few extra days because of this.  When we took her home we were aware that this could happen, so we were prepared.  They told us she would arch her back and choke - so we knew what to look for...or so we thought.

Sean had told me that he had seen her do this a few times and he would pat her back and she would be fine.  Then 2 weeks ago I saw what we thought was her choking.  She would turn bright red, and she would go completely rigid - back arched, head turned to one side, arms and legs out straight.  When you pick her up she basically felt like a plastic doll - no flexability at all.  We just assumed that it was her choking but I was a little worried that it was something more.

Well, fast forward to this past Thursday morning.  Peanut was just waking up for the morning when she went stiff as a board and completely red.  Sean and I got her out of the bassinet and he patted her on the back and then we laid her down on the bed.  She was still very stiff and not very responsive.  That's when I was know what, this doesn't seem like choking.  I think she's having a seizure!

I called her pediatrician and told her what happened and she said we should immediately go to the emergency room.  So we went, they checked her out, took blood (and she cried and cried and it was so sad!).  Then the doctor came in...

He said that based on her symptoms he's pretty sure she has sandifer syndrome. It is basically her reaction to extreme acid reflux.  Thankfully it isn't a seizure and should not have any long term negative effect on her health.  But it IS scary as crap!  They decided to keep her for 24 hours to monitor her.  So we spent the night in the hospital.  She seemed fine over night (but she doesn't have these episodes very often so I was pretty confident that they wouldn't see anything while we were there).

didn't think we'd be seeing the inside of a hospital so soon

Now she's on heartburn medicine and we're going to see how that goes.  It doesn't always work and she may have more of these episodes but I feel a lot better knowing what it is (that it wasn't seizures). I feel horrible that my little girl has such bad indegestion but the hope is that she'll grow out of it.

My poor baby....

Spitting Image

I mean I know she's my kid and everything, but seriously....

tell me she doesn't look exactly like her dad when he was a kid!

Fresh Pics and Hard Decisions

I had to make a hard decision today.  My wonderful friend Biscuit planned my baby shower for me.  The original one was scheduled for February 20th, but that one was canceled as Peanut came early.  We rescheduled it for this Sunday, March 20th which is 2 days after her actual due date.  We figured it would be a fun "welcome to the world" shower.  We also decided to have it at my house since it would be easier to cart gifts if they were already at our house.  I guess I wasn't really thinking when we picked that date.  You see...we're not even supposed to leave the house with her until she's 2 months old because she's premie and the risk of her getting sick is high.

Fast forward to now, and a few people that were supposed to attend the shower either have the flu or have been exposed to it.  I had to do what's best for the little one and cancel the shower again.  I'm bummed but at the same time I am kind of relieved.  I have been stressing about having all of these people in the house around her.  She is so vulnerable right now - her little body is just now catching up with itself and she's considered "full term now."  I'd hate for her to get sick because someone came over who didn't even know they were sick accidentally passed something along.

So I had to make a decision that was hard.  I am guessing it's one of many many hard decisions that I will have to make as a parent.  As much as I wanted to see all of my friends and show off our little sweet Penelope, I had to do what's best for her.  So...everyone will just have to wait a bit longer to meet our little one.

In the meantime, I took some pictures of her today with my good camera and I think they came out pretty good.  Here are some of the best ones.

Bath time

Peanut is NOT a fan of bath time.  She screams and cries and is pretty pitiful.  Here are some pics of her first bath.

I don't know about this....

why are you doing this to me?
This just isn't right....
Yes...dry me off!!
So yeah...not a fan.  But she looks so cute when she's all clean.  Her hair sticks up every wicha-way like a little baby chicken.

In other news, I'm still struggling with breastfeeding.  I have had a lactation consultant come by twice so far.  When she's here, Peanut will latch on and do pretty well, but as soon as the LC leaves it's like I'm trying to torture her and she's having none of it.  I'm going to give it some time and try my best, but if it doesn't work out I'm prepared to exclusively breast pump.  That way she'll still get all the benefits of the breast milk without making both baby and mommy cry out of frustration.  But I'm not giving up yet...

And just's another pic of my cutie


 I have made the decision to breast feed.  This is something I had decided from the get go.  I knew it was going to be difficult, and that there would be some challenges - but I had no idea how frustrating it would be.

As those of you that have been following my blog know, Peanut was born 6 weeks early.  While in the NICU she was fed my breast milk via feeding tube.  I started pumping breast milk right from the start and it has been going really well.  It wasn't that bad when she was still in the hospital because I had 4 hours to spare (8 times a day for a half hour each session). Sure it was difficult to fit them in - but I did it.

Now that she's home I'm finding it very hard to keep up with the pumping and take care of her at the same time.  My doctor said I could breast feed her up to 4xs a day but she is not doing so well with it.  Sometimes she'll latch on and eat with no problems - but most times she'll latch on and then just hang out.  She won't suck, but basically just lays there with my breast in her mouth.  I've tried changing her diaper right before, undressing her to wake her up a bit, waiting until she's really hungry - but nothing seems to be working.  I'm frustrated.  I want to be able to breast feed her.  I don't want to pump, put it in a bottle, then feed her.  Let's cut out the middle man so to say!

Last night is a prime example.  P woke up at 4:30am to be fed.  I went downstairs, prepared a bottle of breast milk that I pumped earlier in the day and fed her.  If I was just breast feeding, that would have been it.  But nope, I had to then put her down, go get all my pumping supplies ready, and start the 30 minute process of pumping. Right as I started, she started I had to figure out a way to hold her on a pillow on my lap so I could rock her while I was pumping.  Since I have the pump attached to me I have to keep her at arms length.  So I finally got her settled and then I had to just sit there until it was done.  Then I had to put her down, label the bottles with the date/time, record it in my book, and clean the supplies for next time, and bring the bottles downstairs to put in the fridge (actually Sean did that for me).  It's quite a process.  I was actually on the verge of tears last night because I was just so frustrated by the whole process. If I could breastfeed, I could just feed her, rock her for a bit, and put her back down. Grr.

I've called 4 lactation consultants so far.  The first one said she'd stop by on Saturday for her feeding between 5-6pm.  Finally at 6pm with her not showing up or answering her phone I fed her myself.  At 6:30pm she called and asked if she was "too late" because her last appointment went too long.  Um, yeah lady...I had to feed my baby who was starving by that point!  The other 3 that I've called haven't even called me back!

I don't know what to do.  I'll try to call the other 3 again tomorrow and hope that one of them calls me back.  I want to be successful with breast feeding.  Especially since Peanut is premature, I want to give her any additional health benefits that I can...but I don't know if I can keep up the whole pumping and feeding her forever.  Most days I can only get 7 pumps in and I'm afraid that I won't be able to keep up with her needs.  So far it isn't a problem but as she grows she's going to want more to eat.

If anyone has suggestions, I'd greatly appreciate it.  In the meantime I'll just keep trying to get a lactation consultant to return my call and help me down this difficult road.

*update - since I wrote this, I spoke with one of the LC's.  She is going to call me back within a 1/2 hour to schedule a visit either today or tomorrow.  Hopefully she'll start me on the road to successful breastfeeding!

Learning the Ropes

So today is my first day alone with Peanut.  Sean went back to work today and I've spent the day hanging with the little one.  I'll admit it - it's weird.  It was hard last night getting little sleep and then not having Sean here in the morning to switch off watching her so I could take a nap.  It's going good though.  I love hanging with this tiny little girl.  She is so adorable.

I have some pictures of her first bath to post tomorrow - but for today, here are a few to tide you over.

blowing kisses
morning snuggles

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