7 months update

Filed under: baby's progress,photos — by Lauren on May 20th, 2007 @ 11:21 pm

Anya turned 7 months old yesterday. This past month was certainly a hectic one, what with all of the tummy issues, but our girl has also had a lot of positive moments as well.

7months bear picture

At last, Anya is sleeping through the night (well, from 8:30 to 6 or so) most of the time. I think the thing that made a big difference was her learning to roll over onto her stomach; most nights she sleeps on her stomach or side. She wakes up a couple of times a night, but can put herself back to sleep after a little bit of fussing. That’s not to say every night is perfect. Usually she goes to sleep with less than five minutes of crying, but every now and then she takes a while (30 minutes+) to settle down. Some nights she wakes up in the middle of the night and can’t calm herself back to sleep. We’ll go into her room to try to help her, but occasionally we have to bring her back into our bed. Sometimes we need to do that in the morning as well if she gets up too early and won’t go back to sleep. Overall, we’re pretty happy with how much better her sleep habits are, if you compare them to a month and a half ago.

Anya’s ability to express herself has grown in the past month. Aside from her beginning to use sign language – very exciting – she’s also clapping her hands! She’ll clap when she’s happy or excited and also when we’re happy and excited for her. She’ll even clap if I just say to her “Clap your hands, clap, clap, clap!” (Except when we were video chatting with her grandparents in Tucson, of course). We’re probably going to have a very talkative child on our hands, because Anya babbles plenty. She stopped saying “mamama” though – now, much to Lex’s delight, we hear “dadada” all day long. She also throws in r’s, w’s, and an occasional t or g. She’s still a super giggler and smiler, but now when she’s mad or frustrated she purses her lips, puffs up her cheeks, and makes little fists. It’s kind of sad, but very funny, too.

We have teeth (or tooth, rather)! Anya’s first tooth came in this past Thursday after about a week of pushing up on her gums. She didn’t seem to have been bothered by it while it was cutting through; now, though, she chews on her fingers a lot more and there’s been an increase in drooling. I don’t know whether this is a coincidence or not, but right around the same time we finally got Anya to eat something other than breastmilk/formula (the new formula works for Anya, BTW). Despite what seemed like a promising beginning, Anya has not been a fan of solid foods. We tried rice cereal, oatmeal, bananas, peas, and sweet potatoes, both in baby food and finger food forms, but Anya was not interested and at times was adamantly opposed. The only thing we could get her to eat with any level of success was organic puffed rice cereal, but I think that could have been because she couldn’t figure out how to spit it out and it eventually dissolved in her mouth. We’d been playing with a number of different factors, including what we fed her, who fed her, at what time of day, where she sat, etc. It turns out she’s willing (and eager!) to eat applesauce, but only if she’s sitting in her Bumbo on the kitchen table in the afternoon or evening right before a bottle or nursing but not too close to the time she’s due to eat or she’s too cranky. I tried getting her to eat rice cereal or oatmeal in the Bumbo; she wasn’t into it. I tried getting her to eat applesauce in her high chair; not interested. I’m very encouraged by the fact that she’ll eat the applesauce, though. It’s better than nothing, and I know I can use it to teach her to eat other things in other locations. Anya will eat the puffed rice cereal in her high chair. She likes to try to pick it up and feed herself, and can sort of use a pincer grasp to get it off the tray, but has a tough time getting it to her mouth.

Still no crawling, which is probably a good thing, since we haven’t yet started baby-proofing. We really should get moving on that, since Anya rolls all over the carpet in our family room. She pushes up really well on her arms and can scoot backwards and in a circle to her right. I don’t think she’s completely aware of her ability to control these movements though, so she’s not using them to get into too much trouble yet. She can transition from sitting to her tummy when she’s on our bed, but she’s still a little tentative when she’s on the floor – she did do it a few times today in Lex’s office. I know it’s inevitable, but I’m not ready for her to be mobile!

Though we’ve been to the pediatrician more than our fair share of times this month, there’s no weight or height to report since Anya’s next well check-up won’t be until she’s 8 months old. Because of all of the diarrhea and throwing up, she actually lost a little weight, but that’s okay, she had plenty to spare. Now that she’s eating some solids, she’ll be packing the pounds back on in no time. Let’s hope this month is just as eventful, but only in good ways!

One step forward, two steps back

Filed under: baby's progress,doctor,tmi — by Lauren on May 15th, 2007 @ 10:23 pm

The tummy saga continues.

I started nursing Anya again on Sunday. I had not taken the Canasa since Friday night – good news for Anya, not for me. Everything poop-related was exactly as it should be on Monday, at least for Anya, again, not for me. I was all ready to write a post entitled “Poop Watch 2007, the Conclusion” but that is not what fate had in store for us. I called my doctor Monday morning and requested to switch to Rowasa, which is the same medication that’s in the Canasa, but in a different form. He also put me on Prednisone (grrr) but agreed to let me try the 6-day dose pack instead of jumping right into a daily dose.

I nursed Anya Monday night, and before bed I took the Rowasa. I hoped with every ounce of my being that she would be fine the next day, but the diarrhea came back. Now we know conclusively that the medication was the cause, so Lex and I agreed to put nursing on hold until I am off the medication (I think I may need to get a new pump; mine is starting to wheeze at the stress of overuse). We put her back on the soy formula; she took about 4 oz. before we went to our Baby Rock and Roll class and everything seemed fine. She had been coughing a little that morning but stopped, and her nose was no longer running. Well, we get to class and are sitting in the circle when Anya starts coughing a little, so I gave her a pat on the back and suddenly the mat was covered in the soy formula again. Everyone was very nice in helping me get her cleaned up. I must have looked extremely worried because they kept trying to reassure me that she was okay. Once I mentioned that we had put her on the formula that morning they tried to convince me to stay – “Of course that was the cause.” One mom whose baby is on formula exclusively said her daughter has done that a couple of times due to an air bubble. I still wanted to take Anya home just in case, especially after she started to retch again (I managed to hold her over the trash can; it was mostly mucus and a little more formula).

As we were driving home, I heard her gagging again, so I pulled over to check on her, and it looked as though she had just spit up, so I wiped her off and hurried home. On Saturday when she had thrown up, she got it all out and that was it, but today she just kept gagging and bringing more stuff up. Eventually she was vomiting what looked like thick yellow Gatorade, and she was turning bright red each time she tried to get it out. We called the doctor after the 5th time, and were told not to worry about the yellow vomit (apparently that’s not a big deal), go back on the Pedialyte, and bring her in again. She was also getting a little lethargic, but she was overdue for a nap and had put in a lot of energy vomiting. Her color was good and her mouth and skin were moist, so dehydration wasn’t likely yet.

At the office, they weighed Anya – she lost 2 oz. since her 6 months appointment, which is definitely a cause for concern, although since she’s still such a chub no one was worried about her being malnourished. Otherwise she looked healthy, aside from a little fluid in her right ear. Dr. Patel agreed that we needed to hold off on nursing until I’m off the medication, and he wanted us to switch to a new formula from Nestle. The plan was to keep her on Pedialyte for most of the afternoon and then give her 2 oz. of the formula every hour until bedtime.

Today went well, though by 5 pm I think she was pretty hungry and tired of the Pedialyte. She kept trying to nurse on any exposed area of my skin, and signed milk repeatedly during the last bottle of Pedialyte. She had diarrhea a couple of times before we started the formula, but that is likely residual effect of the evil breast milk I gave her this morning combined with today’s liquid only diet. This formula has to be the answer; I can’t bear to see her suffering like this (but at least she’s oblivious to it, for the most part).

I called the company that manufactures Canasa to report Anya’s reaction; I’ll try to get in touch with the makers of Rowasa and the FDA tomorrow. I couldn’t say that it would have been worth it, but I’ll be glad if this whole debacle helps some other mom and her baby in the future.

Let’s hope my next post really is the conclusion of Poop Watch 2007.

Anya is signing!

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lauren on May 14th, 2007 @ 9:42 am

Anya is signing!  I think she’s actually been doing it for a week or possibly more, but we weren’t sure until a day or two ago.  She signs “milk” and waves bye-bye.  When she signs milk, she often uses 2 hands – it’s like she doesn’t just want milk, she WANTS it :)  She’s not signing it 100% consistently yet and sometimes she’ll sign it just to indicate she wants something, not necessarily milk, but she’s definitely doing it.  This morning when she woke up and I began changing her diaper, she immediately started signing it to me.  I’m hoping to catch her on video this week.

I think she also started playing her own version of peek-a-boo with me.  She sits on my lap and buries her face in my chest, and I say “Where’s Anya?” and then she pops up with a big smile and giggle.  She’ll do it over and over again.  I’m not sure if it’s intentional or not, but Grandma Esther thinks it is.  Either way, it’s a lot of fun.

A little more tummy drama

Filed under: doctor,symptoms — by Lauren on @ 8:21 am

I started nursing Anya again on Friday.  It seemed to be going well, although at night we had a questionable diaper.  She also started coughing, but we weren’t too concerned.  Saturday morning I nursed her, and she proceeded to throw up all over my chest and the bed.  Not spit up, THROW UP.  We joked about her growling making her look possessed, but this was a total scene out of The Exorcist.  It seemed like whatever she had eaten had quadrupled before coming back up.  After cleaning the both of us up, we gave her a break and then I finished nursing her.  Not too soon after we were done, she did it again, and when I yelled to Lex to come in she did it some more.  Lex said he was afraid she was going to drown in the ever deepening puddle that was building around us.

As I changed into my third pair of pajamas of the morning, Lex called the doctor.  He said to get her some Pedialyte (by the way, there’s no need to buy the flavored kind; Anya had no problem with plain stuff) and bring her in later that day.  Aside from the coughing and vomiting, Anya was fine – she had no fever and was laughing and giggling.  The doctor said keep her on Pedialyte for a few hours, and if she kept it down we could try the soy formula again (in case it was the meds or the lactose).  We gave her a little that afternoon, no problems, and she took about 5 oz. before bedtime.  After she had been asleep for an hour, she woke up crying.  She coughed, and when I checked the monitor it became obvious that she had vomited again.  We ran up to check on her and just could not believe how much she had thrown up.  She was covered from her head to her stomach.  I scooped her up and consoled her, then got her into a bath while Lex cleaned up the crib and phoned the doctor on call.  She said start with the Pedialyte again in about an hour, but if she threw up again we should take her to the ER.  While on the phone with Lex’s parents, Anya started retching again, and though not too much came out, since her stomach was already pretty empty, we chose to play it safe and take her to the hospital.

At the ER, they gave us more Pedialyte and took some blood.  They eventually let us go home with instructions to only give her Pedialyte until we spoke with our doctor in the morning.  That process took about 5 hours, bringing us home again around 3 am.  Anya woke up at 5 am (she had been sleeping in the car seat in our room, since her crib was not yet ready for use again).  We gave her about 2 oz. of Pedialyte in small amounts over the course of the next hour an half, with her falling asleep on my shoulder in between.  At 7:30 she woke up for the morning, and we gave her another 2 oz.  When we spoke with the doctor, he said it sounded like she was doing well, and that we should continue with the Pedialyte every 3 hours and call him at 1.  Since Anya still was keeping everything down at 1, he said we could try breast milk again at her next feeding.  I suppose the one positive thing about her throwing up the soy formula was that we couldn’t blame her being sick on the breast milk alone.

To be safe, we started by giving her milk I had pumped from before I started taking the meds.  She took 2 oz. with no problems, aside from being pretty annoyed that we weren’t giving her more than that (we supplemented with Pedialyte).  She got 3 oz. more a few hours later, and since none of that milk came back to visit, I nursed her before bedtime.

So far, so good.  She’s still got a significant cough and she’s starting to sneeze up some clear mucus, but on the vomiting front, things are much improved.  We’ll see what today’s diapers bring.

Poop Watch 2007 update #2

Filed under: doctor,tmi — by Lauren on May 10th, 2007 @ 11:47 pm

It’s weird to think of any poop in a fond manner, but I miss breast milk poops.  Formula poops really are gross.  I shudder to think of what I have to look forward to once Anya actually starts eating solid foods (Hmmm, we’ll have to post about that whole issue some other time).

Today was the third day of soy formula, and it started to take its toll on Anya.  Poor baby, she was having a lot of trouble pooping, and she would cry every time she tried.  When I say cry, I mean really cry; I had to pick her up and hold her close until she calmed down.  I could feel her stomach tensing as she tried to move things along, and she would grab at my shoulders and squeeze them.  She slept a lot this morning and afternoon, mostly on my shoulder after working herself up trying to go.
I switched her to a milk-based formula after her first bottle this morning.  That was the plan for today anyway; this way we can rule out a lactose problem before we start nursing again and we’ll know for sure if the meds are the issue.  It didn’t seem to have any affect on her until after the third bottle of the regular Similac.  The diaper that came after that had stools that were much looser than the soy formula poops, but I couldn’t say for sure it was diarrhea.  It was certainly more formed than the breast milk diarrhea.  When in doubt, call the doctor, so I did, again.  After I described what it looked like, he said that it could have been normal milk-based formula poop, and that I should monitor her but could still start nursing tomorrow if I thought she was okay.  I won’t take her off the formula until she goes again in the morning, and if it seems to be normal I’ll try nursing her after that.  If it turns out she is having a problem with the lactose, I have a third kind of formula to try, one that is milk-based but lactose-free.  I hope it doesn’t come to that, though.

I really shouldn’t be awake and posting this right now, but I took advantage of not nursing for a few days and drank Coke for the first time in about a year and a half.  Now I’m all wired up from the caffeine.  Big mistake.  I’m going to be SO tired tomorrow!

Poop Watch 2007 update

Filed under: doctor,symptoms,tmi — by Lauren on May 8th, 2007 @ 8:09 pm

I took Anya back to the doctor yesterday because it had been 2 full weeks of diarrhea. He no longer felt we could suspect a harmless stomach bug, since 14 days is a long time, even for a baby. Also, she hadn’t gained any weight in the last two weeks, which was a little concerning.

He suggested four possible culprits: transient lactose intolerance (best case scenario), the medication I am taking for my ulcerative colitis, a more serious infection (such as salmonella or E. coli), or a gastrointestinal problem. We’re not going to worry about a GI issue unless we rule everything else out, and the chance of it being a serious infection is slim, since she has no other symptoms. The doctor has put her on a soy, lactose-free formula temporarily but indefinitely. If she has transient lactose intolerance, this will give her digestive tract the break it needs to get itself back together. He gave me 4 cans of the Similac Soy Anti-Diarrheal formula and said I could use the soy powder I have at home once she finishes the cans.

Well, I’m happy to report that after less than 24 hours, she is diarrhea-free. Her poops look like, well, poop (formula poops are much thicker and stinkier than breast milk poops, in case anyone was wondering). Not one diaper leaked today, hooray! The doctor is very pleased, and said that I may be able to resume nursing again as early as Friday, as long as she stays healthy. Of course, if I start nursing again and she goes back to having diarrhea, then we have a problem, since I’m having a tough time shaking this colitis flare up and I’ll probably need to be on meds for a few more weeks. Keep your fingers crossed that it was transient lactose intolerance after all and we are now in the clear!

Our crazy baby

Filed under: funny,video — by Lauren on May 4th, 2007 @ 10:31 pm

Here’s a fairly long video of some of the things Anya does these days.  In particular, it features lots of her crazy, demonic growling babble.  We haven’t called in an exorcist yet, but we’re shopping around…

Let’s get a move on

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lauren on @ 3:45 pm

As of about five minutes ago, Anya is now able roll in all directions – she finally figured out how to roll to her left from her back.  The other day I experienced for the first time the shock of putting her down in one place, going into the kitchen for a minute, and coming back to find her someplace else.  She had rolled all the way over and was no longer on her play mat.

Anya is a pro at scooting around her crib, although I don’t think she is quite in control of where she ends up just yet.  Last night, while expressing rather loudly her feeling that it was not actually time to go to bed, we watched her turn herself around 360 degrees over the course of a few minutes.  She accomplishes this by rolling to her tummy and back again several times.  It would have been funny if she wasn’t crying.  This morning was actually the second time I woke up to the sound of a crying baby, but when I looked at the video monitor there didn’t appear to be any baby in the crib!  She moves herself all the way down to the bottom of the crib, out of the camera’s view.

No crawling yet, which is fine by me, but she’s definitely working on it.  Anya pushes up on her hands fairly well, and she’s starting to pull her knees up.  She can’t do them at the same time, so when she’s working on her legs, she keeps her face on the floor – it’s very silly looking.  I’ve seen her try to lunge forward from sitting when she wants something out of her reach, but she usually chickens out or ends up folded in half.  Yesterday was the first time she ever kicked her legs behind her after folding herself.

Poor Charlie.  His days of being able to easily escape Anya’s attempts to grab him are numbered.

Poop Watch 2007

Filed under: tmi — by Lex on May 2nd, 2007 @ 2:45 pm

Note that this post is categorized TMI. If you don’t want to talk baby poop, then go somewhere else.

Anya has always been a frequent pooper. More recently, for the past week and a half or so, she’s been a loose pooper. There are a variety of possible causes for Anya’s current ongoing diarrhea; our pediatrician thinks it’s most likely a virus.

Since yesterday morning’s liquidy opus, however, Anya’s bowels have remained quiet. Almost too quiet.

We don’t know exactly what’s coming, and we don’t know when. But with all the feedings, including solids, that Anya has downed since her last movement… We’re prepared for anything.

Lauren and I are wearing rain slickers from now until the dam bursts, just in case.