Monday, April 16, 2012

The Scoop on Poop

Before I was pregnant I would have never thought I'd be excited to see a poopy diaper. But when my baby goes a couple of days without a BM, mommy starts to worry.

Last Saturday was one of those days. Brody went two and half days with out pooping, and he was hurting because of it. His sad, quivering cries were extremely tough to watch. After Brody finally passed a hard brown nugget, Klay spent the majority of that morning massaging Brody's stomach, pushing his legs in a bicycle motion and finally inserting a vaseline-soiled q-tip in his rectum to stimulate Brody to push. Luckily, Brody obliged and we finally got some poop! Although he's gotten a little relief, he's still whimpered in pain majority of the day indicating he still had more to pass.

We've had multiple days like that since. He hasn't been pooping regularly, and it's been frustrating. The bicycling exercises and tummy massages have become a part of a daily routine, it seems. We've even added a little prune juice, and given him water, to try to help. But recently, we started giving him Karo syrup in his formula. Only putting a few drops in his bottle, and it seems to be helping. He actually started passing more than little nuggets (which is what he mostly passed the last week or so).

These are the days that make me wish I was still mostly breastfeeding or feeding him breast mik. I still have a couple of bags of frozen breast milk, and we decided to dive into the last bit of our supply. Breast milk is always my "golden" solution, and it's hard knowing our supply is slowly dwindling down.

Constipation is by far one of the worst things parents can witness. I hate that we can only use so many tactics to try and get him to go, and I worry that if we continue to use theses same tactics, eventually they will stop working.

Here's the scoop on baby poopy issues/problems, according to Similac's website:

Bowel movements

The normal range for bowel movements in babies is vast. Infant stool varies from baby to baby, and from day to day. Stool can be yellow, green, or brown and still be considered normal. Normal consistency ranges from runny applesauce to playdough.

Baby constipation

Several factors can lead to your baby becoming constipated, having difficulty passing stool, passing stool that is hard and dry, or having bowel movements less frequently than usual:

  • Eating solid foods for the first time can cause constipation. It is possible that some of the foods you feed your baby for the first time — such as rice cereal and oatmeal — don’t provide enough fiber to promote regular bowel movements.

  • Dehydration causes constipation. Her body, when not properly hydrated, absorbs fluids from whatever she eats and drinks, including fluid from the waste in her bowels.

  • Baby formulas contain palm olein oil. Breast milk contains a balanced amount of fat and protein to ensure good digestive health and development. Substitutes in baby formula, such as palm olein oil, can harden stools in some babies.

  • Illness or other medical conditions can disrupt healthy digestive functions. Some babies develop diseases, or have underlying medical conditions, that result in chronic constipation. Check with your doctor if your baby has difficulty passing stools.

How can you ease your baby's constipation?

Some doctors recommend adding 1 to 2 ounces of prune, apple, or pear juice to formula or breast milk. The sugar in these juices will help to loosen the stool. Exercise her legs to break up the hardened stools in her bowels, or gently massage her stomach if symptoms continue. Do not give your baby over-the-counter stool softeners unless advised by your pediatrician or health care professional.Ask your health care professional about switching to a formula such as Similac® Advance®, which does not contain palm olein oil, an ingredient that can harden stools in some babies.
Here's some additional info on baby diarrhea
Sorry it took so long for me to post again. I've been working on this post for over a week! Things have been busy and crazy lately...
I'll post more soon.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Right in front of my face.

After introducing Brody to Similac Soy Isomil, he seems to be doing a lot better. The past two nights he's slept 7-8 hours, he hasn't been near as fussy and we've gotten back to having more of our smiling sessions again!

Soon after posting my last blog, I logged on to Similac's website to do a little research. I ended up registering for Strong Moms, to get free samples, information, etc. I got a two-month baby update from them (as Brody's almost two months old; I can't believe it), and I saw this:

Signs of milk-protein sensitivity in babies

All babies are fussy and gassy at times, but if it seems your baby has more frequent fussiness and gas, he could have milk-protein sensitivity. Reactions can include:

  • Skin rashes

  • Watery stools

  • Irritability

If you are formula feeding your baby, these reactions could be due to milk-protein sensitivity. Your health care provider can determine whether your baby should be fed a special formula such as Similac® Soy Isomil®.

I couldn't believe what I read. What I've forgotten to mention in my previous posts is that Brody's had these little bumps around his mouth and on his chin, neck and shoulders. I knew it was from formula spillage during his feedings. I'd even mentioned to my mom that I thought he may be allergic to the formula or something. He's had watery stools and everyone knows he's been more irritable than normal.

I was so excited to learn that we'd finally put him on a formula that looks like it should be the perfect match for him. I ran into the bedroom eager to tell Klay what I read, only to discover him on his phone googling (of course) about the formula too. I guess our parenting intuition is in full gear now. We are both always constantly researching anything relating to babies and parenting.

I don't want to get my hopes up, but I'm just glad to see my Brody get some relief and become more at ease. My smiling and happy baby boy is back again. Don't get me wrong, I know every baby cries and has his/her bad days, but he seemed like he was hurting and in pain all the time. The cries were screechier and louder than normal and he'd hardly stay calm for me to spend some fun time talking and singing to him. It was unbearable to see him that way.

The sad part about all of this is that I could have found a solution a lot sooner. If I would have really utilized my resources, more than I had been, and read the material I've gotten from the doctor, Similac or Enfamil, I might have figured this all out and saved us from some sleepless nights, exhaustion and frustration.

But hopefully, we are on the road to success in the formula department. These past few weeks have been so frustrating and have completely wore me out. I hated feeling like I didn't know what to do. I was at a loss.

From now on, I encourage everyone to utilize resources. Similac's website offers a lot of information about supplementing, formula feeding, and it even offers tools and questionnaires for your tummy and stool troubles.

Here are a couple of recommended pages/resources to visit to help soothe some of your mommy worries:

I'll post more valuable resources later!



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

First off, I'm so sorry I haven't been able to post some new blogs lately. This past week has been extremely challenging, exhausting and frustrating. Brody's sleeping and eating hasn't been the least bit consistent, and it's completely worn me out.

Due to some recommendations and Brody's tummy issues, we switched formulas AGAIN. Because a lot of people who've used Enfamil Nutramigen said it solved all of their child's tummy problems, we decided to give this formula a try. This brand is the most expensive brand of formula on the shelves, at least that we've seen. We weren't happy about the price, but if it works we'd be happy to foot the bill and bring peace to Brody's formula issues.

It seemed to be working fine at first, and Brody was having a bowel movement everyday or every other day, so I was pretty excited. Eventually, his stools became a bit more watery than I liked and his spit up resurfaced again. I'm thinking he may have a little bit of reflux, but we called the doctor and they've recommended that we try a soy-based formula, like Enfamil ProSobee or Similac Soy Isomil.

Klay bought Similac Soy Isomil, so we're starting that tonight. I'm just hoping we get a handle on this formula thing pretty soon. I don't know if I can take any more of this.

Even though today and last night was rough, Sunday night into Monday morning we managed to get a record 11 hours of sleep. We went to Klay's parents for Easter on Sunday and everyone was excited to see and hold Brody. Everyone had their turn holding him and for the five hours we were there, I don't think anyone sat him down once. It was nice to see our family so excited about our new addition.

I think after being held the whole time, Brody never managed to get a deep sleep so by the time we got home, he was completely wiped out (and we somehow managed to get 11 hours of sleep). This was a good night for us obviously.

But with the good, comes the bad. One good night for us normally means a rough night the next and then an even uglier day/night after that. So for every good day, it seems there are two to three rougher days that follow. It's hard not to get discouraged when I think "wow, it's getting better" and then the next day he's fussy, gassy and won't sleep and I can't help but think the "it's getting better" part keeps drifting further and further away. The uglier days and nights only leave me to question everything I'm doing.

I'll do my best to try keep these blogs up-to-date.

Sending everyone my best,


Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Storm

Sorry I haven't posted for a few days. It's been chaotic around here, and I've been extremely busy taking care of Brody!

Of course, as many of you know, north Texas was hit by a dozen tornadoes Tuesday afternoon. A tornado hit in Forney, only a few miles from our home. Luckily, we are  all safe and there was no damage to our house.

Brody experienced his first storm and tornado warning yesterday. When the sirens went off, Brody, Stretch, Billie and I took "cover" in the tub. Klay stayed out and watched the TV to see what was happening in our area.

I'm the first to admit I have an extreme fear of tornadoes (I have nightmares about them all the time), and now that we have Brody, tornadoes are even scarier than before. Our first priority is making sure our child is safe, and the fact that he may be in danger is pretty frightening.  Thankfully, through it all, Brody never knew anything abnormal was going on.

There was major damage all over north Texas, and in Forney, and I'm so happy to hear there were no casualties.

The north Texas storm that wreaked havoc yesterday wasn't the only storm that caused an uproar at our house; the high-pitched, loud, screeching sounds of our baby boy crying kept us up into the wee hours. Needless to say, we had a rough, rough night.

Brody was awake for seven hours, two of which, he was screaming at the top of his lungs. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, would soothe him. He was squirming, fussing, burping and farting nonstop. I know he was gassy, had a tummy ache and needed a good BM, even though he had one Monday or Tuesday. (I can't remember which day it was because my days and nights are running together, so now I'm creating a calendar to keep track.)

Of course, seeing him in pain and not being able to fix it caused me to cry. On top of that, it was frustrating that we couldn't calm him down and get him quiet (I'm surprised he didn't wake the neighbors). That may sound bad, but let's face it, no one really wants to hear the deafening sound of a baby screaming at the top of his lungs. But more than anything, it was hard not knowing what to do. We haven't had a night like that yet where we couldn't figure out what he needs or wants. Gas drops and Gripe Water didn't even faze him.

After feeding him several ounces of formula and breast milk, he finally wore himself out, falling asleep in his swing for only three hours. After he woke up again, I got him and laid him with me and he went right back to sleep.

I'm hoping this was just a really bad night and not any sign that he may have colic.

I am happy to report that he did have a big poopy today! This was of course after I lost it and bawled my eyes out from exhaustion, stress and trying to figure out how make him feel better. Not a great day for mom...

I guess we will see how tonight goes. Brody is asleep and happy right now (see picture).

I'll try to post every day from now on! I apologize to those who checked in to see if I had blogged, and I want everyone to know I'll try to stay consistent.

Pray for all of us to get some rest. We need it. BAD.