Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tyler: Week 29

January 5-January 11, 2011 (28w-28w6d old)

Tyler Update:
  • Changing this child's diaper takes a village!  All he wants to do is flip over the entire time.  I flip him back and he flips again.  Sometimes the art of distraction works by giving him a toy, other times not.  Anyone out there face this and found something to work?  Please share!  In the meantime, I've become quite proficient at putting his diaper on backwards.  I lay the front of the diaper down, put him over it on his belly and wrapped the tabs around him. 
  • This child hates shoes, slippers, socks, anything that touches his feet.  It's cold, his feet are cold and I can't keep anything on them.
  • He bit my nipple twice, I yelped quite loudly, he jumped, he cried.  Oh how I'm dreading his teeth coming in!  Thankfully he only did this during 1 nursing session and hasn't done it since.
  • He crawled 2 steps to get to the tv remote but hasn't done it since.  Soon enough!
  • He completely surprised me by going from all fours to sitting on his hip.  He can't get to a full sitting position yet.  Kerry calls it putting up his kickstand.

Video:  Tyler's 1st time sitting on his hip

Video:  Tyler crawling backwards


This week he had pears (loved), green beans (gagged) and green beans mixed with breastmilk (liked).  As far as the amount we give him, we're letting him lead the way.  He turns his head and stops opening his mouth when he's done.  We started with 1 tbsp a day and now he's up to 1oz once a day.

Video:  Pears... mmmmmm

He's learning how to push but when it's without results we give him a break from solids.  When he goes, we slowly start the solids back up again.  I've seen other babies go 2-3 weeks without pooping and that just can't be healthy.  He didn't go for 4 days, that was long enough for me.  Changing his diet to all non-constipating foods this week did help some.  I'm really glad we didn't start with cereals now since they are very constipating.

This week in photos:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tyler: Week 28

December 29, 2010-January 4, 2011 (27w-27w6d old)

Tyler Update:
  • His gums have become more prominent.  I suspect we'll have teeth in the near future.

  • He's becoming more mobile by the day.  He started rocking on all fours this week.  OMGosh, I need to baby proof my house!

Video:  Tyler's 1st time rocking on all fours

Video:  Tyler rocking on all fours

Video:  Tyler standing up


This week Tyler had avocado (gagged), apples (liked) and pears (loved).  He stopped pooping, so we skipped a couple of days to give him a break.  Apparently apples are constipating and pears are a good laxative.  He pooped while eating pears, so I'd have to concur!  I really don't think he was truly constipated but more that he wasn't used to having to push to get things going.

Video:  Tyler eating apples

Video:  Tyler eating pears (part 1)

Video:  Tyler eating pears (part 2)

Mama Update:

I had a very unwelcomed guest arrive this week... AF... boo, hiss!!!!  She's been missing for about 17 months and quite frankly, I wish she would take another long hike!  She hasn't changed a bit except she's a little nicer, nicer as in no cramps whatsoever.  I'm hoping this niceness is permanent because gosh, I've been plagued with her crampy meanness since 13.  My milk supply dropped big time a few days before she arrived and eventually came back up a couple days after.  I was in an absolute panic!  I then read it's very normal for your milk supply to drop around your period.  Breastmilk is made from our blood system (yeah, I was shocked too), so between hormonal changes and blood loss, that's the reason for the temporary drop.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Starting Solids

Prior to Tyler's birth, I was determined to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months.  I read books, reviewed studies and sought advice from other moms.  I knew there was nothing more nutritious or protective than breastmilk.  I knew there was no substitute that could pass on a mother's immune system to baby.  When I asked the advice of parents that exclusively breastfed, the most common thing I heard from them was "my baby has never been sick".  On top of being best for baby, it was free, finally a financial break in this process!  It was a no-brainer, this is what I was going to do.

What I wasn't even remotely prepared for was how hard it was going to be.  I had a lot against me; severe latch issues, initial weight gain issues, nipple shield hell, low supply and several bouts of excruciatingly painful blocked ducts.  I went through 5 lactation consultants.  It was a lot of work.  Many early nights I bawled my eyes out feeling like my body was failing me.  I really do understand why so many women give up when faced with these issues, but I'm stubborn and wasn't going down without giving it everything I had in me.  

Well here we are 6 months later and... I did it, I DID it!!!  I haven't had one single night of good sleep for over 6 months due to having to nurse/pump every 2-4 hrs 24/7 to keep my supply up.  But, as a lot of new parents discover, providing baby with the absolute best can tend to take precedence over your own needs.  Add what it cost to get baby here and that drive to provide the best goes into overdrive.  It blows my mind that I was his sole source of nutrition.  It was both amazing and exhausting.  Amazing that only I could be that for him.  Exhausting that only I could be that for him.  Coincidence or not, Tyler (currently 7 months) has never been sick.  Not a single earache, runny nose, nada.  Knock on wood!!!

Now onto the subject of this post, starting solids.  For anyone who has googled or been given advice regarding when to start a baby on solids and which solids, there's a good chance you found the advice pretty conflicting.  I sure did.

As any parent, I wanted to make the best decision for my baby.  What I feel is best may not be the same as the next parent and vice versa.  I believe that each parent should decide for themselves what is best for their baby.  I'm sharing what I found during my research and what decisions I made.  If this conflicts with your decisions, that's cool, you know what's best for your baby.

Most pediatricians recommend starting solids at 4-6 months.  The American Academy of Pediatrics, The Canadian Paediatric Society and World Health Organization all recommend exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months.

I wanted to understand why so many pediatrician's recommendations conflict with the above organizations when it's these organizations they follow.  I never did find an answer, but I did find the following info which I found very interesting.

After extensive research and reviewing studies, they're finding that 4 months is too early.  A baby's digestive system is open/unsealed, meant for fully digesting breastmilk.  It is lacking in digestive enzymes.  They're finding that a baby's digestive system is immature until at least 6 months.  There's speculation that in several years after more research, even 6 months will be considered too early.

So what happens when solids are introduced before the digestive system is mature?  The risk of allergies, food sensitivities and digestive disorders goes way up.  The body absorbs way more than it would if it was mature/sealed.  For example, large proteins can pass through that normally wouldn't with a mature system.  The body sees these proteins as foreign and produces antibodies against them.  When foods with these proteins are consumed later, things like gas, indigestion, heartburn, skin rashes such as eczema or hives, etc can occur.  Asthma, obesity, lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance are a few other problems that can result from starting solids too soon.  Many times these problems don't show up until adulthood.  Some foods have more risk than others.  Cow's milk and peanuts (peanut butter) have a high risk and are therefore not recommended until a year old.

To rabbit trail for a moment, this is what happened to my husband when he had a vasectomy.  There's a blood-testes barrier and the blood system never sees sperm.  When the tubes are cut, sperm enters the blood stream for the first time.  The body sees sperm as foreign and produce antibodies against them.  These antibodies prevent sperm from swimming by sticking them together like glue.  Any man that has a vasectomy has a risk of developing these antisperm antibodies (ASAs).  While we had his vasectomy reversed and there was a return of sperm, we found that a significant level of ASAs was the culprit for why we hadn't conceived and needed IVF.  End of rabbit trail.

In the end, I decided to follow the pediatric organizations since their recommendations are based on extensive research in this field.  Also since there's no nutritional benefit to starting earlier, there was no need to take the risk.

On Christmas day, at 6m2d old, Tyler had his first taste of solids.

Our pediatrician said we could skip cereals since they're not necessary and are just empty calories.  We're starting with stage 1 fruits and veggies.  We're taking it very slow by introducing 1 tbsp a day to give his digestive system time to learn how to process these strange new substances.

Day 1.  I prepared 1 tbsp of mashed banana mixed with 1 tbsp of breastmilk.  We let him go at it himself.  All he wanted to do was play with it.  For the first time ever, he didn't try to put his fingers in his mouth.  We even guided his hand to his mouth and he would not put it in his mouth.  I put a little on the tip of my finger and let him suck it.  He ate about half of it this way.  It was very uneventful, really no reaction either way.  He always enjoys sucking on a finger, so I don't know if he liked it or not.

Day 2.  We tried banana in one of those mesh paci feeders.  He sucked on it for a little bit and seemed quite undecided about the whole thing.  He refused it when I offered it again a few mins later.  In hindsight, I believe it was too cold as it was the other half of his banana from day 1 and was stored in the fridge.

Day 3.  We tried mashed avocado.  He was very unsure about this one.  I think the texture was a little too bizarre for him.  He dry heaved a few times.  In hindsight I should have pureed and thinned it out with breastmilk.

He definitely lets us know when he doesn't like something.  He dry heaves, spits it out and refuses more.  We don't force anything and give it another go another day.  I can only imagine how bizarre this is for him considering he's never known anything besides breastmilk.

I plan to continue to follow the AAP guidelines.  They recommend continued breastfeeding to at least 1 year of age, with breastmilk being his main source of nutrition and solids being supplemental.  While a 1 yr old can manage without human milk, they really weren't designed to.  Their digestive and immune systems are still under mature and can greatly benefit from breastmilk.

So I'm not off the hook and I don't foresee a full nights sleep for at least another 6 months.  I hope and pray that I can maintain my milk supply!

It's amazing how full circle we're coming when it comes to caring for a baby.  Our grandmothers exclusively breastfed, kept baby with them all the time and co-slept.  Our parents faced completely different times.  Breastfeeding was uncool, looked down upon.  Babies were expected to sleep through the night, formula and early solids were given to make that happen.  My mom was given a shot the day after I was born to dry up her milk.  Kerry's mom was told her milk had no nutrition and wouldn't be able to breastfeed.  At the advice of their pediatrician, I was given jello water, Kerry was given Carnation instant milk and Karo syrup.  Today's generation is being encouraged to go back to what our Grandparents did.

Here's few good links from Dr. Sears if you're interested:

Starting solid foods
Food allergies

This is a good one for you if you're really wanting to wait 6 months but tempted to start early:
Early solids?

This is a good one if you're receiving pressure from others to start your baby on solids earlier than you'd like:
Does eating solids too soon result in digestive problems later in life?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tyler: Week 27 (6 Months Old)

December 22-December 28, 2010 (26w-26w6d old)

6 Month Well Visit:

Weight:  15 lb. 11oz. - 17th %tile (down from 18%)
Length:  25.5" - 16th %tile (down from 49%)
Head Circumference:  16.5" - 8th %tile (down from 12%)

There's no way that length measurement is accurate, this kid is tall!  If 84% of babies are taller than Tyler, then watch out world, giants are taking over the planet!

Tyler had us laughing hysterically while waiting on the doctor.  Maybe teaching him to tear open Christmas gifts wasn't such a grand idea.  Now all paper that he can get his hands on gets ripped to shreds.

Video:  Tyler tearing it up!

He has the best time at his well visits, that is until his pediatrician walks in.  She's the sweetest lady, but for some reason, he is just terrified of her and bursts into tears every time he sees her.  What was so funny this time was that right after she suggested feeding him veggies before fruits and listed off some good starters, he had an instant meltdown as soon as she said spinach.  We were like, it's okay, we won't make you eat spinach!

Video:  Tyler scared of the pediatrician

Tyler Update:
  • He turned 6 months old on December 23.  My baby is growing up way too fast!

  • This kid loves to rock side to side.  He stands with his feet wide apart in a semi-squat position and rocks and rocks and rocks, all day long.  He rocks standing on our lap, in his exersaucer and even in his jumperoo.  Has anyone seen a baby do this?  You can see him doing this in first video while standing on the table as well.

Video:  Tyler jumping rocking in his jumperoo
  • He smiles and sucks in air when he's really happy.  He's our little squealer.
Video:  Tyler squealing
  • He reaches for my glass of water every time he sees me take a drink.  I held my glass to his mouth to show him he really didn't want it, but that backfired... he loved it and kept wanting more.  I guess he takes after his water-aholic mama.  I googled to see if it's ok to give him water and it's really not... bummer!  There's a risk of imbalancing baby's electrolytes, the mineral content can be unfavorable and it could fill baby up too much deriving them of nutrition by taking less breastmilk.
  • He can sit unassisted for small amounts of time.  I have to be ready to catch him at all times because he just topples over with no concern for that noggin of his.
  • He grabs one corner of a blanket and rolls over a few times until he's completely encased.  We call him a Ty burrito.  It's a good thing he sleeps in a sleep sack at night.
  • He started pushing himself backwards while on his tummy with his chest raised.  I guess he's technically crawling backwards.  He gets frustrated because he wants to get closer to a toy and ends up further away.
  • He started sticking his tongue out and OMGosh is it the cutest thing ever!

  • He's developed a very strong preference for his mama.  He reaches and cries for me.
  • His Grammy babysat him while we went to see the Rockettes on Christmas Eve (fabulous by the way!).  This is only the 2nd time we've left him and it had been quite awhile.  He screamed the entire time we were gone!   Grampy cleans when baby cries.  His stove was in desperate need of cleaning when we left and was immaculate by time we returned.  Grampy said the harder Ty cried, the harder he scrubbed.  Ty was all smiles as soon as he saw his mama.
  • His Grammy babysat him again while I had leave for an appointment.  He did much better and only cried half of the time I was gone.  I was very relieved for the progress as I don't want him to only be content with me.  He was all huge smiles when I returned, love that part!
  • He celebrated his very first Christmas.  He's mesmerized by bows and all he really wants for Christmas is to eat the paper!

His Grammy and Grampy got him a 5ft tall giraffe!

  • His mommy received her very first kiss for Christmas!
Video:  Tyler kissing Mommy
  • He's all of a sudden very interested in the cat he never noticed before.  He watches kitty and reaches for him, but kitty's not too crazy about him.
  • He had his 1st solid!  I'll share this as a separate post soon as it's too much for this already long update.

Mama Update:

This will probably be one of the last updates you would have expected from me, especially at 37.  I got braces!  I feel ridiculous and already can't wait to get them off.  I had braces for 4 years when I was a teen, yes, 4 years!  My teeth were really crowded and it took a lot of time to move my teeth around to make room.  Well, after all that work, I had a beautiful smile that gradually diminished over several years because my orthodontist never gave me a retainer!  So while my top teeth remained in decent condition, my bottoms didn't fare too well.  They started to overlap each other and created a situation where a bottom tooth was hitting a top tooth.  Between that issue and seeing all my hard work go down the drain, I was really anxious to get them fixed.  I really wanted to get them just on the bottom, but supposedly it doesn't work that way, at least not for my situation.  I think they plan on using the top for leverage to make room on the bottom.  I did get the clear/white brackets, but they are pretty bulky.  I now have to smile big or not at all.  A partial smile results in only brackets sticking out and well, it's too darn sexy and I just don't feel like fighting the men off.  I've had to relearn how to talk, eat, brush/floss and smile.

Kerry is strangely enjoying it.  I guess because he has heard me voice for years how bad I wanted to get my teeth fixed, so he's happy that's finally happening for me.  But I think he's more enjoying calling me his teenage wife.  Ty noticed them right away and kept feeling my teeth.  Now if he would just quit slamming his head into my mouth, we'd be doing well.  He's already given me a fat lip.  Sorry, no more pics of me for awhile!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christmas Photos

Here are our photos from our December 11, 2010 Christmas photo shoot.  Tyler was a little bit on the cranky side but we managed to get a few smiles out of him.  Tyler is 5m-18d old.

Kerry trying to cheer up a fussy Tyler:

We got in a few of the shots, but this was shoot was mainly about baby.

Tyler and his buddy Grayson.  Grayson is 1 month younger.  By time we got to this part of the photo shoot, both boys were about to lose it.  Lots of tears and Tyler kept trying to eat Grayson!  I'm sure if you could have seen the 4 parents jumping through hoops trying to get them to smile and both look at the camera the same time, you would have been very entertained!