And my other working title for this post (that I crafted in my head while at the grocery store) was "Over-feeding, over-producing, and overwhelmed."
Yes, folks, it has been a rough couple of days.
So it all started last Thursday when we went to see the new ped. Love her - very thorough, very calming, and she even managed a small giggle when I told I would be requiring a lot of hand-holding through this process.
Her first order of business during our exam was to press on Scotty's stomach and watch him vomit. "You are over-feeding this infant, no?" she asked in her light Indian accent. I immediately looked at my mom (accusingly, I admit). Grandma "You Can't Over-feed An Infant" Karen blanched slightly, and we turned over the food journal with some reluctance, eyes downcast. Yes, you CAN actually over feed an infant. Five to six ounces of milk per feeding is a ridiculous amount of food (please refer to the post where I ponder if Scotty had a hollow leg) and that's (allegedly) why he was spitting up. But again, per Dr. Awesome, it wasn't just spit-up, it was full-on vomit.
So, Grandma Karen (who is clearly more mentally flexible than I am) immediately adapts to the new info, while I stewed, cried, and fretted for about six hours. At the next feeding, when Scotty did better with less spit-up, I relented and so, the three-ounce feeding was born (again).
So that was like 10 days ago. Where are we now? Oh...no better place.
The fussiness started on Monday. After the miracle that is the Happiest Baby on Block, Brian has the crying at night under control. Except Scotty continues to spit-up. And fuss. And cry. Not at every feeding, but at most. Monday was horrible, Tuesday was great. Wednesday was horrible, Thursday was fine. Friday was horrible. Wednesday, in fact, was so horrible that when Brian told me he had to go to storage (our massive, cramped and roach-infested storage) to find our damn cable box (that I packed in 2007, and now that we are Direct TV consumers, the good people at Cox Communications were threatening bodily harm if we didn't return the damn box), that I offered to go digging through our massive, cramped, roach-infested storage because quite frankly, it was better than hanging out with a five-week old baby. (and miraculously, I found the damn box within about 10 minutes and without having to move great amounts of stuff. I drove around for 20 minutes and told Brian it took me 30 minutes to find the box.)
I saw Dr. Awesome again on Thursday (she looked at me pleasantly and said, "Back again?" with a smile. I had called her Saturday, Monday, and now it was Thursday. Yes, I am medically needy.) She listened patiently as I described his symptoms (arching of the back after feeding, crying, some spit-up, and increase in fussiness.) It could be the dreaded "5-6 week peak" of fussiness, but since he's not waking up crying (in the middle of the nap), he's gaining weight, and there is no coughing or gagging going on, she thought it might be a response to something in the breast milk. I.e. something I've eaten that is getting to him.
Now, I know there are two camps on this - the one camp that says, "Eat away! Babies are NOT affected by flavors in the mom's breast milk," and the other camp that says, "Eliminate everything - caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, spicy foods, cabbage, broccoli, curry, cauliflower, beans, citrus foods, wheat, eggs, and dairy" in order to rule out possible allergies and/or gas-producing foods. I don't know what camp to believe, as most things in Motherhood (yes, capital M) are confusing, contradictory, and generally, a quadmire of misinformation. One day I will write a post about all of the contradictions, but since I'm discovering more and more on a daily basis, I'm waiting for the list to slow down a little.
I also want to point out that once again, it's me. All through the pregnancy, the baby was always fine - it was just my damn body that was doing something funky. (fibroids, fluid, pressure, oh my). And now, it is me, once again, that is hurting the baby (allegedly). I'm trying really hard to not beat myself up over this, but it's really, really hard. I will likely be in therapy in the next few years (months) and we're already saving for Scotty's therapy in about 24 years. If I sound horribly self-depreciating, it's because I am.
Anyways, I am plugging ahead with the conviction of a terrier puppy and I WILL figure this out. As of today, we are going with only-formula for the next 48 hours, to rule out me as a possible cause of this. If Scotty shows no spit-up, no arching of the back, and no general fussiness, I take full blame (and change my diet asap). If he doesn't, we'll proceed with the testing required to determine if it's GERD. We are officially 3 feedings into our experiment, and I'm happy to report: no spit-up. No fussy baby. In fact, we have a lovely, alert baby that progressed into happy sleep cycles. Motherhood: 2, Kim: 0.
And so, I went to the grocery store to stock up on new foods. My cart looked like I was joining a new religion that had dietary restrictions: green grapes, apple juice, organic chicken, soy milk, bottled water, almonds, an avocado, bananas, and two cucumbers. I know, this probably sounds healthy to most, but let's just say it's not my normal shopping list. Even the woman at check-out looked at me strangely. She was probably wondering where the Doritos were. I wanted to tell her, "I'm lactating," but I figured that might freak her out. As if she couldn't already guess based on the size of my boobs.
All of this leads me to the title of this post: we're got some breast milk for sale. I have been so proud of my pumping - I've been very committed to getting production back up to par - and now, per Brian, "The milk is bad." He uttered those five words yesterday and it nearly broke my heart. There were 9 3-ounce bags (i.e. single serving size) in the fridge, and almost 40+ ounces in the freezer. And all are tainted with the flavors of caffeine, chocolate, onion, garlic, and hoppy beer (only one per day! I showed such restraint).
If our experiment works out and it IS me, I'm not sure what to do with the last two weeks of my hard work. How should I phrase my ad on Craiglist? "Rich, full-bodied 60 ounces of breast milk available. Aged two weeks, light garlic flavor with a hint of dark chocolate. Pair with recently-sterilized binky and Mylicon drops for a satisfying meal."