The past couple nights have been rough. While I don't expect my 4 week old daughter to sleep through the night, I would expect her to grant her loving parents at least 2 hours of continuous sleep at a time. That is all I am asking for little one!
For the last 5 nights in a row Marlo has been going through somewhat of an eating-as-much-as-I-can-get-and-staying-up-all-night binge. As new parents, we figure, if she is hungry and wants to drink 4 ounces of breastmilk, she must need it! I wouldn't want someone to tell me that I couldn't eat a forth piece of pizza if I was still hungry after 3 (yeah I know, I need to go on a diet)...
So our little 4-week early peanut has been waking up at least every 2 hours and housing a bottle each time...what am I saying "waking up"? She doesn't sleep! After drinking down the milky goodness and keeping her upright for 15 or so minutes after feeding, Marlo falls asleep in our arms. We then proceed to put our little angel in her bassinet by the bed, where like clockwork - just after I get comfortable in bed with my pillow just so - the grunting starts. The grunting is accompanied by what we call "staccato" breathing. As well as the back arching, and the gurgling sound. Not exactly what you want your new baby to be doing. Needless to say this leads to me freaking out, and picking her back up in my arms...where again she would get comfy cozy and fall right back to her angelic sleepy mode. Not ideal, but at least I can get a few minutes shut eye in a seated position until my arms go numb, at which point I try to put her back in her bassinet, and the grunting begins again.
I should also mention that before the past couple nights, every time she would eat she would proceed to take a giant poop in her pants (what my husband likes to call "a big dump"). We started to notice that she wasn't pooping as often as she had be, so we figured something might be going on in her belly area.
So for four nights straight she basically slept in either of our arms, on my husbands chest, with me in our glider, or even between us in bed on the Boppy pillow (yes I know there is a big label on there that says SLEEP with a big X through it, but we got desperate!). I figured it was time to call the pediatrician!
Christine, our fabulous Nurse Practitioner at the doctors office, told me that what I thought was acid reflux was probably a bad case of gas, because each feeding was not accompanied by a large spit-up, AND this was primarily happening at night, not all day long (I am writing this at 9 AM and I just want to mention that Marlo is asleep snug as a bug in her upstairs bassinet - gotta love my little nocturnal vampire baby!!). Christine then gave me a list of a few techniques we could try with Marlo: pedaling her feet while she is on her back (like you would doing bicycle sit-ups), giving her a warm bath before bed (making sure her belly is in the water), increasing tummy time to 20-30 minutes a day (which meant doing tummy time in the first place for us, as we keep forgetting to do this), and finally giving her some long belly rubs (always my favorite thing to have done when I am gassy!).
We proceeded to try all of the above - and all she absolutely loved (especially the warm bath). But that night she still became Princess Fussy-Pants (daughter of Queen Fancy-Slacks and King Cool-Britches). The next morning (yesterday) I figured I would call my lactation consultant to see what they thought about the situation. After telling her how much Marlo has been eating, and guesstimating that she is about 7 pounds, she told me that we are overfeeding our daughter! Now, I don't know who to believe because the doctors office knows how much she is eating and didn't mention the overfeeding to us, but we were open to trying anything, so yesterday instead of giving her everything she could eat, we cut her off at 3 ounces. If she was still hungry after the bottle, I brought her to my breast for a little "dessert" (still don't have the breastfeeding thing down - see previous post :). This seemed to work, and we capped her off at 3 max all day long...
Fast forward to 8 PM, that night...the peanut is fed, the big humans are finished with their steak dinner and enjoying a glass of wine, the pooch all curled up in between hubby and I on the couch - one happy family. Baby is on daddy's lap, legs are being bicycled...and then it happened. My beautiful, sweet, eflish daughter turned into old faithful. Now, I have heard of projectile vomiting, but this was like nothing I had seen before. Marlo blew chunks all over my husband, the couch, and yes, the dog! Being out of the danger zone on the other end of the couch, I stared in amazement at the seven pound baby that just tossed her cookies all over everything, who was just lying there, acting like nothing happened. The pooch was so shocked that she got hit by friendly fire that she jumped over my husband off the couch and fled the scene of the crime (she ran into the kitchen where she proceeded to lick herself clean - gross but hysterical). I couldn't stop laughing at the whole situation, and thankfully neither could my husband - vomit covered and all. How could something so small create such a gigantic mess?
We then drew a nice warm bath for the exorcist baby and cleaned her all up (not once did she cry or fuss about the whole experience), as well as my husband. After a good swaddling and some time in the vibrating chair, she was good as new. And when I say "good as new" I mean that we actually got a stretch of 3-4 hours of sleep last night! I know, I am still in shock...it is amazing how refreshed we both feel.
As my husband said "she just needed to exercise that demon in her belly, I guess?!" Fingers crossed we get some sleep again tonight...
Happy New Year!