Friday, September 11, 2009

Roly Poly

Please excuse our huge blanket over the couch. Yes, I know how incredibly tacky it is. However, this morning, I was reminded of exactly why we have it there. As Lawson finished his bottle, I moved him up to my shoulder for the obligatory burp. Instead of a burp, I got a projectile spit-up all across the back of the couch. Luckily my tacky blanket was there to save the day.

But all this is beside the point! Look at this video!! :) My favorite part is the punch at the camera at the end! As if to say, paparazzi, leave me alone! LOL

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cold Turkey

In case you've never tried stopping breastfeeding/pumping 'cold turkey', it's a very bad idea!! I do NOT recommend!

At our appointment at Duke on Tuesday, I was told I could stop pumping my breastmilk for Lawson. I took that literally and stopped; not a good idea! My breasts got very engorged and painful. I did know I needed to pump just a little to ease the pain, but not enough to 'stimulate' more milk production. So just before bed I pumped about an ounce from each breast. By the time Lawson woke up for his first night feeding, I was in so much pain, I could barely sleep! I ended up getting out of bed and coming downstairs to pump just to relieve the pain!! I've never been happier to pump in my life! Ahhhh, sweet relief! lol

It's Friday night and I've had to pump a few times each day to ease the pain, but it's getting better. This morning, I returned the hospital grade Medela pump (shown above) I had been renting from Smart Momma in Raleigh. Mothers of NICU babies are encouraged to rent the hospital grade pump if they're pumping more than feeding. Luckily I do have my own Medela Pump In Style that I used with Lacey and have had to use it. So as it turns out, even stopping the pumping is a challenge! LOL The things we do for our children! ;)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The End

So if you've been reading my blog, you know how important breastfeeding has been to me. I've wanted to breastfeed Lawson since he was born. Even when he was in the NICU, weeks away from ever eating anything, I shared my desire with his nurses. Most of the nurses were on board, saying that if breastfeeding was my goal, it was theirs too. There were a few who made me feel guilty for even talking about it when Lawson was so sick. I've held on to the hope until just recently.

During our last Special Infant Care Clinic visit, he showed that he had conquered his swallowing issues and we were approved to stop using the thickener in his milk and therefore approved to begin breastfeeding. At that point, he was about 4 months old. During that visit, he latched on and breastfed like a champ. When we got home and tried it again, I had thrush (again) and so it was extremely painful. So I continued to pump while giving him bottles of my expressed milk - now with no thickener, so it was much easier for him to take. I would try to breastfeed before each bottle, but as time passed, he grew more and more fond of his bottle and less fond of the breast, since it is more difficult to get milk from the breast. He is now at the point where if it even comes close to him he screams like I'm trying to kill him. LOL So I've given up on actually breastfeeding, but have continued to pump.

When I shared this with Dr. Benjamin at his appointment on Tuesday, she was amazed that I was still pumping. She commended me for my dedication to pumping, but said there was really no reason to continue. He had already gotten the important immunities that come with the early milk. I argued that I was committed to 'breastfeeding' for a year and she countered with, "That's only under the most ideal circumstances." I think we could say that I've had less than ideal circumstances- double mastitis, almost constant recurrence of thrush, pumping for weeks in the beginning when we couldn't even feed him, having several gallons of my frozen milk spoiled, and not even being able to start breastfeeding until he was about 4 months old. I think that breastfeeding a baby is a beautiful and natural thing. Hooking yourself up to a mechanical milking machine is just weird and unnatural! To be perfectly honest, as committed to breastfeeding as I have been, I was really happy to hear her say I could stop pumping.

My first thought was, "Hurray! Freedom! Now I don't have to be tied to the pump all the time and schedule my day around pumping." The next thought that quickly replaced it was, "Oh no! Now I don't have any excuse to sit in front of the computer while I pump for 30 minutes every 3 hours!" LOL

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Miracle Baby

We didn't even know Lawson had an appointment Tuesday, until they called with the reminder message on Monday. Apparently, at our last Special Infant Care Clinic appointment 3 months ago, we thought we were finished, so we didn't check out and missed finding out about the appointment! (Either that, or we're really sucky parents and just forgot to write it down on either of our calendars.) We've had a variety of appointments at both Duke and his regular pediatrician, but the Special Infant Care Clinic appointments only happen every so often. It's the most intensive and involves the most time.
Lawson is now 14 pounds even and is 24.8 inches long!! He is in the 25th percentile for height and weight for his adjusted age! His upper and lower body strength is right on track! His head control is excellent for his adjusted age. He can roll from his back to both sides and has been approved to play on his tummy time mat with no support pillow. The physical therapist said he's probably about 6 weeks away from sitting up on his own and should begin rolling over with no support pillow any day now. He still enchants everyone he encounters with that contagious smile! It makes people feel so special when he charms them, I hate to tell them that he does that for everyone. ;)

They took blood to check if he has overcome the anemia found during his last SICC visit. We got awesome news! No more anemia!! That means we can drop two of his meds! We have also been asked to begin weaning him from the Reglan. A few weeks after he is completely off the Reglan, we can begin weaning off the Prilosec. That means by our next appointment, he will be completely off all of his meds!! Yippee! They did stress the continued importance of preventing any sort of illness. And just like you hear on the news - proper and frequent handwashing is the number one defense! One of the doctors suggested 'hibernating' this winter and avoiding any large groups of children, no church, gym, or other type of daycare. He will most likely move back to two breathing treatments per day during the winter. He will be receiving a medication from the doctor once a month over the fall/winter for the prevention of RSV, which preemies are more succeptible to getting.

The best thing though, is that EVERY doctor who saw him today called him "Miracle Baby". He saw three neonatologists, (only one was 'supposed' to see him, the others were just visiting) :) the physical therapist, and the lady who took his blood. As each one entered the room at different times and began to interact with Lawson, they all said, in so many words, "This baby is absolutely a miracle!" To see where he has been and where he is now, just astonishes people! Dr. Benjamin, one of our favorite neonatologists and the doctor who saw him at his last Special Infant Care Clinic, just couldn't get over what a big boy he has become. She kept calling him 'chunker'. I never thought I'd see the day that anyone would call Lawson a chunker! He's healthy. He's happy. He's a chunker. He truly is a miracle baby!