Thursday, January 01, 2009

We interrupt the scheduled whine

I'm most of the way through a long post about how the infection is back (short version: still bleeding, increasing pain, now running low-grade fever, seeing useless doctor on Friday), but I found something else to worry about instead.

Andrew hasn't pooped since Sunday, and I've noticed he hasn't been having a lot of wet diapers either the last few days. I've also been thinking he's looking a little thin the last couple weeks -- his 3-6 month size Christmas outfit was enormous on him. This morning, it finally occurred to me to stand on the scale with him to see how much he weighs.

Eleven pounds. My three-and-a-half-month-old weighs eleven pounds.

He weighed twelve pounds at his two-month checkup, an appropriate weight gain from the 8 lb 4 oz he weighed at two weeks. So not only has he failed to gain any weight in two months, he's lost some. I know scales vary, so we might be off by a pound or so, but it's quite clear that something is amiss.

He's nursing about every two hours during the day, from waking up at 7 to going to bed at 9, but the girls did that too when they started sleeping through the night and had to cram 6-8 feedings into the day. He nurses 6-7 times total, for five to ten minutes, and usually seems content when he's done, although occasionally I have to nurse him on the other side (I usually do one side and swap at each feeding). I nurse him on demand, he latches well, gulps milk, and nurses until he's done. I exclusively nursed twins for a year, so it's not like I have intrinsically low supply or don't understand the mechanics.

I'm suspicious it's a milk supply problem caused by the surgery and the returning infection and the bleeding. I've got to be anemic at this point -- I had barely made it up to the bottom of the normal range pre-surgery, and I've been bleeding for two weeks now. I've also been on naproxen for a while, and given the amount of bruising I've got going on, I suspect my liver is unhappy too. Put that together with the infection and the fever, and it can't be good. I don't *feel* good, so it's really not all that shocking, I suppose.

I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow, and I know she'll do a CBC to check for infection, so I'll see what that has to say. I'm planning on taking Andrew to his pediatrician for a weight check immediately afterward, and after that, I may call the breastfeeding clinic to get the opinion of the LC there.

When midnight struck last night, I told my husband that I hope 2009 is a healthier year for us all, but this is not a promising start.


Nic said...

Jeez Louise! You really have had a rough time of all this! I'm so sorry to hear that the infection is back. And I really hope that everything is okay with Andrew - it seems very strange to me that he'd be nursing and seem like he's happy and content while not actually getting enough! Please let us know how things go with his doc!

Antigonos said...

Emma, go to formula. You and I both know it's not the end of the world.
I KILLED myself breastfeeding Son for 6 weeks, and he did gain weight -- barely. Then I was in a place where I couldn't breastfeed, and watched a 3 week old infant suck up 250cc of Similac, and become a human being. I persevered with total breast feeding for another 3 weeks before I saw the light. Despite everything I was taught, by three months he had begun getting cereal -- he was an immensely hungry kid. It looks to me that Andrew is the same.
Offer the breast first, then give a bottle.

On the other matter, I'm beginning to think that you might be better off with a hysterectomy [!?] I hope you are feeling better by this time...

Emma B. said...

Antigonos, I'm supplementing with formula now. I want to get our normal nursing relationship back if we can -- until recently, he was gaining very well and nursing trouble-free. I enjoy nursing him, and formula is inconvenient, expensive, and smells bad. Supplementation is the worst of all worlds, but I'll do it for a short while if I think it may work itself out in a few weeks. I think the decision will most likely be made for me, one way or the other.

As for the hysterectomy, I'm increasingly afraid it's the inevitable consequence. I've worried about that almost since this began, and I'm not exactly reassured by present events.

Mendy said...

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? Despite all the internal goings-on, you look great and we had a wonderful time at our annual get-together. Kyle has already asked when we can go back to "Ms. Emma's" house. We really shouldn't limit ourselves to New Year's Eve. Please keep me updated and let me know what I can do to help. Don't be shy about asking, I really mean it.