Monday, March 30, 2009

Six months

So, Andrew's six months old. I love this stage of babyhood, because he's old enough to have personality, but he's still easy to keep up with. That will be short-lived, because he is rolling/squirming himself all over the place, and I think we are no more than a month or so away from actual crawling. He still tends to fall over when sitting up, but he's figuring it out day by day. He's a very happy baby as long as he is being played with, held, talked to, and otherwise interacted with, full of smiles and giggles. Until this weekend, he'd been doing very well about sleeping through the night, and even the 45-minute naps are slowly stretching out to an hour, sometimes an hour and a half. In most respects, things are going well.

The not-so-good respects is our old bugbear milk supply. At his six-month checkup last week, he weighed 15 lb 14 oz. That's 25th percentile, not terrible of itself, but it's only a six-ounce gain in five weeks. The doctor pronounced herself unconcerned, because babies do often slow down at this point, but now he's started acting hungry again. He's nursing every two hours again, biting and acting mad at me after feedings, and waking up at night again. He feels lighter to me than he did a couple weeks ago, and my mom also noticed a difference. When the wet diaper count started to drop off, I was pretty sure we had a problem again.

I had weaned myself mostly off the Reglan, mainly because I was tired of taking pills, so the first thing I did was to go back on it three times a day. I've taken Reglan for months now, and took it for months during my pregnancy with no problem, but apparently I've crossed some side-effect threshold. After just two days of increased dosage, I've been jumping out of my skin, restless and anxious and weepy and sad and obsessive, in a way that is very much not like me. My LC's nurse thinks this is probably due to the Reglan, and told me to get off it posthaste. Low milk supply is better than emotional instability, to be sure, but I'm not happy about losing the Reglan just when I need it more.

I had started Andrew on solids on his birthday, beginning with mashed banana and pureed pears and applesauce. He's been showing signs of readiness for a while -- watching our food like a hawk, stealing off our plates, gumming anything you hold up for him to taste -- so I was surprised when he wasn't enthusiastic at all about the fruits I offered. After some experimentation, though, I think perhaps he just doesn't like fruit much, because he likes oatmeal just fine, and any bits of our food that are soft enough for him to eat. Rice with vindaloo sauce was a huge hit, and I thought the kid was going to take my hand off over mashed-up new potatoes -- I couldn't get them in his mouth fast enough.

So solid supplementation will take some of the pressure off the milk-supply thing, I hope. I'm giving him a bottle at bedtime again, too, which he attacks with enough vigor to reassure me that he needs it. I don't intend to wean him yet if I can help it, and would really like to keep nursing to the one-year mark, but it looks like I just can't keep up with breastfeeding alone.

Low milk supply is a real thing and does happen, even to women who do everything "right". I've never doubted that, but I just didn't think it would happen to me. I had hoped the first episode was a temporary hurdle, but it looks like something I'll have to fight for the rest of my time as a nursing mother. It's not just the Reglan talking when I say I'm sad today.

84 comments:

Nico said...

so now he's nine months! Would love to hear an update from you.

Nic said...

And happy birthday to Andrew and your girls too!! Would love a quick update on how you're all doing :-) (Even if you just want to email me and say hi). xox

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