The Orion Nebula

This is one STELLAR nursery!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

When the cat's away the mice will...

sleep, evidently.

Anyone who's reading this knows that I have never had the luxury of being one of those snooty new moms who haughtily announces that her baby has been sleeping through the night since six weeks old. I came to terms with that a long time ago, and was satisfied that Orion would go to bed at 7pm, wake up once and take a bottle as we were going to bed around 11pm, and then would wake up again around 3am for another quick snack before sleeping until 8am.

Unfortunately, over the past six weeks or so, that's all gone out the window. He still goes down around 7pm and makes it until 11pm, but then all hell breaks loose. He spends the rest of the night tossing and turning. He's still been taking (at least) one bottle overnight but from 2am until 5:30am he fusses and squirms, needing constant settling. Then at 5:30 he poops, and I'm up for the day because I've gotten up to change him.

But that's me.

With Doombot its a whole 'nuther story. For the first night I was out of town, he did have some trouble getting the baby to sleep. He was starting to early, having picked the Squirrel up from daycare early enough that he missed his last nap then trying to compensate by putting him down for the night at 5:30pm. Yeah, not gonna work. But for the last two nights, he's come about as close to Orion sleeping through the night as I think we're going to see for a while. In bed asleep at 7:00, up at 11:00 for a bottle, then back down sleeping soundly until the 5:30am poop.

It turns out that the magic formula (and in all honesty I've suspected this all along) is that the baby got to lay in bed with him without any contact. He got to lay in my spot with his arms all the way outstretched, with nobody harassing him with all the snuggling and patting that he gets from me. Sorry little ingrate.

The solution is going to be a major pain in the ass. Tomorrow night, we're pulling the full-size crib into the bedroom. We'll take the side off and push it up beside the bed on my side. He'll be safe, close by where I don't have to get up to put him back down in the night, and he won't have to be touched while he sleeps. Maybe we'll be able to recreate Doombot's results.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rapido! Con no arroz.

I never wanted to have to say this, but Orion is delicate. We worked very hard to strike a balance where he was getting a formula that sat well with him, thickened to a point where he wouldn't aspirate it, coming out of nipple with a hole big enough to fit through without giving him an ear infection but small enough that it didn't give him a tummy ache from eating too fast. This nipple was required to be attached to a bottle that would not give him gas.

After much crying and many sleepless nights for all of of us (come to think of it, we were all doing the crying, also) we came upon the following combination. Nestle Good Start formula, thickened at a ratio of one formula scoop of rice cereal to four ounces of formula, coming out of a Size Three Dr. Brown's Standard Nipple on a BPA free bottle. We were even able to wean him from his reflux meds.

Almost two weeks ago, Orion started to have loose, frequent stools. His reflux was back, with him arching his back and fighting his food. He stopped sleeping well and was cranky and weepy. I was confused though, because suddenly he was eating more at daycare too. It occurred to me that they weren't asking for rice cereal as frequently as it seemed like they should but I figured they were using the community rice, which was fine with me. I never connected these dots. Until today.

Today, we picked Orion up early. They were getting ready to feed him, so they just gave us his bottle to take with us to the real live Pediatrician. We usually leave his bottles there, so I told them I'd bring it back tomorrown.

I noticed right away that the nipple looked kind of funny. Cloudy, and maybe a little fatter and shorter than I recalled. Enough to make me notice, but not different enough to set off any alarms. Once we got settled in the car, I started feeding the baby and formula just came POURING out. He was starving, but he'd just take a couple of gulps then cry and push it away. He'd catch his breath then reach for the bottle again, mouth wide open, only to push it away again when the formula came pouring out the sides of his mouth.

I held up the bottle and saw the word "Rapido" printed on the side of the nipple. What the hell? Orion's nipples don't speak Spanish. I turned it around and saw the word "Fast."

"Mother Fucker!" I yelled from the backseat.

Doombot nearly lost control of the car. "What the hell is wrong back there?"

I'll tell you what was wrong. There was a god damn fast flow Playtex nipple on my Squirrel's carefully selected Dr. Brown bottle. It wasn't even a fast flow nipple that was in good shape. When I pinched the top, it gapped open wider than a (insert off color joke here.) I looked around the car and found a dirty bottle with a size three nipple. The baby was crying his poor little eyes out and I contemplated ways to get the nipple clean. I decided to wait until we got to the Dr. and clean it there where I could get soap and hot water. Orion would just have to suck on my knuckles until then.

Doombot asked to see the bottle. He swished it around and said, "I hate to piss you off even more, but there's obviously no rice in here." He was right. No rice.

We went through with the Dr. visit, but I'm now certain what was going on all along. Either because they wanted him to eat faster or because of total carelessness, some daycare girl has put the wrong nipple on Orion's bottle and collectively the daycare brain-trust has forgotten to put rice in his bottles.

That's why his reflux has come back and he had to restart his meds. His formula was too thin. That's why his tummy hurts. He's eating too fast. And that's why he has diarrea. His solid/liquid ratio is different than he's used to.

I still think its a good daycare. Each of the girls really seems to care about Orion and wants the best for him. I just think they're spread too thin, got disorganized, and forgot. I'll straighten them out tomorrow and all will be well.

But I'll tell you what. One more fuck up like this and they will rue the day they crossed Mama Squirrel.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sleep or Death!

Orion is a really crappy sleeper and its noones fault but mine. Since he was born, we've used a combination of the Pack n Play/Co-sleeper in our room and the "family bed" for all of our sleeping needs. The little tyrant has also required that he be allowed to fall asleep on the bottle and that he not be moved until he is fully asleep.

He wakes once a night for a full feeding. I could live with that, if not for the 30 other times he wakes up to do a little bit of sucking and to have his position changed. Next thing you know he's going to be making me wipe his ass for him. Speaking of which, during The Intestinal Distress of September 2008 the sleeping has gotten even worse.

I get that he's just a baby, but this shit is not acceptable. I've bought some books and learned that I can teach him to get back to sleep on his own with no crying. I can't do the whole cry-it-out thing. The jury is out for me on whether or not its always cruel, but I just don't have the constitution for it.

I am taking action though. He's back on his reflux meds, which was a no brainer. But the big news is that Doombot has finally agreed to let me move him to the crib. He's currently taking his second nap in his very own crib in his very own room. I even rocked him until he was drowsy and then laid him down. Then I sang to him until he fell asleep. No bottle, people! Do you know what this means?

No? Neither do I, to tell the truth. But the Book says that its important. We'll see what happens tonight, because if I don't get some sleep soon I think I'm gonna die.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

God Bless Dr. Sears

OK. The sleep book was horse shit. I don't need to pay $20 for a book to tell me to get over myself if my baby doesn't sleep through the night. Yeah, he's hungry. I get it. Why don't you send someone on over to feed him for me. I'll give you another $20. What? Where are you going???

But the website. Ahhhhhh. The website. When I go to Dr. Google and frantically type in some search term, like tonight's "infant loose stool", and the first link up is to Dr. Sears' site it's like someone has thrown me a life raft. I just want to give every single one of those damn Dr. Searses a great big sloppy kiss.

Dr. Sears tells me I'm not crazy (unlike Doombot). Dr. Sears tells me that its ok to love my baby so much I'm in tears because he's got diarrhea (while the baby giggles at me because it doesn't bother him a bit). Dr. Sears tells me some shit I can do to feel like I'm helping (Give him some live and active cultures!) Dr. Sears even tells me all of this for free.

Unlike Dr. Opium Den, who charged me fifteen bucks.

Squirrel School called at about 3:30 this afternoon, to the shock of absolutely no one, to tell me I needed to come get him. In all actuality, the "three loose poop" alarm clock went off about four hours later than I had expected. I was just glad to have gotten most of a work day in. See, Orion has been pooping soup for four days now. He doesn't seem dehydratedm and when he's not fighting sleep because his tummy hurts, he's laughing non-stop. He's eating less than normal, but I kept thinking it would just go away. But today, Squirrel School forced my hand.

We've only been in OKC a month, so we don't have a pediatrician yet. I was gonna need a Dr. note to be able to get back to work tomorrow, so I set about looking for a walk-in clinic. What I found was awful. I would rather have had Orion treated in the bathroom from Trainspotting.

First, it stunk like old food and cigarettes. Never a good sign in a Dr. office. Then the 9-volt battery in the infant scale was dead and they couldn't find another one. So, we did the next best thing:

Step 1: Weigh Mom Holding the Baby
Step 2: Round Combined Weight Down to Nearest Five Pound Mark
Step 3: Ask Mom How Much She Weighs For Subtraction Purposes
Step 4: Sigh Loudly When Mom Doesn't Know
Step 5: Weigh Mom Alone For Subtraction Purposes, Rounding Up to Nearest Five Pounds

The oh-so-accurate result? Orion has evidently lost 3lbs in the last month.

After we established that my baby weighed somewhere between fifteen and twenty pounds the examination began. The Dr. told me to feed nothing but Pedialyte for 24 hours, then changed his mind. He told me that there was nothing wrong, and told me how to cure constipation. I'll have to keep that in mind, asshole.

I got my daycare release and left.

By two hours later I was in tears. I KNEW there was something wrong with the squirrel but I didn't know what to do about it. I came home and asked the BabyCenter ladies with no luck. Desperate, I turned to Dr. Google.

Dr. Sears had me switch to soy formula, mixed 50/50 with Pedialyte. Doombot ran out and got it. One bottle and Orion was out. At least I feel like I'm doing something.