wren is weighing in at 12lbs 2oz!
here's a little comparison:
the day we left the nicu, her feet barely reached past the harness
and this was a few weeks ago, her feet touch the end!
(you'll see this one again. it was from our trip to taos, nm.)
daddy giving her a bath in september
gigi giving her a bath last week
well.. about 2 weeks ago it became evident that she was slowing down on her weight gain... against the dietitian's recommendation i refused to supplement with formula. (ya'll know how i feel about formula.) apparently, for whatever reason, from the beginning of december, until the beginning of january she only gained about 8oz. can you believe it? now, i fully expected that she would plateau.. reaching a certain weight and sort of slow down, gaining, but not in huge increments. but half a pound was a little bit on the low side of what i was even comfortable with. they recommended that she gain 15-25 grams a day. (about half an ounce to .88oz.) about a pound to two in a month.
i think i've mentioned how we come from "small people"... and we don't expect her to be a giant baby. but, i also want her to get off oxygen. and i know that weight gain is a big deal... assuring that she's not burning too many calories trying to breathe. so, i caved. two weeks ago i started:
pumping almost exclusively- yeah, it sucks. welcome to breastfeeding land... it's not easy, but it's what's best for her, so that's what i'm doing. i've been having some supply issues too, which doesn't help! (but that's a whole different post entirely.) anyway, pumping allows me to not only give her primarily bottles, which i can enrich and add meds to, but also to monitor her intake very closely. she's taking between 5-8 oz at every feed by bottle. (the army would say "embrace the suck".)
enriching her bottles- never thought you'd read that on this blog did you? haha, well, have no fear... my little one is not getting the dreaded cow'smilkbasedformula, but powdered goat's milk. now, before you think i've totally lost it, hear my praise for this stuff. not only does it not bother her going in- she didn't even seem to notice- but it doesn't bother her going through- no gas, bloating, tummy aches- and it doesn't bother her coming out- no diarrhea!! i never thought it would be such a great transition. i have been mixing in about 2oz+ of goat milk with 3oz of breast milk. now, you have to be careful using goat's milk. it is higher in protein, and lower in carbs, as well as lacking in a few vitamins. (that is covered by just a regular multi-vit that your ped probably already has your little one on.) when you get it it hasn't been jacked around like the cow's milk or soy or whatever in formula- so you have to jack it around a little bit to make it work for a little baby... but just a little. here's dr. sears's recipe. i add in sugar (while i'm waiting to get rice syrup), and i dilute it a little more than the recommended mix on the can. as my supply goes back up, i'll be using less water in the mixture. (i'm using smartwater. the extra electrolytes couldn't hurt- she's been low on those her whole life.) overall, this has been a GREAT option for us.. i hope some of you will consider it. goat's milk is much easier for babies to digest than cow's milk without the scary side effects of soy.. and offers a great alternative to store bought formula. it runs about $13 retail... but you might be able to find it cheaper.
adding rice cereal regularly- this has gone ok. she absolutely hates rice cereal to eat, but doesn't blink when it's in her bottle. i add in about 3 tbsp/5oz. honestly, i just eyeball it, mix it, eyeball it again...ta-da! a bottle! while i'm discussing bottles... i'm a huge fan of adiri, but needing some stage 2/3 nipples in a pinch i picked up a few born free glass bottles. (you'll definitely need some big holes to get that cereal out!) they've gone great! they have an extra wide top and she does well with them. since she can almost hold her bottle, i did try to pick up some smaller glass ones- avent this time. hey, while i'm branching out- right? anyway, the tops were TINY... i think she may have gotten a callus on her lips from overlapping where the nipple connected to the top. :( poor baby! (but she could hold them up! it was too cute!) definitely not my favorite! i'm using happy bellies.. i found it at target- and LOVE it. i was already adding in DHA and probiotics with her bottles, this saves me a step! i haven't been able to find it recently, i hope that they aren't discontinuing carrying it. i think it was $2/can or something.
feeding her purees- we started with sweet potatoes, and she LOVES them, they're still her favorite! then went to avocado- epic fail! she screamed for HOURS. it made her have terrible gas. i'm all for the healthy fat, but we're going to have to wait a month or so more and try that one again. then we tried butternut squash... she likes it ok. apples went well, but it was a level 1, and i think that it was almost too runny for her.. she got a little choked up trying to eat it. she didn't like peas the first time, or second time, or third time...: ) but now she's eating them like a champ! we're doing pears later this week, and green beans soon. (mommy's favoite!) i would love to find the happy babies food somewhere, but haven't been able to locate any in our area. grrr... i've been getting earth's best. it's good stuff, goes down pretty well, and it's also available at target and the local health food store. (about .50/jar.) btw, as a side note... I WANT THIS! wish in one hand.....
adding olive oil to her puree- yeah... so that lovely stuff has about 120 cals/tbsp. i'm throwing mine out for good! maybe make a permanent switch to safflower oil. hmmm.. i guess i can't blame my weight entirely on olive oil when i sit and eat sugar cookie dough while watching tv. (i'm by myself a lot- ok?) but, i digress. adding olive oil to the puree adds TONS of cals and good fats. (see- they're good fats.) i wouldn't recommend it with the level 1.. or definitely not a whole tbsp in a regular 2.5oz jar. it makes it super runny. and you have to shake it up before you serve it. (it will separate very easily- think "salad dressing".) always buy the oil labeled "light". i always thought it meant "healthier", but really, it's just a lighter taste. (regular olive oil's taste can be very overwhelming to whatever you add it to.) (here's an update on that 1.31.10)
so, through all that hard work she's gained about a pound and a half in 2 weeks! woo-hoo! this momma was a happy momma when that scale read 12 2.
what a big girl
i talked to the dietician today. she was thrilled with the weight gain... of course. she seemed completely oblivious to anything related to goat's milk, or olive oil.. or vitamins etc. it was a little disconcerting. but, then again, this is the same lady who told me i need to add MORE dairy to my diet for calcium. (they've done some research on that... maybe she should do some continuing ed for her job or something... ok, so the research i gave wasn't a harvard study.. but it's out there- i'm just too lazy to find it right now... maybe there will be a "cow's milk is for cows"post in the future. :)
we have a pulmonolgy appointment tomorrow... quick- everyone pray!!!!