Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bedtime stories

A couple weeks ago we asked my mom to send us some of my paperback childhood books, just a couple. Of course, not one to under-do anything (see the amount of food she serves at any party ever), she shipped somewhere around 15 lbs of reading material.

Because there isn't much privacy in the NICU, especially in Fairfax, where babies are lined up against the wall like ducks, it took me a while to get up the nerve to sing to him. But everyone tells you to do it, so I did. I've run out of lullabies, though (you can only sing The River Lullaby and Evening Prayer so many times), and expect that this weekend I'll be downloading some Disney tunes to refresh my memory and bulk up my stock.

In the meantime, we've started reading. He seems to like it a lot, or so we believe based on his steady vitals and calm demeanor as we regale him with tales of Miss Nelson, Corduroy and the witch "next door."

Today we also found out that they want to try him, on donor breast milk. He's had some loose, green (I know, TMI) stools the last few days as they have increased his feeds, and while all other signs are good (i.e., soft abdomen, no fever, etc.) they want to see whether my breast milk is causing him problems. Everything I've read says that green and loose are really NBD in the early stages (see this page, this page or this page ... I could go on, but I'm guessing you'll just skip all those sites and take my word). It could be that he's not getting enough hind milk (the milk from the end of a feed) or maybe that he's allergic to dairy [in breast milk]. But it also could be diarrhea. All told, I'm feeling defensive and discouraged since right now, providing that is one of the few things this new mom gets to do.

I know that these doctors make knowing poo their business and have good reasons for wanting to try something else. This afternoon I gave consent for them to try donor milk, and they'll start him on it tomorrow night. They'll see whether he gets better over the course of a few days, and then they'll switch him back to mine to see whether he can tolerate it at that point. If he cannot, they'll run some tests on mine to see if they can pinpoint the cause. All I can say is that if they figure out it's all my ice cream consumption I am -- sigh -- willing to drop the habit!


  1. You've got a gorgeous voice T...I bet he loves it! If you are looking for some good and easy lullabies, I love these ones:

    They are all tried and true favorites! :) (Plus, just think, maybe some of the other babies are missing their mommies too and would enjoy getting a little evening serenade...) :)

  2. Thanks, V, time to watch Dumbo again!

  3. I agree with Veena - Calder would benefit from hearing Taryn's beautiful voice :)
    I checked out a few more lullabies:
    from Pete's Dragon -
    from Bambi -
    from The Muppet Movie -
    Irish Lullaby -

  4. One more song - from Disney's "Tarzan" :)

  5. Thanks, Mom. I was actually singing Rainbow Connection to myself the night before your comment as I lay in bed. I tried it out with him last night and was rewarded with his biggest smile yet! :)

  6. Hi Taryn - I went dairy and soy free for about 6 weeks when Jacob was around 4 - 5 months old due to similar, and other, symptoms. It is frustrating because there is no clear link between mother's diet and those symptoms. We went to an allergist at one point, and he said research has not shown what the mother eats to make a significant difference, and, in fact, eating a restricted diet can reduce the volume and fat content of breast milk. But anecdotally you do hear stories of it working, and our pediatrician thought it was worth a try. In our case, we felt like Jacob did get better while I was off dairy (and soy) but that it might have just been because he was growing out of it.

    Anyway, if you do decide to go dairy free and need some recipes, let me know!

    Elizabeth R.

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. My cousin, a pediatrician, gave me similar advice, saying that unless the docs tell me to change things up not to go trying anything crazy just yet. In my book, giving up dairy and soy = crazy! That would be a real challenge for me. They are slowly reintroducing my milk and so far he is tolerating it. We wonder whether the course of antibiotics his took just cleaned him out, or whether the milk he was getting at the time didn't have enough hind milk. At any rate, if once fully on my milk his digestion of it is again a concern, I'll definitely request those recipes!

    2. And then I read this yesterday, too, which I think gives some credence to that thought: