We are over 5 weeks into this baby business and I still don't feel like we things figured out. The only thing I know for sure is that he really likes mom. I seem to be the only person who can calm him down, which is really nice, but at the same time really hard!
I finally trusted my mothering instinct (after reading many many online articles on everything that could be wrong or causing him to cry) and took Philip to the doctor. Turns out that he has thrush, possibly acid reflux and maybe (you know, for the cherry on top) an allergy to cow's milk, which is in my breast milk because I eat dairy ALL THE TIME. The doctor put us on a 2-3 week plan. He said we can combine week one and week two (which we are doing) so this week we are trying a few things. First is the medicine for thrush, which involves not only a dose of medicine that we rub in his mouth, but also a cream that I rub on my boobs (tmi?) to combat the thrush on both fronts. In addition to this, I'm sterilizing everything that goes in his mouth and will continue to sterilize everything until the thrush has left the building (which I hope is within a week). In fact, today I picked up some baskets to keep in the kitchen, one for the "needs to be sterilized" baby stuff, the "sterilized and ready to use" and one for his medicine.
The second step of week one (or if we would have waited, week two) is medicine for acid reflux. When Philip was born the doctor mentioned that she thought he might have some reflux, but by his second week check up he was gaining so much weight that she said it probably wasn't something to worry about. Well, skip to present day and I'm now begging for medicine. So, he is now taking a twice-daily dose of zantac and a once daily dose of prilosec. Yes, they actually make these medicine in "baby version". We hope to see improvement
Now, on to the third step. The doctor said that it is possible that the thrush is causing Philip pain and that is why he has been fussy and if it isn't that, it is possible that it is truly acid reflux; however, if in a week we aren't seeing any improvements I'm to start "phase three". This is the step in the plan that I'm dreading...It is the "TOTAL dairy elimination". You see, although no one (that I know of) on my or Phil's side of the family has an allergy to milk, there is a chance that Philip does and the fact that I drink milk or eat dairy and it is getting into my breast milk and upsetting Philip's tummy.
Now, to know me is to know how much I LOVE cheese, milk, and basically anything dairy, so the thought of having to give up dairy for the entire time I'm breastfeeding is a not-so-tasty pill to swallow. It is also breaking my heart to think that it is something that I'm doing that is causing Philip discomfort. Every time he cries I think "this is because of me". To top it all off, I'm producing too much milk, so much so that poor Philip gags when he eats...so I'm now working on tricking my body into not thinking it needs to produce so much milk.
Seriously, if it isn't one thing, it is another. With Natalie, breastfeeding was so hard in the beginning, but then that is all she wanted. With Philip, breastfeeding has been a breeze until now when we realize that we have all these other issues. Parenting is totally a guessing game, just when you think you have things figured out you realize that every baby and every situation is different. Add to that all the pressure we as parents put on ourselves and other parents. I remember thinking, when Natalie was little and never fussed, what is wrong with those parents of fussy babies? Well, now I know there is nothing wrong with them. I'm going to try and put less pressure on myself and project less judgement on others; here's hoping I can.