Well I am pleased to say I think we may be turning a corner. Finally.
All along I have felt in my heart that something just wasn’t right for poor little Mae. If you read my post a few months ago, you will know what I am talking about.
Anyone in my life could tell you that my vocabulary has pretty much been reduced to the following terms:
- food allergies
- high needs
- exclusive pumping
- lactation consultant
- donor milk
- gluten free
- dairy free
And some abbreviations too…
So needless to say, it’s been a challenge.
We saw pediatricians, chiropractors, lactation consultants, a nutritionist, a gastro specialist, and some baby-wearin extreme breastfeeders. We also tried NAET and CST. I googled every single possible scenario/remedy. Nothing seemed to help. Mae still spit up and fussed most of the day, rarely napped longer than 20 minutes, arched her back and fought our every embrace and had a tough time sleeping through the night.
Not to make this about me or sound overly dramatic, but having a baby who appears to be in constant discomfort no matter what you do (or don’t do) is extremely difficult. Obviously emotionally, but physically, mentally, professionally and even spiritually. It was like my heart was being broken every single day. I lost hope that there was a solution, I grieved the loss of the mother-baby experience I’d dreamed of, I cried, I got angry, I prayed, stopped praying, talked to friends, stopped talking to friends, and more.
I was beginning to wonder that since nothing helped then what if nothing was actually “wrong”? What if Mae’s issues were simply temperamental? I bought Dr. Sears fussy baby book and joined the facebook group for “high needs” babies. Many of the moms there said arriving at this conclusion helped them because they adjusted their expectations and parenting styles to cope. But for me, it just made me more frustrated, and even less patient with Mae’s irritability. So I didn’t give up.
After multiple failed formula attempts and countless tearful nursing battles, I gave up and went back to pumping exclusively so I was at least able make sure she was getting enough to eat. Well as our luck would have it, (and due to two previous lumpectomies) my milk supply wasn’t responding well to all the stress so we had to figure out something to supplement with. Since Mae couldn’t tolerate any of the formulas (even the hypoallergenic ones) we were limited to breast milk and I just wasn’t making enough. So I sought out donated breast milk and was able to find some that was dairy free but not gluten free. We tried that a few times and it didn’t seem to be working and I knew the chances of finding a breast milk donor that was both gluten and dairy free were slim to none.
“When we are in over our heads we touch the depths of God.” – Ann Voskamp
I am definitely in over my head daily trying to balance all of this along with my business and marriage. Lately, I have just been treading water and reminding myself that I’ll be able to swim soon.
But over the past couple of weeks, we have seen some really exciting improvements! Mae has had two visits with a new chiropractor that treats lots of infants with issues like hers and I believe it has made a dramatic difference in her overall comfort level. Also, I went out on a limb, paid a small fortune, and ordered some organic goat’s milk based formula from Europe. She loves it and has had no adverse reaction! I have been mixing it with my milk but starting today we are going to see how she handles it by itself and then maybe, just maybe, I will be able to put this pump away. (It seriously talks to me and I think it is starting to call me mean names…)
I am looking forward to the day that when asked how we’re doing, I can honestly smile and say “great” for the first time in her life. I cringe when I think of the countless unsuspecting souls I have bored with our story just because I couldn’t lie when asked. If you are one of those people, thank you for listening.
With that, here are some snapshots from recent adventures c/o my phone: