My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Formula Saga

As many of you know..if you have followed the blog or talked to me about it, I am not really able to nurse. I can, kind of nurse, but it is a very ugly ordeal, and not one that should be repeated. I won't go into all of the nasty and long details, but believe me, if I could nurse, I would. I am not against it, I just can't do it and have had to accept it and overcome a LOT of guilt and nasty comments from doctors and people. The doctors and nurses here in Colorado Springs have been wonderful about it. They have been very supportive and kind. It has made a big difference for me.

Formula is a gift, really. It is a wonderful invention and a great thing. Think of all of the adoptive parents, women who have had mastectomy's, or people with other issues, like me, who depend so much on it. It is a great tool.

But dang, it can be a monster to figure out what works for your baby. In our case, it has been a 9 day ordeal.

Lets start from the beginning.

In the hospital, I noticed that William was spitting up quite a bit after every feeding. It gradually got worse during our stay there. I kept asking the nurses about it, but they assured me it was o.k. I felt otherwise, but hoped they were right. In the hospital, he was given Enfamil. A formula that neither Mary or Sam was able to take, but I had hope for William.

We brought Will home on Sunday. Sunday night was the 7 hour crying or should I say screaming session that I mentioned in the last post. It was horrible, and it clued us in to what could be wrong.

That very night, we pulled out a formula I had bought in advance, that Mary and Sam had when they were babies. It didn't really help.

I even tried to nurse William. I pretty much knew it wouldn't work, but I was so desperate, we were willing to do anything. It didn't work.

The next morning, a friend called to see how things were going. I vented my frustrations from the night before, and she mentioned that she had so much frozen breast milk in her freezer that she didn't know what to do with it all. She offered to let us try it on Will and see if it would help.

So, I sent Ben over to get the breast milk. We fed Will with it for the next two feedings. He liked it, but it still didn't settle well in his stomach. I wanted to scream.

I called the doctor later that day, she diagnosed him on the spot, and we put him on a special Amino Acid protein breakdown, milk based, yadda yadda yadda formula. Basically a very expensive and specialized formula for babies who can't break down protein.

This formula was a miracle worker!! William didn't spit up, he didn't cry, he was happy. All was well.

And then he stopped pooping. Literally. No poop for the next three days. Not good. In fact, that is terrible for an infant. Especially on that was not even a week old yet.
So, it was back to the doctor. They told us to use a baby laxative to clear him out, and they put him on a different formula. This one was Enfimil Gentelease. This has "partially" broken down protein, but helps with constipation. This was supposed to be the next step for William after he has been on the AA formula for 3-6 months. I was surprised that the doc said to try it now.

We started this new formula and gave him the laxatives. He ended up needed 4 of them over a 24 hour period to even begin to un-clog him. It was an absolute nightmare and he hated it, so did I. Two of them were in the early morning hours with pee and poop flying all over the place.

Finally, yesterday morning, I felt like he was all cleared out, then boom. He started vomiting the formula after every feeding. Then he started crying. Then last night, it was back to the screaming his head off after each feeding. The formula was hurting him. Dang.

So, it was back to the Amino Acid constipating miracle protein formula. He immediately calmed down after we gave it to him.

Knowing full well that this is the ONLY formula he can have right now, and knowing the terrible side effects, we did the last option we had. We put a small amount of Karo syrup in the bottle. The doctor suggested this in case the other formula didn't work, which it didn't.

We gave this to William right before bed.

It works! We finally have it figured out! He poops, he eats, his tummy is happy, and best of all, he fell asleep after each feeding last night with no problem at all. Ne barfing all over, no screaming, no grunting, nothing. Just wonderful sleep. Mom and dad are rested and oh so happy. Once big perk of bottle feeding, is that Ben can help. I don't know how much of a perk it is to him, but for me, it is great.

So now I guess I would have to say I have a love hate relationship with formula. But, once it is all figured out, it is a wonderful thing.

This is what our pantry looks like after 9 days of trying to figure out what to do. Thank goodness, almost all of them are samples from the doctor or the mail.

And the winner is....

p.s. Somehow, through it all, William was back up to his birth weight by his one week appointment! We were all thrilled. I love looking at that 9.3 on the scale, and the adorable, naked, fuzzy, chubby, rolly, baby that is sitting on it.


runningfan said...

What a lot of work! I have definitely taken for granted the ease with which I am able to nurse...thanks for the reminder!

Deanna said...

Yes, thank you for the reminder! Nursing is literally HELL for me the first two or so weeks, but it ends up working out...I am SO thankful now!!!

Maybe I missed it..but what was the KARO syrup for? Hey - if it works, AWESOME!

Mama Bear said...

I hear ya, nursing comes so easy to some, but to the rest of us, what a blessed trial. We had to do the soy formula for our first, she had such a hard time with formula, too, but she outgrew it. Good luck to you.

shaina said...

What a hard thing to go through. I'm so glad you got it figured out!

erin d. said...

Oh my goodness girl! I am so glad you have such an amazing support system! I'm so glad you figured it out. You are an amazing mother and I totally Amen your formula comments at the beginning. Crazy pro-breast feeding women need to understand that formula does NOT = poison! Yeesh. I was lucky to be able to nurse Jane for just over a year, but it's not like that for everyone! Yay you guys! we love you!

R said...

Oh, I'm so sorry for all of that frustration! I had a very difficult time breastfeeding my first 2 kids, and wound up formula feeding them. I know how hard that can be to go through. Ammon wheezed alot and we had to try so many different kinds of formula! Ugghh!
William is such a beautiful baby! What a wonderful addition to your family! You guys are so awesome!