Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Back to Work and Updates

Boy am I a slacker or what? No posts in a month and a half. So sorry, been a little busy enjoying the time I had left of maternity leave. Tonight is my first official night back to work. Yuck!

Charlie is doing great. He's almost 3 months old! At his 2 month appointment he weighed 12.10 pounds and was 24 inches long. I got on the scale with him yesterday and it said he is almost 15 pounds. I find that hard to believe, he still seems pretty small to me. He's outgrown most of his 0-3 month outfits and is now in 3-6 month clothes. It could be that I'm cloth diapering him and so the bulk of those diapers makes the 0-3 month clothes too tight, but lengthwise he was busting out of his sleepers!

Charlie smiles all the time (started March 18th!) and for the most part is just happy for you to look at him and talk to him. He coos back at you, and loves it when you'll imitate the sounds he's making. He doesn't particularly care for tummy time. Jack didn't either. He's a big snuggler, and LOVES being outside. He will sit quietly on my lap and watch the kids play at the playground during his normally fussy period-I love this respite! He doesn't care much for the pacifier (which kind of sucks especially during that 3-8 or 9pm time period when he's throwing his fits), but in the last week seems to have discovered that sucking on his knuckles or fists is kind of nice.

Charlie continues to have reflux. He continues to throw up and choke. I had eliminated dairy from my diet as he broke out with a bad rash (not pimply looking, but very red and bumpy-eczema looking) after a night of lasagna stuffed with cheese and alot of milk on my part. I tried reintroducing it on our trip in Disney and he broke out badly again, so I haven't put it back in my diet. We had an appointment with a Pediatric GI doc and she wanted us to also eliminate soy. She wanted us to put him on Elecare which is a formula that's amino acid based, so lacking the big allergens, and for me to pump and store my milk for 3 weeks to see if his reflux and vomiting improved. He HATES the Elecare which was to be expected. I even tried giving him some bottles with breastmilk and Elecare mixed together and he refused them. So, I'm just avoiding the soy and dairy and he's just getting breastmilk. This means we can't thicken the breastmilk with rice cereal because breastmilk won't thicken with rice cereal. You have to use something called "thickit". So we haven't bothered trying. If we could get him to take some of the Elecare we could thicken that with rice cereal, but he won't take it so it doesn't matter.

Then last week the allergist called with results of Charlie's RAST testing which is basically a blood test to check for allergies. They were all negative which I find hard to believe given his reaction when I consume dairy, but I know it's also not an error-proof test. The allergist wants to skin test him this Thursday morning so we had to stop his reflux meds. I thought this was going to be awful, but I can't say I notice much of a difference reflux/pain-wise. What I can tell you is a problem is that after having stopped giving him his med diluted in about a half an ounce of breastmilk by bottle, he doesn't want to take a bottle anymore. I did finally get him to take one last night, but he's at my mom's tonight while we're working and sure enough, he's fighting it. I feel so bad. I feel bad for my mom mostly because it's going to be a long night for her unless he gives in, and she'll be exhausted when she goes to work in the morning. I feel bad for him because he's inherited my stubborness and it's only going to hurt him and make him really hungry unless he gives in. I haven't heard back from my mom in a couple of hours and I'm just praying it's because he gave in and they're all finally asleep.

In other news, we got a letter from our fertility clinic about our frozen embryos and what we want to do with them. We could pay the storage fee for another year, let them be disposed of, or donate them to research. This is something I have personally agonized over since we got pregnant with Charlie. I didn't want to have to decide. And as I was sure it would turn out, we were given 45 days to decide. It's kind of funny (not haha) how this played out. You see, a girl I worked with 8 years ago (Amy) and I have remained friends with through facebook posted about one of her friends. She's trying to raise money to help her friend offset costs of medical bills and now rent, etc that they are incurring for their 5.5 month old daughter-Lillian. As it turns out, their daughter was diagnosed with Krabbe disease. It's a degenerative disease caused by the myelin surrounding your spinal cord breaking down and causing you to lose control of your muscles, etc. Most kids with this disease won't live to see 2 and it they start to show signs at about 5-6 months old. One of our mutual friends and I talked about it, and we can't imagine what we'd do if either of our newborn babies was diagnosed with this. This little baby has two older siblings who only know that their baby sister is sick, not that she's going to die. In an effort to slow the progress of this disease, her mom and she have moved to an apartment in Pennsylvania to be closer to the children's hospital where she is now getting chemo in anticipation of a stem cell transplant while her dad and siblings stay behind in Maryland.

When we first got the letter, Archie and I talked about whether we thought we might change our minds about wanting more kids down the road. He was adamant that two was good unless God blesses us the old-fashioned way. He didn't want to do any more treatments. I wasn't as convinced, but I also didn't want to just "throw away" our embryos. Having just heard about this little girl's story days before receiving the letter, I talked to Archie about the donation option. Initially we'd been against this as we felt like people would be manipulating and playing around with our babies. But after hearing about her, and definitely not feeling right about just letting our embryos go, and about how I would feel if something happened to either of my kids that stem cells or any kind of research could help with, I felt differently about the research option. I felt like it was a chance not to "waste" our embryos, but to donate them to possibly help another child, or help anyone affected by awful diseases like hers. It would mean so much more to us to know that our embryos went to do something good. Archie agreed with me. I can't tell you how "easy" and good it felt to finally come to a decision that we were both happy with, and didn't feel guilty about. I know I may hear some negative comments about our decision because not everyone will agree with it, but you have to do what's right for your family and what you feel comfortable with, and we have to do the same. Like I said, it was something I agonized over for a year. They weren't wasted. They had a purpose, and I honestly believe we've been shown what that purpose is through this little girl's struggles. To read more about Lillian and her disease, you can visit this site.

That's it from me for now, I'll try not to take another month and a half to post!


  1. Hello there...it sure has been a while since you last posted!

    Well, I sure hope they can find out what causes the allergy for Charlie. I know nothing about what you said about the Elecare so can't offer you anything substantive on the same.

    Figlia also throws up milk, and nowadays we have two episodes atleast every day but it is not that bad, so haven't done anything for it.

    Good Luck being back to work.

    You chose well for the embryos. I fully support your decision about what to do with them. What a coincidence to know about the other baby right around the time you were mulling over what to do.

    Be well!

  2. It's so good to hear an update from you. I hope all of the allergy/reflux issues get sorted out, and that Charlie ended up giving in and drinking his bottle. Working mommahood is tough -- hope you are hanging in there!

  3. So good to hear from you! I can't believe Charlie is already 3 months! Time sure does fly. I hope work went well for you.