Saturday, November 7, 2009

Crying Over My Spilled Milk

The newest development in Karsie's care came about yesterday when the GI doctors came to visit. They had seen her once while she was out of the hospital and will continue to follow her. They decided to put her back on the erythromycin to help improve her bowel motility. They also talked about the possibility that Karsie might be having allergies to something in my breast milk. Babies aren't allergic to breast milk, but can have allergies to things the mother eats and passes into the breast milk. Since I have been pumping since July, and we use the oldest breast milk first, Karsie has been drinking milk from August/September. There is no way of knowing what is in the milk that might be causing her to spit up. If she was home and breast feeding, we would be able to play with the foods I eat and try to rule some things out. However, even if we were to take in fresh milk, the delay in feeding at the hospital as well as the charting burden this would create, we would be hard pressed to be able to play with the breast milk in the same way. Therefore, Karsie will be placed on Elecare formula (hypo-allergenic, lactose free). She tolerated this formula when it was added to the breast milk, so it was the logical place to start. If she tolerates this without spitting up, then we can assume that she is allergic to something in my milk. If she continues to spit up, there are several other formula varieties to try. If she continues to spit up on all the different varieties, then we can assume that she is just a spitty baby and possibly return her to breast milk. Another option to be played with at some point is if Karsie needs higher calories in less volume. This can be done with either formula or a breast milk/formula combo.

All of this is a bit controversial. I have worked VERY hard to keep my milk supply up in hopes that someday Karsie might exclusively breastfeed. I also feel VERY strong about the benefits of breast milk, especially to a "gut" baby. However, I realize that the reality of Karsie's situation is there might be something that is better for her at this time. Don't get me wrong... I know that formula babies are just as happy and healthy as breastfed babies... and that in the long run, everything will work out... but this is the one thing I had complete control over. I read books about nursing and pumping and I was prepared for this. When Karsie was so sick and we couldn't do anything for her... I could pump and save my milk to heal her when she could take it. I have been blessed by a good supply of milk. I haven't had problems with pumping or storing my milk. Albeit, I hate pumping, but I have control over that.

I will continue to pump to keep up my supply in hopes that someday Karsie will be able to nurse again... I might spend some time staring into the giant freezer full of milk and crying... I might be "that" mother, the one that nurses her kid until she is old enough to ask for it, because I felt like I missed out on nursing in the beginning... I might end up having a giant freezer full of hard work to donate to someone else's sick baby... I might retire my rental pump sooner rather than later...

In the mean time... I am going to enjoy holding my baby and feeding her bottles of stinky formula.

Quick Update

Karsie's PICC failed again last night.  Her veins just keep blowing.  We hope that with the volumes she is on today and later that the PICC will not be as necessary, but it was the hope that the nutrition would help her make up for lost weight/nutrition.  We're pretty certain that when her peripheral IV goes then we're done with the IV's which actually could be a bad thing as she may need fluids and has no veins left (easy ones) to accept it. Let's hope she does not need any for a long time.

We should have another update later today when we come back from the hospital. 

Congratulations to our friends Ryan and Kerri for getting married today.  We are so sorry we are stuck here and cannot make it. We'll dress Karsie up fancy for you guys today.