Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sorry so long between updates!!

Things are a tad busy around here, as you can imagine. We took the girls to an appointment with a neonatologist at Kaiser - Riverside last week, at their high risk clinic. Makayla's now on Reglan for her reflux, and I have seen some improvement, though she still seems to have some discomfort. She weighed 7 lbs, 3 oz - quite the little cuddly chub! The doc wasn't concerned about her apnea alarms, and actually, she hasn't had any more alarms since she's been on the Reglan - which makes me think the apnea episodes may have been related to the reflux.

Mackenzie's giving us some problems in the feeding and growing department, though. She only weighed 4 lbs, 5 oz, which meant she had only gained 1 oz in the 8 days since her previous appt...not good!! She seems to have developed a major aversion to eating - at least from the bottle. She just screams and tenses her whole body and arches her back and pushes the bottle away with her arms and shakes her head back and forth - as many ways of saying "NO!" as she can possibly come up with! It's quite frustrating for her and for whomever is feeding her! She demonstrated for us while we were in with the doctor, so he didn't have to just imagine what we were describing.

Anyway, the doc put in a referral for the craniofacial team (that's who will treat her cleft issues) and for occupational therapy (to help with feeding and with sensory issues). The OT referral hasn't gone through yet, but her appointment with the craniofacial team is this Friday in Fontana. The nurse from the team called yesterday and gave us a few tips on feeding, so we've been trying those out - some of them seem to help. She's also going to bring some different bottles/nipples for us to try on Friday. I also met with a lactation consultant yesterday - she got to witness and experience firsthand what happens during feedings - we have her sympathy! She gave me a supplemental nursing system to try out with Mackenzie - it's basically a bottle filled with breastmilk hanging from my shirt, with a small, thin tube that I tape to my breast - so when she latches on, the tube also goes in her mouth and give her extra milk. We had a little success with it yesterday - will continue to try, since she really enjoys breastfeeding. We tried to do a pre-nursing and post-nursing weigh-in for her, to see how much milk she's able to get, but the scale where we met was not very accurate, so it didn't really work. I'm going to see her again tomorrow at a place that has a much more accurate scale, so we'll try again. She's also been weighed on that scale before, a couple weeks ago, so it will be an accurate measurement of how much she's gained in that time.

So between Makayla wanting to nurse every couple hours, and the feedings with Mackenzie being so time-consuming and stressful - seems like feeding is about all we have time for around here!!!

Both girls have a well-baby check-up with the pediatrician this Saturday and will get their first round of shots - yikes! Here's to hoping they don't both get all fussy and miserable afterwards! Will definitely be pre-dosing them with Tylenol!! It's bad enough when one baby is fussy after shots - can't imagine it multiplied!

Anthony is just thoroughly enjoying his baby sisters. He loves to touch them and kiss them - and wants to be really really helpful. So helpful that he tried to pick up Makayla out of the swing a couple days ago when she was fussing. Yeah, gonna have to keep an eye on that!! ;)

Monday, February 04, 2008

Pictures galore and an update

My sister Karen and her 18-month old daughter Emma came for an impromptu visit last week. They arrived on Sunday, and then my mom arrived on Tuesday. As you can imagine, it was a full house - but we had a blast, and got lots of great pictures.

The girls are growing so fast (well, at least Makayla is!). Mackenzie had a doctor's appointment last week, and she's grown almost 4 inches since she was born. She weighed 4 lbs, 4 oz...still has a ways to go to catch up!! Makayla weighed 6 lbs, 11 oz at the breastfeeding clinic last week!! She's chunking-up quite nicely! Both girls will see the neonatologist this week, so hopefully there will be some more gain! Mackenzie will also have another cranial ultrasound, to check on her brain bleed.
Mackenzie's biggest issue right now is she doesn't particularly care to eat. She'd go 6 hours between feedings if we let her!! And each feeding is a challenge - first to get her to accept the bottle, then to get her to eat enough. It's a constant battle - and I don't want feedings to become a source of angst for her!! She does love to breastfeed, but she can't suck well and can't latch well, so basically I have to kind of hold my nipple in her mouth and essentially hand-express milk into her mouth. She doesn't seem to mind, but I have no way of knowing how much she's actually getting, so I don't feel comfortable letting her just BF for all her feedings. The doc is not going to be very happy with mommy and daddy if she hasn't gained much!!
Makayla's two biggest issues right now are her apnea and reflux. The first couple weeks she was home, her apnea alarm NEVER went off - only her low heartrate alarm did. But for the last week and a half or so, she has been setting off her apnea alarm a LOT - yesterday I think it went off at least a dozen times; that said, she never had any color change (like she did the one day when she was purple around her mouth a little over a week ago). And her reflux is getting worse by the day, it seems. She can't stand to be laid flat, she cries in pain when she spits up, she is bothered when she gets the hiccups, and she wants to nurse constantly - I think b/c the sucking soothes her discomfort. We're going to discuss this with the neonatologist on Wednesday.


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