Monday, October 16, 2006

The Plot Thickens

So this a.m. Genevieve had her two-month well-baby doctor visit. You know what that means: shots. Three of 'em! And poor Julia even had to come along so she could get her flu shot and her first Hepatitis A vaccination. Yes, between the two of them they sustained five pokes! Ouch! Amazingly, Julia didn't even cry--she was totally stoic and garnered not one, but TWO stickers out of the visit, so it wasn't all bad.

Are you wondering just how big baby Genna Rose is? You've seen those cheeks; are you ready for this? Twelve pounds, one ounce, people, and 23 1/2 inches long. I'm serious. She gained four full pounds since her two-week weight check. She's two pounds heavier than Julia was at the same age, and she's wearing clothes that fit Julia at four months, not two. She's in the 90th percentile for both height and weight, a part of the growth curve with which we are very familiar in this family, but Julia didn't get up into the 90s (and beyond!) until she was six months old--though thereafter she never strayed downward. I wish we lived with my best friend Veronica in San Antonio so I could say, "We grow big babies down here in Texas!" It doesn't sound quite right in Minnesota--especially coming out of the mouths of two relatively small parents. I mean, where are these genes coming from?

OK, but on another topic, here's the part where the plot thickens. Turns out that Genevieve Rose has all the classic symptoms of infant acid reflux. Remember how easy and non-fussy she was until just recently? How she ate well, slept well, rarely cried until the onset of the gas pains? Acid reflux in babies typically develops around two to three months or later--not in the first newborn month.

Remember the frustrating return of the constant nursing? According to the pediatrician, babies with reflux can't fill their tummies too much at one feeding, and they learn quickly to eat small amounts in an attempt to decrease their discomfort after each nursing session. Makes sense, doesn't it? If you knew that every time you ate a good full meal it would cause you pain, wouldn't you graze all day (and night) long, too? Poor little honey! It makes it much easier to stand the round the clock nursing, when everyone else's two-month-old babies are going four and five hours between feedings, now that I know there is an illness-related reason for it.

The acid reflux even explains why, although in the early weeks Genevieve almost always went right back to sleep after each overnight feeding, in recent weeks it has gradually become the case that nine times out of ten her nighttime nursings end with me waking up Christopher so he can take a turn rocking and comforting her for 20 or 30 minutes before her thrashes and groans cease and she will go back to sleep in her bassinet. Turns out, part of the treatment for acid reflux is to keep the baby upright for 20 minutes after each feeding--i.e. in a swing or bouncey seat, or, at night, by using a special wedge under her mattress. So it's no wonder Genna would moan and wriggle and bark with displeasure each time I laid her back down right after eating, and no wonder 20 minutes on Daddy's shoulder in the rocking chair at two a.m. pretty much always did the trick. But no wonder we're both incredibly sleep-deprived these days, at a time when most parents assume they'll finally be starting to get MORE sleep.

We're starting Genevieve on Zantac tonight, and buying a mattress wedge as soon as possible. I hope she starts to feel better, and we all start snoozing more as a result. I'll keep you posted.


Donna said...

Poor Genna Rose. And poor Mom and Dad, too. Hang in there! And I think it's time for another trip to Target... Just waiting to hear what necessary (but unplanned) thing you bought on this trip! :)

Shan said...

Hee hee! Can you believe, I haven't actually been to Target least a week! But...we are now almost out of Julia's diapers, so--you're right! It's time!