At five months old, we flew to Wisconsin to visit some of my family. It was such a nice visit. But, Jett caught his first cold. His seemingly “OK” nursing vanished. We took him to the doctor when we returned to South Carolina and found that he hadn’t gained any weight in a month and a half. He was also prescribed an antibiotic as his cold had progressed. So had mine, I ended up needing two rounds of antibiotics.
We were sent to the lactation consultants at the hospital for weighed feedings to see how much milk Jett was transferring. It wasn’t much. He was perfectly content starving on about 8.5 ounces of milk a day. It’s typical for babies to drink between 1-1.5 ounces an hour, so Jett was at 1/3 of typical intake. We weighed him before and after every feed to monitor what he was getting.
I started pumping (I’ve used five pumps and this is my favorite Spectra S1) after every feed and using a supplemental nursing system (I like this one Lact-Aid Deluxe Nursing System) to deliver the milk to him while nursed. We saw occupational therapist and a speech therapist to try and improve his nursing and to help him learn to drink from a bottle. Neither helped. So, we drove back to Charlotte for a second tongue and lip tie revision on Jett’s six month birthday. We started consulting via Skype with a well renowned lactation specialist who suggested some herbs I should take to help boost my supply. She also suggested I immediately cut out dairy to try and clean up my milk in case it was bothering Jett and causing him to not want to eat. I was also prescribed Domperidone by my physician. Between pumping around the clock, the herbs, and the Rx, my supply had returned to more than adequate. Jett wasn’t interested in drinking all of the milk he needed so I nursed him in his sleep, a lot. So I didn’t sleep much. It was a full time job getting milk in this kid! And he didn’t seem to care if he ever was fed. He’d actually rather not eat. His pediatrician suggested we begin solid food with him to try and get that weight gain he so desperately needed.
I’d done a lot of research on first foods for babies and we’d settled on trying baby led weaning. This type of solids introduction relied on exposing baby to many flavors and textures which encourages healthy eating habits. We tried some finely chopped up veggies from our dinner plates, avocados, apples, strawberries, chicken. He didn’t have much interest in them, but we’d get him to eat a little occasionally. Every time he ate solids, he had explosive diarrhea up his back. He cried more and more. He was completely unable to be settled. He lost more weight. When we stopped trying to feed him solids, his stools were slimy mucous. So, not only was he reacting to every food we tried, he was now reacting to my milk! His pediatrician didn’t think anything was wrong but sent us to an allergist anyway.
Note: The introduction posts are merely to give a brief overview of why we live the way we do. I will, later, do in depth posts on topics such as FPIES, infant feeding disorders, tongue and lip ties, finding a knowledgable GI or allergist, the GAPS diet, low breastmilk supply, etc.