Jeanie | 7 months

Oh my goodness, how is this sweet baby 7 months old?? And at the same time, how is she only 7 months old?? She’s such a sweet, old soul.

The last time I left off, at four months, we were really battling reflux with Jeanie. After a trip to the gastroenterologist and trying various meds, we determined the side effects of the meds were causing more issues than they were solving. So instead, we continued her on the lactose-free formula, took her off all meds, and focused on small, frequent meals. She was only consuming around 3 ozs every 2 hours until recently. Apparently she just had a very small stomach capacity and eating too much caused a lot of reflux. She has slowly increased her intake, and she now eats 4-6 ozs every 2-3 hours during the day. She still deals with reflux, but the volume of her spitting up has decreased and she seems more comfortable. Until the last two weeks, she was pretty uninterested in solid foods, but now is eating around 2-3 ounces a day of baby food. However, despite the increase in food, Jeanie has still not doubled her birthweight (a goal usually reached around 4 months). While the doctor is somewhat concerned about that, it’s also important to note that she is very short! She’s still in the 0th percentile for height, not even on the charts! So her height vs. weight percentile is in the 90s.

Current stats: 14lbs, 15ozs and 26 inches long.

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As far as sleeping goes, Jeanie really likes her morning naps and will sleep 3 or more hours if we let her, and then take a short afternoon nap. Overall she has been napping very well. She’s sleeping better at night, still waking once or twice needing to be settled back to sleep, but she quickly falls back to sleep. She sleeps in a sleep sack with a pacifier, and prefers to have a blanket tucked snugly around her.

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She still has little blue eyes and dark hair, just like daddy’s hair. She is a very happy baby overall. She loves attention and watching what is going on. She prefers to be held, facing out, where she has the best view of all the action. Watching her brothers and sisters run in circles is sure to make her laugh, and she is super ticklish. She loves being tossed about and doesn’t mind the swing or exersaucer for a short period of time. She loves the jumper though! Daddy might be her favorite person, with Jonah a close second and Jarvis not far behind. She also adores the puppy and finds him fascinating. She also loves chewing on anything and everything. No signs of teeth, but she loves having something to put in her mouth, and drools like crazy! For some reason, she is the stinkiest little baby. It  may be her drool, or the spit up, but she stinks all the time, even immediately after a bath. Her cuteness totally makes up for it though!

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Although Jean is not sitting up unassisted yet, she is doing a form of crawling. It’s an odd mix between and army crawl and a bear crawl, but she is definitely mobile and can make her way across a room to whatever she wants. We are continuing to work on her sitting skills, but she is not content to sit when she can move!

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Jean | 5 months

Well, time for an update on our littlest! Jean is 5 months old now and such a sweet little girl! It’s been a crazy month for her.

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About two months ago she started having trouble sleep log, had a lot of congestion, kept losing her voice, and overall seemed very uncomfortable. Initially, I thought it was a wonder week, or a little cold, or the fact that we were out of town and off schedule more. But as it continued and worsened, I started to think it might be something else. About 4 weeks ago I added it all up and determined that I was fairly sure Jean was suffering from reflux.

I scheduled a doctor appointment for the day after we flew back and was shocked to see that she had lost weight since her check up two months ago. She had grown 3 inches but lost about 6 ozs. She weighed in at a bitty 10lbs 12 ozs at 4.5 months. Not only were we concerned for her weight loss, but for the apparent pain she was in.

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We switched to lactose-free formula and she has doubled her formula intake. We started her on one type of Histamine blocker to reduce the acid, but haven’t seen much improvement, so we are starting a new one today. However, in just 2 weeks on the new formula, she gained THREE pounds! Today she weighed in at 13lbs 11ozs. I was thrilled to see such a good weight gain! Now we just need to get the painful reflux under control. She has been seeing a chiropractor for some stress/misalignment due to her fall, and we are trying a few other natural remedies as well.

We recently had to drop the swaddle as she was strong enough to roll in it, and we can no longer use the bouncer for naps because she is strong enough to sit herself up in it. As a result, she is sleeping on her back on an inclined mattress and this has made her sleeping a lot worse. Thanks to the reflux, she has trouble napping for longer than 45 minutes, but can usually fall back to sleep with a little help mid-nap. She’s eating 4-6ozs every 4 hours during the day right now. She wakes nearly every hour to two hours at night needing comfort from the reflux. She still ends up needing to eat twice a night, mostly because we still want her gaining and because I think it soothes her throat.

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Physically, this girl is a mover and shaker! She can roll front to back and back to front. She doesn’t like being on her belly very much, or her back for that matter (the reflux is worse when she is laying down.) She prefers to be held upright or in a swing or bouncer because it’s more comfortable.

And once again, I just have to say that she is the most social baby ever! She loves interacting and watching people. She wants to be right in the center of the action. I also have never seen a little baby pay so much attention to electronic screens, but you can bet if there is a TV or phone screen within viewing distance that she will wiggle around until she can see it!

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She loves to talk and make noises and screech. She’s a big chewer and always has something in her mouth. Her favorites right now are her sleeves, a burp cloth, sophie the giraffe, or anyone’s finger! As a result of all the chewing and the reflux, she is quite the drool-er and gets multiple outfit changes from drool and spit up.

In case you can’t tell, our lives and thoughts of her are pretty wrapped up in the reflux currently, and trying to get that under control. But if she’s not in immediate pain, she is such a happy baby. I just adore her sweet little personality and big blue eyes. I can’t wait to continue to watch her flourish!

Jean | 4 months

Oh my, this baby is a little ray of sunshine. She will be 4 months old on Monday!

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She has such a loving heart. She loves being around people, watching or interacting. She refuses to be cradled but prefers to be sitting up, facing out into the world. She really is a very happy baby. She is rarely fussy or inconsolable without reason. However, she has no problem telling you when she is no longer happy with her position or view. Her favorite activity is being walked around, facing out. It’s the best way to see all the action! Her second favorite activity is being naked! She loves diaper changes and being tickled especially. If she is upset and I’m not sure why, a diaper change will always flip her mood right around!

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She is so willing to offer a sweet smile to just about anyone, but her siblings can always make her smile; she’s fascinated by them! She is rolling front to back very well and enjoys tummy time as long as she can see someone. She is so very close to rolling back to belly and keeps trying so hard. It will be any day now! She is incredibly strong and can hold all of her body weight on her legs on her own.

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She is weighing in at a hefty 14lbs, which is right about the 48th percentile. She is still wearing 0-3/3 month clothes, but is starting to out grow them. She has just transitioned to a 3.5/4 hour schedule and is eating 4-5 ounces at each feeding. I have been working really hard on trying to get her to move to eating at fairly consistent times from day to day to train her metabolism a little better so she can eat more during the day. She is still eating twice at night, but is legitimately hungry still, so I am comfortable with that. She sleeps a good 6-8 hour stretch initially and then eats one more time before she starts her day around 6-7am.

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This girl is a spitter though, in fact we’ve started using towels as burp cloths, haha! Hoping she outgrows it fairly quickly like her biggest brother did. Her favorite mode of communicating is squeaking and squealing, loudly, just like her siblings. She likes to add her two cents to any conversation and is a very big talker.

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Baby Jean has dark hair and a natural mowhawk, just like her siblings did. She still has light blue eyes, and we are hoping they stay that way instead of turning grey like her big sister’s. And though I can not quite spot the tooth yet, she is most definitely teething, and I honestly expect one to pop through any day.

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Oh my sweet girl, you are such a wonderful addition to our little family and I can not wait to watch your endearing, energetic, happy little personality grow.
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And, because I just can’t handle the cuteness- here are a ton more photos!

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Jean | 2 months

It never ceases to amaze me how fast these kiddos grow up. Believe it or not, my sweet Jeanie is 2 months old!


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The thing that stands out to me most about this girl, is her sweet heart. She is a sweet, sweet charmer. She adores attention and anyone looks at her. She coos and talks and smiles away at anyone making eye contact. She would much rather be on the ground or in the bouncer on the floor where she can see her siblings rather than in the pack n play where she can’t see them. And the feeling is mutual. Her siblings practically beg me to put her down so they can flock around her. They shower her with kisses and try to give her the pacifier. Jarvis gets his face as close to hers as possible and tries to make her smile. They all really adore her.

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Jeanie is fairly good at tummy time, but she doesn’t get to do it as often as she should because it’s hard to set her down with her crazy siblings! However, she has excellent head control when she’s being held upright. She prefers to be held upright where she can see versus in a cradle position.

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She is eating about 3 ozs every 2.5-3.5 hours during the day. She does spit up quite a bit, not as much as Jarvis did, but about as much as Jonah, more than Joelle. Her nights are rather unpredictable. She will occasionally go 5-6 hours between a feeding, but she frequently has trouble settling at night. She’s currently in a wonder week and I think that is impacting her sleep. We have just moved her out of the bassinet in our room and into the nursery (which means Jonah has moved into the crib in Joelle’s room and Joelle is in the toddler bed in there- musical beds in this house!). I’m hoping she will sleep more soundly in her own room.

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Her 2 month doctor appointment is tomorrow and I will update with her stats after that!

Length: 21 inches- 2nd percentile (she’s barely on the charts, just like her sister, lol!)
Weight: 11 lbs- 36th percentile
Head: 15 inches- 16th percentile

Her height to weight ratio is 99th percentile, LOL. she short and chunky like her sister was!

Jeanie loves being worn in the carrier or being held upright. Right now I am using the K’tan carrier and she loves it in the sling position. It’s how we attend a weekly playgroup and our weekly walking group. She sleep like a champ in there, although it can get a bit warm outside! She still has lots of dark hair, which is forming into a natural mohawk like her other siblings, haha! Her eyes are still a true blue, but big sister was born with blue eyes that are now grey, so we will see if they stay blue!

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My favorite thing about Jeanie at 2 months old is her smiles. If she makes eye contact with anyone, there is most likely a big ole’ smile and lots of cooing and talking. She is very social and really enjoys smiling at everyone, particularly mommy, daddy, and biggest brother!

The photos in this post are from a family session we did last weekend, more to come soon!

again? again? again.

And here I am, writing this same post again. For the third time.

Once again, I find myself struggling to get my newborn to grow and gain weight. I’m going to write out what we have experienced this time, in a different state and with civilian doctors, but I’m not looking to make excuses. Breastfeeding is the most difficult thing I have faced as a mother, and to me, it’s my biggest failure. I know, I know, I’m not a failure if I can’t make breastfeeding work, but it disappoints me, a lot. It’s something that is so important to me, and something that I want desperately to experience. But it ultimately comes down to the big picture every time, the battle that I have to fight to continue to breastfeed means my babies struggle to gain and thrive. And that battle, it isn’t worth it if it isn’t best for my babies.

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Jeanie was born at 7lbs 8 ozs (exact same weight as her biggest brother!), at discharge, just two days later, she weighed in at 6lbs 15ozs. Two days later at her first pediatrician appointment, she was 6lbs 13ozs. It seemed to me, for that first week, that Jeanie was the most natural nurser of my four kids, she had a strong suck and a desire to nurse from early on. She wanted to nurse ALL the time, constantly. And as far as I was concerned, that was fine with me, I wanted to establish a strong supply and make sure she gained weight. However, within five days, I was severely cracked and bleeding. Her latch looked perfect from the outside to both the pediatrician and the lactation consultant, but it was excruciatingly painful; they chalked it up to normal ‘toughening up.’ So I started using a nipple shield, both to train her on how to latch consistently, and to protect me from further trauma and allow me to heal. It did help some initially, but I never really healed and she was more inconsolable, wanting to nurse constantly, having trouble sleeping unless I was wearing her or she was latched on. She seemed to be half hungry and half wanting to use nursing as a pacifier. I let her do both hoping it would be different this time.

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At 12 days old, I finally voiced the concerns over her weight gain to my mom and we weighed her. I was not happy with the numbers on the scale, so the following day I went to a breastfeeding support group at the hospital. After spending an hour nursing at the group, she weighed in at 6lbs 8ozs. The lactation consultant was VERY concerned. She basically informed us we weren’t leaving without getting some formula in Jeanie as she was on the edge of dehydration. We tried cup feeding, syringe feeding while she sucked on a finger, and finally bottle feeding (remember this is in the midst of a BREASTFEEDING support group with two lactation consultants, who were trying every method but breastfeeding to give my daughter formula). None of the methods worked. It quickly became apparent that there was something bigger going on with Jeanie’s sucking. Just like Jonah, she could not get her suck, swallow, breathe reflex to function properly and she would not even suck on a bottle. Eventually, we ended up with her nursing while I used the syringe to push formula in the edge of her mouth. She drank about an ounce of formula over the span of 2.5 hours there and was exhausted. We left with strict instructions to start supplementing immediately and see the pediatrician the following day.

I hate, hate, hate that feeling. Sitting there, listening to someone tell you that your baby is starving and barely getting enough milk to stay hydrated. To hear that the reason she wants to be held and be on the breast constantly is because she’s using all her energy to get any drop of milk she can. It’s the third time I’ve heard it. And every time, it’s devastating.

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Just 24 hours later she weighed in at 6lbs 3 ozs and the pediatrician prescribed high calorie formula and gave us 3 days to get her weight up. We were sent home with instructions to continue breastfeeding but to work on bottle supplementing every 2 hours around the clock. She agreed there was some suck disorganization and entered a referral for speech therapy (once again, just like Jonah). She also prepped me on the signs of dehydration and told me to take her straight into the ER if she got any more lethargic or wasn’t able to get at least 2ozs every 2 hours. We drove straight to the grocery store to purchase one of the cans I swore I wouldn’t need this time. Later the pediatrician confessed that she was on call on Saturday and kept waiting for us to show up in the ER. She was certain that Jeanie wouldn’t be able to bottle feed and would end up needing fluids. The only reason Jeanie didn’t? Because I’ve done this before. I immediately started using the same bottle feeding modifications on Jeanie that we used on Jonah. It took all weekend but she finally started get a couple of good sucks in a row and would latch on a bottle. I continued pumping, but later that day, I discovered I had a massive breast infection, thrush, which had worked it’s way into my milk ducts. It was very painful and I was instructed to pump and dump and keep her off the breast until it cleared. Let’s just say, what little supply I did have took a nosedive (and yes, I was doing every single thing in the book to increase supply.).

We spent the weekend feeding, pumping, feeding, pumping. In less than 2.5 days, she weighed in at 7lbs 5ozs, she gained over a pound! The pediatrician was thrilled and told us to continue what we were doing with the goal being 2-3ozs every 2-3 hours. A couple of days later we met with the lactation consultant who felt that she had a posterior tongue tie (both my boys had anterior tongue ties that were clipped in the hospital) which was causing her sucking disorganization. This can be clipped, but had to be diagnosed at speech therapy the following week and then clipped by an ENT at a separate appointment. In the meantime, she set us up with a feeding tube to try and give her formula while on the breast with the nipple shield. I left with a hospital grade breastpump in the hopes of increasing my supply. She struggled so much with the feeding tube though. Her suck reflex is so poor that she had so much trouble getting suction on the breast with the tube there. So I ended up manually pushing formula in her mouth the whole time. It was taking her 45 minutes just to get 1.5ozs of formula and she was exhausted. And I still was getting basically nothing pumping despite frequent pumping with the hospital grade pump and lots of measures to increase supply. After just a day of this, we made the decision to switch her back to the bottle instead of feeding tube on the breast. Almost instantly she started eating 4ozs every 2-3 hours, sleeping much better, and being more content and happy. She was struggling with a lot of nipple confusion, but after a couple of days on only the bottle, she got into a much better suck rhythm and remembering what to do. She was clearly gaining weight and looking healthier.

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This is where we are now. Pretty much done with breastfeeding. There’s only so much mental and physical battle I can do. I have been in constant pain for the past 3 weeks and I am still fighting the thrush infection. It has become apparent to me that what is best for Jeanie is the same as what was best for Jonah. Just focus on the bottle and getting good at sucking on the bottle so she can get the nutrition she needs. The speech therapist gave us more modifications to help her as she gets tired towards the end of a feeding and confirmed that there is a lack of muscle tone. But once again, it seems to be just maturity related like Jonah. Hopefully, over the span of the next two months she will get stronger and continue to develop those muscles. However they doubt she will have the muscle tone to breastfeed successfully for at least a month or two. So despite how much it frustrates me to be doing this AGAIN, we are opting to bottle feed Jeanie formula.

Ultimately, it’s humbling. I try my hardest to be the best mom I can be for my kids, but breastfeeding has been one big bombing experience. I think it’s one way that my sweet Lord keeps me humble and turning towards Him. I CAN’T be the perfect mom in every way, it’s not possible, and that is just fine by me, and Him. So grateful for His grace.