Friday, July 10, 2009

Catching Up

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Well, it's been a while since I've posted. Luckily there isn't a whole lot to catch up on.

We celebrated Kayley's 1st birthday on June 9, 2009 (see videos). Grandma Marla made her some vegan cupcakes for the occasion. Since Kayley can't have milk protein, we were at a loss for what to give Kayley for a cake. Luckily, Megan has a friend that had the vegan cupcake recipe to share. And Kayley loved them.

Kayley last weighed in officially at her 1 year year check up on June 10. She was 18 lbs 3 oz. Again, that's not the greatest but it really doesn't seem to matter as much anymore. As long as she's eating, developing, and growing, everyone seems to be happy. Like I said above, we are limited as to what we can give Kayley because she has a milk protein allergy. Megan has spent a lot of time at Whole Foods in the vegan aisle. Luckily, the doctor approved of us giving Kayley peanut butter, strawberries, and some other things we couldn't before. So hopefully, those will provide a lot of extra calories.

While we were at the check up, the doctor noticed some dark spots on Kayley's teeth. A lot of times preemies are born with little or no tooth enamel on their baby teeth so it is extra important to take care of them. Since there were already spots, off to the dentist we went. The dentist thought Kayley's teeth looked good. She has less enamel than normal but she's seen way worse. We just need to stay ahead of it and brush Kayley's teeth a lot...her favorite. And it turns out, the dark spots were from the iron vitamin we gave Kayley. We don't give it to her any more so the spots are actually fading.

Next, Kayley took her 2nd plane ride. We went to Colorado for a family reunion on Megan's side. Kayley wasn't exactly an angel on the plane but we got through it. Megan was a little worried about the altitude's effect on Kayley's lungs (I wasn't so much), but luckily there were no issues.

I've posted 2 videos from Kayley's birthday. I have some other footage that I plan to post but didn't get it edited before press time. So, look for those in the future...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Crawling, Standing Up, Falling, Climbing, Swimming...





May 6, 2009: GI Appointment
We took Kayley to her GI appointment on May 6. She weighed in at 17 lbs 9 ounces which was very good. It took her from the 5th percentile to the 10th percentile for her actual age. We, including the doctor, were all very happy with her weight. This appointment didn't take too long since we already had the endoscopy scheduled for the following Friday. The doctor just gave us an overview of what he plans to do during the endoscopy and after.

May 8, 2009: Endoscopy with Pyloric Dilation
Since the last endoscopy seemed to help with Kayley's eating, we scheduled another one to actually stretch the pylorus more. If you remember from the last endoscopy, the doctor said Kayley's opening from her esophagus to her stomach was too big and from her stomach to her intestine was too small. Well, the doctor spent more time taking a look this time and actually saw the upper opening close by itself. He said it looked a lot better this time. Hopefully Kayley is out growing that issue. The lower opening was around 8 mm...too small. The doctor stretched it to 12 mm using a balloon. The procedure took a little longer this time, but we were very hopeful it would make a big difference. As for any further surgery, we're definitely putting that talk off since we had good news about the upper opening. We're hoping to get by without it.

The doctor gave us some things to watch for after the surgery. Mainly, dumping syndrome. It's when the food doesn't spend enough time in the stomach before being passed to the instestine. We were to watch for Kayley sweating and becoming lethargic after eating. Since it's been awhile since the endoscopy, I can actually report the results. The procedure didn't cause an issues like dumping syndrome but it also didn't help Kayley's eating either. Her feeding stayed the same so it looks like the procedure didn't work for Kayley. There are a couple options from here. First, we can wait to see if Kayley outgrows this. She will be 1 year old soon and it's only 3 months until she's 1 year old corrected age. Can we make it that long and then take her off the bottle? The other option would be to go in and stretch the pylorus more. I guess we'll see what the doctor recommends before we start coming to conclusions.

May 11, 2009: Developmental Pediatrician
We took Kayley to the developmental pediatrician next. Kayley weighed in at 17 lbs 11 oz but that was with her clothes. Overall, the doctor was very happy with Kayley's progress. She sat, crawled, stood up, and did pretty much everything the doctor expected and more. However, we never leave these places without homework. I think that once the child passes all the tests, they start to pick at all the little things. We need to work on Kayley standing up correctly and falling correctly. So yes, we work with her to stand up and once she's up, we push her down. Just kidding...kind of.

One bad thing that the doctor did comment on was that Kayley seems to be opinionated. Great. That's exactly what we need in the house! And last, the doctor suggested that we start giving Kayley 2 foods in every bite. For instance, when we give her crackers, we should spread cream cheese on it (we're still operating under the assumption that she's allergic to milk protein so Kayley gets imitation cream cheese called tofutti). So far so good. Kayley loves tofutti and seems to like almost everything we try. That will definitely help us get past these next few months where Kayley isn't taking the bottle so well.

As for everything else, Kayley is doing very well. She is a go getter to say the least. She hates to be held and wants to be down on the floor to explore. She's gotten into a lot of trouble already. If we don't watch her closely, we'll find her standing on her little desk chair, crawling half way up the stairs, or spilling our dog's food and water. She has no fear. We've had her in the pool once already and she loved it. Looks like it's time to get her in lessons. And for a while, we weren't sure she was ever going to talk. Now, she doesn't stop. She loves to hear herself ba, ba, ba and da, da, da.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ba Ba Ba Ba

Kayley is a great sleeper but some nights she likes to stay up for some late night conversation...


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Friday, May 1, 2009

You Guys Have To Come In And See This!






Since the last post, there have been a lot of things going on. I'll just go ahead and get right into them.

On Friday, April 17, we took Kayley in for a modified barium swallow. This test was to determine whether Kayley can take different thicknesses of liquid without aspirating. A speech therapist and a technician watch the barium, which is fed to her from a bottle (ha), go down the esophagus and into the stomach. As you can imagine, Kayley wasn't too cooperative in drinking the barium. She doesn't drink formula...why would she drink barium??? Anyway, we did get a couple swallows down her even though she was fighting us. From this, they determined that she didn't apirate at all. That's good news. However, they labeled this as a LimitedBarium Swallow because she didn't take a lot of barium.

Also, when Kayley did suck on the bottle a couple times, it was very weak and it looked like she was just chewing on the bottle. The speech therapist told us to mention it to the other speech therapist when we go in for our feeding evaluation. We've always noticed Kayley doing this but figured most of the time it was just that she didn't want to eat because when she actually wants the formula, she can definitely get it. Anyway, it's something that we're going to watch.

On Monday, April 20, we took Kayley to her endoscopy. This is where they put Kayley to sleep and the GI doctor sticks a scope down to Kayley's stomach to see if there is anything unusual going on. If there's one thing you don't want to hear when the doctor gives you the results, its "I had to call my colleagues in to see if they've seen anything like this before!" Yep. Those were pretty much his exact words. What he found was that the opening to Kayley's stomach was larger than normal. Again, large enough that he had to call in his colleagues to see. He even said he had a hard time determining where the esophagus ended and where the stomach began. And to compound the problem, the opening from Kayley's stomach to her small intestine was smaller than normal. So when Kayley's stomach contracts to push the food down through her intestines, the food goes back up the esophagus instead since it's the path of least resistance. The doctor did say that he used the scope to stretch out bottom opening a bit to see if that helped. He said we would see almost immediate results if that were to work. Obviously this isn't good news but we are a little relieved to know what we are dealing with. Some of the options we have are:
  1. Let it go and hope she grows out of it.
  2. Take Kayley in for a procedure to permanently stretch the opening to her small intestine...I think this is called a pyloric balloon dilation .
  3. Take Kayley in for a more risky surgery called a fundoplication. This is wherethey take the upper part of the stomach and wrap it around the opening to her esophagus. This would help in keeping the food from going up the esophagus. We are going to talk to some surgeons about our options with this procedure.


So, for now we have upped the cereal in Kayley's bottle to make it very thick while we await the results of the biopsy the doctor took during the procedure. Mainly, We were waiting to see if the stretching the doctor did with the scope worked out. We'll meet with the surgeons no matter what to see what they think. It's a very real possibility that Kayley will have the fundoplication if the other things don't help. We're hoping we get it resolved before we have to go that far.

Before the endoscopy, Kayley weighed 17 lbs 2 oz with her clothes on.

Next, on Thursday, April 23, we took Kayley in for a feeding evaluation. It was with the speech therapist that we saw back in December. We really liked her the first time so we were happy to be going back. The appointment was at 9 am and we were instructed not to feed Kayley beforehand. So, once we got back to our room, Megan mixed the very thick formula and I started feeding Kayley. And wouldn't you know it, she practically downed the bottle!!! Good girl Kayley, but horrible timing! There was a little bit left but she did very well. We put what was left of the formula into a sippy cup to see what Kayley would do. The therapist wants us to do this often and hopefully Kayley will ween herself off the bottle by wanting the sippy cup. The theory is that if Kayley has control, she will be more comfortable and willing to eat. Next, we moved on to the high chair for baby food. The therapist fed Kayley herself. She started with Gerber Graduate treats crushed up on Kayley's tray. She wanted to see if Kayley would get it on her hands and then bring her hands to her mouth. Kayley got the first part down no problem. She played in the crumbs but never brought them to her mouth. So, the therapist helped her out by putting some on her finger and tranferring it to Kayley's lips. Kayley was curious but not too excited. Next, the therapist moved onto the pears we brought. Kayley wanted nothing to do with them. She was "avoiding." Then, the therapist got out the green beans. They are Kayley's favorite. Kayley started eating right away. She did pretty well for about half the container and then she stopped. Then the therapist put spoonful of green beans on Kayley's tray to play in. Again, Kayley was playing but not interested in tasting. The therapist encouraged us to do the same things when we're at home. Needless to say, feeding time is a mess. The reason for doing these things is that babies go through aprocess when learning to eat...visual, tactile, smell, and then taste. Allowing Kayley to play or touch the food gets her comfortable with the visual and tactile part so that she'll be more comfortable with the smell and taste when that time comes.

So, we got a lot of homework for Kayley. The therapist also thinks Kayley is a good candidate for continuing feeding therapy. Too bad it's almost impossible to get put on the regular schedule. We're currently on the waiting list but the therapist told us off the record that Kayley may be cured by the time we get in.

At this appointment, Kayley weighed 16 lbs 10 oz. It looks like she lost weight but we really don't know because she had her clothes and diaper on last time. We do know that it wasn't a good weigh in though.

Sorry to for using this saying but I think it is appropriate for what happened next. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." After we got home from the feeding evaluation where Kayley basically downed her bottle, Kayley was an eating machine. She acted like a normal eater. She wanted her bottle, she was hungry, and when we took it away to burp her before she was done, she got mad. She has never acted like this. She would maybe do it for one or two feedings during the day but never continuously. She drank her formula very well the rest of the that day and even the next day. She was taking close to 28 oz a day during that time. We were all very cautiously optimistic. When Kayley's happy, the rest of us are happy. Too bad that was pretty much the end of it. She had 2 great eating days and then went back to her old self. How can that happen? Well, we changed 2 things in the last while that could be the explanation. We made her formula thicker so maybe it stayed down better and didn't give Kayley the painful relux. Or, maybe it was the stretchening of the stomach exit? Kayley was pooping more and actually seemed hungry. Mayber her stomach was emptying better. And maybe after a couple of days, the opening started closing up again. Or maybe she's sick of the thick formula? I personally think it's the opening. If that's the case, maybe the pyloric balloon dilation will fix the issue. Let's hope.

Next, Megan got a call from the GI doctor's nurse. The biopsy came back negative. There was no acid in the lining of Kayley's esophagus meaning that the prevacid is doing its job. That's good news. Through all of Kayley's spitting up, it doesn't appear that its harming Kayley's esophagus. The nurse also mentioned that they are worried that it may be turning behavioral. She is going to check the waiting list for us to see where Kayley is at. Hopefully they can pull some strings. Also, they want to put her on a new drug called periactin. This drug stimulates the appetite. I'm not sure how it's going to work real well if Kayley's stomach isn't emptying. But, we'll know more about that after our upcoming GI appointment. And last, the nurse said they are going to proceed with the pyloric balloon dilation.

So, our appointments continue. We have an appointment with the GI doctor on Wednesday, May 6. We'll learn more about the biopsy results, the plan going forward, and probably which surgeons we will consult with for the fundoplication. Then on Friday, May 8, we take Kayley in for the pyloric balloon dilation. She'll be put to sleep for the procedure. We'll know more about that in the coming days too. Then, on May 11, we go back to the developmental pediatrician. Hopefully with all this stuff going on, we get this resolved.

As for everything else, Kayley is doing great. Marla's blog (http://grannynannyandbuck.blogspot.com/) has a video of Kayley crawling for the first time. She's been so close for so long and finally got it. She continues to be very happy and is learning to express it more. She also loves making new sounds. Blowing through her nose is a good one.

Friday, April 10, 2009

To Eat Or Not To Eat. That Is The Question....That Kayley Knows The Answer To...NOT TO EAT!!!

Forgive me...I've had writer's block. Since it has been a long time since the last update, I have a bunch of news. But, I'm going to try to keep it as short and sweet as possible. And, pictures and video will come later. I don't have anything relatively new so I'll get some soon. Until that time, Grandma Marla's blog has a lot of pics and video...http://grannynannyandbuck.blogspot.com.

Kayley is now 10 months old. She is starting to get very mobile. She spins and army crawls all over the place. She even gets up on her hands and knees. It won't be long until she's crawling. The bumbo seat is no longer used. She gets out of that in minutes. The infant seat is close to gone too. We still feed her in it most of the time but she won't just sit in it and relax. Even though she's strapped in, she still spins around and tries to grab things from the floor. She surprised me one night while I was washing her bottles. I heard her grunting a little bit and I walked over to check it out. She was completely upside down reaching for a toy that was inches away from her grasp. She really wanted it.

On March 9, Kayley had a physical therapy appointment. Everything checked out great. Kayley was doing exactly what she should've been doing at that time. Even though that was the case, we still got homework. She wasn't quite sitting up perfectly so we were given some exercises for that. We also received some handouts on how to develop her crawling. We must be doing a great job because she's caught on to that pretty quickly.

On March 16, we took Kayley in for her 9 month checkup. She weighed in at 15 lbs 15 oz. It wasn't great but the pediatrician wasn't too concerned. She suggested we should try pureeing some high calorie foods like avocado to see if we could get Kayley to take more calories in her solid foods. Well, we tried and it didn't go over too well. I'll have more on that in the next paragraph. Next, Kayley was given her shots. I don't know if it's good or bad but she handles those like nothing. She's a pro at it which means she's gotten so many that it hardly fazes her any more. Lastly, they informed us that Kayley will no longer be receiving the Synagis shot (helps with RSV). They saw a sharp decline in RSV so they declared the RSV season over. Kayley was out of house arrest!!! We promptly took ourselves out to eat for the occasion. It's been rough not being out of the house for such a long time.

Within the week after her checkup, Kayley took a bad turn with her feedings. Up until then, we were giving her the bottle and then feeding her solids with formula mixed in. She wasn't doing real great but she was eating at least. Well, she started refusing solids all together and the bottle started to decline too. Megan called the GI doctor immediately and got an appointment with the nurse practitioner. They couldn't get us in for a couple weeks. In the meantime, we stopped solids completely and continued to struggle with the bottle. We were stumped. So, we thought we'd try to make the bottle taste better by putting baby food in the bottle. We put bananas, applesauce, and pears in the bottle. It was very thick but Kayley took the bottles much better. She went from taking 11-12 oz/day (yes, that little) to 20-22 oz/day (still not very good but better). We were feeling ok but we knew something more needed to be done.

On April 1, we took Kayley to an appointment with the GI nurse practitioner. She weighed 16 lbs 2 oz. Not good. That was only a 3 oz gain in just over 2 weeks. It was not a good appointment. We came to the harsh reality that Kayley NEEDS to start eating better or she will have to have a feeding tube. The nurse practitioner came up with a feeding plan. We were to scrap the baby food in the bottle and go back to the basics...formula and cereal. The baby food actually dilutes the formula and causes Kayley to get less nutrition. In other words, less bang for the buck. And, no more rice cereal because it is constipating. Basically, the plan was to start with a new formula, Alimentum, and see how it goes. If that didn't work, we were going to move to Elecare (we thought the other formula was expensive). And, our goal was 30 oz a day!!! Megan's and my immediate reaction was, "NO WAY! That will never happen." After all, her highest total in one day to date was only 26 oz. And that probably happened once. Now we have to get 4 more ounces down her when she's eating worse?!?! We're definitely not giving up, but that's impossible. Oh well, that was our goal and that was that. We took that plan home and had to go back to see the nurse practitioner 2 weeks later for an update.

We started with Alimentum and oatmeal cereal and added the 6th feeding per day back in. She started out pretty well like she normally does. She likes to fool us. We even got up to 29.3 ounces one day. Then, back down we went. She started struggling again and she was spitting up more than before. It was very difficult to get her to eat. So, after 6 days on Alimentum, we switched to Elecare. And guess what...no miracle. She kept struggling. We were dreading our next appointment. Would we have to do a feeding tube?

Yesterday, April 9, we took Kayley back to the nurse practitioner for an update. She weighed in at 16 lbs 4 oz. Heck, we were surprised she gained weight at all! The nurse practitioner and the nutritionist came into the room and asked for an update. We gave them the bad news that there was no feeding miracle. Surprisingly, no feeding tube was mentioned initially. Instead, we were to continue on the Elecare since we just switched. To help with the spitting up, we were to add more cereal. The good news was that since we were adding cereal, the calories per ounce went up so the total ounces Kayley needed to take per day went down...to 28. We only had to climb Mt. McKinley instead of Mt. Everest. The nurse practitioner also instructed us to up the doses of Reglan that we give Kayley. Kayley is a little bit bigger now so she can handle the bigger dose. Lastly, Dr. McOmber told the nurse practitioner that if it didn't get better by this visit, schedule a scope and biopsy. So, one of the next Monday's, we'll be taking Kayley in for the procedure. They will put Kayley to sleep and then stick a scope down her to check things out. They will also take a biopsy to see if anything else is going on. The visual results will be available instantaneously but the biopsy results will take a week or so. We're just happy that they are taking the next step to figure out what is wrong.

So all in all, Kayley is progressing perfecting in all areas except feeding. As as you just read, we are struggling quite a bit with that. Hopefully something positive happens with that soon. We really don't want to have a feeding tube put in even though they keep telling us it actually reduces OUR stress a bunch. We would no longer have the pressure of getting Kayley to take a certain amount. We'll just give her what she'll take and then tube feed her the rest of it. I can totally understand how that could be because every feeding normally ends with the feeder frustrated and dumbfounded. However, we still don't want the feeding tube. Poor Kayley doesn't need that discomfort too. She's already going through enough...

Friday, March 6, 2009

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Since the last post, Kayley started downing bottles and eating solids like the world was ending. Ok...so that statement is not quite true. Sounded good though didn't it? We're pretty much just trying anything we can at this point to see what Kayley reacts to.

We visited the GI specialist on Feb. 19. He was very happy with Kayley's solid food intake even though it limits her bottle intake. He likes the direction that we're going. We told him her average ounces a day dropped from around 23-24 ounces to 16-20 ounces. He wasn't worried about that at all. He said he was expecting us to tell him her bottle intake dropped to somewhere around 8-10 ounces. That would have been more of a problem. In the end, he said Kayley just needs to take around 70-80 calories per kilogram that she weighs. So, since she weighs just over 7 kgs, she needs just over 560 calories a day. With the solids mixed with formula and the amount she takes from a bottle, she's getting well over that. She takes anywhere from 610 to 690 calories a day. She'll be fat before we know it.

We also gave the doctor an update on how we think the medicines are working for Kayley. We told him the Prevacid seems to work but we really weren't quite sure. He said we're going to keep Kayley on it because it protects her throat by limiting the amount of acid reflux Kayley would have. We don't want the reflux to get worse and therefore cause problems with her throat. That could have very bad effects on her feeding.

Next , we told him that we didn't think the Reglan was working at all. It seemed to work the first week but then it wore off. Reglan is supposed to help the stomach move food through to the intestine. It should limit how full Kayley's stomach feels so she'll be hungrier during feeding times. It's also suppose to make it so food doesn't just sit in her stomach to be spit up later. Well, Kayley wasn't really eating well and she seemed to be spitting up quite a bit. So, the doctor told us to quit the Reglan for a while and see what happens. If it got worse, we would start Kayley back on it. If nothing happened, we'd keep her off it. Well, a week passed without giving it to her and we noticed quite a difference. Kayley was struggling to eat because she always seemed full. And, Kayley would eat solids and then have a bottle, then 4 hours later after playing and a nap, she'd spit up the solids. 4 hours is too long for the solids to be in her stomach. So, we put her back on. It didn't magically make Kayley start eating a ton better but it helped the spitting up a lot.

The last thing we discussed was how Kayley's cheeks would get very red after eating solids. This was more difficult to explain. It happened after all solids including carrots, beans, peas, etc. It's very rare to have an allergy to all those foods. Also, we checked the labels and there was no milk protein in them. We already know Kayley is allergic to that. So, the doctor said he would be surprised if it was the solids. And since Kayley's cheeks didn't get red after having just a bottle, he'd also be surprised if it was the formula. From there, it could have been the spoon, bib, or washcloth we were using while feeding solids. The conclusion, keep switching things up until we can narrow down what's causing it. We even were supposed to switch between formulas just in case...expensive, expensive, or more expensive. The 3 formula options are Nutramigen, Alimentum, and Pregestimil. They all have a different make up in proteins so switching could help. We had Kayley on Pregestimil at first and switched her to Alimentum. That didn't show any difference except I think the Alimentum smelled considerably worse. Pregestimil smells bad enough. Next, we tried Nurtramigen. That's what Kayley is currently on and it seems to help a bit.

Our next appointment with the GI specialist is May 6 so hopefully we can report a lot of progress then.

Our next appointment in general is a physical therapy evaluation this coming Monday. It was ordered by the NICU at Phoenix Children's so it seems pretty standard. In my opinion, Kayley seems like a normal baby for her corrected age so we'll see what they have to say.

Now to Kayley's weight. The last time we weighed her was at her last Synagis shot on the 24th of Feb. She came it at a whopping 15 lbs 11 oz. To me, that just shows that Kayley is getting enough to eat, but it's the struggle we have getting her to eat that's the issue.

For the last few months, we've kept Kayley on a schedule of 6 feedings per day. The first feeding started at 8:00 am and the last feeding started around 11:30 pm. They were spaced 3 hours apart. It worked fine until the last couple weeks. At the last feeding of the day, it became very hard to wake her up. She would be dead asleep and getting her to eat was almost impossible. I tried all of the tricks that we used on Drew and it still didn't work. So, we changed her feeding schedule to 5 times a day about 3.5 hours apart. Her first feeding starts at 7:30 am but her last feeding is now at 9:30 pm. So far it's working out pretty well. Her total ounces a day went down a little bit but not too bad. I'm just thankful that I get to bed before 1 am these days.

Onto Kayley sitting up. She's so close. She's a little behind schedule with it but one of these days she's going to get it. She stays up on her own for 1/2 a minute to a minute but then falls over. The couple of face plants she's done shows she's just not quite there yet but like I said, it'll be soon.

And last, Kayley is still quite happy. She's making more and more noises daily. She's noticing a lot more around her. She loves watching Sox and Drew play. She tries to grab everything. She's all over the place when we put her on the floor. I've even seen her army crawl a couple times to get to things. And unfortunately, she absolutely loves the Teletubbies. I've tried numerous time to switch her to Barney because I can handle Barney, but Teletubbies still reign. See the video to see how much she likes them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fine. I'll Pretend Like The Bottle Isn't Even There





Here we go again. Kayley continues to be a very happy little girl. She greets us with smiles any time we talk to her. She still sleeps very well (thank God!). She's learning a lot of new tricks. When she doesn't want a bottle in her mouth (which is most of the time), she either blows into it to make bubbles or she talks around the bottle and acts like it isn't even there. It's very funny except when you're the one feeding her. Then, it's a little frustrating. She has also taken a liking to her feet. If we have her on the floor or in any one of her seats, she's normally got one of her feet in her mouth. We also broke out the jumparoo for her. She loves sitting in it and making noises as she jumps. She's very active. She's starting to notice more around her which includes Sox, our dog. I brought Kayley outside with me last night while Drew and I played with Sox. She giggled every time Sox got near her. I think we have another dog lover.

Since the last post, we visited the developmental pediatrician. She thought Kayley looked great but did have some extra stuff we needed to work on. Her head control that she had us working on last time looked great. Kayley no longer has a tilt and she controls her head very well. She was also pleased that we got Kayley's feeding time down to 35 minutes per feeding. However, she really wants us to start moving more and more to solids so that's what we've been focusing on. Since baby food has little or no calories, we have to add the formula mix to it. She's really starting to eat a lot better. With all the solids that she now gets, you can imagine how the bottle goes over...that's right...not well. We wait about 15 minutes after the solids but normally, Kayley doesn't want anything to do with the bottle. It's a struggle to get her to take 2 or 2.5 ounces. Hopefully the formula that she is getting in the solids makes up for what she's not taking in the bottle. She still seems to be growing so that's a plus.

While checking Kayley out, the doctor noticed that Kayley doesn't use her upper lip much. She's mostly using her tongue and lower jaw to chew on toys. So, we got some homework. We're supposed to massage her upper lip every now and then, let her get the food off the spoon when we feed her solids instead of dragging it across the roof of her mouth, and buy her a chew toy that vibrates when she bites it. All these things will help stimulate her upper lip so she starts to use it more.

The doctor also wants us to work with Kayley to help develop her core strength that will help her sit and eventually crawl. The doctor gave us a lot of exercises that include assisted sitting, side sitting, kneeling, barrel crawling (no kidding), and some other stuff. So far, the exercises seem to be working. Kayley is really close to sitting up on her own.

At the doctor appointment, Kayley weighed 15lbs 3oz with her clothes on. She also measured 26 inches. So, she's over 5 times her birth weight and almost 11 inches longer than her birth height.

We are feeding Kayley solids 3-4 times a day. She either gets carrots, green beans, peas, squash, or sweet potatoes. She's improved a lot in the last couple of weeks at eating solids. She eats 1/2 of the container plus the 1 or more scoops of formula mix. No wonder she's too full to take a bottle! We are a little concerned that it may not be fullness, though, but rather an allergy. Most of the time, Kayley's cheeks get pretty red after her feedings. We'll be sure to bring that up to the doctor at our next GI visit which just so happens to be this coming Thursday.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

14 lbs 1 oz....7 Months Old







Believe or not, we don't have a ton of updates for Kayley. She continues to be a very happy baby except when we stick a bottle in her mouth. She's eating a little better but it's still more difficult than it should be. She's learned to use her hands to push the bottle away. That makes it a bit more challenging. You can find us most of the time shaking a toy in one hand to distract Kayley and holding onto the bottle in the other. It seems like as long as we can distract her from eating, she does a lot better.

We've also started introducing more solids. At first she had no idea what to do with the cereal in her mouth. But lately, she's been moving it around and actually swallowing a bit of it. That's a good step. Hopefully she'll get the hang of it soon.

Even though her eating is a bit of a challenge, she seems to be growing pretty well. She's moved into 6 month clothes now. We had to put away all of her 3-6 month clothes. Just tonight, she was sleeping on my chest. Megan and I both agreed it's amazing how big she is. She used to fit on one side of my chest. Now, she lays across me with her legs dangling.

Kayley is now 14 lbs 1 oz. She was weighed yesterday at the GI specialist appointment. At the appointment, we updated the doctor on Kayley's status. Since we saw him last, we've changed formulas, cut her feeding time from 1 hour to 35 minutes, and started solids. He agreed with cutting her feeding time and introducing solids. If you remember, that guidance came from the developmental pediatricain...not him. He also said that he's going to keep Kayley on the same formula for at least another month. It could take that long to make a difference. Megan and I also gave an update on Kayley's spitting up. Basically, she spits up after every feeding and even after she gets up from her naps to be fed again. That information pushed him to prescribe another medicine. It's called Reglan. It's used to help stomach motility. It stimulates the stomach to push food to the intestines faster. Since Kayley still spits up hours after her feedings, the food is just not moving out fast enough. Hopefully Reglan is the miracle drug we've been looking for.

That's pretty much it. Enjoy the pictures of our now 7 month old (4 months corrected age).