Margo Blue // A difficult first month

DSC_2849-Edit(My Oompa-Loompa jaundice baby)

What a difficult first month we had with our newest member of the family, Margo Blue. She had her dad and I looking like a couple of chickens running around with our heads cut off (nice visual). You would think we were first time parents with all of the confusion, stress, frustration and concern that we endured. Some of this you may already know about, if you had read my post on my struggle with the “Baby Blues” . Because of the chaos that was our life, I’m so behind on updating this space with it all. Margo is actually 2 months old, now, and I’ll be getting to that update as soon as possible. But for now, I need to play catch-up. Updates like this one aren’t always of interest to most of my readers (minus friends and family) but without documentation, I can hardly remember any of it. I can’t tell you how glad I am for blogging about Mia’s growth.

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Okay, month numero uno. Yikes! Just the thought of it gives me anxiety. Mostly, it was full of screaming and crying (both from Margo and me). Margo aggressively screamed during almost every feeding. That comes out to about 6-8 times a day, each lasting for 30-45 minutes. And at times, she’d cry in between feedings, too. She wouldn’t last in one place or position for too long before demanding something new. She’d rotate from her crib, to my arms, to a play mat on the floor with dangling things to look at, to the swing, to a bassinet before it was time to nap again. Once awake, this song and dance would repeat. We’d only have to kill about an hour to an hour and a half of time with this before she’d be ready to sleep again, but when this is all you do day in and day out, those minutes can’t move fast enough. I looked at the clock that month more times than I did anything else.

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My guess at the reason for Margo’s pain and discomfort was and still is “silent reflux.” Feel free to look that up, I won’t make you read its definition here. She spits up a lot, multiple times during and after feedings and wowzers does it stink!!! I did not have this issue with Mia. Of course, babies spit up… but mine is like a little fountain. Her and I constantly smell like sour milk. It’s super gross. What happened to that amazing new-baby-scent because she ain’t got it! She was also super gassy, which added to her discomfort. She’d pass gas constantly throughout the day and more so during feedings and let out a scream with each one.

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One night Margo screamed non-stop for hours so I called the pediatrician. She recommended Mylicon which are over-the-counter infant gas drops. My mom was staying with us and made a midnight run to the pharmacy for it. We noticed it helped calm her, but also put her in a stoned-like daze that I wasn’t comfortable with. The next day I did my online research on the stuff and instead went out and bought more natural alternatives (Colic Calm & Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water). These also helped comfort her, but all were short-lived. Even as temporary as they were, any relief was welcomed.

DSC_2933Margo’s most calming places to be are in the bath tub and on the changing table. She loves her baths so much and totally relaxes her body and observes each sensation. The changing table? Can’t tell you what that’s about. Strange. She digs getting her diaper changed, I guess.

We made a few other desperate attempts to help soothe Margo. I had put our issues up on Facebook and received lots of different advice on formula. We started with Gerber Soothe but ditched it because we thought that maybe she was sensitive to the dairy in it. So then we tried Enfamil Nutramigen (which claims to be for dairy sensitive babies but still contains it, just super broken down for them to easily digest) but her scream feedings continued and her poops turned to diarrhea. It was nasty, each poop was coming out of her like lava (hey there Bridesmaids reference). Then, we turned to soy formula (Enfamil Prosobee) which constipated her. We just couldn’t win with this kid! But finally, we started to see improvements with her feedings and she’d only scream and fuss for a few of them rather than every one.

DSC_3055(Adorable crocheted booties c/o: Raspberriez)

Another piece of advice I received to help soothe this kid was to buy a vibrating Rock n’ Play Sleeper…so I did. A mom had said that both of her kids would only sleep in this thing because it sits at an incline which is supposed to help babies with reflux (keeps the gunk down, I guess). Margo did okay in it for a few nights to maybe a week, but was super finicky in it and would wake in the night often. We ended up positioning it near our giant fish tank in the living room for some fish watching during the day.

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The biggest, most effective advice we took from many moms who claimed success with this, was chiropractic adjustments. After getting a lot of support for this online, a friend of ours contacted us that same day saying how she mentioned our situation to her chiropractor. He encouraged us to see him and since we were getting desperate and nothing else we were trying was really working, we checked him out. I’ll get into that more with Margo’s 2nd month update because she only saw the doctor once in her first month’s end.

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Other details from the first month: My mom practically lived with us! She lives in Utah but stayed with us for the first 2 weeks after Margo’s birth. She went back home for only 12 days before returning to stay with us again for the last week in that month. I cannot stress to you enough how grateful and appreciative and lucky and thankful I am for all of the help that my mom gave us that month. She was a life-saver, that’s for sure. I honestly don’t know how I would have managed my recovery after birth, Margo’s insanity, Mia’s needs and attention and household duties on my own. I think I would have lost my mind on more than just the one occasion I mentioned in my “Baby Blues” post that I linked to above. I would have been crying on the regular. My mom helped us with all of the following: cooking, cleaning, laundry, feeding the dogs, grocery shopping, random outings for things like medicine and new bottles, driving Mia to preschool and picking her up, playing with Mia, getting Mia out of the house, holding and rocking Margo and feeding her. I was able to rest as much as I could, take naps when I could and even get out of the house by myself on a few occasions, without the kids.  I was seriously about to move this woman right into our guest room! During the first month, especially, it takes a village to survive. And I highly suggest calling on your village if and when you need them.

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During the first month, we had lots of visitors who wanted to see the new baby. Friends and family were calling, checking in, texting and coming by. Some even brought dinner (thanks Nichole & Rikki!) and treats (thanks Shelden!). It was nice to see my people’s faces but rough because I was exhausted and Margo was not very friendly or guest-ready yet. Still, I’m thankful for all of the support I received during this time.

Some final, small details that I can think of: Margo hates being in her car seat and in the car. She screams with both which had me staying home for pretty much the entire month. She also would refuse the pacifier, so soothing her during her fussy/crying/screaming periods was tough. I swaddled her tight with each nap and at night, which was the only way and best way she’d sleep. I think during that month, the longest stretch of sleep she got at night was 4 hours. Her naps, for the most part, were great. She’d give me a 2 hour, 3 hour, 1.5 hour nap almost every day. Occasionally she’d get only 30 minutes in, which always frustrated me so because it took me 15-20 minutes of soothing her to get her to fall asleep in the first place.

So there you have it. I believe this is a decent account of Margo’s first month. From getting minimal, broken sleep each night it’s hard to piece it all together and to remember it well. I can already tell you that her 2nd month has been so much better. More on that, soon I hope. Life is pretty busy around here.

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Comments

  1. I can so relate to you! I always say, “you’d think I was a first time Mom this time around! “. It’s actually my 3rd time around! Our first month was the same as yours….. except or didn’t end for SEVERAL more months. Mine are quite spread apart in age (15,10,9 months), but I can safely say parenting a baby seemed so much easier in my 20’s. I guess one thing we can ALWAYS take away from it is life is life. One day at a time, sometimes one minute at a time!

  2. Gripe water, Similac Sensitive, and a rock&play were my saving grace with Lyla. They transformed her into a totally different and more pleasant baby. Sadly she’s never napped like in her entire life, but I think that has made me a much stronger mom… just like I think this is all making YOU the strongest mom of all! I’m glad you had such a good support system around you to help. That’s so so nice people even brought you food and that your mom was able to stay a long time. I hope things continue to improve!!!!!

  3. what a cutie and look at all that hair. I am sorry that the first month was stressful and glad to hear month 2 is better!

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