Vaccination!!

Having avoided the HepB vaccine on day 1 and the DTaP vaccination at the 2 month wellness check, we are now confronted with the issue of starting vaccianations. Already, at the 2 months wellness check, we had to go through a very lengthy debate with our peed to let her know, we are certainly not going to take all the 49 recommended shots for our DS.

When we made our appointment with his new peed, we checked to see if they would support an alternative vaccination schedule and the person who took the call said that they would. However, the peed turned out to be pro- CDC vaccination schedule, in fact, someone who educates the community on its benefits. So, after the last visit it became clear to us that we needed to change our peed.

After much searching, we found one who would be willing to work with us on a schedule tailored to our area. She is about an hour away from our place. Hopefully, we will come up with a reasonable schedule!

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Freedom at last….

Finally, after a week of being tentative, it is now clear that DS is ready to be exclusively breast fed. In the week that DS has been on breast milk exclusively, he has gained 51/2 oz – which really makes us confident that this is here to stay. In addition to the many benefits of being breast fed for DS, for Dad, this means having to worry less about handwashing the dirty diapers. They are now directly machine washable, without any prior prep. For Mom, this means freedom from pumping and the chore of cleaning all formula related paraphernalia. Also, suddenly there is more time in Mom’s life for other stuff.And for DS, he is getting the healthiest possible food every time!!

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Freedom from Formula – Update 2

DS is finally out of formula! – It has taken about 7 weeks and 2 days to get here. Hopefully, we can remain here and not have to supplement anymore …..  the next few days will tell how stable the situation is without formula.

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Tao of Fatherhood

Found this wonderful blog: http://taooffatherhood.com/, where the author claims:

In my twenty years of fatherhood, I’ve made plenty of mistakes, and I’ve tried to learn from them. This site is my attempt to share some of what I’ve learned with other fathers. It isn’t meant to preach, but rather to inspire and provoke us all to think and grow as fathers.

It is nice to find a kindred soul somewhere on this blogosphere!!

These words simply resonate a lot with own philosophy of fathering (all of them culled from the above blog):

There is no one best way of fathering, even among all the many clichés and sacred cows we find in parenting guidebooks. The sooner we can give up our learned agenda for our children, the quicker we can get to a deeper reverence for the simple, spontaneous, and intuitive nature of fatherhood.

The journey of fatherhood is full of expectations: how our children should act, how our spouse should act, how we ought to act as fathers. Freeing ourselves from these expectations opens our soul to a more fulfilling life, while dwelling on them leads to disappointment. Remember that we aren’t in charge of the universe, and that while we can’t control everything, we can control what we believe should happen.

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Freedom from Formula – Update 1

We score a mini victory, as the formula supplementation has now dramatically come down to about 150ml a day. DS has been gaining weight at about 1 oz. a day, except for a brief period of 3 days during which he neither gained nor lost any weight.

This development makes us optimistic that we should be fully out of formula supplementation in about two weeks if things go well. Mom has promised to blog about the entire breastfeeding experience in detail sometime later.

From about 20 oz. a day of formula in the worst case, we are now down to 5 oz. a day!!

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Freedom from formula

Now that we have started practicing aware parenting – we thought we can also start a program to wean DS away from formula totally. At week 2, he was consuming anywhere from 500-600 ml of formula. So, we decided to slowly halve this amount, by only feeding him with formula every alternate feed. And last week, after becoming fully aware of his crying patterns and feeding routine, we further experimented by bring the formula down to 240ml.

We wanted to follow the method of weaning given in http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/decrease-formula.html. And now as of day 4 into this scheme, we are at 180ml and even this looks like much for DS. He has gained 4 oz. in these four day and his dirty and wet diapers have been fairly steady at about 3 every 36 hours, though the first day there was little scare with no dirty diapers. This, we now think is due to his body adjusting to the new feeding pattern.

Anyway, proceeding this way, in another 2 weeks, we hope DS can be fully out of formula!!  Last Friday, we had mom use the breast pump exclusively to see how much milk we could express. Turns out she was able to produce about 480ml in 24 hours. We plan on repeating pumpathon next friday and hopefully, the supply would have increased.

The healthometer teddy bear scale,  http://www.amazon.com/Health-Meter-HDC100-01-Babies-Toddlers/dp/B0009MFUZE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315960668&sr=8-1, has been a god send, allowing us to continue experimenting with DS’s feeding needs. We hope the day is not far when we are done with supplementing DS with formula.

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The Aware Baby Experiment

As soon as DS was born, he was crying in distress, possibly wanting to bond with his mom. Given that she was still being worked on by the surgeons, with a lot of IV tubes going into her, I had to take care of him until she was ready to go skin on skin. So, I started our first aware baby practice – I held him firmly supporting his entire body so that he could cry. And cry he did, for nearly the next two hours!!

With the milk coming in by day 8 for mom and the weight loss of DS meanwhile, to practice the crying out part of aware parenting, there was a lot of opposition from both mom and grandmom. Mom was feeling guilty since she interpreted DS’s cry to be one for milk always and Grandmom was completely alien to the idea of aware parenting. Despite repeated sessions with her to get the message across, she would not accept the idea at all.

Every time DS cried it was interpreted to be due to hunger and hence, every time he cried, he got a lot of supplement. So, by the end of week 2, he regained his birth weight and by week 3 and 5days he had gained 2 more pounds!!

This is when it became clear to me that there was indeed a control pattern well established – every time DS was uncomfortable with anything, he would cry and immediately, mom and/or grandmom would rush in with a bottle (had to really insist on this one and change it to a finger feeder instead of a bottle for the fear of DS developing nipple confusion – this is another story by itself), all along thinking that he was hungry and needed more.

No amount of reading out the relevant pages from the aware baby book was convincing to mom as she was getting influenced by the guilt of what she thought was her low milk production/supply. On top of this, with grand mom insisting that allowing the baby to cry, even though in our loving arms, was inhumane, the opportunity to practice aware parenting was beginning to be lost.

And then, one fine evening, DS started one of his hard cries – a long one that lasted about an hour. This time, I swooped in and held him in arms allowing him to cry out comfortably while talking with him and letting him know that it was okay to cry and everything would be fine for him. Mom was getting impatient at my letting him cry and wanted to nurse him and somehow, debating with her that this was an emotional cry and not a hunger cry, I kept DS all along with me, while she was getting pushed to her edge. And then, finally, as she could no longer take any of it, I had to give up. Now, with DS in her custody, mom began to nurse – and it took all of 3-4 min. – DS went into deep sleep!!

This was the turning point – she could now accept that this cry may not have been for hunger, but rather for pacification. After a lot of deliberation and me reading through the relevant chapters of the aware baby book again, mom signs up for the aware baby experiment.

We decide, anytime, DS cries within two hours of a feeding session, it is more likely an emotional distress cry and we would hold him compassionately as he cries himself out. The closer it is to 2 hours, we would be more open to him being fed again.

For the past week, the DS has been crying for about 2 hours a day on average and interestingly enough, many a times, we are beginning to see when he cries to get pacification. All this while, he had developed a pattern – at the slightest amount of discomfort, there would be a cry and immediately he would get pacified with food. A lot of emotional eating so to speak….

Now, with both of us committed to rooting this out, we let him cry in our arms a lot of times for about 5-10 min and he slowly re leaves his distress. And then, there are one or two hard cries.

The aware baby experiment has been going on fine – in the one week since we started it, DS has gained 70z – from 9 12 lbs to 10 3 lbs. Grandmom has apologised for not allowing us to practice this and shuts herself off in her room when DS cries to avoid getting emotional. The amount of formula supplementation has come down from atleast 480 ml/day,  to 240 ml/day, together with a healthy weight gain.

Time will tell if we got this one right………

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