Returns… (8w3d)

There have been lots of returns recently. Mostly in the form of various types of formula as we struggle to find something that works for Kieran. We’ve tried regular formulas from Similac, Enfamil, Costco and Target. We’ve tried the “gentle” versions of formula from Similac, Enfamil and Target. Now we’re back on Soy, using the last of our sample from Similac. (I’m about to go out to Target to get a container of their Soy formula.)

I am SO thankful for easy return policies on formula, although I do feel bad returning an open container, knowing it can’t be used by anyone.

Initially we were looking for something to help settle the incredible amount of (apparently) painful gas Kieran has. He’s been gassy literally since he was born, so we’re trying to find a formula that won’t exacerbate the situation. It’s so hard to see him so uncomfortable. (The clothes we’re sending to Paul’s sister for her shortly-due baby all have worn spots from rubbing Kieran’s tummy so much.) But it seems that the “gentle” formulas actually made the situation worse by constipating Kieran. (I felt horrible when it dawned on me that 4 days of easy-clean poops were actually constipation getting worse and worse.) We’ve pretty much got him regular again with judicious use of prune juice (good lord, that stuff is powerful and unaffected in any way by digestion!) But we don’t want to have to constantly spike his bottle with juice, ya know? So we’re trying Soy formula again to see if possibly he’s lactose intolerant. It’s seeming to help the constipation, but not the gas.

And yeah, we’ve got (Little Tummies brand) Gas drops and Gripe Water… neither of which seem to help all that much. Suggestions on other remedies are greatly appreciated.

The other return this week was a hard one: the Breast Pump. I took it back 6 weeks early. (We’d done a pre-paid 3-month rental through early October for the lower fees.) It just wasn’t working. I was drinking my lactation tea, and taking my supplements (none of which were cheap, btw) and it just wasn’t seeming to help. Was it really worth it to spend the money on supplements and rentals, to spend nearly an hour each time hooked up to the thing to get less than an ounce of milk? (And the milk looked more and more like just foremilk anyway.) Seeing that pump on it’s little table next to the couch all the time was just a constant reminder to me of my failure. The guilt I had every time I sat down to do anything and wasn’t hooked up to the pump was really wearing me down.

So Paul and I talked about it (I cried about it, again) and we decided that it wasn’t worth the emotional pain to me to keep trying for such diminishing returns. I could barely get 2 ounces a day (most days it was 1oz or less total) for all my trying – and Kieran is currently sucking down 25-30oz a day. The little I could eek out was barely a drop in the bucket.

He got the colustrum at the beginning. He got as much milk as he and I could coerce out of me for the first 2-3 weeks. I have to believe that was enough, that he got the benefits from that little amount. I have to believe that, because I have to forgive myself, because I have to move on. I told Paul I needed his permission to stop trying, and after a long pause, he gave it.

End of an era, or something. I’m off to Target now to buy a full-size container of Soy formula so we can really see if Soy is the answer for us right now. Kieran seems to be over his constipation, but is still gassy as all get out. But he is thriving and growing like a weed. And in the end, that is all that matters.

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