Monday, January 28, 2013

Molly Monday - The Make it Work Edition

Friday I revealed that Mariana is too small, was losing weight and the likely cause is an inefficient nurser combined with dwindling supply. I decided to feature this problem on Molly Monday because it is about diet and nutrition and what happens when you can't follow your own philosophy.

It started a while ago, when I realized that I was having difficulty giving Mariana enough time to nurse. I looked up a few recipes for making my own formula. The best one I found was made with ingredients I would have to mail order and milk I would have to drive 30miles round trip to get. After that I would have to make the formula, which was a time consuming process as well. Though I feel like I might be able to come up with a crock-pot version, I have neither the time nor the inclination to fiddle with recipes. Time and Money - They are Finite.  (The title of my next first book.)

Flash forward to Thursday when the nurse practitioner suggested I begin to supplement with formula. I was of two minds, as I always am about not being a paragon of perfect perfection. On one hand I was so grateful that the issue of her weight had become a problem. I had long been concerned about her growth, but had been reminded time and again that kids with Down syndrome do not follow the normal growth chart.

On the other hand, formula is gross. The smell, the texture, the spit up. It's gross. Never mind the processing that making formula entails. And the corn syrup that it contains. And the soy. And that I haven't found one that is certified non GMO yet.

Yes, I was torn. However, I quickly and quietly calculated our dilemma and left the doctor having made a decision. I bought two kinds of formula, one is hypoallergenic, though not organic and processed to high hell, the other is Earth's Best organic. I buy the Alementum in liquid form because it has no soy while all dry formula has it. My plan is to try to alternate the two in the hope that I can keep Mariana away from too much soy. Ugh, soy.

I also will admit to fearing judgement from some of the purer foodies out there. But again, their lives are not the same as mine. For example - there is a cheaper, more convenient and healthy way to make formula. Unfortunately it uses coconut oil. Usually I believe coconut oil flows from the top of Mount Olympus, but because I have two nephews on my side of the family who have tree nut allergies, we've been cautioned to wait until at least a year to introduce coconut oil. Deciding on baby formula was the best I could do with the knowledge I have, and I feel great about it.

The point of all of this is; sometimes you can't be perfect. In fact, there will many times that you'll have to make compromises. Some of them will be big and some small. The consequences will be that you will either back-track and realize that it was a poor compromise, or the world will keep turning and no one will be worse for it. The whole journey of working toward a healthier way of life is trial and error, a point I can not stress enough.

The Consequences

So far the biggest draw back to the formula is that reflux has returned. However, it may be the amount of food she is eating as well, since she was not getting enough before. I have put her back on Zantac to see what happens. Trial and error, people.

The pro list is far longer. She has a ton more energy, which means she is much happier. Where meal times were riddled with anxiety, they are now times of practicing signs and clapping. She isn't afraid she'll starve between bites, and that is so lovely to see. She also has made progress toward crawling, though she's only gone backwards. There are now naps and wonderful nighttime sleeping. She has also gained over a half pound. Daddy is probably the most happy because we can be in the same room while he tends to her. Usually she is frantic about being in my arms...but I'm still her favorite!

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