Thursday, April 7, 2011


 In trying to make it through the weeks before Reagan's surgery; the pumping, the anxiety, the lack of available time, I kept telling myself that after the surgery, she would be normal.  She'd go back to breastfeeding, have energy, and there would be no more doctor's appointments to run around to every other day (or so it seemed). Her surgery went so well and she came home so fast and obviously improved that I was floating above the ground with elation and a new lease on life.  My baby was healthy now.  She would grow now.  I had TIME now.  Oh what would I do with so much time....laundry?  Make cupcakes with my girls?  Oh the possibilities.
Reagan's post-op appointment with Dr. Bailey was last Monday (sorry about no updates, our internet went out for most of the week)  and he was happy with her progress.  He observed a slow heartbeat but after an EKG he said she was fine and that she just sailed through the surgery and recovery and promptly cleared her for most normal activity.  She is back at her therapy again and amazing her teacher with her new skills and determination. She showed us an impressive weight gain of over half a pound in the four days since her discharge!!!  So Dr. Bailey cleared her for exclusively nursing again.  No more fortified bottles!  Oh we were so happy!
 She was scheduled for a follow up with her cardiologist yesterday.  I was not looking forward to it because my mommy instincts were telling me that I wasn't going to come away happy.  Reagan stopped sleeping through the night so I've been super tired.  I thought she just had more energy and was getting used to her fixed heart.  Then I thought she needed extra nursing to catch up with her weight gain....but she didn't seem to be gaining much no matter how many times I nursed her.  I was right, she lost 3 oz since I cut out all the bottles.  So here we go again.  I will be nursing her and then giving her a bottle to top her off.  I will attempt to pump after nursing her so that the bottle can be my milk, but I'm not optimistic about the outcome of that since I've been struggling all along with pumping.  The good part is that she knows how to nurse and likes nursing, and now with a fixed heart she has enough energy to nurse.  For whatever reason she is not getting enough while nursing, and I am at a loss as to why.  I've never lacked in supply for any of my kids so perhaps she just doesn't get it out of me like the other girls did even though she has a great latch. 
I wasn't as happy with her heart report as I'd have liked either.  Dr. Kuhn said that her echo "looked pretty good,  there are no more holes".  Well that's good anyway :)  And he said her heart is returning to normal size...good.  And he described her heart function as "low-normal".  Wait, what does that mean?  I thought she was going to be perfect now!  In my bleary-eyed, sleep deprived state I didn't manage to clarify that any more than to ask if her condition was to be expected at this point.  He said it was and come back in a month. NOT what I was expecting.  I thought he'd say everything was great and see you in six months.  So much for my understanding of how things work.  So I left a little discouraged.
 But on the plus side with a bottle top-off Reagan woke only once last if only her big sister had slept through the night.  Better luck tonight?


Susanna said...

Oh Shauna, she is SO precious! I understand exactly how you are feeling with the ongoing feeding issues (as you well know, V. is not the best eater ever-lol!), but I hope she takes off for you soon! Hang in there, she'll get there, mama! (((((Hugs)))))

skiingthroughlife said...

hang in there mamma! I know how discouraging it can be when it comes to feeding.... I pray the day comes when you can just breast feed her and find your rhythm together for good. She is tooooo adorable. Can her face be any cuter??

Cassie said...

I soooo relate to the feeding frustrations! I decided to go against our pediatrician's recommendations last month and cut out her fortified bottles but she didn't gain weight for two weeks and I had to start fortifying again. At six months, I was expecting her to be able to just take what she needed without the "extra" calories! Reagan is a her and want to meet her! I think Audri has a best friend in the making:-) Don't be too discouraged by the doctors. They don't always know how to communicate well and can come across more negatively than they mean. Her holes are closed and I am SURE her heart function will continue to improve! So happy for you guys:-)

Shauna said...

Ah Cassie thanks for the encouragement. It gives me hope knowing that you have worked with these doctors and know what you're talking about! I agree that our girlies need to be friends :)