Dear Chaya // 2 Months

Dear CC,

You love to smile, cuddle and be wrapped up tight. You’re completely different to your siblings in so many ways. Unique. Fourth time around and apparently there’s still plenty for me to learn as a mother, a co-parent, and human being. Hashem is teaching me so much through you, and even when it’s so hard I break, I still pick myself up, look into your eyes and smile because I love you. You are a calm and peaceful baby and adored by all who meet you, and especially those of us lucky enough to live with you. You’re sunshine CC.

This month you have gained some weight! Baruch HaShem! You are gaining weight nicely now that you are on a special allergy formula – Novalac. At the time of your 2 month birthday this formula accounts for about 75% of your feeds. You have some pretty hard core nipple confusion and preference for the bottle, which has contributed to this high percentage of formula. Bottle feeding a baby is a very new experience for me, and there are some benefits I suppose (not least the fact that you’re gaining weight!), but I miss breastfeeding, and really feel strongly that because of your allergies breastmilk is the best thing for you (once the allergens are removed). The main ingredient in this formula is glucose syrup followed by various vegetable oils, so it’s not exactly the most nutritious stuff. Though certainly better than nothing!

This month you more or less stopped breastfeeding. I still offer you the breast regularly, before every feed, and if you’re fussy. But you rarely take it. Sometimes you put it in your mouth, and just don’t seem to suck, and other times you fuss and won’t even close your mouth to latch. We’re seeing a LC in January (Bli Neder) to try and get this going again. I am expressing at most feeds, so my supply is still… existing, but not great. I had a hospital trip, and some general illness this month which has left my supply lacking by the end of the month. I am so so hopeful that we can pick up breastfeeding again soon!

On the 5th of December, at exactly 6 weeks I weighed you once again after giving you 150mL of top up (either formal or EBM) a day on top of breastfeeds for a week. And guess what?! You gained! I took you off the scales and you gave me your first smile! It was big, and wonderful and I felt like we were connected, and you could feel my joy and relief that for the first time in your life you’d gained weight!

Since then you’ve been showering everyone with beautiful big smiles, and it is just wonderful. Your siblings love to try and make you smile!

We have been continuing with your osteo appointments, but stopped mid way through this month. The Osteo has done all she can for now, and I’m focusing on just fattening you up, and getting you back on the breast. We can re-visit these appointments later.

Edited with Afterlight

The paediatrician referred us to an immunologist, but we can’t get in to see him until June! It will be helpful to get your tested before we put you on too many solids, but it doesn’t really help me figure out what foods you’re currently allergic or intolerant to.

We got the stool samples back and it showed you definitely have a cow’s milk allergy. But it can’t tell us about any other foods. At the moment I am off the following foods (some are just for my own personal intolerances, and some are for you!): All dairy, soy, eggs, wheat and gluten, almonds, peanuts, and coconut. I still have macadamia milk occasionally. By now they should all be almost completely out of our systems. I’m very strict with these.

You are currently celebrating your first Chanukah, which is pretty special! You also had your first visitors (other than family) – Ada & Harvey came to see you, as well as Jaelle and Ori. You’re a bit… clingy (especially in the evenings), but you have given Rachel quite a few cuddles, as they visit us every other week at the moment (yay!).

Pa has also been getting some lovely long sleeping cuddles from you in the day, as has Grandma, who is our lifesaver – coming down to help out and entertain your sister, pick up your brothers from school (it’s holidays now, yay!), and look after you while I got to my Chiro appointments.

Even with all these health problems, and feeding problems and clingy-ness, I think it’s fair to say that you’re pretty chill, and pretty wonderful! You are like an open book – easy to read and a clear communicator. Everyone loves you, and I get such nachas when I leave you on the mat and your brothers and sisters entertain you for a while. The kids at school adore you, as do their parents, and I am so immensely proud of you and love showing you off.

I love you sweet Chaya. I’m so glad we called you “life” – may you have it till 120, and may the one who gave you life, Hashem, also give you healing.

Love Mama

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