Dear Millie,

I don’t even know where to start, but month four was quite a doozy! This month has tested me in ways I wasn’t prepared for and showed me how deep a parent’s love for their child is. Month four truly taught me what it must be like for all parents out there–we want to do anything to make sure our child is ok.

You’ve had some health problems this month, and it started out rather benign. We kicked off the month learning you have torticollis, which literally translates to twisted neck. The doctor thinks it may have started in utero with your positioning, and the physical therapist said a lot of babies have this now as there’s a huge push for the “back to sleep” movement, meaning having your baby sleep on their back. Your head was always wanting to turn to the right, and that ended up making your one tendon become tight and you favored turning your head to one side and not the other. The doctor wanted you to start physical therapy, and with a few simple stretches and repositioning your body when you fall asleep, we’ve already made great progress. You’re not a huge fan of physical therapy, but we ended up at a super kid-friendly PT spot, and you seem fairly intrigued by all of the kids in one room with you. I’m not a doctor or physical therapist, but to the other moms out there with little ones, I’d suggest being sure to change up your baby’s head position when they fall asleep. I’m sharing this in hopes of any other parent reading it may learn something from it and help their baby!

The next health problem is the one that has me and your dad a bit stressed. I now truly understand when a parent says they would do anything to take the pain away from their child, because Millie, I would do anything to not have this be happening to you. You’ve been having gastrointestinal issues, namely blood in your stool. I’ve gone back and forth about wanting to share this in your letter this month, but I always find that so many others have their own struggles and sharing always seems to help. Someday I hope this is a distant memory, but right now it’s been incredibly time-consuming and worrisome. Overall, no one would even realize you had anything going on! You’re so happy and don’t any other outward signs of distress. We have you at a gastroenterologist, who you quite like, even after he has to press on your belly. We are still in the middle of trying to figure out what’s happening with you, and that’s meant blood draws and stomach ultrasounds and more doctor visits. You keep smiling through it all, even when you had to fast before your abdominal ultrasound. (Which I was CERTAIN was wrong medical information, but it wasn’t).

There is a possibility this is all allergy-related, and we’ve tried to get you to take hypoallergenic formula. However, you are incredibly dramatic about the formula, and even if a drop touches your tongue, you spit it out. To be fair, you won’t take breastmilk out of the bottle either–in fact, you won’t take the bottle at all. We’ve tried different bottles, different people offering the bottle, me being in the house, me being out of the house, you being very hungry, you being slightly hungry–the end result is always the same. (If any of you moms had any luck with a bottle-hating baby, please do share below! I’m open to any and all suggestions.) I’ve completely changed my diet to remove all major allergens, so if it is allergy-related, I can help. It hasn’t seemed to make a difference so far, but I am trying everything and anything I can. I feel so bad that you have anything bothering you, and I would do anything to make it better for you baby girl.

But this month hasn’t just been doctors and tests, though there’s been tons of that. This month has also been lots of fun with you! You discovered your feet and continued to become obsessed with your hands. Kid, your hands are the coolest thing you’ve ever seen. Sometimes I catch you just intertwining your fingers and staring at your hands, other times you are sucking on your entire fist with massive quantities of drool going down your face and shirt, and lately you’ve really nailed sucking your thumb and do it often to soothe yourself to sleep. If it’s not your hands, it’s your feet or your ears. You were yanking on your ears so much I thought you had an ear infection so I took you to the doctor. Rookie mom move there–your ears were totally fine, you just think it’s amazing that you have these two things attached to either side of your head so you grab at them all day.

You’ve also started to like playing with toys, which I love watching. It doesn’t seem like much, but the transition into holding toys and really enjoying the texture and color of them is pretty cool to watch. You still smile all the time, especially for me; you love giving your mama smiles. Your version of laughing is squealing super loudly, and it’s left you with the nickname ‘Baby Bird’ from your dada and I. Sometimes the squeal starts off so delightful, but there’s this turn in your voice that lets me know we’re moving from happy squeal to sad squeal and while you haven’t done it often, you nailed your sad squeal as well. You love listening to music and immediately light up when Moana’s “How Far I’ll Go” comes on. For some reason, you seem to think I have a great voice and smile so big when I sing along to that song. But, unlike many American Idol contestants, I know I’m not making it to the big stage. Someday you’ll be embarrassed of my singing, but right now, you think I’m pretty good.

We took our first trip with you; it wasn’t long or far, just to the West Coast of Florida for a night. Your put your toes in the ocean and had lunch by the pool. We took you for walks on the beach and you loved watching the ocean water roll in and out of the Gulf of Mexico. You were such a good little traveler–slept the entire time in the car, both there and back (it was only about a two-hour drive, but that was pretty great to have you contently sleeping the whole way!).

Each month a bit more of you shines through and I fall more in love with everything about you on a daily basis. My love for you is something fierce, and I would do anything to take any pain away from you. I want you to have the best life, and mama is doing everything she can to take care of you and make the best choices for you. You have made me a mother, and I thank you for that daily. I love you, baby bird.

Love,

Mama

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • SeeJay

    The first pic of baby M in your lap is my favorite! ?

    • I know I love that pic! I realized I have so few pictures with her so I’m going to try to take more!

  • Sparky

    Sweetie!!!!

  • tbestes

    She is going to love reading these letters when she’s old enough. You’re doing great! Hang in there ;)

    • Thank you so much! I want to remember things as they were and have her get to see a glimpse into her life too!

  • V

    I love the bow Millie! Please feel better Baby Bird! Absolutely adorable Megs.

    • The bow is amazing on her! I know Baby Bird loves all of these well wishes ?

  • Michelle

    Hi Megs thanks for sharing your post. About the head thing, I’m not sure but I’ve always been told to get baby to sleep in different positions to balance shape of head but maybe for neck purposes too, so back and both sides and we use a sleep positioned for that, safety first has it. As for the blood in stool, I feel for you as I have same issue and went to many doctors. Possible allergy especially a protein milk allergy. I was exclusively breastfeeding then. I eliminated egg, chicken, nuts, all dairy including cheese, butter, gassy veggies, sour fruits likes sttawberry, oramge, pineapple to some extent for many months. Cos sometimes it takes a while for the allergy to manifest in stool. Doc said was making the intestines inflamed. Apart from that, baby had anal fissures from too many stools because of the bloody stool. Gastro Pedia had baby like this too, which comforted me a bit. He’s eating solids now but bit underweight and height wise he has some catching up. He’s better now. I even put some leaves on his tummy Which seemed to help since he would not sleep and must have been in pain and discomfort. Try to keep at your elimination diet and slowly introduce food when she’s better.

    • You know my mom told me all about switching the baby’s position and to be honest I thought since she wasn’t left laying on her back all day long we’d be ok. But she favored the one side so much so it messed with her neck a bit! We’ve had good progress here though – a slew positioner sounds helpful! We use a rolled up towel ;)

      Yep, I’ve cut out all of that – no dairy, wheat, soy, eggs, fish, nuts, peanuts. No gassy veggies and avoiding too much citrus as well. Eating more cooked foods and less raw foods.

      I’m sure it will work itself out – I’m doing all that I can to help it to as well! You sound like a great loving mama! What leaves did you put on his tummy??

  • Michelle

    Try wholly hydrolyzed formula if you do formula like nutramigen or neonates. I just tried the former and doesn’t taste good. Apparently all of them don’t. Normally they say the kids outgrow this say around 1 year old as their body develops so we need to hang in there. I was going crazy to be honest and still quite same now with weight and all even if this is our third, it still is same:) our ba it’s struggled with bottle as they wanted direct feeding so we tried all brands of nipped and.bottles and pacifiers just to find out if it’s that. By the way Piegon brand has smallest shape and has one wherr baby makes the call.about amount of flow. Not completely successful as some babies cave eventually because of hunger while some do not cave at all so I brought baby with me literally everywhere possible and if I could not, then left baby behind. That’s not a great scenario but no choice but to roll with it there. Eventually, baby liked straw better as was sitting up so didn’t really do bottle for that baby. Hope it all works out and you can message me no problem:)

    • The Dr gave us the formula he wanted us to use, it’s Nutricia Neocate Syneo Infant with pre and probiotics. I tried it and thought it wasn’t very tasty at all, but what do I know about what an infant likes!

      That’s the other thing – Millie isn’t a huge eater so she isn’t very food driven. She will gladly skip multiple feeds if she has to. I think if she was a big eater this might be easier for her to just give in and take the formula!

      Appreciate all the helpful advice!!! <3

  • debbie

    I also have an 11/21/16 baby and we just had our four month shots today.

    I love these posts – and thank you so much for sharing the good stuff and the tougher stuff! Hopefully, you’ll help some other momma’s out with similar issues, and maybe get some good advice in the comments. I am sure everything will be okay, but I know how hard it can be to see your little one suffer. But, overall, she looks like a beautiful, happy, and very loved baby!

    • Ahh birthday twins!!!

      It’s true – she’s such a happy and loved baby! You wouldn’t know she has anything going on looking at her!

      I’m so comfortable sharing with you all and so happy to have such great support and advice from everyone. Means a lot!

  • C

    What a sweet, intelligent face. Thanks for sharing the ups and the downs Meg, I hope the issues work themselves out asap!

    • I actually really feel like sharing the downs with the ups is helpful – so many people now just share the good and those who have any issues may wind up feeling more alone.

      Fingers crossed for this little one!!

  • Yoshi1296

    Aww she is sooo cute!!!

  • sev2108

    What a lucky girl she is to have you as her mom. Both my girls saw pediatric GIs. For different issues but they were great. And they do outgrow most of it by a year old. Every month we see improvements with my four month old. As for the bottles, I heard the como tomo’s a hit with the “only like the boob” crowd.

    Also, good for you for learning the words to Moana now. My three year old broke up with Elsa for Moana. Thank god. ?

    • We’ve been using the Como Tomo mostly as we try! I think she just doesn’t get the idea of a bottle – she also doesn’t take pacifiers and she just sticks her tongue out at them and doesn’t get what to do! I really love our GI and he’s been great at trying everything non-invasive before we have to get a bit more invasive on the testing.

      Moana is such a cute movie! Prob cutest when you only watch it once tho haha

  • Mai Lowe

    What a great post Megs – she will love reading these one day :). Love that they are saved forever. I’m so sorry to hear things have been so stressful, I can only imagine how it must feel for you. My first was also sick a lot, pretty much throughout his entire first year of life. Even before he started daycare at 5 months! It’s so stressful when you feel like something is wrong w them and they can’t tell you all about it. Best of luck and you are doing such an amazing job!!! I also want to tell you that my second son also completely refused the bottle, which was incredibly stressful for us as he, like my first, was due to go to daycare beginning at around 5-6 months when I had to go back to work. He took the bottle no problem for his first two months and then just completely refused all of sudden for the 3 months leading up to his daycare start. We also tried like 10 bottles and so many different positions and people and situations and nothing worked. Finally the day came when he had to be at daycare for 8 hours and no Mama boob in sight. He basically ate nothing for an entire month during the day and started waking up again at night to eat more frequently even though had had been sleeping through the night since he was 4 months old. Then after we tried our umpteenth bottle we found the Como Tomo bottles which look like a little boob. He wld finally after a few days of trying that agree to drink an ounce or two at a time. Then it would go up to 3 oz. and finally by the end he was guzzling those bottles. I weaned him at 12 months but I had enough freezer stash for him to continue drinking a bottle even though he didn’t really “need” to anymore. And by the end I cld hand him the bottle, he wld hold it himself and i cld just sit next to him while he enjoyed my milk via Como tomo boob bottle :). I feel that he was basically forced into taking the bottle. That said, if I didn’t have to send him to daycare it prob wld have never worked and i wld have just nursed him for every meal for a year. But if you have to, it does get better!!! Best of luck and hope this story helps!

    • That’s the bottle we’ve been using and having the most ‘luck’ with, and by luck I mean she just took about half an oz and then threw it up immediately after. But she’s intrigued by the Como Tomo bottle and I think we have the most success with it. She’s just not getting the hang of sucking on it – she jets her tongue out at it and plays around with the nipple but doesn’t get that she can suck it! She also doesn’t take a pacifier so I guess it makes sense and she’s picky like her mama! Haha.

      So glad you had luck with your son – I bet that was stressful to have to send him to daycare and hope he’d take the bottle!

  • Kim

    My daughter had some gi problems when she was born. She had a rare problem that was corrected with surgery when she was a month old. I also had complications that prevented me from breast feeding. We were told to use a special formula called premade Nutramigen. The bottle we used was Advent. This was a combination that worked for us. Unfortunately, the formula is an arm and a leg. But, it’s so worth it!!!!

    Best of luck!
    Kim

    • I’ll check out an Advent bottle! The GI doc gave us Nutricia Neocate Syneo Infant with prebiotics and probiotics. I got the first two containers from him for free but I looked it up and they are not cheap at all!!

      I was hoping this one would work because I think with her tummy issues the pre and probiotics would be helpful (I’m pretty sure there are other infant probiotics I can give her separately too, haven’t done it yet), but she is just not taking to it. But I can’t tell if it is because of the bottle or the formula taste or both….!

  • Fiona

    Dear Megs
    she is absolutely gorgeous!Thanks for this post, took me way back to my son’s first( second and third!) Christmas when he had convulsions and we had to go to the hospital.Today he is a strong, healthy, beautiful guy.Kids gives us big frights when they are small…All the best for you and your beautiful family!

    • That must have been terrifying. So glad to hear he’s doing so well!

      Kids are so resilient and while her body seems to be sensitive, I truly feel like we’ll get this sorted soon enough!

  • kemilia

    Millie continues to be just the cutest little thing! I enjoy reading all that you write each month (especially the pics!!!) and I hope her GI troubles go away soon.

    • Thank you!! She’s such a sweet and happy little girl, filled with tons of smiles and love. Hoping we figure it out soon and it is all just a distant memory!

  • LOVE this!! Millie is a fierce little fighter and I love when I get a smile out of her on google hangout! :)

    • She can’t wait to meet you when she’s feeling better!! She loves a great Kaitlin hangout sesh! She’s part of our girl boss gang already ?????

  • Antonia

    So sorry to hear little Millie is going through this but hopefully everything will work out for her soon! She’s such a little cutie pie!! :)

    • Thank you! I really think it isn’t something dire and hopeful that they’ll figure it out soon!

  • How time flies! Millie is so adorable. I pray her allergy issues get sorted out soon. I officially have baby fever!

    • Thank you so much!! I know, she’s truly such a sweet happy baby and having her smile through this all brings me so much joy!

  • Paula

    Hi Megs! I hope this will help you, for my little boy we found that the best bottle was Medela Calma nipple. The baby has to suck the milk out of it like she does with your breasts and the quantity that come so out is at the same amount as breast. It might also help having someone else feed her the bottle while using a t-shirt you’ve used before. Good luck!!!

    • Ah thanks for the suggestion! I am stocking up in the bottle department trying to find other bottle options, so really appreciate the advice and I’ll buy one to try with her.

      We’ve tried me giving her the bottle, someone else giving her the bottle, her getting the bottle when I’m not in the house. She is intrigued by it but just doesn’t seem to latch on and get it!

      • Paula

        Well, I can tell you that this is the one all of my friends have had luck with, even the ones whose babies had Colin’s, so hopefully it will work for you too! I’ll find out on month 5 and I’m sure she’ll be great by then and all of the health issues will be left behind!

      • Thank you! Going to try the cold bottle tomorrow!!

  • Robin

    My now 2-year old had torticollis. She ended up with a helmet. It wasn’t nearly as traumatic as I thought it’d be and her head shape is quite normal now. Her PT read that torticollis can be due to reflux, which my daughter had quite bad. They are trying to pull up away from the burn in the throat. I mention this only because blood in the stool can be a symptom of severe reflux. We tried several medications and eventually I think she just grew out of it. Lasted about 6 months. Good luck!

    • How long did she war the helmet? When did she start with it? The PT thinks we may have her head shape under control but was telling me that you can go in for a 3D scan where they check out her head and let us know percentage off of “perfect” it is and show what the helmet can do. But the PT doesn’t think she needs the helmet as of right now so we are just waiting on that.

      Ya, that makes sense about the reflux. I don’t notice reflux with Millie, but I’d venture to say some of her symptoms are silent – because her tummy must be hurting but she doesn’t really let on to it.

      Glad your little one is doing well!!

      • Robin

        She wore a helmet for 2-3 months, starting around 6 months. We started PT around 4 months. I’d get her scanned ASAP to at least know where you’re at. Our daughter’s head ended up in the “severe” range & was corrected. None of the professionals who saw her thought at all that she’d end up in that category until the measurements were done. The quicker the helmet goes on, the quicker the treatment. I know that our 2-3 month was rather quick. You really need to hit the curve where their head is still growing at a good rate. FYI our otherwise awesome health insurance covered the PT but not the helmet (about 3K). Also, for reflux, going on Prilosec (not Zantac) was the key turnaround for us. Our daughter’s reflux was definitely silent until about 6 months, as in very little “spit up” until then. Our doctor said its not unusual for the spit up to start then because the quantity they are drinking increases and can’t be held in. Then the massive amounts of laundry kick in. Her characteristic symptoms to that point were a gurgling noise, because liquid was sitting on her vocal cords, and clustering feeding, because her throat was burning and feels better by drinking, and then subsequently worse. Hope this helps.

      • Totally helps! When I get a little time with Millie I can schedule the consult for the helmet and see how everything is looking for her. The PT told me it wasn’t something that needed immediate attention with everything else going on so I think I’ll hold off until we have things a bit calmer with her GI. But it’s good to hear from others who went through this too!

  • Kweenhelene

    She’s such a little angel. I’m sorry she’s having health issues and I hope they will be resolved shortly. Every parent’s nightmare is their child being ill. I raised three boys who all had their share of problems…..asthma, autism, falling off of the growth curve, etc. They are healthy productive young men now (18, 20 and 24!) I wish you the best of luck and send good vibes your way!

    • So glad your boys are doing so well! I have a new found respect and understanding for my mom now. I’m not really surprised Millie is an allergic kid – I was too.

      Appreciate the good vibes!! Hoping next month’s letter is all good news :)

      • Kweenhelene

        I hope so too!

  • PJGambler

    what is so touching about this is that she’ll have these monthly “love notes” forever. She’ll enjoy reading them in a few years, and love knowing how special you think she is.

    • Especially when she doesn’t like me because I’m mean and uncool, I’d like her to read these and know that I do love her! Haha

  • Renee

    Hi Megs! We had torticollis, plagiocephaly with a helmet but the most difficult was the crocidile tears from not taking a bottle. That said, try giving Millie a bottle ICE COLD from the fridge! I know it sounds counterintuitive but it worked for me and several of my girlfriends (YAY). Turn on some happy music, dance around with Millie in your arms and give a cold one a try! Fingers crossed!!

    • I keep hearing more and more people having babies with torticollis and plagiocephaly! The PT said it’s because we have them sleeping on their backs now.

      Thank you for the advice on the bottle!! We were trying to warm it, let me try to give it to her ice cold! Maybe pretending it’s the same and same temp is confusing and the ice cold will be like ohhhh something different! Love that! I’ll try and let you know!

  • purses88

    This was so beautiful! I cried and giggled throughout reading the letter. Stay strong! Sending prayers and well wishes to you, millie, and vlad!

    • Thank you so much! We’re all hanging in there and she’s such a champ through it all!

  • Cami

    You are very sweet Megs! I pray your baby girl gets better ?