So, I turned to my child-raising village and posted this on Facebook:
Looking for suggestions for non-pooping formula-fed baby. He's always hungry and not acting uncomfortable.
And boy did I get suggestions! Friends said: change the formula, add dark karo syrup to the formula, give him water, give him prune juice, massage his feet with olive oil, stick a thermometer with Vaseline up his you-know-what, don't add dark karo syrup to the formula, put a latex glove filled with warm water on his belly, and don't worry, my baby only poops once a week.
I think somehow this boy knows about my Facebook page, because just when I was about to try some of these methods, he went. And kept going. Now, he's very, very regular, thank you very much. And very gassy. The stink to amount of poop ratio is unreal. Ok, enough poop talk.
I did change his formula yesterday from Simulac to Good Start and he seems to really like it (thanks for the tip, Mombrose!). I also bought some Dr. Brown bottles and a Tommee Tippee bottle, which are high-end brands designed to reduce colic, but I can't tell a huge difference when he drinks from those. He's quite a gulper and the brand that slows him down the best is the Breastflow. I'm learning every day the best techniques for burping and giving him time to digest. And seeing as how he changes from day to day, I have alot to learn!
After five days, just as I was ready to surrender my schedule for him (3 hours: wake, feed, play, sleep), which worked beautifully with F, and be more sensitive to his natural rhythm, he complied. Just when I was about to go buy him a swing because the vibrating bouncy chair that worked wonders with F wasn't cutting it, he cozied to it. Keeping me on my toes, this one.
In other news, I finally heard from his social worker today and have a slightly clearer picture on his story and immediate future. I have to be really sensitive to what I say here, because this case is going to be very different from our first one. With Baby F, we met her mom, E, right away and started building that relationship. E was also very cooperative and willing to do everything the county asked her. I'm so happy with our friendship. She called me today just to see how Z was doing and we swapped formula/poop/sleep stories. She's doing really well, so keep up your prayers!
One of the only commonalities is that both moms have the same name, so Z's mom will be called E2 here. She is still a teenager and her first baby is a year old. That baby is in her grandma's custody and I was told that's where they are looking to place Z, too. Z's social worker also worked with his half-sister, so she is very familiar with this family. She told me a little of what is going on, but we are meeting in the morning to go over the rest.
When a child is placed in state custody here, they have what is called a 5-day hearing. (Social workers reading this, please correct me if I get this wrong) At that hearing, the child has a lawyer called a guardian ad litem (GAL), and the family has a lawyer. Along with the social workers and CPS workers, they meet with a judge to decide if the child will stay in state custody or return to the family. If they stay, they are officially entered in foster care.
Z's GAL came on Tuesday to meet him. If he were an older child, the lawyer would interview him, but with Z, he just asked me some questions about his sleeping and eating habits. He was also on Z's older sister's case, and though he didn't say it directly, I gathered this was going to be very "interesting."
Z's 5-day was yesterday, but apparently something was amiss with the family's lawyer, so they are extending the hearing to 30 days. Which means he'll be with us at least that long. Which also means he will probably go into respite for the two weeks I'm doing my Reserve tour. Since we don't know what the outcome of that hearing will be, we don't know how long he'll be with us after that. So, lots of unknowns, but a few more knowns with more to come.
Even with all the drama brewing, the little man and I are having a great time. He is so intense, which translates to louder, more urgent "communication" when he needs something, but also many glorious smiles and his strong little hands always seeking to grab mine. We're soaking up every bit of it!
(Speaking of soaking up, I switched his diaper brand, too. I had been using Pampers, but now they have this new Dry Max, which was causing little bumps and redness on his skin. I read online that this was happening alot, so I knew it wasn't just us. I'm trying Target brand right now, but am open to suggestions.)
Finally, here's the little cutie wearing a little Earth Day green.
Ain't he worth saving the earth for?