Thursday, May 29, 2014


  • I have finally started that other blog with my real name....bookmark it/follow it if you like the subject matter. I would also request you to share it (on Facebook and stuff) if you feel so inclined.  It is at The introductory post gives a pretty good overview of what the blog will be about. I eventually will move a lot of the science stuff from this blog there, once it gets a bit more search engine optimized. Next up will be a blogpost on  the benefits of a specific probiotic supplement in infants: I got really excited about it when I first found out about it, and I've been meaning to write this post forever, but I do not call myself the queen of all procrastinators for nothing. I will write it within the next week, I promise.
  • I have also started detailing the first few weeks/months for Gauri to come find as she gets older, and have made it a sticky page. I'm still trying to decide the privacy level of this one.
  • I have also updated the goat milk formula recipe post with a how-to on making the formula and some other tweaks/notes. Something interesting to share: I started adding 1/8th tsp homemade clarified butter (ghee) to 8 oz of formula to supply additional fats, and to my very pleasant surprise, it increased the frequency of her bowel movements from 1 per day to 2 per day (further investigation revealed that ghee IS used to treat constipation in adults). I know formula-fed babies have some serious issues with constipation, and I saw some of that when I was on Nestle Nan, but they have all gone away using this formula, and her pooping patterns now resemble that of a breast milk-fed baby. I feel pretty good about that.   
Will be updating this post and the sticky page with pictures soon. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

One month old!

It is going to be a little difficult composing blogposts now, because instead of one or two centralized topics to talk about, I have many little things to say, and I'm still struggling to find a format to fit that.

First up, I'm going to continue to talk about science, but in a new blog, using my real name. YAY! it is time to step out of the closet, so to speak. So exciting! The past 4 years, this blog was anonymous only because this journey was secret. Now that it is out in the open, I'm fighting the temptation to share this blog with people I know IRL. The only reason I'm holding back is because many of the posts on this blog are about personal struggles I would not want everybody reading.

But a blog only about science...that I would be happy sharing. First up on the new blog will be a post on probiotics and the ones out there that are a bit more useful. Next, I'm planning a writeup summarizing all the newest research on autism (there are some new rather exciting discoveries). Both these posts will require extensive research, and I need to get off my procrastinating ass to do that.

But.....coming to the nitty gritty of parenting:
  • Gauri is an utter JOY to feed. In the breaks between sucking sessions, she looks so utterly pleased with life and makes lip-smacking noises and turns her head frantically to find that nipple. It makes you feel 10 feet tall.  I wish I had given my mom this very simple pleasure...I was a horrible, disinterested eater, to the point of it almost seeming like a neurological issue (in my defense, I was supposed to have been an excellent baby in all other ways though). But still, people still shudder when they describe their experiences in trying to feed me.
  • She, on the other hand, is running through like 26 ounces in like 15 hours, which makes me wonder if there is an upper safe limit, and whether she is the one that gets to decide it. Anyway, she produces a lot of wet diapers a day and is gaining a little over an ounce a day, so I'm thinking I should leave this alone...right?
  • Thumbs up for the goat milk formula: other than the fact that she loves the taste even when it has fish oil in it (our little highness does a taste test before graciously accepting it), the other great thing is convenience. I use an electric kettle to boil the water (best invention ever...why do formula websites still talk about boiling water on the stovetop?) and make up 28 oz at one go using a 16-oz pyrex measuring jar, which I split into multiple bottles (LOVE my Pura Kiki bottles; planning to write reviews about baby paraphernalia soon). I also love that I know exactly what is going in my baby's food, and can control it. Her constipation is less once we started the goat's milk; she also had really bad diaper rash in the first few days of life, and it is entirely gone now. I don't know what has fixed it (the diaper rash cream I use, the different brand of diapers, or the change in food). It is possible that the cow's milk contributed to the rash, and it was fixed by a change to goat's milk, but it is hard to say.She is a bit gassy once we started the goat'ls milk, and this could be because of the milk protein OR the lactose. Need to figure out what to do here. I can try changing the carbohydrate source.
  • I've been trying to cloth diaper, but this kid really hates the feel of wet cloth (even the thick microfiber inserts) against her, and wakes up from sleep. The problem is she seems to pee every 30 minutes, and changing her while she is sleeping wakes her up. Are there CD inserts where the top stays dry like a disposable diaper? Right now, I'm using the Naty brand of disposable diapers, and they ROCK. It would take a really good CD to be as comfortable (for her) and user-friendly for me as this one.  
  • Thank you Shannon, for your recommendation of The Piano Guys. She loves their songs (as do I!).
  • This kid will be giving me grey hair very soon: As soon as she came home from the hospital,she was already using her feet to push off against people's torso's and thighs, depending on how we were positioning her. All these acrobatics are a little scary considering the fact that she can't support her neck. She is already trying hard to turn over too. at this rate, she is likely to be mobile a little ahead of schedule. I live in a house with really hard marble stairs, and it will be a year before the bones in her skull fuse....YIKES. If anybody has babyproofing ideas for the stairs (other than the gates), please let me know. Just FYI, Carpet in India would  be a really awful idea in the monsoons, where it rains so hard that the waterproofed concrete house starts to leak.
  • Going to leave you all with a picture of the munchkin that has many many people wrapped around her little finger.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Parenting: the first days

I was tempted to title this post "Snot Factory," because that about sums up my general state for the past two weeks. I can't remember the last time I had the common cold, but I've had a relentless two weeks of symptoms now, and I'm beyond sick of it. At the height of things, where I was coughing every 10 mins, I stayed away from Gauri entirely. Since then, my symptoms have improved, but have not gone away fully.

Then my mom got sick, and we have two people (three including my father) coughing all over the place. A few days ago, it looked like Gauri had finally gotten this nasty infection, but thankfully, today, she seems to be mostly symptom-free, and her feeding (frantically knock on wood) has remained okay throughout.

I have a TON of help (an amazing (albeit slightly bossy) live-in nanny, a cousin who came and stayed a couple of days when everybody was sick, my parents, and my brother). The entire family is hands-on about taking care of her, which has literally saved my life. This is the amazing part of being here, and it is so lovely to see how much my family dotes on her. With my infection, I have not been able to fully bond the way I've wanted to with her, and sometimes, I literally elbowed out of the way by grandma and the grandpa and the uncle and even the nanny. Sigh....everybody wants their time with this little girl.

I went public on Facebook few days after the birth, and the response has been gratifyingly and very surprisingly overwhelmingly positive. It is quite amazing, but many really conservative family members have given me and my parents no grief and only offer congratulations and some even talk about how brave and intrepid I am, which just makes me blink in astonishment: I really did not see this coming, but I am so grateful (for my parents sake) that this response has been so positive.

As a technical note, I started the goat milk formula after ten days of being on Nestle Nan Pro 1 (which has soybean oil, yuck, I detest unfermented soy-based products). She tolerated the change very well, and her poop has become softer and the mild constipation she had on Nestle Nan has gone away.
From the formula I listed here, I increased the goat milk powder (to 1 tbsp per 8 oz), slightly decreased the lactose, halved the coconut oil, and threw out the blackstrap molasses as it appeared to be giving her too much iron (green poop the second day).  The only downside we could see with this formula is that she seems to get hungry a little more often, but her weight gain has been good (8.5 ounces/week).