I saw this gadget on the news the other day for your car. When your check engine light comes on, you just plug it into the car and it reads out codes for what is wrong. Then you get online, find out what those codes mean, and voila – your car is diagnosed! For just $80 from Black and Decker, you can find out if there’s just a problem with the circuit or if your car is going to fall apart the next time you drive it. Oh, how I wish this gadget would also work for babies. Could you imagine? In my mind, it would look similar to a thermometer. You just scan the baby’s forehead and within seconds a read out displays, “change my diaper,” “please feed me,” or even “take me to the ER now!” To the best of my knowledge, no such gadget exists, so we’re often left with more questions than answers and the best guesses educated diagnosis of very expensive doctors.
Bug had gained nine ounces at his appointment on Tuesday, putting him at 10lbs 11oz. I would’ve like to have seen him weigh more…something like 12 or 13 lbs perhaps, but I know that nine ounces is pretty stellar for a week’s time. This takes him from being in the 3rd percentile to the 7th. Our Doctor seemed to think mine and Bug’s sickness was most likely the cause of his weight loss.
Our Doctor started to send us to have J.Bug tested for cystic fibrosis. In most cases of failure to thrive (Yes, he was diagnosed with “failure to thrive,” which makes my heart sink to just type. My sweet boy was failing to thrive when it was my job to make him thrive. It might as well be termed, “failure to feed your baby enough.”), cystic fibrosis is suspected. We have good friends who went through something similar to this with their son, Miles, so I knew our Doctor might suspect this. Thankfully, though, I was tested for cystic fibrosis in pregnancy (I’m not a carrier), and Bug had a metabolic test done at birth that showed he is also not a carrier. As such, we didn’t have to worry about putting him through that testing procedure.
However, Bug was
diagnosed with GER
. He spits up quite a bit, has sour smelling breath after he spits up, he arches his back when he’s done feeding and is difficult to burp, he wakes up from naps crying often, he swallows his spit up sometimes and makes a face like he just sucked on a lemon, and he cries fairly regularly for no known cause. I thought some of these things were attributed to him being hungry (which they may still have), but after a week of feeding him very
often, I noticed the symptoms continued to persist. Our Doctor prescribed Zantac and told us to mix rice cereal in with any bottles of expressed breast milk we gave him. Apparently this thickens the milk, making it less likely to be spit up. It will also give him some extra calories. The Doctor didn’t seem to think Bug’s acid reflux had anything to do with his weight loss, but everything I’m reading on the web says that weight loss or extreme weight gain are symptoms (Doctors probably loathe the phrase, “I read on the internet…”)
Some babies eat a lot because the milk is soothing to their throats, and some babies don’t eat because it causes pain. Bug is a fussy eater for probably two or three feedings of the day (usually in the afternoon/evening). I thought that perhaps he had gas, but after watching him more closely, I think it’s because of the reflux. Chances are good that he’s not getting as much to eat during those feedings as he should. Hopefully the Zantac will work and he’ll be able to eat without pain and continue gaining weight.
Through this, I’ve been really impressed with the Doctors’ attitudes about breastfeeding. They both asked me if I was breastfeeding, and when I answered that I was, they both responded, “Good.” I was afraid we’d be supplementing with formula at this point, but thankfully we’re not. It’s not easy, though. Bug’s back to waking up often at night to eat. I’m glad – he needs the calories – but it’s tiring to get so little sleep once again and then have to go to work. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve been nursing him at 3:00am and saying to myself, “that’s it. we’re giving him formula at night from here on out. i cannot take this anymore.” So I’m setting mini-goals for myself. We have another appointment on Tuesday, February 24th to check his weight again, and that is my next breastfeeding goal. I’m not opposed to formula – especially if he needed those calories for his health. But I know that breastmilk is what is best for him (especially with reflux), and I so desperately want to give him the best. I want to give him the best more than I even want sleep…most of the time, anyway. 😉
Through all of this, J. Bug has turned into the “smiliest” kid I’ve ever seen! No stranger or friend is unworthy of his grin, and I have to admit that making him smile is my new favorite hobby. Sometimes he laughs at me and Shawn like we’re the funniest people in the whole wide world, and we’re not about to tell him otherwise! In fact, I just went to get Bug up from a nap. He was laying there, all swaddled up and precious. All I said was, “Hey bug!” and his face broke out into a huge grin – which made me giggle – which made him giggle – which made me giggle even harder – which made him…well, you get the picture.