Wow – this might be a record for length between posts! I have been working on a photo post and trying to find time to write about Leah’s birthday and how the rest of her month has gone. I will do that some time this week, but in the mean time let me just say that this month has been a challenge. We had a terrible heat wave, and since Leah doesn’t regulate her body temperature well and we don’t have a very good cooling system, the days were long and difficult, with lots of tears and fussies and fevers. And vomit. So. Much. Vomit. This poor child has been throwing up almost daily for weeks now. We think the problem is that she is swallowing so much air for a variety of reasons (including hunger noms, tastes, teething noms, and just generally being a baby). Since she doesn’t burp well and has reflux, the air tries to come out in the form of retching, and since she frequently has food in her stomach due to slow feeds, she winds up throwing up as well. I have been trying to speed up her feeds to her pre-stricture rate, and that has helped a little bit. If I can get to her in time to vent her stomach via the g-tube, that can often keep her from vomiting, or at least from throwing up too many times, if I don’t make it in time. Still, it has been a big problem.
We have also had a challenging month because Mama got sick and then baby got sick (I keep telling myself we must have caught it from the same person because I would feel so bad if she got sick because of me). She really didn’t have that difficult a time of having a little cold, but we took her in for a chest x-ray for another reason (discussed below) and were informed that she has pneumonia – and it looks like community-acquired pneumonia and not aspiration pneumonia. So now we know: even a tiny, not-too-terrible cold can lead to pneumonia for our sweet bug. All the more reason to be extra cautious with germies. She is on antibiotics for ten days to fight the infection and we hope hope hope it doesn’t escalate.
Aaaand that leads me to my final reason for this month’s difficulties: we have a horrible sneaking suspicion that Leah may be having a recurrence of her diaphragmatic hernia. I hope we are wrong, but she has been straining a lot, has been having very few dirty diapers, and – most disturbingly – is experiencing a return of her bowel gurgling, a symptom we only ever observed when she had her hernia. The problem is not so much that her bowel is gurgling and rumbling; I understand that sometimes babies’ bellies can make noise (but every day? All day?). The problem is that if I put a finger on her chest – above armpit level – I can feel the gurgling under my finger. I’m no doctor, but that doesn’t seem right. We took her to her 12-month check-up last week and they ordered an x-ray, but of course that was the one day last week that she was not experiencing gurgles. Things can shift around with a hernia, and I suppose it is possible that it didn’t show up on the x-ray for that reason. (As noted above, what did show up on the x-ray was the pneumonia). And again, of course we could be completely wrong about this – but I can’t think of any other reasons why we would be hearing bowel-like rumbling coming from high in her chest. No good reasons, anyway. No reasons that wouldn’t give me a panic attack. So until someone proves me wrong, I’m going with the hernia theory. We see her GI doctor tomorrow (we were supposed to see him last week as well but he was sick). News as it comes.