Saturday, September 13, 2008

Week 1: New Meds

Lots of things to update this week.

After many a phone conversation with our pediatrician (who calls us from her own home during off hours), we decided that Prevacid was NOT worth the trouble it was causing with Amelia's sleep. It took a while for me to convince her doctor that it was in fact the medicine disrupting her sleep, but we finally got her on board. After this, she referred us to a Pediatric Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Specialist. She was at a loss as to where to go from here, so it makes sense to send us to someone who specializes in these very issues with babies/kids. Since it can take months to get into these specialists, it was awesome that our Pedi, Dr. Emge was able to convince them to see us right away. In fact, they called on Thursday morning with an appointment for that afternoon.

The Specialist visit was reassuring in several ways:

1) There was no blood in Amelia's diaper when he tested it. WAHOO! This means that my dairy-free diet is doing the trick for her colon. Since the next step was to eliminate nuts, soy, fish, and strawberries too, I am pleased (you have no idea) that it appears that being dairy-free is enough. phew. This test always gets me on edge because I am personally accountable for its results and when it's clean, I feel a personal victory!

2) Dr. Quan seemed completely assured that he could fix us. He didn't even do any invasive testing on Amelia because her story is run-of-the-mill to him. When he asked us if she is our first baby, we told him yes and that she will probably be our last as well. He claimed, "Well, when I fix her up, you'll have more." That sounds reassuring. . . that he is confident, not necessarily that we will want more kids. (see all below posts)

3) When we discussed the effects of Prevacid on Amelia's sleep, he absolutely knew what we were talking about. He said that the drug affects the nervous system and for such tiny babies, it can wreak havoc on them. I wanted to run to the rooftop and shout, "I KNEW IT!" It was so obvious, but really, when your baby is suffering in pain, you will try anything. Now I am just kicking myself that we let her stay on that medication for 7 very long weeks. Now we have all kinds of sleep issues that we will be dealing with for months, I am sure because she was so difficult to put to sleep for so long.

4) He put Amelia on a different class of medication that has less strength against the reflux, but is easier to handle. It does not take two weeks to take affect (thank heavens) like Prevacid and should show immediate relief.

We left the specialist's office feeling cautiously optimistic. At least we were on a new path and working with someone who has lots of options. But like someone who has fallen in love too many times, we felt guarded and scared too.

Since she's been on the Pepcid (new med), she is definitely falling asleep easier. It's crazy, the difference in her sleeping. We still have sleep issues that will need to be addressed, but that will come in time if we can arrange some sort of predictability in her day. The test will be whether or not it works against her reflux. So far, so good--but we are hesitant to get excited for obvious reasons. How many times have we thought we'd turned a corner already?! The first few days were a total nightmare and she screamed for upwards of 4 hours a night. We'd been so hopeful that we were devastated. Things have since been better. I read that going off Prevacid can cause a reflux rebound, where acid production comes back with a vengeance after the meds have stopped. Maybe that was our trouble.

In other news, Amelia is definitely in the midst of a growth spurt. She is waking every few hours in the night starving and I am feeling more and more hungry too as she takes more calories from me. Let's hope it passes quickly since we just got her to a place where sleep should be easier.

She is also totally in control of her head and neck, making her much easier to tote around--and giving us a lot more options for toys and whatnot. Just yesterday, we put her in her little exersaucer and she actually unclenched her little fist to touch one of the toys on there. It was so exciting! We were beginning to wonder if she would have to become a boxer just so she could have a reason for those fists as an adult. She smiles at everyone who talks to her and squeals every time she sees her favorite toy, a stuffed cow we named Moolah. Her little thighs are almost as big as mine I think and she seems looooong. At the Specialist's office last week, she weighed in at 14.5 lbs. Not bad for a (technically) preemie!

I am feeling better too. The Urgent Care follow up declared that I didn't just have mastitis, but a staph infection. Oops. Guess that is why I was so sick! Trying to take better care of myself, though it's difficult to find the time in the day. Still taking antibiotics and paying more attention to how I feel. Apparently, exhaustion is the precursor to many ailments.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!!

Here are some of her most recent pics. She really is the cutest thing.

She luuuuuurves her froggie carseat toy!!

Look at her sit!

And in her newest cool thing. . .

I really can't figure out who she looks like. What do YOU think?!

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