Thursday, November 23, 2006

Much to be thankful for

(click to enlarge)

I woke up at 7:30 this morning to two little girls crawling on top of me whispering "pancakes" in my ears, a tiny poopy smelling boy sucking on my shirt, and I realized how truly blessed I am. I have all three of my precious children at home.
Elijah seemed to have hit another rough spot at the beginning of the week. Over the weekend, I kept thinking that he smelled like poop. I would change him every 30-min b/c he had this awful sour odor. I finally realized early Monday morning that it was his breath! He smelled just like he had stool in his mouth. The smell got a little better after some re-positioning, but his mouth and paci definitely had a distinct odor.
I got a hold of his GI doc first thing that morning and he said it was something to be concerned about. I had the option of admitting him to Children's under observation, but I really didn't think this would be the best route for Eli right now. Since his admittance would be elective, his GI doc said he wouldn't get to do any procedures until Monday after Thanksgiving. We decided to keep Elijah at home and watch him very closely over the next two weeks.
Bad breathe can mean a few things in babies. It can be something not that serious like reflux, or it could signal that he has a bowel obstruction. We already know that Eli has grade 4 reflux from his recent swallow/upper GI study. I really suspect that reflux is causing Eli's smelly breath. Eli acts content and isn't screaming in excruciating pain like he would be with a true obstruction. He acts very normal and doesn't show any signs of being sick. He is stooling like he usually does (6-8 times a day) and only spits up when he gets himself very worked up. Also, the bad smell is only really sour when Eli is left flat on his back. His pacifiers have it the worst, possibly he is refluxing more then I notice and he is just swallowing it b/c he has his pacifier in his mouth.
The most difficult thing is getting Eli to release his death grip on his paci. He does not like it now when Mommy changes it out for a clean one. The smells on his pacis is so strong that I haven't been able to wash it off. We just go through a lot of pacis. At least I don't worry so much about oral aversion due to Eli's paci fetish. Eli absolutley refuses to bottle, but if his reflux is this severe it is not suprising.
The GI doc wrote for an additional prescription of Zantac 2xday (he was already on Prevacid 2xday). I don't know whether carefully positioning, making sure Eli is always at a 45 degree angle, the new drug, or lots of prayers are helping but Eli does seem to be doing a lot better. I only notice a sour smell on his pacifiers, and it smells more like vomit instead of stool (sorry, TMI).
We have an appointment next week to follow-up with his GI doc. There was some discussion about doing his button-surgery in January and doing a fundo at the same time. A fundo would tie the top of his stomach so that he could not throw-up. It sounds extreme, but Eli is still on continuous feedings. If/when he gets to bolus, it will greatly increase his problems w/ reflux b/c there is a lot more volume and time for everything to come up. Plus, with Eli's growth issues and feeding intolerances, he is just a complicated little guy. If the stool breath returns, Eli will be back at Children's doing some lower GI scopes. It is possible that Eli could have a partial bowel obstruction or adhesions, where some stool can still pass but when he gets backed up, everything then comes up. I am trying to keep from worrying too much about unknown things. Eli is growing (at his own rate) and is still my happy little guy. Please keep Eli's feeding issues in your prayers.
Eli is still going at his own rate of growth. He doesn't compare nearly to the normal baby growth charts, but he is doing good for Eli. Eli gained an average of 5 grams/day this week, despite his recent reflux/GI issues. Our tiny little turkey is now 6 lbs 14.8 oz and 19.75 inches.
We came and passed on Eli's 6-month birthday and I didn't get a chance to post. It is so amazing to think we have had our little miracle in our lives for 6-months. I get up every morning and thank our Lord in prayer for each day that I have with my children. I have pictures of my little 6-month old that I will post later (I am having issues w/ my photo software).
I can definitely tell Elijah's age when he cries. He no longer has a newborn cry and can differentiate between a fussy and a full-pledged wail. We are still awaiting that first gummy smile, but Eli sure has the sharpest hearing. He starts fussing when he hears my voice anywhere in the house, and we live in a split-level! We won't know more on Elijah's vision until possibly February now, as we are awaiting release from his ROP doc. Eli's favorite thing to do is still rock with Mommy and for some reason he loves it when I sing to him (completely out of tune, I know). His eyes just light up and his eyebrows gow way up. I can tell when Elijah is happy, even though he hasn't seen the whole smiling thing.
Elijah continues to be my amazing little guy. Thank you to everyone who follows his updates and continues to pray for our little Elijah.

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