So it has been quite a while, and to the very few people who read this, you know why. It's been an incredibly busy few weeks.
I'll start at the beginning, day of poor Baby Girl's life. Since she was born, she's had a "puking" issue, but they nurses just chalked it up to being born so fat, she must have a lot of fluid in her still. She was throwing up almost every feed, and was always hungry. Knowing what I do about newborns I knew I didn't have to give her formula, so I just kept nursing, as it was going to do nothing but tell my brain to get on the ball about milk production. She was an incredibly sleepy baby, and looking back I know why, because she was so damn hungry all the time, she just had no energy to wake up and tell me! I am still feeling horribly guilty about not setting a schedule, and letting her go 3 or so hours without a feed, she really did need more than that but I selfishly used that time to sleep, and sleep some more.
Back on topic....the throwing up continues, and I tell her pediatrician (Dr. Cute Ass) about it, and knowing me for the last 5 years (he's my Dr. as well) he trusted my instinct and gave us an Rx for reflux meds, albeit very weak ones. He told me to fill it and put it away in the case of an emergency. I hadn't slept *real sleep* since that day she was born, because as soon as I sat her down she would toss her figurative cookies. I was too afraid to sleep, so she ended up in bed with me, on a Boppy, with me staring at her. I was scared to feed her! She would choke and turn blue, randomly, but mostly during a feed. I was NOT ok with this.
I took her back to the doctor, he ordered an X-Ray to make sure that she wasn't aspirating, and an Upper GI study. The X-ray was good, the Upper GI took forever to get scheduled. The Monday before she was due for her study, she had her worst choking/gagging/turning blue episode yet. It lasted almost 15 seconds from start to finish and took a lot from me to get her "back" to breathing. I made up my mind that tonight we'd just head to ER and see what they have to say. I waited for The Boy's nurse to get there so I didn't have both kids, and I could focus on just her, and getting my point across. Luckily when she had these episodes they don't happen again for while. It wasn't like I was putting her down any way.
I walked into Children's expecting to hear "It's reflux, all babies go through this, you just need to wait it out." To my GREAT surprise they took me very seriously and had her admitted within 3 hours, which is pretty fast for our hossy! So then we started on the process of elimination. We had an excellent Pediatric GI on service who took care of her pretty well, and also agreed 100% on what was going on. All said and done, she stayed 5 days. She "failed" the GI study miserably, the minute the barium hit her stomach it just came right back up and she kept swallowing it. Her swallow study went great, and her swallow/suck/breathe pattern is perfect, not aspirating during a feed. That was good news.
When it was all said and done she was not allowed to nurse, I had to pump and thicken the bottles, which I'm not a fan of, but I'll be damned if she gets formula. That seemed to help after a few days, and she's at least not as fussy after a bottle as she is after she's eaten straight breast milk. She also was put on a new med to help empty her stomach faster, in combination with MORE reflux medicine. I'm not 100% happy with the Zantac and believe she needs to be on a PPI as opposed to the equivelent of Tums! But oh well, I'll talk to the Ped. GI specialist we'll be seeing soon.
As of one week post hospital she's slowly being weaned back on to breastfeeding. She's gotten lazy with her latch since going to nothing but bottles. She doesn't want to open her mouth all the way, so we're working on it. She really does want me for comfort, which we've been doing since she was admitted. I just pump, and she nurses after, so she's not getting much milk at all. This has kept both of us sane. I was really depressed about not being able to just nurse her initially, but now that were getting back to it, and I have figured out a routine, it's ok. It's so much harder this way, but at least she's a little more comfortable.
Another thing we learned while in the hospital was that she has obstructive apnea episodes, which are scary. The reflux is so severe it's actually blocking her airway, which causes the muscles to spasm and keep her airway shut, causing her to go small periods with no airway. It doesn't happen all the time, but when it does it's Defcon 5 panic time for me. Normally just blowing in her face really hard and quickly works to get her brain to "hard reset" and allow her to breathe again. Once in a while she'll just forget how to breathe, which is harder to get her to come out of. Even with the monitor screaming, me thumping her and moving her around doesn't work, and she just has to come out of it on her own, apparently.
As of today, she is getting her meds 6 times a day, and eating MOSTLY bottles with thickened Mom Milk in them. She's on an apnea monitor around the clock, which keeps me sane. I know now that if something happens (which it would anyway) I'll know about it right away, and I can fix it! I'm sleeping now, she's in her own bed, and were a bit happier!