Friday, May 19, 2017
ML | 9 Months Old + Diagnosis
It's been a few months since I've talked about my little chub chub boy! Two weeks ago he turned 9 months old and before I know it we will be celebrating his first birthday! I better get to planning! Can you believe I don't even have a pinterest board of ideas started?! #secondchildproblems
If you've followed along with my posts or on social media, you've probably gathered that I've had a roller coaster of a ride with this baby. Here's a very brief version of what's been going on over the last 8 months... I'm a far cry from a doctor and I'm not trying to say that doctors are terrible because I know there are good doctors out there. But, I'm just going to say - trust your Mama instincts! Be an advocate for your innocent baby!
Since Mason was a week old I struggled with nursing every hour, non stop screaming, barfing, anti sleeping, can't be set down, etc. He exclusively nursed and refused a bottle for 16 weeks. He slept in my arms in my bed for 15 weeks. I woke up every 1-2 hours (or less) every night for 6 months. Months 7 & 8 I woke up 3-4 times a night, and now we are down to 1-2 times a night (bless the Lord!). All because I finally learned I was right all along, there was something wrong with my baby all this time.
Pediatrician #1 - I went to his pediatrician on several occasions (1-4 months old) and told him I thought there was something wrong with my baby. He told me it was just reflux and it would get better in time. Days, weeks, months, passed and I kept going back. Only to be treated like a fool. Something didn't seem right that my baby cried so much and never wanted to sleep. I suggested a food allergy. He told me that couldn't be possible, he was too young. I went dairy free anyways just to see. After 8 weeks of dairy free and no progress, I went back and asked for a referral to a specialist. He denied that. I switched to a new pediatrician.
Pediatrician #2 - At our first appointment, (5 months old) I explained my concerns. Got the same response - he just has reflux and needs to grow out of it otherwise you need to let him cry it out. I was disgusted. A month later (6 months old) we went back one more time and I addressed my concerns again. I mentioned my previous request of seeing a specialist and he agreed with Mason's previous pediatrician - "it wasn't necessary". I asked his thoughts on seeing a holistic chiropractor and he told me they wouldn't be able to determine anything serious.
Insert ahhhh-mazing Holistic Chiropractor (Dr. Julia) - I decided it wouldn't hurt to see this woman regardless of what everyone says about "holistic" doctors. We had our first appointment (6.5 months old) and for once, I felt understood. I felt like someone finally cared about my baby and I. All I told her was "I think he has digestive issues because he's really fussy all the time and he never sleeps". She checked him "internally" and he was screaming. I'm talking bloody murder. I cried. She explained that his pancreas, liver, kidneys, and spleen was not functioning properly which told her he must have a food allergy. So she did an allergy test. Based on her findings, she said he had a corn and gluten allergy.
Since I was still breastfeeding, I decided to wean him off and switch him to a gluten free formula. In the meantime, I had an appointment scheduled to get into another new pediatrician. Dr. Julia didn't think Mason needed to come back for a month so that he could adjust from breast milk to formula.
Pediatrician #3 - Third times a charm, right? She checked him out. I told her everything I've dealt with (which she kind of knew a little about it because she's my doctor for my PPD/anxiety as well) and she agreed that it sounded like something was going on. Something more than reflux. She explained that often times with a young child, tests aren't as accurate with findings, however she would still refer him to a gastroenterologist and an allergist. I explained to her my experience with the holistic doctor and she said "if that's helping, then it won't hurt to take him back there because honestly she can probably determine more than a GI doctor will, but let's just have him checked out just to be sure." I was SO relived. I felt like I was finally on the road to resolving this poor child's problems. Well.. in 6 more weeks. Because that's how long it took to get appointments.
Gastroenterologist - We seen a GI doctor at Children's Hospital. I explained to her why I was there. The first thing out of her mouth was - "He's probably still suffering from reflux." You don't want to know what my response was to that... mind you she hadn't even looked at or touched Mason. I threw some questions at her and then mentioned the holistic doctor. She said "No no no. That can't be. He's growing. He's not sick. He just needs reflux medication. If anything I could see a dairy allergy because that's common in babies. But no, not gluten. You try the reflux medicine and come back in 6 weeks and then we'll reconsider his diet." Since I wasn't very pleased with her "findings" she offered to draw blood for allergies before I left. It took a week of me calling every day to get the results on the bloodwork, which all came back negative. I denied the reflux medication.
Allergist - A week after the GI doctor, we went to the allergist. I explained everything, he agreed it wasn't reflux and must be an allergy that's causing him discomfort. I mentioned the holistic doctor. His exact words were "Nope. She can't determine that. She doesn't know that. She's just guessing. She's just giving you a general diagnosis". He performed the skin test on Mason. When he came back into the room 15 minutes later, his exact words were "Wow! She was right! Who was that doctor?! What's her name?! Wow." Pssssh. The skin test revealed a gluten, rye, corn, egg, dust-mite, and cat allergy.
So where do we stand now?! (if you made it through all that, bless your heart). I'm only sharing this experience in hopes that my story will encourage someone else to go with their gut and pry for answers. The only regret I have is that I didn't pry sooner.
The pediatrician confirmed that the blood work possibly doesn't show allergies because he's so young. I won't be going back to the GI doctor at Children's. We have continued to see the holistic chiropractor weekly/biweekly. We follow up with the allergist in June. We're sticking to a strict fruit, veggies, and gluten free diet as well as taking a digestive enzyme supplement which will help his pancreas break down the enzymes in the food he eats/drinks. Within the last month, he has really improved. He's overall much happier throughout the day, he naps twice a day, and he sleeps at night for longer than 2 hours at a time. Which is HUGE!
Here's the 9 months stats....
:: 22lbs | 29.5"
:: Mostly 12 months, some 18 months. Size 3-4 shoe.
:: Sleep: An hour long morning nap, 1-2 hour afternoon nap, bedtime usually by 9 and sometimes wakes up once or twice. Holy moly, the difference in getting 5 broken hours of sleep a night vs. 5 solid hours of sleep at night. Bless it!
:: Food: Strict, strict diet. We really have to watch him try to steal sissy's snacks and of course she likes to share with him. Breastmilk is officially gone as of 2 weeks ago so we are on Honest gluten free formula. I am set up for auto shipment on their feeding bundle and it's worked out really well!
:: Nicknames: Chub chub, Hungry hungry hippo, Bubba, Bubba Chubba, Stinky Stinky Boy.
:: Full time walker
:: Loves bathtime, big sissy, the remote, being held, eating rocks or dirt, and his blankies.
:: Mama's Feelings: Oh the relief I feel to have finally gotten some answers. I don't mean to have the attitude of "I knew it" or "I told ya so" but seriously! My Mama gut told me something wasn't right a long time ago. The only thing that really upsets me is that I wish I would have been more persistent sooner. It makes me feel guilty that he was in pain all this time and I didn't do something more about it.
My anxiety and PPD is getting better as well, but I still have some bad days here and there. I'm just thankful that I'm having more good days than bad now. I leave the house a lot more often now and I've been going to the store with both kids without having an anxiety attack. So I'd call that success!
I'm really looking forward to getting on a better routine for myself now that I'm getting some sleep at night. Such as waking up before the kids and having some "me" time. But I won't lie, I've been sleeping in with the kids as much as I can. Making up for lost time! Seriously though, I forgot what it was like to sleep for 5+ hours at a time. Wooo!