In early 2014, my 5 month old daughter started throwing up. It wasn’t sudden, so we’re never really sure when it started. As we were new parents, we assumed spit up was normal (and most of the time, a little bit is). But it got worse.
We went to the doctor several times. She was diagnosed with acid reflux and GERD. She was prescribed an acid reducer and we thought it was a pretty easy fix, especially since acid reflux is fairly common in babies. But it got worse.
Since she was breastfed, I tried limiting my diet in case she was allergic to something. But it got worse.
On April 6, we realized that she hadn’t had a wet diaper for at least a couple days. My husband called her doctor, and they sent us to pediatric urgent care. All three of us were there for hours, and she continued to vomit. She got to the point that she was throwing up dark liquid (still not sure what it was). In those hours, even with medications and other things, it got worse.
We were sent to the hospital and admitted. I wanted to know what was wrong with my baby. She got an IV, along with several blood tests and allergy tests.
After a couple days, the doctors decided it was severe constipation. They got everything fixed up and got her on some medicine to help with it. She took a bottle. We were so excited we found the problem and that it was an easy fix. Until about 4 hours later. She got worse.
There were so many tests. She had X-rays; I don’t know how many. She had upper and lower GI tests done. I cried during the upper GI test because she started throwing up the contrast used in the test. She couldn’t hardly keep enough down for them to complete it. The doctors couldn’t find anything wrong.
The next step was the surgical GI team. R had to have an endoscopy to see if there were any physical problems that the other tests weren’t showing. She had to be put under, and it was hard on this mom. She came out perfectly fine. On one hand, I’m glad nothing was wrong. But on the other hand, we still didn’t understand what was going on with her body.
Our next step was a feeding tube. The doctors wanted to try some food very slowly to see if they could “reset” her digestive system. She was able to keep some down, but definitely not all. Milk kept coming back up. When we had successes, she was able to be fed by mouth. But it still wasn’t getting better.
At one point, her doctors ordered a CT scan to see if something wasn’t right neurologically that was causing her digestive system to be out of order. That one was scary.
She had breastmilk, more types of formula than I can count, pedialyte, and even some baby food. All of it came back up. Something was not right. After about a week in the hospital, I think she had had it. My 6 month old yanked on her wires, got annoyed at her NG tube, and even pulled out her own IV.
R slowly started keeping milk and other fluids down. We were hopeful of getting released from the hospital soon. April 18: she got discharged! Not everything was better, but she was keeping down enough calories to help her grow. We were very hopeful that all the medications were really helping (even if some of her prescriptions were hard to find).
But then things stopped getting better. She continued to get worse. I was at her pediatrician’s office nearly every other day. We did weighted feedings to see if she was keeping anything down. It was estimated that she was keeping down less than 30 calories a day. At her lowest point, she was down to 11 pounds at 7 months old (down from 17 pounds at 5 months old).
Toward the end of May, her doctor referred us to a GI specialist to discuss and schedule surgery, a surgery that would keep her from throwing up. While it was hard to know she needed this, I was ready to go ahead and do it because she needed something done.
The specialist’s office said their next opening was in July. I will always remember the pediatrician saying that she won’t last that long and they needed to fit her in now. That’s when I felt like her doctor would always fight for our children. We got a call the next day saying they had an opening in a week.
Just a couple days before our appointment, I fed her a 5 ounce bottle at a friend’s house, fearful of when it would all come back up. It never did. I did the same thing several times that day and it all stayed down. The previous day, everything came back up. She was suddenly taking hundreds of calories with no problems; formula, breastmilk, baby food all went down and stayed. We still took her to see the specialist where he determined that surgery was not necessary and she had no issues.
She was taken off all of her medications over the next couple months. There were no problems.
A miracle happened in her body, something that only made sense to God, and something that only he could do. Doctors were baffled. No one knew what was wrong and no one knew how to fix it.
She’s now 3 years old and has only thrown up a handful of times since then. She’s better and she’s healed.