Thursday, July 03, 2008

Worried about Little Z

This is a picture of us in the hospital right after Z was born.  There's a little spitup in there.  Ah for those little ones.  If only that's what we were dealing with!

Yesterday I visited Jeff at work on the way home from Z's ultrasound.  He had a few more episodes of projectile vomiting.  I was thinking I would pursue the breastfeeding support group route and also put a call in to the pediatrician.  As it happened, the pediatrician had an appointment cancellation, so we saw her yesterday, and she ordered an ultrasound for Zack.

It was an adventurous day, driving all the way into Beverly Hills for the ultrasound.  Zack handled the car ride like a champ.  Poor little guy was not quite as brave during the ultrasound, which really freaked him out.

We got the results today, and Z does have some pyloric thickening.  This was not the news we wanted to hear.  We have to monitor him over the next couple weeks and see how he does.  If the symptoms worsen, he may need surgery to correct pyloric stenosis.  However, he can't get the surgery yet, because fluid is still getting through the narrowed pylorus.  So he's not in bad enough shape to need surgery.  And the problem might resolve on its own.  I didn't know, from my extensive Google diagnosing, that this problem could resolve without surgery.  But as Jeff said, that's why we don't pay Dr. Internet to care for our baby.

Our pediatricians seem great.  They are are trio of women and I've met them all now--Lubin, Whang, and Blume.  I trust what they are telling us.

We are just worried sick.  But we have to be strong for Little Z.  The main thing now is that we have to really slow down his feedings so that whatever we put into his stomach can make its way out of the pyloric valve.  This is very, very tough for me to do while breastfeeding, so I am thinking it would be better to pump and bottle feed.  Jeff has a lot of success bottle feeding Z expressed milk.  It's just easier to monitor the amount.

Also, we have to keep up with Z's output in the coming days.

What's wrong with Z is totally fixable and very common.  It affects boys something like 4 or 5 times more than girls.  It's especially common in firstborn males.  The surgery to fix the problem is routine and the prognosis is great.

But we are just wrecks over it nonetheless.

There was such a nice woman working at the ultrasound lab.  I had my stroller and diaper bag and then they tossed a clipboard at me.  But she came and sat down next to me while I fed Z and filled out the forms for me.  She said her son had to have a surgery when he was an infant, and she could see it all on my face--exhausted and worried mom of a newborn with a problem.

I feel vindicated that there is a problem.  I knew what was happening was not right.  I may not be a baby expert, but a baby who vomits out a stream of liquid that goes a yard out from his face--um, that just didn't seem normal to me.  Overfeeding didn't quite explain it.


Anonymous said...

Julie: Thanks for filling us in and giving us the details. We are worried sick for Zack and so upset for the two of you. I remember you mentioning the possibility of it a week or so ago and you were correct...I also did not see the issue of righting itself without surgery - from my search on the Internet..that is what we are all hoping for. What a wonderful, not to mention, conscientious mom (and dad of course) you are! Zack is a lucky little boy! We'll be talking but please continue to update us...Love Tricia and Burt

Julie said...

Thanks. We are really beside ourselves, but Zack is actually very healthy. Just grumpy about the slowed feedings. He will be okay!

DCD said...

He will be okay. When I spoke to Jeff last night I mentioned that there must be some sense of relief that there is something wrong - especially when you feel so strongly that it is more than "a little spit-up."

Keeping good thoughts for you all, I can imagine how incredibly stressful it is on you guys. It's like getting the first shots - always worse on the parents than the baby! Obviously, this is considerably more scary, but you get the idea.

Talk to you soon. Much love from us!

Octopunk said...

I have to admit I was considerably calmer when I talked to you and I was still at work. I let myself get a lot more upset when I was home.

But we know that's the deal. Jules pointed out that Z is counting on us not to fall apart, so we just can't. I replied that yeah, these fires are what forge you into a parent... but, ouch! Fire!

Looking at him it's hard to imagine anything's amiss. (Except, of course, when he's spewing milk all over the couch.) Plucky little dude.

miko564 said...

Thinking about you guys.

Anonymous said...

He's going to be fine (and you will be, too). You're doing such a great job of watching out for him and being strong for him. Now that the problem is clear, it's all progress from here. --Ashley

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of Julie and Jeff. They are such awesome parents.
They took exactly the right actions at the right time.

My understanding is that pyloric "thickening" may right itself as the baby's digestive system becomes more mature. It's so hard to be in the "wait and see" mode, but it's best to do just that

Little Z is so lucky to have them both.

Marjorie (julie's Mom)

Obsidian Kitten said...

OMG i loooooove that picture

you look so elated and so exhausted all at once

hugs, shan

Amity said...

Keep up the good work.