>…A very good place to start.
Emily was born full-term after a complicated pregnancy. Complications began early in my pregnancy after the loss of a twin that resulted in many weeks of bleeding. I started having signs of preterm labor at 21 weeks, when I was put on bedrest. A short while later, I was given Terbutaline to halt the contractions, with Phenergan and Zofran to stop the constant vomiting. At 34 weeks, I was taken off bedrest and off Terbutaline…and nothing happened! At 37 weeks, labor was induced. Emily was born after the smoothest, most relaxed labor I had ever had. Beautiful, pink and healthy, Emily weighed in at 6lbs, 3oz.
Breastfeeding went well, but slowly. Emily often took 45minutes to an hour to nurse, and she was constantly screaming if she was not held. Her pediatrician put her on a reflux med which helped immensely. With my son’s history of allergies, our pedi encouraged us to wait on starting solids until Emily was 6 months old. By five months, Emily was not growing as well as we would have liked, and we all agreed to slowly introduce solids. I started with rice cereal, and it seemed like Emily was handling it well. By the 3rd day, her tummy was swollen and bloated, she developed terrible diaper rash, and she would projectile vomit. Nothing helped–changing from cereal to vegetables to fruit–the symptoms were the same. Even a strict elimination diet for me did not help. Around 6 months, Emily was so unhappy–constantly in pain. Her pediatrician put her back on a reflux med, changed her from breastmilk to Pregestimil, and referred her to pediatric gastroenterologist. By eight months, Emily’s growth was considered “stunted and wasted.” Around this time, Emily began to have strange “episodes” that I will discuss later. By ten months, Emily spent a week in the hospital battling rotavirus, and left weighing less than 12 pounds. But she also left the hospital with an important change–Neocate formula which changed her life. For the next year and several months, this was all Emily could tolerate. Around age 2, we were able to slowly introduce new foods. Emily continued to have intermittent digestive problems and chronic upper respiratory infections. A scope of her airway when she was 3 during a surgery to remove her tonsils and adenoids revealed damage from GERD. A year later, Emily’s tummy pain returned, and her GI performed an endoscopy that revealed that Emily had eosinophilic esophagitis. Following that diagnosis, we put Emily on rice milk and drastically reduced her dairy intake. Since that change and to our pleasant surprise, Emily has not had any significant gastrointestinal problems.
I wish this was the end of Emily’s troubles, but it seems it is just the beginning.